On today’s episode, we are speaking with Rachel again to talk more about how she raises her children in the current digital age that we are all a part of.
“They have to learn how to fail. That is when you learn, and that is when you grow, and that is when you figure out what you're good at and where your god given talent should be applied. Not everybody should get a trophy, and we are in indeed in an everybody gets a trophy stage of life. I feel very comfortable saying that is an absolute disservice to our kids. They need to fail. They need to feel the failure and know that it is a huge part of being successful, and they need to know what they're good at so that they can apply themselves in a way to make a difference.”
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Nick: Welcome back, everyone, to the Practical Prepper podcast. And this is part two of our interview with Rachel and Sustainable Living. In this one, we cover all sorts of topics from disaster prep to family plans, to the importance of of successes and failures in survivalism. And even just in your general life. You're not going to want to miss it. Check it out. Thanks. So your neighbors, people that are moving, they're like, we're going to help you with the greenhouse. And you spoke earlier on the community there's online of people who are ready and willing to help, which is an amazing thing. So how are you navigating limiting exposure to your children with social media and things like that in this new world?
Rachel: Yeah, that is a great question. What's hard about being on a property like this and being isolated? My kids can't hop on their bike and ride down the street even when they're old enough, because we're off of a major road. They have watches and their watches have things that I can control. I think my background in digital has allowed me to see the benefits of having those connections as well as not being disciplined even as an adult and over indulging in those. So for the kids, I'll use an example of my son who really likes art. If he wants to use up his two hour limit of whether it's playing video game or whatever, they can choose what they do with the time limit that they have. People pull up these YouTube videos that teach him how to draw. My daughter likes to watch cooking videos, so it's helping them understand what I think a lot of this was used for in the beginning, which was to make information accessible to a wide range of people. So they are allowed to use it for those things. They always have to ask before they use it and they always have to tell me what they're doing. And they're not allowed to go up into their room and disappear and shut their door and be on social media. And social media being it really to me is even a roblox because they can play these roblox games with their kids. So we've really tried. And with the online learning and things that schools did, they do understand that there's kind of like that multifaceted approach to digital media. They do not have any apps right now. We are probably getting near my oldest and using the apps and it will have to be something where they are friends with me and I, as a parent, am responsible for showing them how to use it. My kids know that I have an Instagram account. They know the name of it. They see what I post. If I share something about my kids, I ask them to look at it first. And I do that. Not because I think it's something bad or there's something not so nice that I'm saying about them. So a lot of people do make fun of their kids on social media. I show it to them because I want them to understand that there is a process that needs to be followed when you are posting a picture or sharing information. So if I take them through that process, they will hopefully when they do have their own accounts, understand that they need to be thoughtful with what they are sharing with other people. I've also shown them having a background in news. They've googled me and they've googled themselves and they are surprised and a little unnerved sometimes at what information someone can find out about them. Just by them being on a soccer team and wearing a jersey and that name of the jersey being visible, people can find out information about anything. So I have taken them through that process with me to kind of help educate them on what I share and how I think through the things that I say and then who can see it, including grandma and grandpa. If you're going to share something man, your mom is your biggest filter. I don't know that you should have said that honey. Should you really have put that on there or man, that was a little harsh. There are a lot of mums'if you will out there to kind of help you understand what you should and shouldn't share. So to kind of recap it's taking involving them in the process, letting them see firsthand how it's done and where it ends up and then having those conversations with them regularly so that they understand that it is very serious and it requires permission and when I'm not there to give permission that they still need to be thoughtful about how they're approaching.
Nick: Yeah, I like the point that you made that it was the original point of the internet and this tool was to make information way more easily accessible than having to go to the library and dig through the annals of history to figure out information. So the fact that they would like to use it to be like I'm going to use my 2 hours instead of just scrolling on Instagram or I'm going to get on YouTube and I'm going to have somebody teach me how to learn to draw or how to build this or more information about farming or things like that. So that's a good I like how you frame that. It's a good way to put it but it can be the worst place ever. But it also was created to be the greatest tool ever.
