Before we began the adventure to open a rustic wedding venue here in Goldsboro, NC, our family began another adventure. We lived in another part of Wayne County, in a large subdivision when we decided to start experimenting with raising our own food.
Our first garden started with squash, zucchini, and tomato plants. Then we took on a complete salad garden, peppers, potatoes, and other vegetables. (Produce for 8 people on the regular can get quite expensive!) Daniel and the boys began hunting and we were pleasantly surprised at how much venison we could obtain locally.
The idea of sustainable living quickly became something we knew we wanted to move towards. Daniel and the boys began raising rabbits for an alternative meat source. We purchased a few egg laying chickens, and we also began “experimenting” with other ways of providing protein for our family. After a few years of doing this in a limited area, our family decided it was time to look for some “land” out in the country.
Enter The Grantham House. As soon as we laid eyes on the property, my heart was captured by the home, but Daniel and the boys were fixated on the land itself and all of the barns and buildings. Daniel immediately began laying out pastures and his garden areas in his mind and then on paper. We were so excited to find the property had 24 mature pecan trees, 18 apple trees, 2 pear trees, a handful of peach trees, and a golden plum tree. As we began to explore the wooded land, the kids were delighted to find wild blackberries growing.
“Everything is an experiment” is Daniel’s favorite phrase to use when discussing how we grow our own food. For some people, when they hear the phrase “sustainable living”, pictures of primal folks making their own clothes and living off the grid flood their minds, but for us, it simply means that we are trying.
That’s why we call it Sustainable Living-ISH.
While we try to do everything organically, sometimes we have to sprinkle a little of this and that to ward off the bugs but we are learning more each day on how to keep from relying on pesticides and herbicides.
Every so often, our chickens will go into a molting phase and you might see us buying eggs at the local grocery store in Goldsboro, NC. And I am still struggling to figure out the many ways you can cook turnips. (For some reason, Daniel thought it would be a great idea to grow a TON of turnips this year.)
When it comes to growing and raising our own food, we are still novices. Daniel loves to talk to older people around Wayne County to find out what does and does not work. Beyond shortening the gap between our food source and the kitchen table, sustainable living-ISH has provided a rich learning experience for our children, and a field of corn, sunflowers, or pumpkins go hand in hand with a beautiful rustic barn wedding.