Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Tennessee Farm Boy

I'm talking about Josiah.  He has wanted to be a farmer since he was a little boy.  He has no interest in college and the thought of being in an office all day horrifies him.

I have incorporated "farming" into Josiah's schooling.  He reads about it, writes about it and has projects to complete.  His first project was to research about and build a compost bin.  He was also to establish a blog and begin to blog about his journey in becoming a farmer.  We will be unveiling that blog soon!

This summer, Josiah will be growing much more than we ever have before.  He plans on attending Farmer's Market every week.  He has some customers lining up already who are anticipating some wonderful organic produce!

A new beginning!

So Josiah is expanding our garden into the neighboring field.  In our garden we have 20 raised beds that are approximately 3 feet wide and 33 feet long.  We also have 3 large growing areas.  Josiah has bigger plans than that!  I pray that he is successful this year and that he remain excited about farming.  I don't think there is any profession I'd rather see my boys choose.

Making progress!

We had not intended to plow this field.  We just wanted to till it.  However, we found the tiller had been welded, after a break, in such a way that it just rode on top of the field.  A gentleman from church has suggested some ways to fix the tiller and we will be working on that.  In the mean time, we used the plow and then hope to use the tiller to break up the larger clods of dirt.  We are checking to see what amendments  we need to add....the biggest being lime I think.

He loves his tractor!

Notice the red at Josiah's feet.  That is a fire extinguisher.  I expect the boys to carry this on the tractor at all times.  This tractor has been known to start itself and set itself on fire!  Long story for another post. Our neighbor thinks he has fixed that problem but we still take precautions...like unhooking the battery cable EVERY time we park this thing!

A job well done!

I look at the above picture and one thought comes to mind...."I didn't buy enough seeds this year!"  I think Josiah is really going to need that Glaser Wheel Hoe he is saving money for....

We do school in the morning and usually end shortly after lunch.  We have been heading out then to work around the farm...when it isn't raining or snowing.  On those days, Josiah has been working inside the greenhouse readying it for planting.  He is almost finished with that job.  He wants to work with me this year and learn about greenhouse production.  We also grow plants, by special order, for other people's gardens.  We will be doing that for several people this year.  It was hard to imagine green and growing things this afternoon while we were out working....it was 25 degrees out!!

We have finished trimming all the apple, pear and peach trees in our little orchard.  Josiah and I are planning on attending a grafting workshop soon.  We will leave with 10 small apple trees that are historically from this area.  We are both excited about that!

A dear friend, who has been encouraging us, helping us in many ways and giving us very good counsel about what/how/where to do things around here, is bringing us a lot of raspberry canes to plant.  I am most excited about that - raspberries are my favorite fruit and I have long bemoaned the fact that we've been here 10 years and still don't have them....this is the year!  This same friend just gave us a heater for our greenhouse.  He no longer needed it and offered it to us....whooo....hooo!!! Next year, I will be able to start sooner!

Another gentleman from church came out this week and gave us some counsel about how to accomplish some of the things we need to do around here.  He was very encouraging to the boys and I about some of the projects that I considered rather daunting.  He will be advising us as we tackle some of these projects.  I am very thankful for the godly men in our body who have reached out to the boys and I as we try to make this farm successful.  We have already had friends offer to help when we tackle some of these bigger projects.  Many hands....and wonderful fellowship...make for great times.

This week - we have a really special event happening.  Elijah is having a birthday!  This year he asked for a really big party.  He wanted all the normal close friends and family but this year he wanted to include special people from our church body and I turned him loose....I may be calling some of ya'll to borrow chairs!  We've never had a birthday party this big, (may I remind y'all that I have a VERY tiny living room!) and we're really excited.  I'll be doing a LOT of cooking for the next couple of days.  Elijah is so excited he is having trouble going to sleep at night....no trouble trying to sleep in the mornings though :)  I'll post pictures after the party!  One of our pastor/elder's called today to share with me that he had violated the "no present" policy we requested.  Then he told me not to fuss at him when he told me what he got for Elijah.  He has a special place in his heart for Elijah and Elijah feels the same about him....well....when he told me what he had done....I gasped out loud and tears filled my eyes....he bought a......(Oops! can't tell till after the party...Elijah reads my blog!).

Next week we are participating in a rather funky odd strange "unusual" barn raising.  We are all very excited and can't wait to tell you more about it.....next week!



  1. my heart is so filled with gratitude. gratitude to our most Heavenly Father who is so faithful!!to see joshiah on the tractor was and is a very moving picture or to me it is. i too feel the same. truly do i believe that being a farmer is one of the most high calling. excitement fills me with knowing i will be able to glean from his blog. being a babe in the woods with all this dirt around me is overwhelming but i'm preparing my heart, my body and my feet!

    josiah i'm serious about your blog and you sharing all your knowledge with us knuckleheads.

    elijah, another birthday. what is the date?

    thank you for being my friend!

  2. Oh my son and I will be looking forward to your son's blog about farming.
    My son is just 14, but is wanting to be a farmer when he gets older. We live in the city on a too small of a property, so he cannot really be hands on here. he has no other opportunities right now, so learning from others experiences is what he does for now.

  3. Josiah needs to read Monday's post from the deliberate agrarian! http://thedeliberateagrarian.blogspot.com/2009/03/introducing-planet-whizbang-wheel-hoe.html

    exciting times ahead for ya'll :-)

  4. Cheri, you are showing your brattish tendencies again. :) You are shameless in teasing us with information and withholding the real nugget and making us wait and come back to find out. :)

    I love the farming pictures and I am thrilled you are having a large party. Maybe it will be really warm and you can have it outside.

  5. check out the deliberate agrarian's wheel hoe.

  6. Although a stint at a college might not be desirable for Josiah's career, you might consider looking into distance learning for agriculture when the time is right. There is a lot to be said for the foundation that a degree might offer (although I'm fairly sure he could manage without, since he has the habit of independent study).

    It's marvelous to see one who is already aware of his calling. It took me a while longer to figure mine out.

  7. Kay and ST,
    Thanks for the encouraging words!

    How exciting! Already in line to purchase :)

    I am shameless aren't I....I learned this during my read alouds with the boys in the evening.....what a stinker I can be ;)


    Great idea! Thanks. It also took me such a long time to figure it out. I am amazed at my sons who already are convinced they know their Father's plan for their lives.


  8. Wow, how cool is that? I'm proud of your son and I don't even know him!

    Found your blog from a comment you left over at The Deliberate Agrarian.

    Think I'll come back and visit some more.

    Best of luck this growing season, and God bless your farm!


  9. Wonderful!
    Your son is doing what mine wants to do...

    So pray we get to move to TN and farm soon! :)

  10. I have been helping a friend's farm and they have a Ford tractor too. Theirs is a Ford 7000, purchased many years ago when Mr. W graduated from high school, but it is still the favorite tractor on the farm--especially in the summer during haying time.

    I look forward to Josiah's blog. I also want to join in and wish all our gracious God's best blessings for y'all.

    PotterVilla Academy

  11. Thank you for sharing this post...it was a blessing to this farmer's heart to read ;) Continued prayers for you and your family!

  12. I have a 12 year old boy that wants to be a farmer too. (He too is homeschooled.) We were very excited to find your blog. We are living in a similar manner down here in Alabama, but on a much smaller scale.

  13. Matthew,
    Thank you so much :)

    So glad you were blessed!

    I'll bet they would be fast friends :)



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