Rachel: It really was. I think there are so many things that people have difference of opinions on really anything can be used wrong and I won't go into like politics and all that but there are educating my kids on I used example of the knife earlier. My son has a pocket knife because if his line gets tangled they do catch and release when they fish. We don't eat everything. And they need to be able to have those tools. But if you don't have a conversation with them and then also the friends that they surround themselves with who are exposed to those things, you always set yourself up for someone else's interpretation of how those tools are supposed to be handled. I can't control what other parents are saying to their kids or how they are raising them or what they're doing in their house. It's their house and people need to be more respectful of that. It's my house. And kids also know when they come over, I'm a little bit of a Debbie Downer because they have to put their cell phone underneath the microwave where the devices go and they'll come back and they'll say, can I have it to take a picture? And I'll say, sure, but I want to see the picture when you come back because that way I know if they're actually trying to play a game or pull a fast one on me, I need the evidence of holding them accountable for what they've actually said that they're going to do. But there are rules here. There are rules with devices and there are rules with the ATVs, there are rules with the fishing rods. I have an older son who is by every definition an older child. He is a rule follower. And then I have my middle child and then I have my third child who I'm surprised is still alive sometimes with the way that he processes and just doesn't listen. So I have to remember that there are all those types of children that are around my house and it is my responsibility to educate my kids and to kind of just have some tough love when we have people come over and know that there are rules that we follow. Especially with the equipment and oh my gosh with the animals because if you don't shut a door. Then we can have babies at the wrong time of the year and that is an absolute nightmare.
Nick: Has this happened before?
Rachel: Yeah. So it is funny now that I know that we're out of the woods, but my husband came home for work and called me from going out towards the barn on his way out back to the office and said, Boots, who is our male goat, he said, Boots is in with the girls and it was not the time for Boots to be in with the girls. So I had to write it down on my calendar and I had to track it. And her due date corresponded with spring break which absolutely stung. But she's not due now. She is very large and we had to pay for an emergency ultrasound during spring break to make sure it was okay for us to go and that she wasn't due. And her due date is when we actually got everyone together, which was my husband got them together on Christmas so we would remember. And it is the end of May now. Wow. So that middle door between the two, the male and the females, was not shut by someone. And regardless of who made the mistake, we had to monitor when we could have possibly had babies that would have been born when it was really too cold for us to have babies outside.
Nick: That's interesting.
Rachel: It's a good way to burn calories, I'll tell you what. Yeah, right. You worry about a lot of things as a mom, but as a goat mom and a pig mom and a sheep mom, you worry about things that you really never thought you'd have to worry about.
Nick: I can't imagine it's a lot of different added levels of stress. It seems like now you've got all sorts of living things that you've got to worry about, take account of
Rachel: keep alive. Right. Absolutely.
Nick: When we were talking about just, like, the rules and the exposure and kind of even telling your children about the butchering process or things like that, how do you navigate the waters of what goes on in the world with your children? If they were to be exposed to something on the news or is, again, kind of harkening back to the Internet, how there's so many places on there you can find false information that could be terrifying to a child that says they're starting to draft children for World War Three, things like that. How do you navigate that sort of thing?
