3 Reasons To Grow Cucumbers Vertically

3 Reasons To Grow Cucumbers Vertically

For many years I grew a sizable cucumber patch. We love to eat fresh cukes and also make lots and lots of pickles. I always planted them in hills and allowed them to grow and spread over the patch. We would harvest lots cucumbers but they were difficult to pick, we often battled disease, and it took up a tremendous amount of garden space. One day I thought, “Why not try growing them on a trellis?”. I had read of people doing it so I drove some T-posts and strung up some woven wire fence. I planted my cucumbers on both sides of the fence and trained them to it when they strayed. The results were awesome and I’ve been planting them vertically ever since. Here are reasons why I love growing cucumbers on a trellis…

Saves Space and Produces Higher Yields Per Square Foot

My favorite reason for growing vertical cucumbers is the space saving aspect. Anytime you can reduce the space needed to grow a crop, it opens up the opportunity to grow other things without expanding your garden space. Cucumbers, being a vining plant, are notorious for using lots of garden space. When cucumbers are grown vertically they take up a relatively small footprint while producing the same yields as when they used up half your garden space. The yields per square foot in a vertical system far out perform conventional planting systems. Last year, we began moving into a raised bed system here in an effort to get around fighting the wet clay soils we have. As an experiment, I put up a 4ft high section of woven wire trellis along the edge of an 8ft long raised bed. I planted 8 cucumber plants right next to the wire. The rest of the bed was planted to other crops. In our short season, I was able to harvest 78 cucumbers from that bed. It took up a width of about 7 inches. This allowed me to use 99% of the 8ft X 4ft bed to grow other things. The cucumbers are just an added bonus! Now, whenever I build a raised bed, I add a wire trellis to the edge for planting cucumbers, peas, pole beans, and other climbing plants.

Easy Picking

Picking cucumbers from a trellis is so much easier than picking from the sprawling patch. Searching under leaves, bent over, picking cucumbers off the ground is hard work. You also end up missing some, no matter how many times you comb the patch. Cucumbers hanging from a fence are a pleasure to pick and easy to spot. They also tend to grow straighter, and are cleaner (because they don’t lay on the ground). Vertical cucumbers make picking a pleasure!

Healthier Plants!

Because vertically grown cucumbers are suspended and are provided with ample air flow, they are much less apt to develop the disease powdery mildew. Powdery mildew was a common occurrence in the hot and humid summers when I grew large sprawling patches of cucumbers. Since I began growing them on a trellis, I have not had a single outbreak of this, or any other disease, in my cucumbers. Vertically grown cucumbers tend to be healthy and trouble free.


Growing cucumbers vertically is a great way to increase yields, save space, make picking easier, and have healthier plants. I would never go back to raising them in a patch. I absolutely love growing them on a trellis! Cucumbers aren’t the only thing you can grow vertically. If you are interested in learning more about what crops you can grow and how to do it, I highly recommend Derek Fell’s book Vertical Gardening

Posted in gardening, homesteading, how to, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

The Key To Successful Husbandry

The Key To Successful Husbandry

There is one thing, above all, that separates successful homesteaders from those who aren’t. It is not well drained soil, a southern slope, good water, wealthy markets, or the best genetics. Even with all those things, if you do not have this, you will be a mediocre husbandman at best. What is this great secret key to success? It is a skill once possessed by all men of the soil and all those who carved out a living from the natural world.

The Key
The one thing our ancestors had, that the current generation knows little about, was the skill and discipline of observation. For thousands of years, the men and women who worked stock and soil were, by default, observant people. You may have the perfect farm, but if you don’t cultivate this skill you will flounder and fail. An observant man with a poor hillside farm will fair better than you. The art of observation was once handed down by rural people, father to son and mother to daughter. No one necessarily thought much about it, it was just natural. When you walked out to get the cows with your father and he pointed out a plant or a track, you learned to watch and observe. Modern society, with its separation from the land and the natural world has ended this transfer of knowledge. We are at the point now where both parents and children have little in the way of being observant. This is compounded by the fact that we are the most distracted generations that ever existed.

