Thursday, October 13, 2011

How I Got Here....

Quite often, when visitors come to our farm, 
I am asked if I came from a farming background.

"No," I reply.  
But I have to admit I think it is in my genes.
Ever since I was a little girl, I was happiest when I had dirt beneath my fingernails
and worms within my pockets (just ask my Mom!).

I grew up in a very middle class suburban family.
Sure, we always had tomato plants in the summer,
and lots of gardens around the house,
but we were suburban through and through.


On weekends, though, my parents would load me into the car
and set off on a country adventure
exploring the countryside, woods, and streams...


hiking, picnicking and foraging for nature's treasures
which we would bring home and use in some craft or display.


My grandparents are responsible for my love of all things farm, I believe.
My Nana and Papap on my Mother's side were country folk of
Pennsylvania Dutch descent.
They grew up in farm country, and farm work was in their blood.


So much so, that when they settled in a small Lancaster County town,
they tilled their entire backyard, turning it into one huge garden.
They were from a generation who knew self sufficiency and sustainability.
Nana picked and canned and froze and dried....
filling her larder and freezer with a year's worth of food by the end of each summer.
She knew how to grow a chicken, butcher it and cook it.

It was the trips to their house and the tours of their gardens 
that instilled my love for tilling the soil, planting the seed, and harvesting the food.
There was never a question in my mind....
this was how I wanted to live.


And so at the age of 22, in my very first "home of my own",
I started my first garden.
And pretty much every year since then I have planted and harvested.


It wasn't until the second half of my life that the farm became a reality.
Hubbs and I jumped in with both feet...
building fences and filling those fenced in acres with animals,
digging gardens and filling them with fruits and vegetables,
putting up coops and filling them with chickens, ducks and turkeys.


With lots of love and elbow grease and a little time,
the farm grew into what it is today....
our life's blood...
heaven on earth...
home.


This kind of life is not for everyone.
It is a quiet life, at times rather solitary.


But I must say...
time slows down on a farm.
You start to look at life a whole new way.


Little things become important...
the  hummingbirds' return in Spring,
fireflies in Summer,
purple asters in Autumn,
and the cardinal's red coat against the grey days of Winter.

 At the same time, other things become unimportant.

My life has come full circle.
My Nana and Papap would be pleased.

I am happy.


PS....I don't always have time to answer your comments, but please know
how much they mean to me.  You inspire me to write better,
take better pictures, and strive to give back some of that inspiration.
Thank you for that.
Life is so much more fun when you can share the joy!

19 comments:

HoboJoe said...

Speaking as a grandpa, born and raised on a farm, I can assure you of one thing. Your grandparents are very proud of you. Hell, I'm proud of you and I don't even know you :)

My Primitive Creations by Tonya said...

I was born and raised a Country Girl from down on the farm. I loved it and like you was always happiest with dirt under my nails and the quiet peace in my heart taht living on a farm offers. I think you said it perfectly! Its not for everyone but for those of us that farm life pulls on our hearts its the only place to be..One of the reasons I decided to move back to my home town and live on my brothers little farm.. As I grew older I missed it more and more. When the Rooster crows in the morning way to early I still smile, When the horses run & playin the pasture I stop what I'm doing to watch them, when the goat bleets for attention I gladly take a moment to love on her.When the barn kitty's are born I spend as much time as possible to show them the love of the human touch.When the Hen lays her eggs and decides to sit on them my anticapation grows as the day of the baby chick's arrival comes closer. then I make the best of friends with every little chic, soon to find them following me all over the barn yard or to my Craft shop where they know i will sprinkle a treat fr them to peck at.
When the garden is in full swing I pick a tomatoe off the vine and enjoy the warm sunshine in its sweet taste..Nope there's nothing better then livin on the peacefulness of the farm no matter the size it still has magic.

thanks for sharing your thoughts they refect my own!!

Blessings
Tonya

Country Gal said...

I grew up this way on our hobbie farm, my mum and dad came from England after the second world war my father was a soldier in and they wanted to farm and so they did we lived off of our land and live stock and mum also canned, jared, froze and dried as well we did it just like your Nana & Papa ! I am soo glad I was raised that way and have always been and always will be a country gal/farmer its in my blood as well. Wonderful post and photos. Have a wonderful day .

