A Family Builds a Homestead in the Rain

Moving 50 Animals 600 Miles

We made it! We are officially here permanently. I can’t say that it feels so final in my mind– rather, the days are rushing by as if again approaching the long return trip to California. Without a set routine and with such a seemingly insurmountable to-do list, the past week has been a blur.

The process of packing and loading, of corralling the animals and worrying about how in the world we’d be able to move them all at once, is still haunting my dreams.

The two sheep, two goats, three rabbits, four geese, and dozens of chickens all rode in one trailer, neatly packed into cages and a makeshift livestock area. As stressful and challenging as the experience was, the actual trip was successful and undoubtedly quite the amusing scene for passers-by. We did try to track down a professional livestock mover or at least rent a proper trailer, for the record, but in the end, this was it. And it worked!

The animals seemed to travel quite comfortably, and their release onto acres of lush mixed grass was a happy one. The goats have managed to clear most of the blackberry brambles from under the hay barn. As soon as it’s cleaned out we can fence the area off to contain the sheep for shearing next week.

Between the numerous projects and good hard work, I’ve been voraciously foraging and experimenting with preserving the wild harvests. Posts and recipes will follow this week, along with an update on the beautifully expanding garden.

Home sweet home!

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  1. Murtagh's Meadow Murtagh's Meadow
    May 22, 2015    

    May you and all the family and all your animals be very happy in your new home.

    • May 22, 2015    

      Thank you! We are already, if a bit overwhelmed. I wish you happiness as well.

  2. May 22, 2015    

    How exciting though – look at all that pretty green grass! Congrats and enjoy!

    • May 22, 2015    

      Thank you Carole! The grass is heavenly!

  3. Sandy Rees Sandy Rees
    May 22, 2015    

    I would have loved to hear the other people when they so you traveling. I bet there was some interesting commentary. You’re amazing being able to do all you’ve done and still find time to post for us. Enjoy your new beginnings there!

    • May 22, 2015    

      Thank you Sandy! I agree, I bet we made some people’s days. I appreciate the compliment– it doesn’t always feel like I keep up with as much as I’d like to. But the blog break was helpful, and I’m happy to be back! Lots to tell! Just have to wait for that toddler to take her nap… 🙂

  4. May 22, 2015    

    Glad the animals are settling in nicely! And good job, goats, for getting right to work.

  5. May 22, 2015    

    Yay!! I’m glad you all made it safely. What a journey… and great photos to document it!

    • May 22, 2015    

      Thank you! More to come soon. Thanks for following along!

  6. Rosemarie Wallack Rosemarie Wallack
    May 23, 2015    

    Hi Kelly – so wonderful that you are finally done with the BIG move. I absolutely LOVE reading about your adventures. Your cherub is adorable! GOOD LUCK and love and hugs to you and the family!

    • May 23, 2015    

      Thank you so much!! I’m so glad you’re following. Lots of love and hugs from all of us to you as well!

  7. MM MM
    May 26, 2015    

    What a great trip to have made safely, and I’m sure your animals are happy now that they have so much green grass to enjoy! Enjoy the journey 🙂

    • May 30, 2015    

      Thank you! And apologies for the late reply– as you can imagine, this place makes time get away from me most easily!


I'm Kelly. Writer, crafter, forager, country winemaker, cook. Mama of an awesome toddler and married to my best friend. We recently returned to the Pacific Northwest, where we're setting out to grow, make, and learn as much as we can as the future unfolds.

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