HOMEGROWN Life: “The Seasons Guide My Days Now”

| 1/9/2013 11:38:34 AM

This post originally appeared on HOMEGROWN.org. 

Every day, when I wake up, look out my window and have my look returned by fuzzy faces, smiling eyes and the sound of morning crows, I laugh. Some people ask why I’ve chosen to, at a time in my life when I could be traveling the world, pin myself to this place. Up before dawn, each day a challenge or adventure, depending on your perspective. Days shortened by the demands of an unrelenting milking schedule, social life diminished to the point of no return, nights interrupted by another dawn come way too early.

But to me, choosing this way of life is a way of coming home. My family (on my Father’s side), were and still are all farmers. I wasn’t raised that way, Daddy married a strict Bostonian girl and we saw a lot more of Mom’s side of the family than we did the farmers. But, growing up outside Washington, DC, in our suburban home, there was always a garden in the backyard full of flowers and juicy tomatoes and even a compost pile. I would climb up in the sour cherry tree and eat cherries ‘til my tongue ached from the tartness.

My mom only baked once a year, at Christmas, a batch of cutout sugar cookies. Not one cherry ever went into a pie. Oh what I would give for those golden red orbs now! In my teenage years our family moved “to the country” to follow my father’s job. When offered the chance to choose a bedroom in our new home, I picked the one overlooking Mr. Beall’s cornfields and grazing cows. The weekend we moved in, the moving van arrived, followed by a dump truck full of manure. Daddy had already planned for a bigger garden. I’m sure our neighbors thought the Beverly Hillbilly’s had arrived. I saw it as Daddy coming home to his roots.

That first summer he planted a full “Victory” garden, with every imaginable vegetable, some I had never heard of like Bok Choy. If Mom was overcome by the idea of cherry pies, I was sure Bok Choy was never going to make it to our dinner table. But, Dad’s enthusiasm was infectious and we all learned to eat stir fry. The garden plot was surrounded with ever bearing raspberries and strawberries apple, plum and peach trees and marigolds, “natural bug deterrent” Daddy said.

Our roots really do speak to us in different ways but for me, I feel rooted in my family’s heritage of farming, even though I came to it much later in life and quite by accident. When my sheep come running over to me and Sweet Pea paws my leg because I’m not dolling out the apples quickly enough, or when I’m leaning up against the barn stall and quietly Barnie makes his way over and rests his head on my knee, I can’t imagine a life now that doesn’t include being surrounded by these warm fuzzies. I didn’t acquire my Father’s love of growing things, my garden is very small. I love that this property came with a history of  wild raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and apples, planted by birds and former residents.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters