begin again.

May 21, 2011

welcome to mason jar farm.  or at least, welcome to our blog.  we are andy & amy–two kids teetering on the edge of 30 (oh wait, andy IS 30)–trying to eek out a living on our 13.3 acres of northern minnesota woods.  we often joke that we chose the worst possible place to attempt self-sufficiency…seeing as we have approximately 2 months of 70 degree temps every year.  but, what’s the fun in an easy challenge?  we both grew up in iowa (hello, farm country!) and ended up, by strange/beautiful twists of fate, in Hovland, MN–an unincooperated town of about 100 people, gravel roads, towering spruce and scrubby alder.

in the garden unplanted garden.

 I should mention that we are not just “he & she”, but rather “he, she & she”.  that is, we recently added a new creature into our lives–a little girly by the name of sparrow grace.  8 weeks old and already the darling of our tiny town. 

baby schmidty

 we purchased our property 3 years ago now.  it sits on the banks of the flute reed river (creek by iowa standards) and is the home to a lush black ash swamp and copious numbers of ferns.  over the years, we have slowly begun to transform some of the densly wooded areas into open space–the first step to turning our land into farmable and sustainable.  that we have ANY open space is all thanks to my husband and his 30 year old-chainsaw.    

a boy & his stihl.

currently on our little “farm”, we currently have 9 laying hens, a rooster named lebowski, 3 pigs (corrie, ben & wilhelm), a large garden, 14 baby turkeys and a very loud coonhound named hank.  we love each of these things and give thanks for what they provide/will provide for us.  (coonhound mostly provides humor, companionship and the occasional scaring of marten and fox from the chicken coop.)  we are doing our best to decrease our reliance on the outside world while increasing our own self-reliance.  its a  lot of work but we think its worth it.

corrie, ben & wilhelm

enough said.


layers of fine eggs.


baby turkeys looking very intelligent.

So there you have it.  A brief little overview of what we are doing here at mason jar farm.  please follow us…aka, our blog.  adventure with us.  learn with us.  create with us.  laugh with us (because in all this learning, there are a lot of mistakes, which translate into a lot of laughter).  live well with us.


6 Responses to “begin again.”

  1. Marcia lacey said

    What a delightful blog. I will be sure to follow it.

  2. Hey Amy, Andy, and Sparrow!

    Becky, Henry, and I are excited to follow your journey from afar 🙂

    We’re working at some of the same goals as you, but on a *much* smaller scale. No animals, but we’ve got our garden going and we’ll be canning salsa and apple sauce for the second year. We’re also going to try our hand at spaghetti sauce this year.

    I’m still trying to convince Becky to add some chickens to the backyard — and I’m actually not even sure it’s legal in town — so we’ll see.

    Becky just got a new job in the same district I’ve been in, so we’ll both be less than 4 miles from our jobs combined! So that’s exciting (hence the exclamation point.)

    All right. Enough public catch-up. I’m subscribed and looking forward to your updates.


  3. Sarah said

    I love this!!! Well done Mason Jar Farm! Please continue to blog often – I love reading it and you have such a way with words. Love you!


  4. Mom said

    absolutely love it – thank you my beautiful, talented writing daughter. photos are perfect – laugh out loud at hank and just want to cuddle baby sparrow – i wish you sunny days . . love

  5. Welcome to blog world! I love your pictures. Hank is SO funny. Love the chickens and the pigs. Sparrow is best of all!! 🙂 Love you guys! ❤

  6. Chip and LInda said

    Surely your little Sparrow is the most beautiful baby ever!!!! We’ll look forward to your entries so we can follow your wild and crazy life up on your northern “farm”. Please keep ’em coming! Linda

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