About Us

“Villa Pacis” is the informal name of Michael Family Farm, which today covers 60 acres of land in North Carolina, on which we keep or have kept:

  • Rhode Island Red Hens
  • Jersey dairy cows
  • Nubian dairy goats
  • Boer meat goats
  • Yorkshire Pigs
  • Leicester wool sheep
  • Great Pyrenees dogs
  • Percheron draft horses


The Michael Family

My wife Dania and I were born and raised in central New Jersey, where we met in high school and married in 1998.  While we were raised in the suburbs, my grandparents were farmers who had moved from West Virginia to New Jersey in the 1940s.  My grandparents brought me to see the hills and towns they grew up in, where many relatives still lived, when I was 12 years old, and I had an interest in rural life ever since.

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My grandfather, Charles Michael (far right) with a pair of Jersey steer in West Virginia.

My wife and I both studied Classics at Rutgers University and worked in education as we started our family.  After our fourth child was born, we moved to North Carolina to enjoy warmer weather and to allow the children to enjoy rural life.   As of 2017, the Lord has blessed us with ten children, ages 2 to 17.   We are a Christian family and members of the Catholic Church.

In case you’re wondering, yes, we are the same Michael family that owns the Classical Liberal Arts Academy.

Philosophy

We do not subscribe to the unrealistic ideals of “living off the land”, being “self-sufficient”, etc..  Man, as Aristotle taught, is a social animal and, to live well, he must live in community with other men.  The goal, therefore, of our farm endeavors is not to isolate ourselves from others, or to hide away from the problems in the world, but to make prudent use of the resources God has made available to us, while also managing our social responsibilities towards our neighbors near and far.  We are not interested in “self-sufficiency”, which only degenerates in living more like animals than humans, but in prudence, which we believe falls between silly extremes of rustic-ism and modern-ism and must look different for every family.

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11 Responses to About Us

  1. Michael says:

    Dear Mr. Michael,

    My wife and I have been praying and thinking about maybe selling our suburban house and buying a farm in the country to try to live a less frenetic, more Catholic life (if possible). We have 5 children and homeschool. I was wondering, given your experience with your farm purchase and farm life, if you have any advice for families seeking to maybe follow in similar footsteps. I suspect it all boils down to a lot of prayer and trust in God’s Providence (and proper budgeting), but I’d be grateful to any other advice you might be able to offer. Thank you.

    Michael

    • villapacis says:

      Hello Michael,

      You nailed it–and I don’t say this to appear pious. “The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains”. He appoints the land to those whom He wishes and He helps those who trust in Him, but ultimately we must as understand that He helps to do His will, not to do our own.

      Most importantly, start living as you want to live and then pray and work to provide for yourself as you live rightly. Don’t use your current situation/obstacles to excuse daily life choices that make you unhappy.

      Most importantly, study the ancients. Read the Wisdom books of the Bible, the Rule of St. Benedict, and the wisdom of the ancient moral philosophers (Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Epictetus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, etc..).

      In all this, be patient. We deserve nothing and our obedience to God does not depend on our living on a farm. King David wanted to build the temple, but God prevented Him and many of us belong to the generation of David and not Solomon. We are not the appointed builders…but that didn’t stop David from providing Solomon with the resources to build with!

      God bless,
      W. Michael

  2. Jim Dorchak says:

    I found your blog from Jim Curley’s and it is just wonderful.

    We live in Boiling Springs SC north of Spartanburg. I too have wanted (especially as Catholics and home schoolers) to get back to farming life as I grew up on a cattle farm here in Boiling Springs.
    Unfortunately we were financially destroyed with the collapse of the real estate market. As a result we can never realize our dreams of a farm here in the USA, and like so many others we are leaving (been saying that for 2 years now) to move to South America where we can live out our dreams with less of everything, and more of everything.
    As a side note I kept bees for about 8 years until we started our preparations for the “Big move” and I sold all my hives a year ago. I kept my extractor and tools which is a nice motorized Dadant stanless model that I bought used for 1/4 what it was new in perfect shape. There is a supply company in Saluda NC near Tryon, Holbert bee supply that sells used equip at a deal. Word of advice… do not buy a hand crank extractor. WIth the motorized model it took us 5 hours to do all of our hives.

    Also I am supprised you do not have Chickens? We just ordered some Buff Brahma chicks to refresh our flock. 8 eggs a day keeps our boys fed.

    Love the web page

    Sursom Corda

    Jim Dorchak

    • wmclaa says:

      Of course we have chickens…but you don’t need a farm to have chickens. I don’t even think about the chickens when I think about the farm.

    • Jackie says:

      Jim, God bless you on your BIG MOVE and a big one it is. Would you mind sharing with us how you decided to move to S. America and what you will do there?
      In Christ,
      Jackie

      • Jim Dorchak says:

        Sorry Jackie for the delay to the request. We are leaving the USA in June 2013. We are concerned about the financial future and saftey of our family here and our religeous freedom. So we are leaving. We know 8 families that have left the USA in the past 2 years. Also where I am going in SA it is so cheap to live that I will not need to work as such. $20,000/ year and we will be set. Jackie since this is not my blog ask wmclaa for my email and I will respond if he is ok with that.
        Jim

      • Jackie says:

        Not sure how to ask wmclaa for your email. I would love to write you though to find out more about your move and the others that have already moved there. Would be glad to give you my email but dont know how. I am not that familiar with this website but saw it on catholichomesteading.com website and have enjoyed reading..
        Jackie

      • Jim Dorchak says:

        Ok well my email is jim@sccompass.com. Drop me a email and I will send you my phone number and I can give you a gab. Thanks to wmclaa in advance.

  3. Jackie says:

    Just wondering if you offer any apprenticeships for young adults? We have a daughter that has grown up on a farm and worked a CSA all summer. She is wanting to do some kind of mission work in a Catholic community.
    God bless you all,

  4. Michael My name is Bill Welsch and along with my wife Sharon we operate “The Lord’s Harvest” in Madison County, NC. I recently purchased a Grist Mill to grind corn into meal for the hungry. Everything we grow and harvest goes to the hungry in Madison county. I saw an article that you wrote in November 2011 concerning small grain bins and you mentioned a company in the article that sells them and installs them. Sir would you please provide me the company’s name and telephone number. I need that 3 ton bin because I am going to be grinding approximately 3 tons of corn per month. Thanks so much. I am new to your blog but I look forward to reading it. God Bless. Bill Welsch my email is williamwelsch@charter.net.

    • wmclaa says:

      Dear Mr. Welsch,

      The company is:

      Griffin Farm Machine Co Inc
      6022 Unionville Brief Road
      Monroe, NC 28110-9412
      Phone: (704) 753-1720

      God bless your work!
      Wm. Michael

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