To put it simply, Steel Raven Farms is my farm…. Well, Jared and my farm. It’s a legacy that we are leaving for our kids, grandkids and anyone that we can touch. What started out as a day dream has turned into this huge thing that I am so incredibly proud of. But to start, let me show you my farm.
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How Steel Raven Farms Was Born
There was a really long time where I wanted something that I just couldn’t name. I had this yearning for something different than the standard American dream. I didn’t want the white picket fence in suburbia. I didn’t want a perfectly manicured lawn. And I didn’t want the perfect house with the perfect kids. That’s not even close to who I am. But I couldn’t put my finger on the THING that was missing.
City Kids Turned Rural Adults
Jared and I grew up as city kids and moved a LOT. We always lived in suburbia in various houses and apartments. When we got married at the ripe old age of 18 and 19, we continued on that path.
I’ve always loved planting things and I’ve always tried to grow a garden. But with constant moves, it was damn near impossible. Then I said screw it and planted a small garden in my front yard of our on post house on Fort Hood. I grew and harvested my first carrot and some potatoes and I was HOOKED.
When we bought our first house in Texas, I planted our first “real” garden and I absolutely feel in love! I started trying to figure out how we could do more of it. But we were stuck in the middle of this tiny town and couldn’t move.
After a move back to Georgia, and a couple more moves, we finally landed on our slice of heaven in Habersham County, GA in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
Searching For Peace
Throughout my life, I kept searching for this thing. Like I said above, I just couldn’t put my finger on whatever it was that I couldn’t find. The closest I ever came was the various gardens I planted. But I never put two and two together until we moved here.
Jared and I haven’t always had the relationship we have now. I’ve realized over the last 5 years, that we were both searching for this THING and we were making each other miserable.
When we moved to our property and took our first real breath, we discovered what this THING was, we had finally found peace.
Steel Raven Farms Was Born
When we were preparing to buy this property, we started doing a ton of research. What did we want to do with this property? We knew we wanted to grow our own food and raise as much of our meat as possible. But what else?
Then as we were getting ready to close on the property, I decided the farm needed a name. Something that we could call it that gave it an identity and make it ours.
So I got on Google and started looking at various symbols, mythology, and pagan held beliefs.
We chose Steel because it is hard, rigid, and stubborn. But it also means strength, purpose, and honor.
We chose Ravens as a nod to our heritage but also because ravens are inquisitive, intelligent, mate for life. There is also a ton of symbolism behind them like ancient wisdom, partnerships, adaptability, and transitions.
We chose Farms because at the end of the day, we are working towards retirement with the farm being our income source. I talked here about the difference between a homestead and farming. There wasn’t much mystical or symbolic about that one I’m afraid.
Where Steel Raven Farms Is Going
I always have a plan and where my farm is going is no different. The end goal of Steel Raven Farms is a legacy for our family. But there are so many parts and pieces to get there. We must maintain our peace while also pushing the needle to the end goal. We have this huge goal of growing 75% of our and our animal’s food on farm. But mostly? We want a place that is full of learning.
Pushing The Needle, While Maintaining Peace
I think the most important thing I have learned since starting the farm, was realizing that it is okay to push the needle hard but also be able to back off and enjoy peace. In my podcast about Struggling With Overwhelm, I talked about the internal struggle that most millennials have. We were taught that we can’t play until our chores, homework, etc were done. But that creates an environment were, as adults, we can’t relax because there’s so much to do!
I have discovered that by creating time within my day to relax and take time for myself, I am able to push that needle. All while avoiding burnout and risking my peace.
What that looks like for Steel Raven Farms, is growing bigger gardens without forcing the land to give what it’s not ready for. It includes setting up infrastructure to allow for scaling up but not requiring it. Or allowing myself a hobby that has nothing to do with the farm.
Setting Goals But Being Okay With Not Hitting Them
One thing that some homesteaders don’t realize until it’s too late, is that Mother Nature is on her own time. Sure, we can adjust that time but installing greenhouses or high tunnels. But she has the final say when it comes to nature. A freak storm can take out your garden, or a parasite infestation takes out your goats. That means that for us, we have to be willing and able to say let’s try again next year.
Or it means, changing goals. It’s okay to think you want to raise chickens for egg production, only to realize that they may not be worth the damage they do. So you decide to get ducks instead. That’s okay!
Creating An Environment For Learning
I believe, fully and completely, that you should always be learning something. It doesn’t matter if it is a new way of cooking, hobby, or skill. You should always learn something new. We also wanted to create an environment were our boys were able to be curious, where they could move and be outside.
I believe, and time will tell, that we have created an environment where they can learn and make mistakes in the safety of this property. There are no tests here. Life will be their test, this farm can be their practice. And if I’m being totally honest, it’s our place to practice too.
We have colossally screwed up multiple times, trying to figure out the best way to do things. And that’s okay! The first time we raised and butchered pigs ended up being a complete loss. The first time brooding turkeys wasn’t any better. But that’s okay too. We are learning.
We Are Steel Raven Farms
And we are creating a legacy, environment for learning and a sanctuary for peace.
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