The Goat Milk Stuff farm is 36 acres in Scottsburg, Indiana. When people find out that PJ was raised in New Jersey, Jim was raised in New Hampshire, and we met in Virginia, they are a little perplexed as to why our farm is in Indiana!
We ended up living in Virginia after college until Brett was born. After her birth, we moved back to New Jersey to be closer to family. Jim was working as a teacher and PJ was a stay at home mom. We basically got priced out of New Jersey. We were living on a very small lot and we wanted more space for the children.
We figured we'd move back to Virginia since we loved it there, but nothing was working out. Jim couldn't get his teaching license in time and we couldn't find a place to live. Then one night, I was on a homeschool website that had the states color coded by how homeschool friendly they were. The were 5 green states. One was New Jersey, which we were leaving. The other 3 states were eliminated by weather or topography. The last green state was Indiana.
Since our lives revolved mainly around homeschooling, we started to look at Indiana and everything just fell into place. Jim got his teacher's license in a very short time, we found a 3 month home rental so we would have some place to live while we searched for a house, and there were just a lot of other things that we were looking for that all came together in Southeast Indiana.
When we told people we were moving to Indiana, they thought we were nuts. We had no job, we didn't know anybody out here, and I was 6 months pregnant with Hewitt. But we felt this was where God was directing us and knew that if that ever changed we could always move back!
So we moved to Indiana and haven't regretted that decision once! We ended up buying a house on 3 acres in Charlestown, Indiana. That's where we learned how to homestead and where we got our first goats.
In 2011, we knew we had outgrown our 3 acres and so we started searching for a bigger farm. We made a list of 11 items (size, price, features, etc.) that we were looking for in our new property. I even searched in Virginia again to see if God wanted us to move back east. But apparently He didn't because we couldn't find any property that met even half of the items on our list.
And then I found our current property that was for sale. We went and looked at it and it met 10 of our 11 criteria!! The only thing it was missing was that we wanted a minimum of 36 acres and this property was only 31.
And so we put in an offer and it was accepted. But then we discovered that instead of being zoned Agricultural as the listing stated, it was actually zoned Residential. Thus began a "battle" to get the property re-zoned. It wasn't an easy fight.
During the months-long process we were tempted to give up and look for another property. But we kept walking, thinking that God had provided us a property meeting 10 of our 11 criteria, and so it had to be the right one. Right?!?
About a week after we started talking about not closing on the property, we got the results back on the survey we had commissioned. Do you know what? It wasn't 31 acres. This property is 36.7 acres.
That meant that it met all 11 of our criteria when the "best" other property we had found only met 6.
We knew right then that this was the exact property God had for us and we just needed to be patient. Sure enough, we eventually got our zoning changed!
We started building in 2012 and the Soap Room was our first completed building. We moved into it in September 2012. Then the Goat Barn went up and the goats moved in January 2013. The house was completed in June 2013. Then the buck barn in October 2013 and the chicken coop shortly thereafter.
We then put up our beloved Charlestown home for sale and said, "Goodbye, Charlestown. Hello, Scottsburg!"
Since living on the farm full time, we've added a few more buildings.
The Baby Barn addition to the Buck Barn was ready in late January 2015 (just in time for that year's kids).
The Sweet Shop building opened in May 2015.
The Milking Parlor started being used in May 2016.
The goats have outgrown the existing doe barn and so a new Goat Barn is currently under construction as I write this (October 2017).
The Goat Milk Stuff farm is a growing exciting place to be and to visit. You can take a tour of the farm or you can just walk around and see some of the goats, the rabbits, chickens, Farm Store, and Sweet Shop.
It's super easy to find as we are only about a mile off Interstate Highway 65 (in fact, the farm backs up to the highway which was one of our 11 criteria).
We're really proud of Goat Milk Stuff and our farm and everything that God has accomplished here. We'd love for you to visit and see it all!