BREEDING/KIDDING SCHEDULE POSTED FOR 2011
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contact by email: markopolo2008 @msn.com
Last updated 02/16/2014
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Beth' El Acres Farm is home to the Schuller Family in Washington state.
Welcome to our website. We hope your visit here will leave you with warm lingering thoughts of the country lifestyle. Our home page will give you a little glimpse into our lives and who we are. Our mini-farm consists of only a few acres of land. We are located not too far from beautiful Mt. Rainier. It is a big change from the 3,000 acre ranch I homesteaded in Idaho (see Countryside Magazine, March/April 2008 issue, "An Idaho Homesteading Experience"). Our land is not sizeable by any means but we're making it work for us. We finally finished putting a new roof on the barn and put a whole new outside and inside to her. We enjoy being busy around the farm as there is always something to do. In Nov. 2010, we had to put in a new water line from the meter, through the pasture and up to the house. Like I said- there's always something that needs done. Preparing for each season: winter, spring, summer and fall, is one of them.
In Fall, we muck out the barn to get it ready for winter, then we do it all over again prior to kidding season in early springtime. Once the kids are born, we prepare the ground for the large garden that we plant every spring. Mark loves it on the weekends as he can leave work behind and plant his bulbs and wildflowers in his little flower garden, mending gates/fences, and hauling hay among a variety of other chores that are never ending. Summer is spent tending the garden, freezing and canning our surplus from the garden. Remember, no matter how small your piece of land is, you can always find ways to provide for you and yours. This 2012 growing season has been awesome- we have so much we are putting away- it's amazing. After the harvest, at the beginning of fall, typically comes breeding season for the goats. Once breeding season is past, we start to prepare for the cold winter months ahead. Winter can be a battle all on it's own, especially when the hoses freeze up and you have to carry jugs full of hot water to your animals. This year I invested in 4-5 heated buckets!! Thankfully the winters here are much milder than they were in Idaho.
We have a large flock of chickens that provide us with outstanding eggs. Our menagerie of animals also include: ducks, geese, chickens, turkeys, pigs, giant rabbits, and of course, the goats. I have sold all of the large dairy goats and have down-sized to a smaller breed, the Nigerian Dwarf Goats. This breed is exactly what we want and what we need. The Nigerian Dwarfs eat less than the large breed goats, need less space and still produce enough milk for the family and soap making. One of my goals is to learn how to make cheese. A hobby of mine is making simple homemade soaps. They are made the old-fashioned "Homesteader's Way," thus the name of our soap and our website.
Life has been very good to us. My wonderfully amazing husband Mark and I have been married now for 5 wonderful years. I inherited 3 teenagers - what a great package deal!! We still have 2 teenagers at home. We work well as a team, especially when everyone pulls together to achieve the same goals. Never did I think I would be raising kids again as my children are all grown and have flown the coop. We now have 10 grandchildren.
Another member of our family that we must mention and give thanks to, is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for without Him none of this would be possible. Daily he provides for us. He has given us a wonderful family, an awesome church family, our health, our finances, and a beautiful home. He is our Provider!!
Matt.6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you". It took me awhile to get this but it's very simple- put God first in your life and He'll put you first.
Our farm is called Beth' El, meaning House of God. Mark and I heard a message at church one morning and the name of the message was "Back to Beth'el". We don't profess to be religious and if you ever meet us you will see we are just a down to earth, friendly, hard-working family. The Lord has made a vast change in both our lives and we must give thanks were it's due. We are still far from perfect but God has been so good to us. There is an old saying, "God helps those who help themselves." We strive to be a little better everyday... it doesn't always work but we do try:)
This is our 6th year with Nigerian Dwarfs and we have made some wonderful friends that share the same goals. It has been another year of learning and letting go. This past year we have chosen to cut back on our breeding stock to give my "new" knees time to heal. We will be keeping only a couple of bred does. Culling my does is so difficult as I'm sure it is for everyone. I always thought this word was used when you had to sell an animal that had lost it's value or usefulness. This is so not true in my situation. I have to sell in order to retain due to the size of our mini-farm. If I had 20 acres I'd probably keep 'em all!!
We learned 5 yrs. ago that I have Fibromyalgia, another reason for down-sizing, and we are still trying to cope with the changes that are taking place. Some days I feel like I can do almost as much as I used to, though I do tire out sooner. Having my animals helps me to get outside and get myself moving, my animals depend on it-I depend on it. It's someway of getting a little of exercise. I cannot take walks down the road due to potholes, rocks and bad weather so I am excited about the new treadmill that will be coming- I just want those out there, that have this "insidious disease", DO NOT GIVE UP!!! Perservere and push through- sometimes it's so hard. I have always been a doer, go, go, and go some more- Mark said,"You get more done that most healthy people." Some days are worst than others. And to set the record straight- It is NOT a mental illness, it affects joints and muscles. The challenges will be great but those that are met with victory are going to be the hardest earned and the most rewarding......
A HUGE, SUPER HUGE HUG AND THANK YOU FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN THERE FOR ME, LOVED ME, CARED FOR ME AND THOSE WHO HAVE TAUGHT ME: MARK, I love you babe! It's been you who has carried me through dark days in your strong arms. You are amazing to me. My children and my grandchildren-each of you that share my tears and bring a smile to my lips and laughter to my heart! My friends: Cherle Moore-Smith of Old Mountain Farm- you have been a great encourager and mentor, Bernita (Blackberry Acres) and MaryAnne you are both the sweetest ladies thank you for your love and caring. Shannon Stangeland of Poppy Patch Farm for all your help and advise, thank you all for sharing your knowledge and experience and/or just being a friend-True friends are hard to find-God Bless you all!
I wish to thank Olivia Marquez of Capriola's Nigerian Dwarf goats, for her work on this website.
Website designed by Olivia Marquez of Capriola's Nigerian Dwarf goats
Patricia Schuller of Beth'el Acres Farm