Rachel: Sure. That's a heavy question. And during COVID, there were so many opportunities, and I will really say that there were opportunities for how we communicate things like this with our kids because they were clearly aware that something was going on. They were aware that people had very different opinions. They were aware that people in our family weren't really talking to us because we didn't align on certain things. That was really, really hard. It would have been so much harder had we not had a conversation with them and opened the dialogue and not talk at them, but asked them, hey, what are your friends talking about? Hey, what did your teacher said to you about covid? Are there things that you've seen? I’ve seen some things. People look a little different. Maybe you haven't seen these frenzy to hang out. Do you guys have questions about that really kind of going back to those reporter routes for me, instead of leading the interview, it was asking openended questions in our home at a time when they were kind of snuggled up and comfortable and letting them know that this was a safe space for them to ask any kind of questions. And I remember my daughter being on online learning when they first transitioned over. And Ben, who was in her class, the first question he asked, and I'll get emotional, he asked if the Easter bunny could get covid. And I remember just going, oh, my gosh. And I started getting texts from some of the kids in her class, whose kid is that? And it was my friend Melissa's kid. And I remember going, oh, my gosh, first of all, the poor teacher who had so much grace in handling that question. But it just hit me. My husband owns a business, and he's worried about making sure that his employees can take care of their kids and balance and have money. And he was so distraught over his business it's a family business and making sure that people felt cared for. And here is my first grader wondering if the Easter Bunny is going to make it, if that doesn't put things in perspective for you as a mom, that you have your concerns. But this and those topics were so to our kids in a way that they were having a really hard time articulating. So I think as a parent, sometimes realizing they're going through it absolutely, but you don't know kind of at what level they're going through. They were not worried about Mom and Dad taking pay cuts to help people stay employed. They were worried about Easter and the Easter Bunny, and they were worried about seeing their friends because they really deeply missed their friends and that sense of normalcy. So creating that safe space for them to talk, asking them short, open ended questions, separating them, because my daughter versus my son versus my kindergartener at the time had very different things that they were dealing with. And we have to go back and revisit those timing time again, because they are getting information, whether or not we want to give it to them from their friends, from their friends, older brothers and sisters, from their friends who have TikTok, which mine don't, they are getting that information. So you need to make sure that your voice as a parent is in that stream of information and is guiding them towards the right answer and to kind of having an appropriate reaction to people that will probably disagree with you and disagree with maybe how your child feels about something. It's heavy. I think that we have learned so much going through all of this with the basics of how important it is as a society, regardless of politics and religion, to connect with people. And that what we say matters and how we say it deeply matters. And we have to be more thoughtful for the love of all things holy as adults, and how we talk to each other just for being good humans, but also because little ears, they are listening, and we are leading by example. And as parents, we have a monumental responsibility to do good by our kids and make sure that we are raising them up always.
Nick: So it's very interesting to think about it that way through almost the lens of how a child would view it. When everybody who is an adult is so caught up in the world and all of the outside influences put on us and your opposing viewpoints. No matter what you think about the pandemic or anything. Like you have to address it for what it is. No matter what side you're on. And just to think about it through a child, that's what their concern is. If you really just take a step back, pull yourself out of all of the politicking and just be like, this is how they're viewing it. And it's such a basic, just like not watered down, strong opinion of how they feel. And that's like if everybody could think that right off the bat, who knows? It could have been a lot different.
Rachel: I think it could have been a lot different and I think we're hopefully getting there. I really hope that we are getting there. And for me, I have cut ties with that type of noise and I think the circle has gotten so much smaller and I think it got a lot smaller for people in a good way. We slowed down a little bit. We were trying to be more intentional with who we were seeing and how we were spending our time. And it became very evident to me that we really had some noise in our life that needed to be scaled back or cut off. Sometimes you can't completely cut it off, but it needs to be filtered, if you will. And that's why I think it was an opportunity. We really saw it as an opportunity for our marriage, for our work, and definitely for our kids and our friendships and how we are choosing to navigate. Because as you know, your true colors come out in a crisis and after people have seen them, you really just can't put them back in the box. They are out. And we all know at the heart of you, like how you are as a person and how you feel about things and what your intention is in life personally and professionally. So when this happened, the pandemic and the way that you and your family lived your life, when people were scrambling and the shelves were bare and there was the toilet paper short, were you like completely other than the normal panic of right when it originally happened, being like, we don't know what's going on. So obviously that's scary in itself. But from a preparedness aspect, did you feel like, we're good, we have the food and all of the stuff that we would need and we don't really need to scramble?
