Meet Heather Jackson. She’s a wife and mom of three, with her fourth child on the way. She’s also a hard-working homesteader who gathers eggs, milks the cows, tends to the goats, and works in the garden. She loves to cook, develops recipes, and even wrote a cookbook. She homeschools her kids, studies martial arts, and reluctantly does the laundry. And best of all, she writes about it all at her blog, Green Eggs & Goats.
Heather never imagined life would bring her to a three-acre farm in Alabama. She and her husband, Eric, and children Lucas, Erica, and Savannah lived in town for many years when the April 27 tornadoes destroyed the building Eric worked in. The company relocated, meaning he had to take on a lengthy commute.
“Moving to Remlap gave us the best of both worlds,” Heather explains. “Eric gets a shorter commute and we get more space to spread out.” Heather was eager to raise animals (particularly chickens), and the kids thrived on the farm. Their current roster includes one cow, five goats, four pigs, 11 geese, four ducks, countless chickens, one dog, and one cat. Whew! Luckily for Eric and Heather, the kids are terrific about pitching in—they actually feed and water all the animals, and Eric and Lucas take turns gathering eggs. Heather does the milking, and Eric does the heavy lifting—especially now that Heather is pregnant.
Heather started her blog to chronicle life on the farm, and it quickly took on a life of its own. She now has thousands of followers who love hearing the uncensored truth (sometimes tough and sometimes hilarious) about her days on the farm. Readers love the how-to tips on everything from gardening to crafts, milking cows to raising chickens. Equally popular (or perhaps even more so) are Heather’s hilarious tales of farm follies, delivered with her signature wit: She has mooed at a stubborn cow to make it move, shooed away a neighbor’s enormous steer, and chased pigs and goats through “boot-suctioning mud.” “If they made my life into a cartoon,” she wrote, “they’d never run out of material.”
Live Well, Eat Well
Not everyone can live on a farm—but you can certainly incorporate healthy choices into your daily routine. Here are a few of Heather Jackson’s favorite tips for healthy living. (For a bigger helping of advice, head to her blog at greeneggsandgoats.com.)
- Know your farmer. You want healthful food that’s thoughtfully grown and raised. What better way to ensure that than to become familiar with the person who produced it? When you purchase local food, you’re not only making a healthy choice, but you’re also supporting your local economy. If you’re not sure how to start, take baby steps: Start by purchasing a dozen eggs or some veggies from a local farmer.
- Cook at home whenever you can. Fast food is tempting—it’s quick and easy, and many kids think it’s a treat. But the real treat is spending time together making and enjoying meals as a family. Figure out speedy favorites for busy nights, and set aside time to experiment with new recipes and ingredients to spice things up.
- Get moving—and be creative! “You’re never too old for a new hobby,” Heather says. The possibilities are virtually endless: You could throw on boots and go for a hike, try new things!
Here are a few of our favorite funny Facebook statuses from Heather’s Green Eggs & Goats Homestead page. You can follow along at Facebook.com/GreenEggsandGoats.
- Good idea: throwing your weight against a stubborn stall door that won’t close. Bad idea: doing so with eggs in your pocket. Theoretically, of course.
- I thought about writing a blog post about raising geese on the homestead, but I realized I could sum it up in one word. “Don’t.”
- Ewwwwwww! I just ran out to the carport to look for something. I didn’t slip on shoes first, so of course, I stepped in chicken poo wearing my favorite pair of smart wool socks.
- That awkward moment when your boot gets suctioned off by pasture mud and you step down in said mud wearing your favorite sock. Theoretically, of course.