My name is Muriel, and my husband is Richard. We live in southeastern Wisconsin, and in 2011 the adoption of our two little girls was final. They’re sisters and came to us through foster care. We are incredibly blessed.
We live about a mile outside of town and have had 1.28 acres to play with since 2006. So far we’ve planted six apple trees, a concord grapevine, two blueberry bushes, a Zen-like shade garden, and an organic vegetable garden. There’s a really awesome compost pile in the back with lots of happy worms in it. We’re aiming for self-sustaining and being a practical example of how to make it work, even in a residential setting. Since mid-January of 2012 we’ve been eating almost 100% organic, unprocessed, whole and raw foods. About the only thing we buy processed is cheese and dry goods. We do our best to be a SOLE family – Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical.
I’ve been fascinated with honey bees for years. In May 2012 one of my dreams came true; I got my first honey bee hive. Then in July 2012 I got my second. It turns out beekeeping is sort of addictive.
In June 2012, we found a 42′ x 31′ commercial greenhouse for a song on Craigslist. All disassembly required. You can read about that experience here.
Below is a little background information of our family. I hope you visit often, and find some of our experiences useful in your own setting.
Farmer Taft (Richard)
Richard was an auto dealership parts department manager for 15 years. In 2008, he and I started our own business, EClutter, a professional organizing service (think A&E’s “Hoarders”). He’s actually helped on a couple of Hoarders episodes and has enjoyed a fair amount of screen time! Richard enjoys gardening, cooking, learning about aquaponics and urban farming methods, moving stuff around in his yard, and getting things out of the upper kitchen cabinets for the short people in his house.
The Farmer’s Wife (Muriel)
I work full-time in the IT industry. I also help out with EClutter when Richard needs me, which is usually around tax time. I enjoy cooking, photography, writing, beekeeping, blogging, and finding new adventures on which to drag my hapless family.
The Farmer’s Daughters (Jessica and Abigail)
Jessica and Abigail are sisters who came to live with us in 2009 through foster care. Jessica was born in 2002, and Abigail in 2008. Jess is smart, funny, cheerful, social, and brings smiles to strangers’ faces with her open heart and gorgeous smile. Abby is bright and inquisitive, chock full of questions, and has a terrific sense of humor. Both of them bring immeasurable joy to the Taft family every single day.
My dad passed away in 2010, leaving little to sustain his wife but good memories of their shared life. Grandma was invited to move in with us. She enjoys making 3-dimensional greeting cards with lace, silk flowers, and whatever else she finds pretty. She helps out by watching Abby during the day and making the Taft house a dirty-dish-free zone.