Rachel: I did. And that is a huge gift to have the mindset to know. And that again goes back to being married to someone who I used to call a crazy prepper and it turns out he's not the crazy anymore.
Rachel: You don't think stuff like that is going to happen. But it got to the point where even when stuff was available, I didn't feel safe taking my children into a store because of the mindset of other people and how onedge people were. I didn't want to take them anywhere. We were basically like a moving target for someone having a bad day or for someone who needed money. You've got three kids on your arm. You are a moving target for all kinds of things. So I didn't feel safe. I knew that we had the animals. We actually locked the coup. And that was a really hard day because we do have friends that come over and kind of walk in and take eggs. That was a really hard day to have the feeling of we're going to have to kind of lock up and be a little bit more kind of a lot more in the beginning, people knowing that we're back here, knowing that we have animals, we became a lot more cautious with how we were protecting our animals and our sustainability and our garden and things like that. We definitely locked things up and gosh, that was hard. We also have the freeze dry food through Valley Food. And it's something that you notice sometimes when you open the pantry and new people, when they come over, they notice it when they open the pantry and some people will comment and say, what's that? And then you talk about it. And again, now we're not so crazy anymore because we have that reassurance. And let me tell you, for the kids who have been part of the discussions and who are very familiar with the food supply and kind of my voice in that community and for that product, they understand what it means to have that readily available to you. So we don't even have to talk about the end of the world or how it's scary. We have talked about the steps that we have taken from a physical standpoint for food and things like that, which naturally prepares you mentally and puts you in the right mindset as a parent who's caring for small children who are definitely hearing things and scared about what's going on. So they know that it's there. They understand how it works and that is definitely a comfort to them, seeing it and then seeing us be far more relaxed than other people in this environment.
Nick: It's weird that I feel like how you were saying that at one point you called your husband a crazy prepper and the prepping community and lifestyle and all that. This pandemic for sure brought it into the mainstream. I guarantee there was I wish I could see the statistics of an uptick in conversations at holidays or I've had people, because they know of my affiliation with it in this podcast, who I've met only a couple of times, they'll message me and they'll ask about, hey, don't you have something to do with long term food storage? And how does that work? What's the website? And there are people that are just like it's slowly reaching into where it's no longer like an underground community. It's a very talked about, very prominent thing now.
Rachel: It is. It's very talked about. It was very interesting to me when we first started kind of doing some marketing things, and there were people in my farming community who obviously were appropriate targets for the ads because they reached out immediately and said, oh, my gosh, this is you. And then the amount of questions that I have answered where I have to be honest and say to them sometimes, listen, guys, I want you to know I'm not an expert here, but this is what works for me. This is what we have. Sending them pictures of different things, directing them to the website. Which ones do your kids eat? Questions that I never thought anyone would ask me, that I actually had the answers to. People ask me all the time. All the time. They do ask me about the garden and the pigs and stuff like that, but it's the well, what about the other stuff that you have in your pantry? And where do you get that? How much does it cost and how much do you buy and what do you feed your kids? And then people were asking me about meat, kind of like, there's a meat option. I said, I don't have the meat option because we have our own meat. But people were coming out of the woodworks between extended family members, people that kids go to school with, and people that saw me through these ads or through Instagram were reaching out without even like, hey, what's up? It was immediately, you clearly know what you're doing. Answer these questions for me. So that has been very interesting. Yeah, he's not the crazy person anymore. He actually knew what he was doing and still does, because it is something again, it's that mindset of always being prepared. And as a mom, it's not just Nick and I. It's our family. And when you're in that fight or flight and when you've had that feeling, you don't ever want to have that feeling again. So you will take every necessary precaution from keeping your family safe, physically, mentally, well fed, mind, body, and soul. You will do everything to make sure that your appetite is full on those different levels.
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Nick: So, shifting from talking about food sourcing and food storage and things like that, do you and your family have safety plans, things like that, in case of a natural disaster or anything that makes sure you kind of are all on the same page?