Here is an example

We live in the thousand island region of northern NY, along the St Lawrence river. Sometimes, while traveling to town we might stop at one of the “scenic pull offs”. People travel from all over the country to come see this beautiful and wild area. It’s not uncommon to see a family get out of their car to stretch their legs and look at the river. This is often the scene. Within minutes, each passenger pulls out their smart phone and stares at it’s screen while a bald eagle flies over them without notice. They put the phones away and walk down towards the river. They pass by ripe blackberries, a big rock with fossils on it, and rare turtle without taking notice of any of it. It always makes my giggle that the blackberry picking is so good in an area where 100s of people a day pass through. New homesteaders are often coming from this kind of background.

Why is observation such an important skill?

The very term Husbandry speaks of relationship and intimacy. You need to know your land, your plants, and your animals on a very deep level. The only way to know these things is by observing them.

I once walked into the field of a “back to the land homesteader” and remarked that the field had acid soil. They replied, “Why yes it is. We just had it tested….but how did you know?” The answer was simple, the land told me. When I walk into a field, the first thing I do is observe the plant life. I saw wild strawberries, bedstraw, and very little grass. These plants love acid soil. I don’t need a ph test to tell me that. Most gardening problems can be avoided or fixed by proper observation as well. What weeds are growing? What does that plant tell you about the condition of your soil?

When dealing with livestock, good observation is crucial as well. Identifying illness is just one reason. Knowing that cow is feeling under the weather because she isn’t “acting herself” means you can nip the problem in the bud. Reproductive management is another. If you missed a cow that was in heat, a drop of blood on her tail will tell you she was in heat, and you can do the math to predict the next heat. You don’t notice a drop of blood by skipping through the pasture paying no attention to details. One reason for the uses of hormone shots and poor pregnancy rates in modern dairy farms is lack of observation. The modern debt laden farmer is too busy and distracted to watch his animals closely.

Where does the water drain off the land? Where are the wet spots? Where do the wild turkeys roost and feed? What areas get afternoon sun? Where do the whitetails feed in the evening? Where are the wild blackberries or edible wild plants? These questions you should be able to answer without even thinking about it. To be a successful partner with the land, you need to know its every detail.

If you struggle with being an observant person, make it a point to find one new plant on your land every day. When you get to the house look it up. Learn its culture and uses. Do the same with wildlife, insects, and amphibians. Teach your children to do the same. I have written about how we teach observation to our children using the subject of Nature Study which includes a list of field guides and ideas to help you.

Posted in agrarianism, homesteading | 3 Comments

Comfrey, It’s Culture and Uses

Comfrey It's Uses and Culture

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is a perennial herb that is in the borage family. It is native to Europe and is commonly found in Britain and Ireland, growing in damp grasslands. There is also a Russian variety that is popular and grown widely. Its leaves are 12 to 18 inches long and somewhat hairy. Comfrey’s flowers can be blue, violet, cream, or pink, depending on the variety. Comfrey has a tremendous tap root that digs 8ft deep into the subsoil. It is a prolific grower, which enjoys plenty of nitrogen, but will grow under practically any condition. Comfrey can be propagated by both seed and root cuttings. Mature plants can be divided by splitting through the crown with a spade. This plant has many uses on the homestead, which we will now investigate…

Dynamic Accumulator

Dynamic accumulators are very important in the designing of permaculture plant guilds. These plants have extremely deep tap roots which mine nutrients from the different layers of the soil profile. These nutrients are then brought to the surface to be used by surrounding plants. The authors of the book Integrated Forest Gardening call comfrey the “dynamic accumulator par excellence”. It is especially good at drawing potassium and calcium from the subsoil. Using the “chop and drop” technique, simply cutting leaves and letting them fall, comfrey can be used as a potassium rich fertilizer.

Compost Activator

Comfrey leaves can be added to compost as a nitrogen source.

Liquid Fertilizer

“Comfrey tea” can be made by soaking leaves in rain water for about 5 weeks. This tea is a nutrient rich fertilizer that can be used on garden crops, especially those that benefit from additional potassium.

Livestock Feed

Dried comfrey was traditionally used as a supplemental feed for farm animals. It tests about 26% protein, high in minerals, and is low in fiber. It was fed to many types of livestock but its primary uses were for chickens, hogs, and other non-ruminants. There is plenty of historical evidence that horses, goats, sheep, cattle, and other stock were also fed comfrey.

Medicinal Uses

Traditionally, comfrey is known by the name “knitbone” or “boneset” and this was derived from the Latin name Symphytum that comes from the Greek symphis, which means “growing together of bones”, and phyton, “a plant”. This in itself speaks to the long tradition of using comfrey for broken bones! Other medicinal uses include bronchial problems, sprains, arthritis, gastric ulcers, burns, acne, and other skin conditions.

