Tracy TothMy husband David and I, with our two children, moved from Wisconsin to our Pennsylvania “hobby farm” in 2004. At the time David was employed full-time as an Army reservist. I had left my job as a Learjet and Falcon Jet cargo pilot several years before to be a stay-at-home mom.

David had been an agronomy major in college and spent many years working in the agricultural field (no pun intended). I had some experience raising produce. Together, we managed to raise an abundant produce crop on an available lot next door to our home in a small Wisconsin town. Yet we yearned to be growing things on a larger scale in a more rural setting. The relocation from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania (courtesy of the Army) provided the opportunity to do just that…..and also gave me the chance to pursue an acting career that I longed for.

As my new-found career began to blossom, so did our hobby farm. First to arrive were two Nigerian Dwarf Goats and a box full of hatchery-born chicks to raise in the coop. Over the coming months, I found myself going back to a magazine article I had read about Navajo-Churro sheep. After plenty of research and a few lengthy chats with a breeder, we acquired a Navajo-Churro ewe and her two ewe-lambs. Today the flock stands at 29.

In time our number of garden plots expanded to include pumpkins, raspberries, asparagus, strawberries, and Indian corn as well as a large vegetable garden. David also planted 26 fruit trees that are now bearing. David and I grew up knowing about canning and preserving firsthand so it was an easy “fit” with the bountiful harvests. Originally, as my television host/commercial bookings grew, I envisioned a “how-to” series on canning and preserving. That was four years ago and the idea for the series evolved right along with our farm….the result: “Homegrown on a Hobby Farm.”

We hope you enjoy our series!

Tracy Toth