Rachel: We do and we don't really share some of those, like the details of it because it's something that we take pretty seriously, especially being isolated. But the kids know where things are located. We've talked about gun safety, they know about guns, they understand that they are not to be touched, they are a weapon. But there's a whole conversation that has happened around that they understand. There are certain things that we do not speak about or share with anyone, even close friends. We don't bring it up, we don't discuss it, we don't talk about it. If it's brought up, we have some answers that we have given them that are kind of canned when it comes to guns or food or a safe space. Those are things that we have definitely talked about with the kids and they are familiar. And again, it goes back to short sentences, letting them know that we have prepared and we have thought about these certain things, food, safety and location, we've got it all taken care of here's the different things that mom and dad have done to kind of prepare for it, to kind of let them know that it is taken care of because it's not something that is kids that they should need to think about. And also we don't want them kind of being full of this information and sharing it with a bunch of people because it is stuff that they're aware of, but it is not first and foremost displayed in our home or in our lifestyle where it's a conversation piece. Now, the food, yes, people see that and we will talk about it. But the other things around safety and being prepared and knowing where to go if something were to happen, that is something that we have talked to the kids about and that they're aware of, but that is not shared, especially with a six year old who is like a parrot and repeats basically there was a meat time.
Nick: Yeah, that's understandable. I was curious as to you do practice in the run throughs and all that because living on a huge farm like you have, it's subject to all kinds of different disasters and this could possibly happen and that's all in the general basket of being prepared. It's like anything could happen and Covid and all that is a great example of at any moment you could wake up the next day and everything can be different. So you just have to have those kind of things in place. I had a girlfriend a while back that her whole family had. They lived in Arizona and they had full plans of evacuation and where to go and family rendezvous points and all of that stuff. And that was like the first time that I had ever even heard of anything like that. And I was completely blown away. But now, knowing what I know, it makes all the sense in the world.
Rachel: Yeah, and I think too, they even know if there's a fire, what they're supposed to do, because to a child, you don't want to be explaining it to them. When the house is on fire, don't grab anything. Halo, meet by the flag. We have talked to them about that. Have they had a fire drill? No. And actually, it is something that we probably should do more as parents, even though they might think it's silly or why are we doing this? And if it does scare them a little bit, it will be a lot less scary if something actually does happen, their body and their mind will kind of say, okay, I know what I'm supposed to do. These are the steps I'm supposed to take. I think as they get older, too, they're not driving. I'm their source of whatever. But they do know they both have my two older ones have watches. And they do know if I contact them during the day, which I would never do unless there was an emergency, they have to answer the phone. And that's hard for kids because I did call my daughter. I couldn't get through to school one day and there was a train. There's always a train that falls stuck on the tracks, but I couldn't get through to school. We were one of not so many families that live on the other side of the tracks, so I didn't even know if the school was aware. So I called her in the middle of school and she knew she was packing up, but she knew she had to pick up the phone and hear what I had to say because mom wouldn't call me unless there wasn't an emergency. They also know that their younger brother doesn't have a watch and that they are responsible for him. And they know certain things like safety words. I mean, those sounds kind of silly, but you just never know. So knowing certain words that we use as a family, if someone were to pick you up and then again going back to being online, here are the things that you never share. Here are some things that someone should never ask you for. Those are conversations that I actually have with my children probably every other week, just to remind them and then to ask them. So I know that you play roblox with this friend and this. Is your friend's name. I want to look at the friends that come up on your roadblocks. I want to make sure the location is still turned off on certain things. They're very savvy, and they don't always think about the repercussions of sharing the location or as we said earlier, sharing the information that is really private to our family for a plan, reminding them of that, and sitting down and making them sit there while I go through it so that they understand, okay, this is important. Oh, and mom is going to do this every other week. I think it starts to kind of sink into them that there is a responsibility that comes with communicating with people digitally. Even if we're playing some kind of game on the Internet, it's not always some innocent connection,
Nick: because once it's there, it's there.