Mountain Rose Herbs lists the following as comfrey’s constituents “Tannin, rosmarinic acid, allantoin, steroidal saponins, mucilage, inulin, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, Gum, Carotene, Glycosides, Sugars, Beta-sitosterol, Triterpenoids, Vitamin B-12, Protein, Zinc. The main healing ingredient in comfrey leaf appears to be a substance called allantoin, which encourages the rapid growth of cells.”

While comfrey used topically is considered safe, recently there have been warnings against using it internally. The warnings come from studies that show pyrrolizidine alkaloids can cause liver damage and possibly cancer. It should be noted that the studies done singled out pyrrolizidine alkaloids and did not include the other compounds found in comfrey. The studies also used huge amounts of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, much more than is found in the plant. Historical evidence of people ingesting comfrey for 1000’s of years (without ill effect) should be taken into account when deciding whether or not one should use it that way.

See more North Country Farmer plant profiles here.

Posted in homesteading, permaculture, plant profiles | 2 Comments

5 Reasons Homesteaders Fail

5 Reasons Homesteaders Fail

Having spent my life in the rural areas, making a living farming and homesteading, I have seen many people come to the country with big dreams of living the homesteader’s life. Some people make a go of it and some don’t. I’ve watched enough people fail at it that I thought it might be helpful to share some observations I’ve made. Here is an opportunity to learn from other people’s mistakes. These observations are in no particular order.

Unrealistic Expectations for Direct to Consumer Sales

There seems to be no end to the number of books, articles, and blog posts that tout the selling of high end organic meats and produce as a way to make money. What most people fail to take into consideration is that you need a wealthy, urban market to make any money doing this. Most homesteaders can’t afford land near such a market and most took up homesteading, in part, to escape such areas. If you try to do what people like Joel Salatin do without a wealthy market to sell it to, you will fail. No matter how much you talk up your product, no matter what great a case you make for the superiority of your product, no matter how well you explain that when “true costs” are factored that your product isn’t really expensive, as long as your potential customer can’t afford to keep fuel oil in his furnace and is worried about buying shoes for his children…the argument is purely academic to him. Those who are not too poor to buy your food can grow it themselves. Trying to make a living selling high cost food in rural areas is a dead end game.

Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

When people make the decision to leave the rat race and take up an agrarian lifestyle they are, understandably, excited. Often they don’t appreciate the sharp learning curve they are about to encounter and dive in head first. People who have never grown a garden all of the sudden try to grow 90% of their produce the first year. People who have never raised livestock buy several species and begin to run into problems. It is easy to get discouraged and go broke when you bite off more than you can chew. Start with some chickens and a couple varieties of vegetables. Next year you’ll be ready for more.

Already Know It All

Books are great. The internet is great. With that said, if you move to the country and don’t observe what the neighbors are doing and take advantage of the knowledge and wisdom of the local “old timers”, you will fail. If you grew up in the suburbs and read a book about gardening, don’t assume that because the old guy up the road does it differently that he’s wrong. If he’s done it that way for 50 years there might be a reason he’s done it that way. Remember, paper never refused ink.

They Never Really Left

If you move to the country and want be a homesteader, you have to live differently than you did before. You can’t just move to the country, buy a dozen laying hens and a couple of dairy goats, and go on your merry way living like you still take up residence in a townhouse 5 minutes from everything. You can’t run to the store ever other day, you’ll go broke. You can’t call a repair man every time something breaks. You can’t drive a new car. You can’t buy new clothes. You can’t take a vacation. If you can do all these things, you are not an agrarian homesteader but a hobby farmer. Remember, you left Egypt for a reason. Stop looking back, longingly, at the days of slavery. If you try to live the homesteader’s life and continue to spend like a city dweller, you won’t last a season.

Forgetting Why They Started

This is directly tied with direct marketing. I have seen countless people start raising meat chickens because they loved the taste or because they wanted healthy food for their children and end up not eating them but selling them. It starts out as a noble attempt to generate some income. But it ends up with people who used to like raising and processing chickens, burned out, discouraged, and just as broke as they were when they didn’t sell any and just liked raising and eating them. When the things you used to grow because you loved to grow and eat them become commodities to be sold, things change. The small homesteader is seldom scaled up enough to make any money at it in the end but he tries anyway. When the emphasis of the homestead changes to growing things for sale, the first thing to get neglected is the family garden. Anything that takes the family away from the garden should be suspect. Next thing you know, you can’t eat your own chickens because you can sell them for $X per pound and all of the sudden you can’t afford your own food! Never lose sight of why you started down this path to begin with. Grow your own food and enjoy the life. Spend meaningful time with your children.

