Hey! My name is Kanika. I’m married to Robert. We have 6 children that I homeschool. We live on a small farm in Alaska.
After years of failed relationships, I took my search for love to the internet. It just so happens that Robert was on the same quest. We were matched via eHarmony in 2005. Robert is born and raised in Alaska. I’m from Cleveland, (Go Cavs!). After a whirlwind courtship I moved to Alaska. Years later, we have 3 boys and 3 girls.
Our little farm was not planned. Before Robert and I were married, he told me of how he wanted to eventually move to his family’s 160 acre homestead. So when our little 1000 square foot house got too small to house our 2 children, 3 dogs and 3 cats, we decided it was time to go for it. We put a lot of time into fixing up our home. We even hired a stager to help us get things just right. After all the work was done, keeping our house spotless was no small feet. My 2 year old, newborn and our animal children, made sure to keep us on our toes. We did it and surprising and our home sold in 7 days.
Once our home sold we lived in a narrow 20 foot travel trailer in my mother-in-laws front yard. That lasted a month and ended up being our training ground. Late summer we moved the travel trailer to our future farm to over see our home as it was being constructed.
A kitchen and bathroom with no running water.
A potty for our toddler and a “honey bucket” for us.
We washed our dishes at Robert’s office and we took our showers there too. Sounds like an adventure, huh? Yes it was and we endured until late October when our home was livable. Walls, windows, a real stove and dishwasher. A shower and a real toilet. But best of all was the space for us all to move around and heat.
Let me back up a bit to when oldest was a baby. He was a sweet fat baby but boy did he have some issues. I was at mommy and baby group when another mom started to describe her baby’s stools and behavior. It oddly sounded similar to our little guy. Muscusy green stools, lots of gas and acid reflux. I wondered if our guy was suffering from food allergies too. After a skin a prick test and a patch test he was positive for about 12 different food allergens. Every one of our babies suffers from food allergies and eventually grows out of most or all of them. 2 still have epi-pens and I do too. We also have asthma and hay-fever. Awesome.
Once we were all moved in to our new home, I started doing research on cow milk alternatives for our kids since they were allergic. I was breastfeeding our newborn and so I could not eat any dairy products from cows.
Milk in my latte. No.
Chocolate. NO! What the heck am I going to do with a no-chocolate diet? Research.
During my search someone suggested goat milk so we gave it a whirl. Have you ever seen goat milk at your local grocery store? At that time in Alaska, a quart of goat milk was $6. After buying goat milk in the stores I read that raw goat milk would be a healthy and less expensive alternative than the ultra-pasteurized version. I found a local farm and bought a goat milk share. It is illegal to purchase raw milk in Alaska but by purchasing a share of the goat, I owned what the goat was producing. $12 per week provided our family with 1 gallon of delicious and creamy raw goat milk. We all loved it. It tasted just like cow milk and unlike the $6 ultra-pasteurized milk for the store. During this time, I started doing research on dairy goats. The more I read, the more I was convinced that keeping goats wouldn’t be so hard. So we took the plunge and bought two goat who I named Thelma and Louise. They were two sweet and slow growing Toggenburgs. Their slow growth was later attributed to toxoplasmosis. We made the hard decisions to return them to their original owner. We couldn’t risk drinking raw milk from these goats. The next time we purchased goats, we made sure that they were healthy. Finally we were the proud owners of one Saanen and one Alpine. They were babies at the time and so we bottle-fed them. They have now gone on to become dams and grand-dams.
The kinds of animals we have on our farm changes from year to year but the goats are always constant. During the summer we have pigs. Sometimes chickens, ducks and sheep. Right now we have goats, (Saanen, Alpine, Boers and crossbreeds) Shetland sheep, and various Flemish Giant rabbits and other crossbreeds.
This has been a big adventure with many highs and lows. If I had to do this all over again, I might do a few things differently but I’m learning from my mistakes. I hope you’ll stop by and check out the happenings around our farm.