Starting At The Beginning

Before I say anything else....
I have to say...
you guys are the BEST!

So many many much to say.
And although the rest of gray winter looms ahead of me...
my mind is full of ideas to share with you.
I cannot thank you enough!

I will try over the coming weeks to answer each and every one of your questions.
If I miss all means, nag me!

To quote something near and dear to all of us...
"Let's start at the very beginning....a very good place to start..."

Let's start with a little history...
and I will take you down the path to how this place came to be.

(Tracy...the farm was both fortunate happening and long-held dream.
I wanted a pig when I was just a small girl...and always had my hands and feet in the soil!)

Originally purchased with friends as a weekend getaway,
the farm began with 37 acres, a contemporary house, 
the A-frame guest house,

a 200+ year old log cabin, 

and a barn.

It was wild and wooly and uncultivated...
the acreage divided between woods and fields that were leased by a neighboring dairy farmer.

The more time that Hubbs and I spent here,
the more the dream began to grow.
It started with a garden...
a fairly big garden (at least it seemed so at the time)
 that was hard to take care of only on weekends.
The property had an old apple orchard, five blueberry bushes, and an overgrown berry patch
 that had been neglected for some time.

Over time, more adjacent land was purchased.

Eventually, our friends sold us their half of the farm.
With no interest in having or caring for two homes (an hour apart from each other),
we made the decision to move to the farm and live there full time.

The original house, however, was in slight dis-repair, was difficult to heat,
and not the style that we could have called "home"...
so we had it de-constructed for salvage and in its place built our log cabin.

This move occurred during the time that our children were in or out of college.
So... none of our children were raised here on the farm.
Most couples decide to simplify life once the children leave home...
not us.
No, for some odd reason this place called to us and we plunged headfirst into growing a farm.

It all started slowly...and over the next several years....

We enlarged the garden.
We got some chicks.
We added a henhouse.
We got some ducklings.
We built a duck hut by the pond.
We started bees.
We enlarged the garden.
We tore down old fences and built new.
We bought a horse.

We added a pony.
We added some guineas.

We started raising goats (fainting goats to sell) with Hubbs' sister Dr. Becky
(who, somewhere in the midst of all that built a house on 5 acres in the middle of the farm.)

We enlarged the garden.
We added more bees.
We planted 100 more blueberry bushes.
We built a grape arbor and planted grapevines.

We cleaned up the berry patch and planted raspberries and blackberries.
We added another henhouse.
We added more chicks.
We added more ducks.

We built more fences.
We added more goats.

We added the Littles.

We added 3 turkeys.

We enlarged the garden.
We added another henhouse.
We added more chicks.
We added more bees.

We planted another orchard.
We built more fences.
We added 2 pigs.
We enlarged the garden.

We added more chicks.
We added another pony.
We added 2 donkeys.

We added more chicks.
We enlarged the garden.
We started a second garden... the pumpkin patch.

We've had our share of barn kitties... that somehow find their way to us,
and pups to share our adventures.

Get the picture?

I warn you... things have a way of growing... and if you are not very careful and very thoughtful
about what you add...
your farm can get out of hand quite easily.

I am happy to say that although we have grown tremendously,
it is all still quite manageable.
We are not currently breeding any of our animals.
In fact, all of our males are now neutered... so things cannot grow unless we make them.

This spring we are adding more chicks,
building more fences and adding two lambs...two little girls.

Why do we do all of this?
Mostly because we love it...every square inch of it.
The work can be hard, but is never without its rewards.
The animals give more than they take from us.

We are able to nourish ourselves with fresh, homegrown organic produce,
 and when the weather cooperates,
we are able to feed our animals as well... from our own hay fields.

So often folks ask us what we grow on our farm,
and Hubbs always replies, "We grow love."

We believe that we are but "renters" on this earth and that we have the responsibility for caring 
for the land and its inhabitants for the time that we are here.  I don't believe that we own the land...
but rather having the deed to it gives us the responsibility of keeping it healthy and if possible for making it better than it was before.
We owe that to our children and our children's children.

