Our family farm currently covers 60 acres in the southern Piedmont region of North Carolina. We are a Christian family of twelve that splits our time between work in education and work on the farm. Balancing farm and office work requires us to make adjustments to our plans and projects year by year so that our family grows responsibly. At times, we’ve run a completely self-sufficient farm, producing all of our own family food (milk, meat, vegetables, etc..), and at other times we’ve been consumed with office work and spend whole seasons off the farm. We believe that this balance is best for the family, and the community outside our family, but the farm is always the economic and cultural foundation, without which Christian culture quickly degenerates into shallow religious activity with no heart–or hands.
We have successfully raised and kept all kinds of livestock including Jersey cattle, Dexter cattle, Nubian goats, Boer goats, Katahdin sheep, Leicester Longwool sheep, Yorkshire pigs, and chickens. We’ve kept and worked with Percheron draft horses, but because of our need to get a lot of work done in limited windows of time on the farm, stick with tractors and machines. We raise pure-bred Great Pyrenees, which we have sold to farms all over the US. Whether it’s delivering calves, shearing sheep, castrating pigs, butchering small animals, hatching chicks, plowing with horses–you name it, we’ve done it.
The Michael Family
Michael Family Farm is owned and operated by Mr. & Mrs. William Michael. We were high school sweethearts who have been married for 18 years and are the thankful parents of 10 beautiful children. We are Catholic Christians in the diocese of Charlotte, NC.
Mr. Michael has developed Michael Family Farm from scratch, clearing and developing one 15 acre property and converting another 45 acre property from an excavating business back to a working farm. He is usually busy behind the scenes managing farm business and gardens–or teaching. He is a historian and classicist, having taught and published in the fields for almost 20 years, but plans to slowly shift from academic work to farming and gardening over time. Before studying Classics, Mr. Michael studied biology at Rutgers University, and worked in laboratory research, which has helped greatly with the technical side of farming. Pictured, at left, is Mr. Michael sitting on the porch with baby Anna after a summer day putting up pasture fencing.
Mrs. Michael is a home-schooling mother of ten (7 boys, 3 girls), whom you’ll usually be speaking with when you contact or visit the farm. She is a former elementary school teacher who left the classroom when her first child arrived in 2000. Since moving to the country, Mrs. Michael has studied historic housekeeping practices and keeps the hens and children here on the farm. She is a real expert in farm cooking, canning & preserving, and dairy products (cheese, yogurt, pudding, etc.). Pictured, at left, is Mrs. Michael out back on a walk with baby Anna.
The Michael Kids
When you visit the farm, you’ll get to meet our ten children, who all have their own roles on the farm. Our eldest, Jonathan (17), cares for the cattle and is studying to open an auto repair shop here one day. Elizabeth (16) wants to be a vet and raises all of our puppies. David (14) is our resident handyman, usually working behind the scenes. Mary (13) works the roadside table and works in the kitchen. Samuel (11), Jacob (10), Joshua (8), Daniel (7) and Isaiah (6) help everyone out, and baby Anna (3) works with Mom to take care of the hens. When you visit, feel free to bring your children along and introduce yourselves.