Amanda grew up in Northern New England, where she had the unique opportunity to attend a one room schoolhouse for first through third grade. She graduated high school a year early and moved to Colorado at Seventeen to attend college. There she met her husband and started a family. In 2009 she moved that family to Indiana, where they now reside on a 100 acre 1930’s farmstead.
Homesteading has given her a wealth of DIY experience and many things to write about. Besides the common farm animals, (goats, chickens, geese, ducks, rabbits, horses and donkeys), she raised alpacas for 8 years. For a time, she had 3 milk cows and learned how to hand milk them and make butter the old fashioned way. Being an animal lover, she has at one time or another, had cats, dogs, birds, fish, hermit crabs, iguanas, ferrets, guinea pigs, turtles, jerbils, mice, hamsters, potbelly pigs and a chinchilla.
She finds joy in collecting the cards from the trail cameras on her property to see what the wild animals have been up to. Bobcats, coyotes, deer, turkeys, foxes, groundhogs, raccoons, skunks, oppossums, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, birds and mice have all appeared on camera. She is quite fond of the pair of barn owls that have taken up residence in one of the old barns as well. From time to time she finds herself caring for some poor injured or orphaned creature and delights in it’s recovery and release.
The garden and orchard have produced a variety of fruits and vegetables. Amanda learned how to water-bath can some of the produce, as well as, use a steam juicer. She has made tinctures and salves with herbs from her herb garden and from the wild. She has butchered her own chickens. This supports her desire to eat organic (and gluten-free) foods and to heal naturally with herbs. An abundance of old Maple trees means that the family makes their own maple syrup each year. Those metal buckets with their little hats hanging on the tree bring back fond childhood memories and Amanda has enjoyed watching her own children lift the lids to see how much sap is in the bucket.
While working the farm, she also has been homeschooling her four children for more than a decade. While she does not claim to be an expert on any topic, she hopes that her experiences will help others, or at the very least, be an interesting read.
A note on religious topics:
After 30 years in the church, Amanda exchanged religion for spirituality. This journey from one to the other was long, meandering and profound. You may see hubs that address Biblical topics, as well as hubs about mindfulness and other so-called “new age” ideas and everything in between. While they may seem contradictory, they actually represent different points along the path to awareness that she hopes may help others to gain understanding and take a step forward.