So, I suppose if you want to know what my philosophy of farming is...
I would have to say it is just that.

I may not be able to make a difference to our country or to our world,
but I can make a difference here at home...
I can leave my little piece of the world a better place than it was before.
And along the way, I wish to share the love that surrounds me each and every day.

As for getting up each and every morning at the crack of dawn...
I am excited to see my "friends" each morning!
I will admit, though, in the winter time, when it is freezing outside...
it's just a little more difficult to get out of bed.
But, once outside....the bed is quickly forgotten!


Portia said…
How lovely. Thank you for sharing your history.
This N That said…
Beautiful trip down memory lane..Made me a little teary. So much in less than ten years...Love you.
colleen said…
Everyone needs a good dose of Bee Haven Acres everyday!! I even found myself singing..e-i-e-i-o! Thanks so much for sharing.
Bee Haven Bev said…
Actually it is just over 12 years since I planted the first garden. My how time flies!
Junebug said…
What a fun trip down memory lane! Love the pictures and especially the barn and my love, Saddie, Hugs!!
Unknown said…
What a wonderful post. I found you when you were just completing building your home. So glad I did!
Anonymous said…
Thank you very much for sharing your life in this space so faithfully. You inspire me!
You are a perfect example of ~ It's never too late~ and to always follow your dreams. What a great post.
Loved reading on how it all started... Thank you so much for sharing...
Anonymous said…
What a beautiful presentation of your piece of Heaven on Earth ... I just think and have stated as such ... that your place is just so clean and beautiful! I always look forward to coming for a visit every morning! Thank you for sharing your place with all of us!

Marcia in CO
jaz@octoberfarm said…
what a great story. you can see the love you pour into bee haven acres!
Melanie said…
I LOVE reading your blog. Thank you for sharing your story! Now if you could just teach me to knit as well as you do... :)
Country Gal said…
Awesome ! I so enjoyed this post today all though I enjoy every post lol It really is a blessing to be on a farm with all the wonderful animals and gardens about . I remember how I felt when I was on our hobby farm that I was raised on every week day I couldn't wait to get home from school to be with my friends the animals and on weekends and summer vacation I was out there from sun rise to sun set with my animal friends . I do miss it all though ! I find now a days it is more expensive to have farm animals to feed them and looked after each year by the vet I think that's what scares a lot of want to be again farmers like me away now . I live the farm life I want back through you now until we take the plunge which I hope will be soon . Thanks for sharing I really enjoyed this post . Have a good day !
Laura Sudderth said…
Beautiful post. I enjoyed it very much. Seeing those baby goats and the darling. I cannot wait to see pictures of your baby lambs. I have always wanted lambs.
Rita B Caldwell said…
Good Lord, you made me tired!!! Beautiful post, pictures and life!! I admire you and am a fellow farmer myself.
Oh what a delightful story of 'hope'!! and what an adventure you are having!! And you even share that adventure with those of us who want to be just like you--but can't!
For health reasons I should be on a farm like yours--
but--no pennies in the bank and no DH to help--so here I am in a Senior Complex--
Smiles, diandmissgracie
What a beautiful post! I can feel your passion for your lovely farm in your words.

Susannah said…
Thank you so very much for sharing how your farm became what it is now. I know you have to have some control or it can gat out of hand but seems like you and Hubbs have got it all JUST RIGHT! AND it is beautiful. You should be so proud!!!!!!
Unknown said…
You have made a very precious stamp on this earth, you gardens and farm are so beautiful and you have truly made a heaven on earth. Love it! Thanks for the history and a great post.
An American in Tokyo said…
Love seeing pictures of all the farm family when they were young!!
Looking forward to meeting the lambs next. =)
Keep the stories coming!
Lynne said…
I agree with lovely . . .
Thank you for telling your story . . .
Keneth Parish said…
Loved the story. Thanks for sharing with us, Bev! I felt a surge of nostalgia from how well narrated the story was. From humble cabin and barn, to paradise on earth. I believe that you deserve some applause for your hard work throughout the years. The photos look absolutely stunning too!

Keneth Parish @ LionLand Marketing