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

Beautifully written. I grew up in farm country in Iowa. I spent almost 3 decades working and living in the city. I never imagined I would end up on a little ranch with chicken poop and manure on my muck boots, driving a truck. But this is who I am at this chapter in my life. Full circle is good.

CeeCee said...

I was out of town, and so missed several of your posts.
Beautiful pictures of a life well chosen. I'm so glad you share the glorious countryside with us, your readers.
On a sadder note, I'm sorry to hear of Jacks passing. The circle of life is the hardest part on a farm.

Beverly said...

Thanks guys! And Tonya....you say it all so well!

sgtempleton said...

First things I do in the mornings after tending to the sheep and the chickens is to check for emails from my children and then drop by for a visit with you on your blog. I love your life and your pictures and your commentaries... and all your critters. Many thanks for sharing.

missy max said...

Enjoyed your post.You're becoming quite the photographer..Thanks for sharing...Always..and the laugh!!

kpaints said...

And thank you for sharing your joy! I love living the true farm life through your blog!!

pilgrimscottage said...

Lancaster County is a beautiful place. I lived there for two years, met and married my husband. I remember how enjoyable fall is there. We haven't been farmers for long, but I know it's what I'd like to do for the rest of my life, if God is willing. You have a very lovely farm and home.

Denise S. said...

You live the life some of us can only dream of.
I so enjoy your animals,gardens,writings,pictures,and of course your precious little grandson.
I have 5 of my own and adore everyone of them.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful life with all of us.

KatyDidStitches said...

A beautiful post, Bev. I love reading about your life on the farm. I'm sure it's a lot more work than most of us realize (and more than you let on, I suspect)...but the rewards are obviously bountiful. Thank you for sharing your little bit of heaven with us.

Kathy

Junebug said...

I love your photos and your story this morning. This is one faithful reader of your blog. I may not comment every time but I'm always here! Thank you for letting me enjoy your farm life through your blog and it allows me to dream.

Kelly said...

Well said! I feel that there is so much rushing around in our lives. In the end we drop into bed and get up in the morning to do it all over again. Now I get to sit in the pasture while the goats graze around me and the pups play.
That is a pleasant afternoon.

Karen said...

Beautifully stated! .... I grew up in suburbia as well, but vowed to live out in the country someday... which started with a move with an old retired racehorse I adopted.. from Staten Island to Connecticut. Since then, it's been horse farms all the way.

JeffJustJeff said...

You stated it perfectly. This could almost be my same story. I think farming is in your DNA. I don't think everyone would get the same feeling as we do having a farm. It's funny how it puts everything in perspective. After just a few months on the farm, I really know what is important now. I have a clarity of mind like I've never known. I know exactly what I want to be doing 20, 30 whatever years from now.

Jeri Landers said...

Beverly, I too, grew up in the suburbs (in Colorado). But, my dream was to live in that big ol White farm house with the huge red barn and the horses... up on the hill, just on the outskirts of our suburb.
I have been on my farm in Tennessee for 20 years now. Once a farm-girl, always a farm-girl. You are so right about the hard work, it is never done, but how could we ever do anything else.And when the days work is done, nothing compares to sitting out on the porch of a sweet June evening and listening to the peepers while the sky is filled with the twinkling and blinking of fireflies. What a life!

Tayet Silverspoon said...

I have grown up in the farming life and plan to have my own hobby farm when I'm all grown up. I want to have a summer home in Montana or Nova Scotia and live somewhere without harsh winters the rest of the time. I love the farming life, and always will.

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Bev this was a wonderful post. Yes I agree..your Nana and Papap would be very proud of you and your husband and all that you've accomplished. Your Nana sounds like my Grandpa...he LOVED his vegetable garden and my Nana loved her English flower gardens. They had a beautiful yard that was mostly gardens and people would stop by to admire the flowers. I could sure use her advice here on the farm. Speaking of the farm...you're very right in that life slows down in the country and I'm loving every moment of it. I could do without so much dust but I wouldn't trade it for town or city life. Enjoy your day!
Maura :)

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