Additional Reading…

Posted in homesteading, Uncategorized | 11 Comments

The Siberian Peashrub, A Useful Homestead Perennial (Plant Profile)

Siberian Peashrub (Plant Profile)

Caragana arborescens, which is commonly known as the Siberian Peashrub, is a plant with huge potential for homestead and permaculture plantings.

The Siberian Peashrub is a tall bush that can reach heights of 6 to 19 ft. The plant has thorns, its flowers are yellow, and leaves are dark green. It is hardy to -40 F, prefers full sun, and can tolerate dry conditions well. It is native to Asia and eastern Europe and has been used for food, fiber, and dye by people in that region for centuries. It is a legume that fixes nitrogen in the soil, a pioneer plant and a producer of large numbers of seed pods. Lets examine some of the homestead applications for this interesting plant…

Chicken Feed

One of the most attractive things about the Siberian Peashrub is its potential as a source for chicken feed. The seeds of this plant are 36% protein and contain 12% fatty oils. Chickens are said to love them! The pods can be harvested, dried, and fed to the birds in the winter or you could let the birds harvest them themselves. It is recorded that Siberian peasant farmers during WW2 overwintered their laying flocks on peashrub seeds. A perennial plant that can produce high protein chicken feed, what more could you ask for!

Nitrogen Fixing

In addition to a chicken feed source, as a legume, the peashrub fixes nitrogen to the soil and makes it available to other plants around it.

Pollinator Attractant

The peashrub’s fragrant yellow flowers attract honey bees and other pollinators and are a source of nectar. Anytime you can attract pollinators, you increase the potential of all your crops.

Hedge/Living Fence and Windbreak

Peashrubs, having thorns, could be planted closely in rows to make a living, edible hedge or fence. They are a fast growing plant and can provide a windbreak in a relatively short amount of time.

Erosion Control

This plant’s extensive root system makes it ideal for erosion control.

Fiber and Dyes

The fiber from the peashrub stalks can be used to make a strong cordage. In Russia, the plant was traditionally used to produce a blue dye.


As you can see, this plant could be a useful addition to many homesteads. There are numerous possibilities for incorporating peashrubs into permaculture design. With the rising costs of feeding chickens, the idea of a 10 ft tall, perennial plant that produces copious amounts of 36% chicken feed should be enough to make one think about this interesting plant. It should be noted that some states list this plant as “invasive”, so please do your own research before planting.

You can view more North Country Farmer “Plant Profiles” at This Link.

Heirloom Seeds

Posted in permaculture, plant profiles | 7 Comments

The Nourishing Homestead: One Back-to-the-Land Family’s Plan for Cultivating Soil, Skills, and Spirit

The Nourishing Homestead

The Nourishing Homestead: One Back-to-the-Land Family’s Plan for Cultivating Soil, Skills, and Spirit
Softcover, 352 pages

There is no other way I can begin this review than to tell you up front, this is the best homesteading book I have ever read. It is also the best book of any kind that I have read in a long, long time. Those who know me, know these are not proclamations that I lightly throw out there. This is a masterpiece! This book should be mandatory reading for anyone considering pursuing the homestead life!

Ben Hewitt and his wife, Penny, have two children and homestead in Vermont, where they use what they have coined “practiculture” to provide 90% of their calorie needs. They raise chickens, cattle, sheep, and goats. They raise an impressive amount of vegetables, of the highest nutrient and mineral content, as well as blueberries and other perennial crops. In addition to food, they produce and process fiber, firewood, and sawlogs. The children trap and hunt, and the whole family practices a wide array of traditional handcrafts like basket making, carving, and hide tanning.

This book covers much of the practical “how-to” aspects of raising food with “deep nutrition”. This is valuable information for sure, but not the most valuable information in the book. Hewitt has a deep and piercing understanding of true “homestead accounting”. He has an understanding of industrialism, the modern economy, and what homesteading is really about. His understanding of these things far exceeds most of the homesteading authors out there today. To top it off, Hewitt has the ability to articulate it in a poetic, yet easy to understand manner. Hewitt is a gifted writer and this book is so easy to read, and flows so effortlessly that one cannot stop once they have started.

