Wednesday, November 16, 2016

And Just Like That, Everything Fell Into Place



When you step back and look at how much can change in a mere five months, you start to realize what a rollercoaster ride this big, beautiful, messy life is. Shortly after my last post in June, I was swept up in the mania of wedding planning; just now, almost two months after my marriage, I am starting to feel like my feet are on solid ground again.

In June, we successfully closed the deal and purchased our farm. So much work and so many tears were poured into the acquisition of our home, and now so much laughter and so much joy is being spilled into the foundation and roots.

We were blessed to find our 86 year old farmhouse that sits happily on eight acres in the hills of south central Vermont. We have a shed/workshop, an old horse barn, a cleared acre for our crops, and a large stream with swimming holes throughout the acreage. We are blessed.



In July and August, our lives became a juggling act of living in Massachusetts for the work week, traveling to our home in Vermont for the weekends, interviewing for jobs in Vermont and New Hampshire, and preparing for the wedding every second in between. It was a time of chaos, and the summer swirled by us quickly.

In September, we got married. It was downright blissful to stand across from my best friend, this man who I met almost seven years ago, and declare that yes, our love is forevermore. We celebrated with friends and family in an old barn in the middle of New Hampshire. And just a few days after the wedding, I received news that I landed a position at a college in New Hampshire.


In October, just a few weeks after getting married, I said goodbye to my new husband, packed the rest of my items and moved full-time to Vermont to start my job. October was a steep learning curve of impromptu snow, fallen trees, a long commute through the mountains, and learning to be "solo" again, even if only for a short period of time.

Which brings us to November, the month where we practice Thanksgiving. This year I have so much to be thankful for (and still so much to pray for).

I'm thankful for every moment, lesson, and experience I have on my land. I'm thankful for the opportunity to start my own organic farm and enrich the community. I'm thankful for the upcoming Spring and the promise it brings with new chickens, bees, and organic crops. I'm thankful for all the hope my life and heart holds.

What are you thankful for this season?
Have you had a season in life when everything fell into place?

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Call to Farm

Going through the process of trying to purchase a farm in another state has been an (almost daily) emotional roller coaster for the past six months. My head has ached, my heart has hurt, my stomach has lurched, and my soul has been challenged in every way fathomable.

People's jaws have hung open widely as I retell the challenges we've overcome and the multiple heartbreaking dilemmas we've faced in pursuit of a farm. But beyond the disbelief, the most common response I get after people hear our story is:

Why would you want to be a farmer?

Five years ago, I was called to be a farmer. Five years ago, I was also a career-obsessed city girl with next-to-no thoughts about agriculture or "callings". But on an impromptu date to a local farm for groceries, my boyfriend (now fiance) casually suggested we should pay for the dig-your-own potatoes.

The fateful day at the farm five years ago

It was an outrageously hot day that day. The blueberry bushes were picked over, the strawberries had come and gone, and the potato patch seemed like a lot of work for not much pay off. But I never backed down from a challenge, so I picked up the small hand hoe and started digging.

My first few swipes through the dirt, I punctured some potatoes with the tool. I looked up at the sun and realized if I was ever going to finish digging up dinner, this small hand hoe would be no help. I tossed the tool to the side and dug my hands into the rich earth.

That was the moment. That's when it all began to change. It was almost as though time stood still while I began to dig, and dig... and dig. I could hear the muffled chatter of my boyfriend in the background, but I couldn't make out the words.

I felt my soul vibrating with a happiness I hadn't felt before. There was something familiar and nurturing about the warmth of the soil and the simplicity of the task. In the blink of an eye, the box was brimming to the top with freshly dug potatoes and I realized I didn't want to stop.

I turned to look over the farm and saw the sun lowering in anticipation of the sunset, warming the seemingly infinite farming fields with gold and pink hues. I heard the air softly rustle through the almost-barren blueberry bushes, and watched as the goats were led to their overnight barn as the day began to come to an end.

Over the next few days, I continued to feel a tug at my heart. I felt urged to return to a simpler time; a time that I had never lived through before, but just knew that it would be good at its core. Every pass by the window, it was as if the sun was prompting me:

Be free.
Go outside.
Be barefoot.
Walk in the dirt.
Put your hands in the earth.
Feel the warmth of the world.

That's when I knew I couldn't turn away from the knowledge that was planted like a seed deep within my soul. I was meant to be outside. I was meant to return to simpler times. I was meant to feed people in a poor community and teach them how to self-sustain. I, the city-loving career-climbing girl, was meant to be a farmer.

And I've never looked back since.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Coffee Date {01}


If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask you what your greatest joy is lately. Maybe it's just me, but during times of joy in life, there's nothing better than coupling (or tripling) that joy with more. Joy has been filling up every crack in my worried heart lately and I want to celebrate your joy as well.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask us to skip over all the sadness in the news -- just for today. It's not that it isn't deserving of time, discussion, and prayers, but life is already filled with so much despair. Some moments, like coffee dates, need to be reserved for sunshine and bliss (always with silent prayers for unspeakable acts.)

If we were on a coffee date, I'd gush about being so close to reaching the first chapter my dreams. In just four days, I will officially be a farm owner in Vermont, a dream that took its roots in childhood. I'd smile my way through our conversation about choosing chicken breeds and planning ways to remove 86-year-old wallpaper. (I usually don't gush about much, but this is an extra special occasion!)

If we were on a coffee date, I'd want to hear all about your summer plans. Where are you going? What are you going to experience? What do you plan to see? My farm will have us busy all summer with no vacation in sight, so I'd like to hear all about your adventures to satiate my wanderlust-filled heart.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you that everything always works itself out (one way or another). Whether we are happy, sad, worried, confused, lost, excited... everything always has a way of working itself out. In the meantime, we should reserve our energy for beautiful moments in life, like this coffee date.

{linking up with Mr. Thomas & Me}

Friday, June 10, 2016

A Fresh Start

Many times when we lose something in life, it's actually a way of making room for something new. After losing years' worth of writing from my old domain, Belong With Wildflowers, I felt a deep sense of loss. Even if words are just words, it's difficult to say goodbye to a portion of your life... thoughts and feelings that you can't ever get back in their entirety.

But, this loss seems fitting. Years worth of writing, thoughts, and dreams slowly slipped away just as an old way of life is slowly fading. Instead of writing about my dreams of being a farmer, I am one week away from starting that new reality.

In one week, I will...
Own a farmhouse.
Own eight acres of land.
See years of work and determination come to fruition.
Be able to start my dreams.

The journey is just starting, so how fitting to be pushed into a new place to share new thoughts, dreams, and challenges. I can't say for sure what's in store for my farm, but I know without a doubt how blessed I am for the opportunity.

Here's to one week and how it can transition a dream to reality.