Teach Them Diligently (TTD) Conference

Two Worlds

Since we’ve started our little farm, we’ve seen a rise in interest for “the homesteading thing”. The people who really liked it were our friends…and also happened to homeschool. Also, every day on our farm is a new adventure, and a great learning experience. Mom says that you’re always learning, and there’s no place where that’s truer than on the homestead. Some big things on the homestead are responsibility and teamwork. Each of the four kids has their morning to wake up with Dad and feed the chickens, sheep, bunny, cats and dog. When we butcher the chickens, everybody helps out. As the saying goes, many hands make light work. On the school side, raising plants and animals is a great science lesson. Seeing sheep give birth, or doing a chicken or sheep anatomy lesson is about as good as it gets! We’re homesteaders and homeschoolers, and we want others to know about the fun and opportunity that homeschooling families can have with a homestead.

New-born lambs Boots and Emmie with their mama Rachel
New-born lambs

New-born lambs

Merging the Worlds

That’s where Teach Them Diligently comes in. We’ve gone to their Nashville homeschooling conferences since we moved to Tennessee five years ago. So what better place to tell homeschoolers about homesteading?

In late 2021, we began to dream. What would we do at TTD? Would we speak, get a booth or even sell anything? We decided to get a booth and sign up to speak, and in September we reserved our place in the exhibit hall of the 2022 Pigeon Forge TTD conference. Our dream began to take shape. We’ve decided not to sell anything just yet, but we will offer encouragement, advice and a needed place of calm. (The exhibit hall can be a lot of walking and noise. 😉 )

We don’t know if we’ll be speaking yet, but we’re super excited, and hope to see you there!

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Bye-Bye, Boys (Part II): Grinding

Lamb meat after grinding
On the Tuesday after Christmas, Dad and a friend butchered our two rams, Izzy and Boots.

On the last post, Bye-Bye, Boys, I said, “That pretty much says it all.” It actually doesn’t. On New Year’s Eve, the friend appeared again, this time with a meat grinder in tow. We kept the neck roasts, a leg’o’lamb and a steak, but the rest of the cold-aged meat was passed through the grinder and came out as ground lamb.

Progression of Events:

Dad cuts the fat off a piece of lamb meat to prepare it for grinding
Dad cuts the fat off a piece of meat to prepare it for grinding
Lamb meat before grinding
Then he tossed it in a bowl

Then it was ground.

Lamb meat after grinding
This is the meat after being ground

Then Mom vacuum-sealed it into neat two-pound packages.

Neat two-pound packages of ground lamb
Neat two-pound packages of ground lamb

In all, we got about sixty-two pounds of meat off of our two rams.

That says it all.

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