Although the Hewitts don’t share my Christian faith, we do share a tremendous amount of things that include the way we choose to live, the way we raise our children, and a love for the land and its bounty. Ben Hewitt says a lot of the same things about economics and homesteading that I’ve been saying. He just flat out says it a lot better than I do. I’d give my right eye to sit down and have a beer with Ben. And I can guarantee that if you read this book you will be better off for it.

Posted in agrarianism, Book Reviews, homesteading, permaculture | 4 Comments

Homestead Chickens with Janet Garman (Podcast)

Homestead Chicken Raising (Podcast)

Janet Garman, of Timber Creek Farm, joins Scott M Terry to talk about homestead chickens. Janet has been raising chickens for many years and has written a book on the subject titled, “Chickens From Scratch” . Whether you are just getting started with chickens or have had them for years, this episode will have useful information that you can put to use at your place. We cover equipment needed, feeding, predator control, starting chicks, breeds and much more.

Links from the show…
Janet’s Book, Chickens From Scratch
Timber Creek Farm
Timber Creek Farm on Facebook

You can listen to the show using this link.

Heirloom Seeds from our Family to Yours

Posted in homesteading, interviews, podcast, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nature Study… Agrarian Style

Nature Study...Agrarian Style -

Since we are what I like to call “Charlotte Mason style agrarian homeschoolers”, people often ask how we do the nature study portion of our educating. I enjoy talking about this, because to me, nature study is one of the most important and rewarding things we can do with our children. Nature study, for us, is more of an everyday, all the time pursuit and less of a “subject” or part of a school day. We live and breath “nature study”.

The first and most important thing that everyone needs to remember is that for children to understand the natural world and God’s creation they must spend time outdoors. Although good literature, accurate field guides, and the like are important; nothing can replace spending time in the outdoors observing the wonders of creation. Seeing it…feeling it…smelling it….tasting it, these are what matter most. While all people rely on the natural world for food and fiber, our family does so in more direct way than most. We make our living from the land and our work is primarily outdoors. Our jobs and chores ebb and flow with the seasons and the weather. For our family, the outdoor world is not unfamiliar or foreign. It’s more like an old friend. When not working outdoors, we spend our leisure time there as well. Depending on the time of year, we might take off after chores to pick wild blueberries or black caps. We might decide at the spur of the moment to hike into the backwoods and build a camp from scratch, cook up some supper on a cast iron fry pan, and sleep under the stars. In the fall, we scout for fur and set traps. We often just take walks to see what we can see.

Seeing, my friends, is an art. In our age, only about one in twenty people see the single mink track in the mud on the edge of the stream, or the common red poll nest hidden in plain sight in the buck brush. Most people would walk right past the sleeping whitetail fawn without ever noticing her curled up on the edge of the hedgerow or the tiny salamander that blends perfectly into the rock he is sitting on. Most people are too distracted and absent-minded to notice their surroundings. To be observant, this is what we try to teach our children to be. If you can teach them to be observant, the rest falls into place.

How does one teach children to be observant? One way is through good literature, books that instill in the minds of children the intricate details of the natural world and it’s communities. These books may be read during “regular school hours” but for us they often are read at other times. Sometimes they are read for family readings, but many are read independently by the children because they love this sort of stuff. Here is a list of some of my favorites…

The Handbook of Nature Study
The Burgess Bird Book for Children
The Burgess Animal Book for Children
Scratching the Woodchuck: Nature on an Amish Farm
Our Bird Friends and Foes
Secrets of the Woods
The Natural History of Selborne
Great Possessions : An Amish Farmer’s Journal

Other books that are helpful in this area are good field guides. Our children count their various field guides as their prized possessions. Often after a trip to the woods or day working on the fence line, the first thing the children do when returning home is run to get their field guides to identify some new plant or creature they have discovered. Here are some that we really like…

Tracking and the Art of Seeing: How to Read Animal Tracks and Sign
A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern and Central North America
Peterson Field Guide to Mammals of North America: Fourth Edition
A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and central North America
Up North Again
Smithsonian Birds of North America
The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals
The Tree Identification Book : A New Method for the Practical Identification and Recognition of Trees