Rachel: Being the age that I am, I'm actually a dinosaur to them when they see stuff that come up from 15 years ago. I mean, gosh, before the Internet was even big, right? When I was in college, you saw, like, dial up and stuff like that. It's shocking to them. And I'll say, See, this is something that Mommy did in college, and that was 20 years ago. And there it is. It's right there. Simple click of a button. So think about that and remember that. And I'm not going to lie. I do show them some bad examples because sometimes they don't really believe you. So if you show them stupid things that stupid people do, they'll be shocked sometimes, but it does it resonates with them when they see some of the post or the pictures. Oh, boy, that was a mistake that that person made. And that person is relatable to me. They're my age, I look like me. They have the same opportunities that I have, and they weren't protected from it either. I do that with them sometimes. They don't want to read it, they don't want to see it, and they're completely embarrassed by it. But hey, then if it's embarrassing seeing someone else doing it, imagine if that's someone else with you forever out there.
Nick: Yeah. Internet preparedness is something that I feel like it's even talking about. It is like we're living in it right now, but it's something that it's very important, and I feel like a lot of people don't know it yet, but I mean, it's a whole new landscape that we have to navigate and teach the younger generation.
Rachel: Right. I feel like there's always this I don't know how to put it. I think some things become overwhelming to people because they're new. All the Internet is new or TikTok's new or name it. By the time my six year old is on social media, there will be ten other apps that I need to learn and be aware of. It's always. You always go back to the basics, and that's really what we're trying at the heart of what we're trying to teach our kids. Just dial it back to the basics. Have a conversation with your kids about it. Ask them questions, because they will share with you, especially with this many things in life, they're getting fed information in different places. So whether it's the Internet, whether it's my kids switched to a new school when things shut down, it's having that open dialogue, asking your kids questions, creating a safe space for them to know that they can actually give you honest answers, and then giving them the tools to process the information that's presented to them. Again, whether it's a bully at school or a teacher they don't like, because, oh, my gosh, like, they're shocked when they get a teacher that they don't like. Now that my son has different teachers for different subjects, they have to learn how to navigate professionally, personally, online, offline, and it really is back to basics. How you act is impressionable, being kind to others, being thoughtful with the information that you share. Those basic things are applicable for all aspects of life. So I'm less concerned about, okay, there's a new app that came out that I have to learn, which I will, because I'm the digital person. I'm more digital than dad, but it's the basics of am I creating a space for my kids to talk to me and am I giving them the tools to discern the information and to make the right choice? So as long as I'm doing that and that really comes down to how we're raising them on this property and what we are exposing them to, they should have those life skills to make good choices. And when they don't make a good choice, they should have a safe space to come back and learn from their mistake and grow. That is at the heart of everything that we are doing today as parents for our kids.
Nick: Yeah, I think that's a really solid foundation. It's a great way to look at it, really. Anything can be taken, and you draw back to those basics and how it's just like if you can follow these X amount of things that are applicable across everything else, you should have a pretty good grasp on navigating the scenario. So I like that.
Rachel: Surviving is at the heart of being a survivor. People are survivors in so many different ways. And there's book smarts, there's street smarts. And for my kids, they are blessed with the brains of two very different parents. They're blessed with that. But the street smarts, that's on me. And next, we have to teach them those things. And I put a lot more stock, we both do in street smarts because that is an every day for you. It is always a challenge with people and with situations, and you never have control over what's going on outside and around you. You may think you do, but you really don't. So those street smarts are mission critical for kids. They have to learn how to be successful, and they have to learn how to fail. They have to learn how to fail. That is when you learn, and that is when you grow, and that is when you figure out what you're good at and where your godgiven talent should be applied. Not everybody should get a trophy, and we are in need everybody gets a trophy stage of life. And it is a terrible and I feel very comfortable saying that is an absolute disservice to our kids. They need to fail. They need to feel the failure and know that it is a huge part of being successful, and they need to know what they're good at so that they can apply themselves in a way to make a difference. I truly hope that message resonates with people. It's so important.
