dos announcements

When I moved to Grand Rapids in the Fall of 2002, I met a girl with fire in her hair.  Julie and I spent 5 years singing together at Mars Hill.  She has been a silent (and, uh, not so silent) constant in my life, walking with me through heart ache, Indigo Girls, depression, utter joy, pregnancy, miscarriage, home parties, and sushi.  I’m blessed to know her.   

Also, in 7th grade, she pinched Curt’s buns. No lie.

Julie has just started up her own business, Food(ed).   She has a heart for healthy people, and has turned that passion into fruit by offering her knowledge to the community through helping you shop and cook well.  Not merely decent, not fast, but well.  She’s far too stretched right now to keep up with her own blog, but I’ve invited her here to Apple Pie, Anyone? to throw down some serious food chat, knowing that you’d love it.  Based on the Pantry Confessions of last Monday and all the recipes I’ve gathered from you over the years, it’s plain we are a community that thinks a lot about what we put in our bodies.

Stay tuned.  Get excited.  She’ll be here soon. 

I’m also super excited and scared to death to announce I have a new idea.  Well, not a new idea… but one I am finally taking a deep breath and running with: classes at TexasNorth using local friends and experts.    Some will be free, some will cover cost, and some will have profit  to buy new equipment for future classes.  These ‘classes’ will give all of us the chance to learn from the past and lean on community.  We can sew, we can garden, we can mill wood, we can preserve, we can work cattle, we can do lots of things out here. 

Curt and I strongly believe we have a responsibility to share this land we’ve been given.  Share the land, share the food, share the porches.  Thus far, that’s looked like lots of hayrides, lots of campouts, and few weekends working on hay lofts. 

We’re great at sharing space. 

I think there’s the potential for more.  I think I can create an environment where people can come and experience the ‘old school simple but hard and rewarding’ way of doing things.   I’ll do the homework and bring in local friends and experts to teach us well. I’ll set up the classroom.  Let’s make this place work. 


We’ve been asked several times if we’d raise chickens for the freezer… and we did that by accident one year, but never again simply due to better flock management.  It keeps coming up, and I keep thinking, “Dude. I can’t do that alone every year!”  So, I’m not.

You’re going to do it with me.

Introducing the first in hopefully a long series of informal gatherings on the farm entitled OLD SCHOOL.  This Spring, I’m going to open up a small OLD SCHOOL • CHICKENS class to anyone in the area who wants to learn how to butcher chickens for their freezer.  I know.  I can’t believe it, either.  But, many hands make light work and any chore is better with company.  Not to mention, in this craze of EAT LOCAL! we still find ourselves extremely detached from the food on our plate. 

I think we can change that. 

Let’s do it.  Let me raise the chickens.  I’ve got the time and the space (for up to 50 birds).  When they’re ready for the table, you come out and we’ll all just do it together.  My friend Amy will guide us all through it, you’ll amaze yourself with what you remember from Biology class, and we’ll all stock our freezers a little.  I’ll even make dinner (not chicken).  Maybe you come once, maybe you come every year.  At least you can say you’ve done it and you know how it’s done.  Check it off your list of Amazing Things.

If you’re in, I’m in.


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

30 responses to “dos announcements

  • Miss Laura

    I’m going to tentatively raise my hand…but with my elbow still behind my desk and clinging to the hope that my teacher won’t notice. But oh, I am scared!

    Julie on your blog? I just fell over!

  • Amy

    OK. WHile i am a vegetarian (so dressing chickens isn’t my thing) I LOVE THIS IDEA. We are also throwing around ideas and plans here to share our land. Isn’t it fun?!! Good luck with your class…hey, if you’re gonna eat meat, that is the way to do it. Knowing where your food comes from and how it was treated and all that 😉 I am impressed, and I am excited for you (and eager to follow along on the blog).

    And i also love the title Old School. LOVE it.

  • beckyswann

    Ok I wish I lived out there so I could take some classes! sounds like a great plan and such a fun adventure! Also can’t wait to here what your friend’s food wisdom is!!

  • Stacey David

    Count me and as many of the David girls as you can handle in.
    I love this for so many reasons!

  • Mandi

    I love your class idea, and I love that you are calling ti “Old School!” If we lived closer, we would definitely be in. Heck, that might just be worth a road trip in the fall. So proud of what you are doing with your little farm!

  • trace

    I’m crazy about the idea of one of your Old School weekends being entitled “Barn Raising” – we are still dreaming of landing at Texas North for a tiny while whenever it is we get to come home and we’re gonna need that Barn-cottage up and warm.

    and Hooray for Jules in Texas North! Two girls I love dearly both with so much to bring to this whole “making the world a better place” picnic.

  • Renee

    Ugh! I live too far away to do this but my heart is there. You know I would be all “in”. I will be there in spirit and am thinking this is one of your best ideas yet! You go girl!

  • Margie

    Wish I lived closer. I’d be there. (I think, muttered squeamishly.)

  • Samantha

    Hi! I found your blog today after doing my daily apraxia research! I’m a mom on a mission that is seeking answers, solutions, advice, alteranate therapies, etc. for my 3 1/2 year old son Landon. He has apraxia as well mixed with suconditions such as sensory integration, GI issues, seizures (started at 3), and overall motor control. I was reading your blog and I found your post entitled “what my kids are for”. It was beautiful and lifted me up on a day of not so great therapy. I have my days were this all seems so overwhelming but then God enters in and gives me inspiration and motivation. Our Landon is on the road to recovery through numerous supplements, GFCF diet, PROMPT therapy, and OT so I’m doing my best to take joy in our progress even if it seems slow at times. Would you mind if I used your words as a quote in my blog? I wanted to share the excerpt abut your daughter not being broken. If not, no worries! You seem like an amazing mom…keep up the awesome work!

  • mc

    This looks awesome! Making me wish I were a little closer to Michigan, nonetheless, I am inspired and excited for this venture!

  • annie

    wish i was closer….actually dan wishes he was closer, he wants chickens so badly and would love to learn from you. i would love learn anything else from you. i am wondering though, are you doing any online segments? could be good?

  • Chelsey

    I love it. I wish I lived closer. If so, my goal would be to apply, be accepted and attend “Old School”. I’d earn gold stars and my parents would receive a bumper sticker because I’d be student of the month.

  • SamanthaC

    If only TexasNorth was in North Texas, I’d be there. Actually, I am here, in north Texas, but I digress. I have a flock of about 16 birds with a broody hen sitting on 9 eggs. I just can’t resist the sights and sounds of a mother hen with her chicks. Unfortunately, I don’t have the room. I plan to give away some of the girls as a housewarming gift for a friend, but hope to, one day, learn to process my chickens. You gals have fun and be sure to keep the rest of us updated on how it goes!

  • Bev

    I would LOVE to be there too!

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