Our tag-line – “Big Family on a Small Farm”, is a great summary, yet it is very vague. Just how big and how small!
Well, to start with, J&J stands for Jared and Jennifer. While the story of our meeting is long and fun, lets just stick with the fact that we were married in 2002. We moved to Mississippi in 2005 and have been on our current property since 2009. It has all been a quick, wild, and enjoyable ride.
We have 5 children. The oldest was born in 2003, the youngest in 2012. Yup, those are all separate births, 5 in 9 years.
We consider several of our animals a part of our family. We do not consider all of them as such, as we expect for many of them to make their final sacrifice for the sustenance of our family, and nobody wants to be attached to their future sustenance.
Our animal family includes:
- Shannon – Jennifer’s service dog – mixed breed – very smart and territorial. The dog who managed to be reformed from a bird killer to a bird protector. Yes, it can be done. No, we cannot tell you how. It is up to the dog to obey your rules.
- Milky Way, Jack, Sparrow & StarDust – The cats of the farm. Milky Way rules the whole property – just ask her. Jack, short for BlackJack, is, perhaps, part Panther (he’s HUGE) and Sparrow. Why name a cat after a bird? So you can yell “Jack!, Sparrow!” to call the cats, of course. All are snugglers, but love to get outside and help clear some bugs from the yard as well.
Our logo consists of two letter J’s, one backwards and intertwined. This ingenious design comes from Jennifer’s mind – and signifies that she and I are intertwined and cannot be separated. It was what she came up with when we were looking for a logo for our farm. We wanted it to be like a branding used by ranchers. We know that it is not a traditional “wild west brand,” but we like it.
We have nearly 7 acres in Toomsuba (tomb-SUE-bah) Mississippi. That is on Interstate 20, right on the border of Mississippi and Alabama. Our home is 2 miles from the nearest service station, 14 from the nearest grocery store, and on a cool night the stars shine really bright with a mellow whistle from the nearest midnight train – which is all just how we like it.
We want to live a more self-sustained or self-reliant life style. Our resources require us to do this over the long-term. Decades, perhaps. However, with 5 children our dream may be to work this land into a self-sustaining haven, but our purpose is to give our children the values, knowledge, skills and desire to choose a lifestyle that is more sustainable and more in harmony with nature.
We raise Nubian dairy goats for milk, and New Zealand rabbits, Muscovy ducks, and American Guinea Hogs (pigs) for meat. We have Buff Orpington, Golden Blacked Laced Wyandotte and Rose Comb Leghorn chickens for eggs (and occasionally we’ll sneak a duck egg). We also have 2 African Geese, but we aren’t sure what we’ll end up using them for yet, as they were gifted to us. We use the land and garden to feed the animals and use the animals’ waste to feed the garden and land.
Perhaps one day we’ll invest in a dairy cow, but we just aren’t ready for that yet (mostly a shelter issue!).
It is our goal to provide for our own nutritional needs – and the garden is an intricate part of that. It not only feeds us, but, in part, our livestock as well. To be self-sufficient, we must be able to produce our own seeds. As such, we grow open-pollinated organic heirloom varieties. We know we could grow more produce per plant using other methods, but our goal is a long term one, not one of mass commercial production.
I say trees, as I do not feel it justifies the term orchard. We have apple trees, plum trees, pawpaw trees, and hope to have many more fruit and nut trees in the future.
In trying to live with the land, we recognize the value of our natural resources. On our property we have found Hickory trees, Muscadines, Blackberries, Passionflower, Wild Potato Vine, Elderberry, Sumac, Persimmon and Crayfish (Crawfish, Crawdads), just to name a few. We honor these resources by partaking when we can while also letting nature remain where it is and continue to feed it’s own ecosystem.
We love the community we have gained. It is humbling. We stumble all the time, but by sharing our experience with you we hope that you can take something of value away for your use. Would you consider joining us and going through these experiences with us? Sign up to be notified when we have new blogs, or subscribe to our YouTube channel to see all the latest videos.
JandJAcres.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We do this for the purpose of helping support our family farm. Individually each purchase pays us a very small percentage of your purchase, but the more purchases there are, the more we are able to make. Thank you for your support!