Nick: Failure is essentially the driving force behind success. What are the fruits of success, even for? If it's like, well, you still get rewarded in failure. You know what I mean? It's like you have to have it's the ebb and flow, it's the balance of it's what makes success so rich and so worth it.
Rachel: The not keeping score, pretty much it puts me at the end of my rope. Like when my kids train in practice and the earlier ages, we don't keep score. And that's ridiculous. It's absolutely ridiculous because how are they going to learn from a team that's better from them if they go home and we say, oh, everybody won, when you know, and, oh, my goodness, they know that they absolutely didn't win. They don't know how to fix it. They don't even know where to start because you basically told them that either not trying or not being good at something is going to make them successful. And that is such a rude awakening when things start to change and they start getting grades and they start getting homework and they're sitting next to someone who is naturally gifted at something, and they're not that can really hurt their self esteem if they don't have something else that they feel good about or they haven't been taught to navigate failure. So that is really, really it's very important as a parent, and it's something that I don't think our kids are giving the opportunity to learn from today at a young age, and then we expect them in third grade or whenever they start to track things more meticulously, that they're just supposed to have this change, and it's supposed to just click at the age of eight. No, they should be taught that from the beginning that it's okay to fail, and that so many successful people failed repeatedly with franchise ideas and recipes for these famous I think KFC was one that how many times did he fail before somebody bought his stuff? Olympians, they fail all the time. And that failure and those unexpected catastrophes like Kobe and even what's going on in Ukraine and Russia. And those things are what build character. Those are your make or break moments. And kids need to be given those opportunities to have those same moments to learn from.
Nick: It would be strange if, say, you were raised on, well, failure and success. It doesn't matter. It's good either way. But I mean, you could never really live a sustainable lifestyle with a hobby farm. If you go out and you're like, all the chickens froze to death or the greenhouse, everything in your bug infestation and everything's dead, and like, okay, I failed at this. And you wouldn't be like, oh, it's okay. It's the learning experience. To succeed, I have to fail and fail again and fail again, and then eventually the reward is the greatest thing that can happen to you. It is. I think that another part of having this lifestyle and how we're raising our kids is it's the risk and the reward, but it's also the work and the reward. Nick and I do not have what we have because we farm everything out, so to speak, to other people. We roll up our sleeves, we got our hands dirty, we've rehabbed houses, we've built things, we've dug, we've cried, we've argued, we've had something planted that just didn't take. We've had something collapsed. I mean, we have had all of those things happen. We've lost animals. And it's awful, but that is how you learn. Doing it yourself and having that ownership and then getting the reward from something that you have tried and failed and then succeeded at. There is no other feeling like that. Knowing that what we have and what we have built together as a husband and wife and as parents is unbelievably fulfilling because it is a tremendous amount of work to balance everything that we have. And it cannot be done alone. We have to do it together and we have to have other people to be part of it. But at the end of the day, this is something that we are doing. We're getting dirt underneath our nails on our own. That sweat equity is something my kids cannot escape. They absolutely no matter how successful we are, no matter how safe they are, they will always have to roll up their sleeves and get dirty. If they really want to experience what we have to offer them, and they really want to feel good about themselves, they have to do it themselves.
Nick: Yeah. I think you've given lots of insight and lots of quite frankly, it's inspiring the things and your outlook and your views and what you've done and taught your children. It's amazing, to say the very least. So I commend you on that. It can't be easy at times, I'm sure, more than not, I'm sure it's a lot easier to just be like, here, take this bag of cheetos and this tablet and go over there and phone it in. But it's very impressive. So what's next? For you and the farm and your family. What's next on the you seem like you're always an ever growing, always chasing, adding, and let's do this. So what's the plan?
