A New Home for the Shepherds Garden

March 12, 2012

The Shepherds Garden has a new home at Fieldstone Orchard and Farm in Overbrook, KS.  We are so happy to have a new home, garden space and hoop houses to build the dream of growing food.  Overbrook is 1 hour from Olathe, 30 minutes from Topeka and 30 minutes from Lawrence.  Fieldstone Orchard and Farm is located on 150 acres of beautiful rolling hills right on the historic Santa Fe Trail.  Below is a picture of the hoop houses at sunrise and in the bright light of day.

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The Dream

April 2, 2010

We are living on a beautiful farm in south Johnson County, KS which is the beginning of a fulfillment of a “dream”.   It is an 80 acre farm with 8 outbuildings and one amazing 3000 sq ft Wisconsin style barn. We are loving the peace, quiet and beauty of being out in the country. We are 20 minutes from the I-435 corridor in Overland Park. We are close enough for it to be easy to come and visit as well as far enough out to be in the “country” with deer, wild turkey and the call of the coyote. We are located close to the intersection of 191st and Pflumm St.

It’s been a rough and winding road to get to the farm. Since Rick first began experiencing the effects of copper toxicity in early July we have been on an big adventure.  We have focused on eating fresh, local, real foods as well as adding to Rick’s diet, deer, elk and buffalo to help him gain strength.

In mid August we realized that renting our current home was not an option since we had lost Rick’s income. I was feeling pretty overwhelmed with the task of moving since Rick was ill.  Our  friends stepped in and painted, packed and helped us to move out on September 1. The interesting twist to the move is that we had no place to move to. One of our friends called this the “extreme destination unknown”.  Our friends opened their homes and hearts to us. We had more offers than we could accept for places to stay until the destination became known.

Three days into the journey I was feeling pretty low about living “homeless” when the spirit inspired idea came to me to consider that I was on “vacation” not homeless. It is amazing how changing one little word can affect your whole outlook. Rick and I began to enjoy the process of being on vacation and staying with our friends even though we didn’t know where we would end up.  The third day of Rick’s illness he said to me “I think there is a farm coming our of this”.  I thought he was delirious, because of how sick he was but now we know God was at work preparing a place for us.

On Labor Day we went to the Louisburg parade and festival. We watched a children’s tractor pull contest. God used this tractor pull to speak to my heart a very important message, “don’t look back”. The instructions were given to the kids to “look forward and peddle as fast as you can, but don’t look back. ” We watched twenty five of the forty – 4 and 5 year olds hop on the tractor and start peddling and then look back. As soon as they looked back they stopped peddling and could not regain their momentum to move forward. After watching this event 40 different times I got the message loud and clear “don’t look back” or you will get stuck and you won’t move forward. This message gave me tremendous encouragement  every time I started focus on the past, to remember the tractor pull and keep walking forward.

One of our vacation destinations was the Foundation Farm in Eureka Springs, AK. http://www.foundationfarm.com/. We spent the day with the owner Patric Gros and the volunteers. It was an awesome day observing the gardening practices on this 12 acre organic farm. We were inspired by the passion and practices of Patric. Rick and I both came away from the experience knowing we had seen an example of what our hearts were wanting to create in a garden.

We stayed at the Little Portion Retreat Center http://www.littleportion.org/ which is a part of The Brothers and Sisters of Charity at Little Portion Hermitage founded by John Michael Talbot. We enjoyed the beauty and peace of this retreat center located in the woods about 7 miles from Eureka Springs. We enjoyed a visit to the Hermitage and experienced vespers with the community as well as a tour of the gardens.  This was a healing and relaxing time for Rick.

Two weeks later we received a call from a friend of Rick’s telling us about a farm that needed a care taker. We visited the farm  and were offered the opportunity to live there for 90 days to keep the farm from being vandalized and to clean it up.  This has given Rick the opportunity to work at his own pace allowing him to build his strength.  At the end of 90 days we have the option of becoming the farm managers. We immediately set to work cleaning up.

Rick’s continues a detox program that will probably continue for another year.  He is stubborn and tries to push himself and I have to remind him that he doesn’t need to do it all in one day.  His mind tells him he is 18 and back on his boyhood farm and his body is telling him something different.

We are healing on the farm while watching the sunrises and sunsets, and gazing at the stars and listening to the coyotes howling in the background. We thank God for his faithfulness and for the prayers and support to keep us moving forward and trusting on this journey.

First Harvest – Radishes

January 9, 2010

Delicious!

Look What is Growing in the Frigid Winter

January 7, 2010

The temperatures outside are around zero.

The blanket or row cover is in place to protect in the frigid temperatures.

It's very cold outside but the spinach is growing inside.

Turnips

Spinach

New Growth of Plants

December 16, 2009

It is so exciting to see the miracle of planting seeds.  These pictures reflect the new growth of the plants in the midst of sub zero temperatures.  The plants are covered with a row cover (light blanket) at night.  You can see the frost on the garlic.

Building the Hoop House

November 15, 2009

Photos showing the building of the hoop house.

Building the Hoop House for the winter garden
Larry and Rick are laying out the plastic by the frame

Rick and Larry are laying out the plastic cover for the house

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Pulling the cover over the frame with a 20-30 MPH wind.

Putting on the plastic cover

Continuing the process of covering with plastic

The house is all covered.

The house is all covered.

Building the Hoop House

Larry and Rick are attaching the plastic cover with 1 x 2 and sheetrock screws.

The new door is open

The new door is built and open. Gracie is ready to take a look around.

November 14, 2009

Welcome to the Shepherds Garden.  We want to share our journey with you.

We have a dream to create winter gardens in the Kansas City area to provide  local grown vegetables all winter long.  Our first hoop house has been birthed and the seeds are in the ground and sprouting.


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