I know that many people have formal “nature study” projects during the normal school day. We have found that for the most part, nature study projects take care of themselves. It is a joy to watch the children develop certain interests in the many areas of natural science. My oldest son, John, is a lover of birds. In his “spare time” he loves to read about birds. The boy is a walking bird encyclopedia. He keeps lists of all the different birds he has seen, has video he has shot of many birds (mostly for the audio of the songs and calls) and he has a sketch book filled with just about every bird you can think of. Each of these sketches has been colored with colored pencils and marked with size, wing span and other information. His latest endeavor is painting birds. I should point out that none of these things were asked of him. None of these things were our idea as parents. Each of my children have developed similar interests and started their own projects. My experience has been that if you teach them to observe creation and give them the tools they need, “nature study” projects take care of themselves.

Some might wonder why nature study should have such a prominent place in a Christian’s education. We live in an age where mankind has been has, for all practical purposes, been removed from his natural surroundings, removed from the basic functions of life. This is a problem. God formed man from the dust of the earth, charged him with the task of turning the wilderness into a garden and gave him, within the natural world, all he needed for sustenance. The bible itself, speaks to us in language steeped in the common knowledge of nature and the workings of creation. When we study the natural world we can see the work of the creator and meditate on his great and mighty works. To neglect the study of nature we risk becoming gnostic and neo-platonic in our thinking.

This is, in a nutshell, our basic philosophy regarding nature study. I hope that if your family hasn’t included the study of creation in your schooling, you will consider doing so. It is a very rewarding part of my family’s life and I’m sure it will be in yours as well. If you are like me, a lover of nature study, perhaps I have mentioned a book or idea that you haven’t seen before. Whichever the case, May God bless you and guide you as you educate your children in His ways.

Posted in agrarianism, homeschool, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The Organic Canner (Book Review)

The Organic Canner

Daisy Luther has just written a new book called The Organic Canner, which is both an instructional “how to” book and a collection of great recipes.

This is really a great resource for people who want to learn how to can food. The first part of the book is instruction and an introduction to canning. It is accurate, easy to understand, and written in an engaging, fun to read style that is “pure Daisy”. If you are intimidated at the thought of learning to can, this book will help you have the confidence to give it a try! You will learn what equipment you need and how to use it safely and properly. The book is full of great recipes to help you get started as well. She covers simple things like canning common vegetables as well as jams, relishes and condiments, soups, meats, and “meals in a jar”. We’ve found several recipes in this book that we are excited to try, one of which is the raspberry jalapeno jam! I was very glad to see that Daisy included “meals in a jar” in this book. One of the greatest things about canning these is being able to have a meal ready as fast as you can heat it up. When the whole family is out working in the barn or garden and supper preparation gets neglected, it is sure a blessing to be able get a hot meal on the table in a short amount of time.

I feel confident recommending this book to beginning canners. It will get you off to a great start and give you some great recipes to try. Before you know it, you’ll be running out of pantry space and storing jars under your bed. ;)

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Prayers And Help For Marci

Prayers and Help for Marci

A valuable and beloved member of the Christian homesteading and agrarian community is in need of our prayers. Marci Blubaugh has been an online friend of our family for over a decade. She and her husband Mike, owners of Amazing Graze General Store, have been sponsors of Christian Farm and Homestead Radio for several years. Marci has been a great encouragement to many people on their homesteading journey and is a valued member of our online community.

After several health challenges, Marci has been recently diagnosed with a brain tumor and is in the hospital. The family is posting updates at this link. We ask that you keep her and her family lifted up in prayer.

When a family is dealing with the stress and emotion of such an illness, the last thing we want is them worrying about money. Traveling back and forth from the hospital, the loss of income from several businesses that Marci has, eating out, and the various other expenses that crop up in these crises can add up quickly. The Blubaughs have not asked for financial help but several of us in the agrarian community believe it is something that we should do as we strive to “bear one another’s burdens”. We looked at several ways that we could raise funds on the web, but they all have a portion of our donations being paid in fees to bankers. After a few days of brain storming with our friends at Reformation Acres, we came up with a solution that protects the privacy of the Blubaughs and doesn’t lose funds to fees. We have opened a PO box where you can send your cards, notes, and financial gifts. The mail will be hand delivered to Marci’s husband. Checks and money orders can be deposited directly by him. We suggest that you make checks payable to Mike Blubaugh. Please include a note, letting them know that we love them and that they are in our prayers. Here is the address…

PO Box 104
Walhonding, OH 43843

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