Saturday, January 5, 2013

Pushing Forward While Looking Back

I was looking through old photos and thought I would share with you what our farm has been and what it's becoming.
Just like off-the-shoulder sweaters, Biz Markie, and Manhattans....what's old is new again.
Our home's first owner, W.E.
Same porch, different rocking chair
This farm used to be a dairy operation.
Then it was just a family homestead.
That's what it is today.
My children are the 6th generation of my dad's side of the family to live on this land.
I've heard stories (and seen a few photos) of days when sheep grazed in the front yard, when the road out front was dirt and not paved, when the barn housed cows and pigs, and the silo was full of grain.
My dad and his grandfather Walter
From my own memory, my grandfather and my great uncles Howard and Dale had enormous and elaborate gardens on our property.
Pumpkins, the sweetest sweet corn imaginable, peas, eggplant, beans to snap, rhubarb.
Anything you can imagine, they grew it.  
We had a garden for a few years.
Nothing as grandiose as theirs, though.
I'm happy to report that my cousin Ellen and my father are keeping up with that part of our history at their own homes.
Ellen grows sweet potatoes that are as big as her own head and my dad is an expert asparagus, strawberry, onion grower.
But, our garden area is now enclosed in a horse pasture.
Gardens would have been seen here, to the left, and
straight ahead on the other side of the fence.
My dad recently stated that maybe we should build some raised beds for the garden.
Great idea retired guy!
A goal I've had for quite some time is to get bees on the property.
I took a class, before Zoe got sick, at the local community college and it was all about beekeeping.
Totally awesome stuff.
And we want to introduce chickens again.
Now, I'm not a big fan of the cluckers, but I am a big fan of eggs.
My dislike for them stems back to the great chicken attack of 1980.
Short version of that story goes like on the porch, eggs under a bush about 50 feet away, disgruntled hen coming around the corner, disgruntled hen on my head pecking away, me running around shrieking with said chicken still on my head.
Hence, I'm not a fan of fowl.
But, that wasn't as bad as the guinea hens that lived on this property when I was young that would roost in the trees and then jump down at us as we walked through the yard.
Awful beasts, really.
I won't even get started on my cousin Ellen's fear of cows.
Another day perhaps.
Anywho, I can tolerate chickens much better now that I'm a grown up.
I would love for my dad and Chad to build some nesting boxes/roosting areas in the barn for some cute and fuzzy egg layers.
Bees would be beneficial to my plants (for their pollinating properties) and for my love of honey.
I do worry though that my honey may have a slightly salty taste to it because of our salt water swimming pool.
Every summer the pool deck becomes a honey bee bar as they line up for a drink from tiny pools of saltwater on the deck.
What a bee eats a bee regurgitates and that's what honey is.
Bee barf.
Nice, huh?

Anyway, enjoy these pictures of our farm's history along with some pictures of what life is like here today.
My grandmother Dorothy and Ellen's grandmother Marie 
with the original second story.
This was probably in the 1920's.
I love this picture:
a party under the trees on the lawn in the heat of summer 
The original kids of this farm...
Dorothy, Marie, and Dale
May, 1931
The current kids of this farm...
Zoe and Gigi
July 2012
This is a lovely photo...the past emerging again
An aerial photo taken in the 1980's

I hope we are making them proud...


  1. I love hearing about history to a place, especially when one is living there currently. Sorry, but the story of the hen and guinea attacks made me smile. :)

  2. Great post and pics. It really must feel special to be living in that farm house and keeping it within the family. I hope Zoe and Gigi (and your grandchildren!) will feel the same way about it.

  3. Wow, that is so cool. I have no attachment to anyplace and neither do my Grandparents. What a real treasure!!!!