February 13, 2012 — Catawba River District Voices

“So I guess you grew up on a farm.” Inevitably that’s what visitors say when they come  out to our “farmette” of 8 acres, which consists of a large garden and greenhouse, horses, cows, chickens, goats and, of course, tractors. They couldn’t be more wrong. Chris and I grew up in regular suburban neighborhoods in Maryland.

The next few entries of our “That’s Farming”  blog will be a history of how our family entered into this sustainable, farming way of life in Huntersville. It’s a history that has numerous building blocks of learning and discovery, trial and error, mistakes and successes.

I have a prayer journal in which I had wrote an interesting entry soon after the birth of our second child. This entry was a “hope prayer” in which I recorded where  I hoped we would be in 10 years. I wrote that I’d like to see us living in a farmhouse on 5-8 acres of land with a large garden, some cows and chickens, making our own bread, canning vegetables and basically being self-sufficient. The entry was written in 1992, but was forgotten for a while as life became a blur due to our family growing by 2 more children. In addition, we also “birthed” an engineering company, our most unruly child!

In the late ’90s, our family was getting bogged down with the stresses of life and wanting to get out of the rat race. I had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism a few years before and was beginning to develop some severe symptoms. In addition, Chris and our oldest son were continually having ear infections, and our youngest son was needing a lot of breathing treatments to deal with asthma. I started looking into lifestyle and nutrition changes to enable us to be healthier.

Then to add another piece to the story, we inherited an antique John Deere tractor. Believe me… there are only so many times you can enjoy driving a tractor around a neighborhood.  Chris was itching to use his new toy on some real land. He asked a local farmer if we could rent some farmland to raise some crops.  And so the farming story begins….