We have started off the new year with a bang, moving full steam ahead by welcoming a few more additions to the farm! We have now been joined by a breeding pair of American Guinea Hogs. When we purchased the pair, Mama Hog was already pregnant, and gave birth to 6 little piggies shortly after her arrival. You know the expression describing the gluttonous overeater as “a pig”? We now have a whole new understanding of what that means! These guys can eat like there’s no tomorrow! They’re such….PIGS!! We have added more electric fencing and temporarily put them in the area that we tilled up for the garden. We’re hoping that they will continue the tilling and fertilizing for us so that come spring we’ll have some nice rich soil ready for planting. Piglets will be for sale soon. Another step toward self-sufficiency and sustainability for the farm!
Truth be told, the past few months have been a bit of a stretch for us. Justin has still been working for a neighbor down the road, clearing a piece of land. But with winter temperatures here in the mountains frequently dipping below freezing, outdoor work has its challenges, to say the least! Maneuvering a chainsaw on the steep side of a frozen mountain and starting a burn pile in the freezing rain take skill! But groceries aren’t cheap, so Justin puts on his long johns (and a smile ? ) and keeps on going! Aside from full-time homeschooling the kiddos, I have taken on a part-time job myself as an online English teacher for students in China. My classes are live, and because of the time difference that means that I’m already up teaching for several hours before the sun comes up. In between jobs and school, we have been carving a few hours out of each day to work on getting the farm set up. With animals to be fed, shelters to be built, and pasture to be cleared, there’s always more to be done than what we have time in the day to do! But fences won’t install themselves, so we keep on pushing forward. We know in our hearts that we are right where we’re supposed to be, and we’re giving it everything we’ve got. Sleep may be a bit scarce, and the coffee pot might be getting a workout, but we know that seasons will come and go. As we pour ourselves into this season of sowing, we know that there will also be a season of harvest and we will eventually be able to enjoy the fruit of our labor! It occurred to me the other day that we have only been living on our new property for 5 months. And in that short time we have (partially) furnished our house, started building relationships with several of our neighbors, set up a cat breeding business and also an LLC, cleared acres of pasture by hand, set up multiple paddock areas for livestock, and brought in goats and pigs, all in our “spare time” around school and work! Not too shabby!
Thank you for continuing to stand behind us! ~Justin, Michelle, Jeremiah, Rejoice, Serene, Kaden, & Benjamin
About Justin & Michelle Erb
Justin and Michelle spent 15 years serving in the Philippines where they worked alongside Filipinos to establish several churches, schools, home Bible studies, youth centers, feeding programs, and livelihood projects. During their time in the Philippines, they developed a rural missions base where they focused on practical apprenticeship with training programs in animal husbandry, organic gardening, and woodworking, all as a means of helping Filipinos uncover their calling and destiny in Christ.