Rachel: So there's a couple of things that I have learned with this lifestyle. I would love to give you here's where we're going a few years down the road, but that has not fared super well. So I can tell you, at the end of May, we will have some baby goats that I will deliver because I have the smallest hands and the kids help milk the goats and we will be making more goat cheese. Friends sent me a soap recipe, so I want to kind of venture into like, that kind of side of it and see what I can do there, because my daughter does have eczema. Taking what we have and building on it would be one thing. So having more goats, having more milk from them to make what we have, but then learning a new skill, which would be soap making on top of the cheese making would be good. We have sheep that have been sheared and we have yarn and some different things that have been made. So that is something else that is on the horizon for us. I know that we have a meeting coming up soon with someone to kind of help us learn some skills and navigate that. And my husband wants an alpaca. So these discussions usually go, I really want to get an alpaca. And I'll say, Mum, we've got a lot on our plate. And then I'll come home and they'll be in alpaca. That's usually how it goes. So that's another thing. And I know we just talked about buying some more fishing poles because the other kids riker has worked with them, my oldest son, to kind of teach them how to fish. So that is something else. And then the focus right now is the garden planting. Getting that up and running is the next thing kind of on the short term horizons. And then long term, the most I can think of long term is just more goats and more of the things that I think we're kind of comfortable with. So the chickens and the goats down the road, we will eventually get horses and that will be something that was my vision for the property very early on. But with each animal comes a different responsibility and a different, oh, my gosh, trimming hooves. That's something that Nick and I did a couple of weeks ago. Yeah. I mean, that's undertaking. The goats can bite through your car hard FYI. So adding more animals in the ones that we enjoy, kind of doing some pigs and some goats, and then we will probably get an alpaca. And I have tried for a little bit to get donkeys. There's always some rescues out there. I really do believe in rescue. That is also something because you're not going to eat a donkey. It's more of a pet, and it's kind of a watch dog. You know, they watch the property, and so do packas, and they kind of alert you. So I would love to get some donkeys. So those are additions that will probably be coming, I'd say sooner than later. And then down the road, I would love to look out this window behind where I'm sitting and have the irrigation set up so that it is a little bit more enjoyable to be out there small space gardening. I would love to have some more help from the kids because they're older and when my husband's traveling or we have things going on. That we have an extra set of hands to kind of get some of the stuff done and to have a more substantial garden where my children are more knowledgeable and it's not just on Nick and I. But that they can learn and grow and kind of instinctually say. That doesn't look right. Or let me do more with that and kind of have their own space where they can say. That's my stuff that I grew. Show it to their friends. Have that ownership. I would love to see our property kind of have those different parts and pieces that our kids take more ownership in and help us kind of bring to life.
Nick: Yeah. Well, that's awesome. I hope the best for you and your family, and I hope all of these come true and that you get that alpaca and those donkeys that are really make for almost a complete set. Well, I guess once you get the alpaca.
Rachel: So now we know whose side you're on.
Nick: Well, my parents for years, and they've never done it, but they've always wanted alpacas forever. Like, my mom simply wanted them to just have them in the front yard because she just loved them, love the way they looked. Yeah. So I guess I'm predisposed to siding with the outback of decision.
Rachel: Well, next podcast, you can ask me how that's going. Or if it goes missing.
Nick: Yeah. Right. Well, I've definitely kept you longer than I said I would, and I apologize for that. But I thank you so so much for coming on and giving us the breakdown of something that a lot of people don't ever get a window into talking about or hearing about. So thank you for sharing your time and letting us, quote, unquote, into your home and into your hobby farm and talking to us about it.
Rachel: Absolutely. My pleasure.
Nick: All right, well, hopefully we can get you on for another podcast sometime.
Rachel: Sounds good. All right. Thank you so much.
Nick: You're welcome.
Nick: All right, guys, that wraps it up for an interview with Rachel. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you got a lot out of it. I know. I sure did. It was a joy to have her on, and hopefully we're lucky enough to have her back. Don't forget to support our friends over Valley Food storage. Use code practical 15 at. Checkout for 15% off your entire order. Until next time, guys. Stay safe. Stay informed out there. See you.