“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
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.
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.
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.