A Letter to my Homesteading Partner


“It is negative something below zero, and the lows are forecasted to be twenty below zero for the night. You came home from work early to do the afternoon chores and give water to all the animals, knowing it would be so difficult for me to do it all with Stella.

It was taking you a long time, hours, and worried, I started peeking out the windows of our home, hoping to catch a sign of your safety- a new path broken through the snow, you walking the wheelbarrow down to the compost pile, anything. I looked out the south window towards our chicken coop. The wind was blasting from the south- directly towards the coop. Our chicken coop is a bit drafty, and we were both worried about our hens, but with a continuous project “to-do” list a mile long, we buttoned it up as good as we could before the freeze set in.

Finally, I noticed you putting up new plastic around the the south side of the chicken coop, as the strong, frigid south winds blasted your back. And I smiled. And that fluttery feeling I used to get all the time when we were first dating danced around in my stomach.

There you were- my husband. My forever life partner. Committed. To me. To farming.”

I met Craig about three months after I started milking cows. He was well aware for my newly found affection for the bovine species. I am the cow lover, the farmer, the passion behind this homestead. Craig loves me. And that’s why we make a good team.

Anyone with a committed and loving partner can relate to the feeling I get when I watch my husband with our daughter. On our wedding day- I tried to imagine our future life together, our future family, farm, dreams and goals. Now when I see him with our daughter, I think often to myself “I never could have imagined that the youthful groom I married is this amazing man today”. You may not relate to the fact that I get this same feeling when Craig starting caring for our new calf “Ruby” (our first baby) three years ago, when I convinced him to take the three month old calf home from the farm in the back of our pick up truck.

baby calf in VT
Ruby, our first milk cow, at just a few days old. She is now 3 years old and weighs 1500 pounds

 To homestead with someone is a challenge.

We are overworked and overtired. We have so much to do and not enough time to do it, all-the-time. And the real kicker is that we did this to ourselves. Craig often reminds me that we are so lucky to live this life. We are lucky to have a reason to get up in the morning and work hard every day. We are so lucky to have our own milk, grow our own food and manage our own land. And I am so lucky to have him to share this wonderful life with, to watch him care for our animals and land with as much passion as I have, not because this is his dream or my dream.

But because this is OUR dream. 

Man with cow in VT
My husband, Craig with Ruby. This was Ruby’s first birthday.
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Stephanie Eiring
I am originally from New Hampshire, but after attending the University of Vermont and Vermont Law School I decided to make Vermont my permanent home. After school, I fell into dairy farming full time and I have never looked back! I met my husband, Craig while living in Burlington and now we live on our 10 acre homestead in Bakersfield with our one year old, Stella and three cows, eleven chickens and two dogs. I am a FAHM (farm at home mom) where I milk our cows, care for our chickens and other livestock and keep a large garden. I also relief milk for bigger dairy farms to earn a little extra for the family. I am happy to be sharing our homesteading life, my passion about local, organic foods and products, and how we are raising our daughter on the homestead- connected deeply to this beautiful Vermont land and a yesteryear way of living.


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