Starting Line Farm Feature
We’d like to introduce you to Kayti and Starting Line Farm from Howell, Michigan!
Tell us a little about yourselves.
We are a homesteading, homeschooling family of four. We have dabbled in gardening for 10+ years but we are closing in on 5 years as homesteaders. We currently garden ½ acre of our land and raise poultry (we have nearly 150 chickens + ducks). This year we raised our first set of pigs and added sheep to the farm. My kids are active in 4H and have 2 himalayan show rabbits plus 1 rescue rabbit. We sell lots and lots of eggs to our friends, family and neighbors and hope to start selling pork, lamb and produce this year.
What part of the state do you live in?
We live in the farthest SW corner of Howell. You are closest to us if you ever visit Hell!
Can you tell us a little about the property you’re currently on?
We are currently on 12 acres of our own land but we are a short walk from thousands of acres of state land. We are very rural which can be challenging due to the time we have to spend on the road to and from work, shopping and extracurriculars. The biggest challenge of our land however is that the Rover Pipeline came through and destroyed a large portion where a 3 acre organic garden used to be. The land is slowly healing itself but it was a very traumatic experience that ultimately resulted in the decision that this won’t be our forever home afterall.
What inspired you to live this way?
We both had grandparents who gardened, raised animals, fished, foraged and hunted for their own food. While we grew up in the suburbs, we both felt a pull towards slower paced, self sufficient, country living. We realized we shared the same vision for our life early on and once the housing market allowed in 2016, we sold our small suburban lot for 12 acres.
What are some long-term goals you have from your homestead and garden?
Ideally we would love to expand our garden, build a greenhouse and possibly add cattle to our farm. We would like to move towards regenerative practices as our land has been damaged drastically due to the Rover Pipeline. We would love to grow our farm into a business as well an asset to our community.
There is also the slight chance we pack up and move everything even further north. You never know, it’s always an adventure here at Starting Line Farm.
What is your favorite thing to grow?
Troy is the head gardener around here and his favorite thing to grow would have to be tomatoes. Ironically, he doesn’t enjoy eating fresh tomatoes but he can’t get enough salsa!
And what about your favorite animal to raise?
I love them all but I would have to say Ducks. They are easier to care for than chickens. They are less susceptible to illness, injury and even predators. They may not be as prolific layers but their eggs are delicious and they are incredible mothers who don’t require any intervention from us.
What are your favorite seed companies?
MiGardener was a great resource for us in the early days of gardening but this year we plan to order from Baker Creek.
Do you have any other hobbies? What do you enjoy doing during your free time?
We have lots of other hobbies! Our boys play club soccer, we enjoy boating as a family and this year we added a Jeep to the mix. The boys all love riding dirt bikes and mountain bikes and I enjoy foraging and creating.
We’d love to give a shout-out to 4-H! We joined 4 years ago and this year I became a volunteer and leader and we started our own group. 4-H is a wonderful organization that provides so much more than just preparing kids for the county fair. As homeschoolers we utilize their no to low cost educational programs as well as engage in community service and leadership training.
Are you working on anything right now that you’d like to share with the community?
Yes, our Etsy store! Aside from buying eggs, this is one way you can help support our farm. All of the proceeds from the sales go towards feed and building new shelters.
Kayti and her family graciously donated a farm tee to our “A Few Of Our Favorite Things” photo challenge. Thank you Kayti!
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