Our Farm Story
Where the boys live and play
When asked what came first the chicken or the egg?
For us it was the chickens...
well actually the guinea hens.
The eggs took forever to come and sometimes still do. Guess that is why we appreciate them so much!
The Does Den
the kidding stalls and milking table.
How Into The Woods Farm came to be~
My children and I decided we were a real farm and established Into The Woods Farm in May of 2016.
But little did we know our farming life really took root in the spring of 2015 when we decided to try out guinea hens for tick control. We went to a local farmer's Spring Sale and came home with guinea keets to eat the ticks that were now invading the mountain we called home. The keets were loved and handled by the kids daily but no matter what we did these birds would not warm up to us. I had been putting so much thought and energy into the chicken coop we were given that I decided we needed something a bit more appreciative of our efforts. We began to research chickens and what they required. We loved eggs, had plenty of room in the new coop and it was still early spring with enough time to raise chicks and have eggs by fall. A few chickens would be fun right? So 15 chicks plus 3 chicks (to cover the order we lost), plus 16 more to replace the first chicks and add those to the 3 chicks we were given to make the kids happy... we had our modest beginnings in farming. We ended up selling the Guinea Hens to cover the cost of the chickens and figured the chickens would eat ticks too right?
From that point on it really is a roller coaster of experiences and lessons all necessary in getting us to where we are today.
The goats came in waves (I really should have done better in math class). Our first goats came in a group of 5 when we went down to look at some goats. Twylith Teg, a first freshner, and her 4 doelings happened to be a good way to introduce us to goats. Then later in the summer we attended the local fair and to further our education. We visited the Goat Barn and met Breezy Pond Farm. Then through that friendship came 4 more goat kids by the end of our first summer 2016. We went from a doe caring for her quad doelings to us bottle feeding 2 kids, experiencing different options for bucklings that are not going to be breeding stock, and too many new experiences to mention here.
Our goal once we settled in and learned more about our goats was to milk them. Rhedyn wanted to milk goats and enjoy their sweet creamy milk. I was hoping to learn how to make cheese and soap with any milk the kids did not drink.
Breeding and kidding was planned to begin in December of 2017 Rebel Wood Heritage Breeds introduced us to our first herd sire in the spring of 2017 along with a doeling of excellent milking lines. So much more to learn and a beautiful buckling and we were on our way.
All the goats came to live on the farm between May of 2016 and July of 2017. Like the chickens the goats just kept adding up and before we knew it I was building a 2nd barn and run and expanding the original barn to make room for 2 kidding stalls and hay storage. The goat adventure has brought to us new friends and many new experiences we never imagined we would be doing. It is all just part of the daily routine now.
All of the construction and maintenance on the property is done by myself and the kids. Rhedyn and Drake share the farm responsibilities and help to make it all possible. Rhedyn is the chicken care taker and does everything to keep them happy ad laying beautiful colored eggs. Drake is the barn manager for our herd of 12 Nigerian Dwarf goats.
We have a barn cat Grimm that came to call Into The Woods Farm home just before Christmas 2017. We figured we have enough barns it seemed only right to have a black cat to keep the mice out.
~2019 Update: We have 16 goats after keeping our kids from 2018 and having a successful event season. We are welcoming our first litter of Aussie puppies thank you to Lyric. New chicks will join the flock in late March and building projects for the spring summer may include a pavillion, carport, and still hopes for and interpretation center in the years to come. Many new hiking and snoweshoeing trails for 2019.
My job is to just keep it all running smoothly and back up all operations here in the woods. Photographer, farmer, doula, licensed wilderness guide, carpenter, it all depends on the day or the season as to what hat I am wearing. What I always am is “mom” so that tends to fill in a lot of titles and comes first to most things in life.
My goal for the farm and animals was to give my children more to think about and care for then themselves. Bringing farming into our lives has been everything I hoped it would be and so much more.
2019 comes to and end. It was a hard year losing our first goat, Skye, on St. Patrick's Day and after whelping a beautiful litter of 3 black tri female puppies Faelyn, Jett, and Artemis we lost Lyric 1 month after her 6th birthday to cancer. We kept one of her puppies Faelyn (big puppy) to carry on her momma's legacy. All the puppies train together and see each other weekly which has been very special.
It was a fantastic season for Goat Yoga and private events giving us a full shed of hay and happy goats from a season of attention.
The kids are homeschooling and we are spending some time traveling and seeing the world while learning together and running the farm business.
Looking forward to settling in for the long winter ahead and wishing for a happy 2020. Join us in the woods for some exploring by snowshoe this winter and get outside and enjoy nature in all of her seasons.
My life goal~
To make a living, living the life we have grown to love and to create a place for education through experiences for the greater good of others.
Founder~ Phaedra Zoe Stasyshyn