Grit Blogs > Adventures in Rural Living

Pleased to Meet You!

Marie James head shotHello readers! My name is Marie, and I enjoy talking about the rural lifestyle. My husband, Jim, and I have always been “homesteaders at heart,” though most of our life has been spent in urban and suburban settings. We bought our first acreage in 1981, moved several times for job changes, and then found our “finally farm” in 2007.

property meadow pond forest 

Though they live elsewhere, our children and grandchildren share this slice of heaven with us. They come and go as they can, participating in farm projects and working on their own cabins and future home sites. Jim and I feel blessed to have great relationships with all our family members: the four that we raised, the four that married them, and our baker’s dozen of beautiful grandchildren.

Together we spent three years developing our property before Jim and I moved here full time in 2010. Gradually it’s all coming together. We now have a small home, a large utility barn, a chicken coop, and a garden shed/greenhouse. Two Maremma sheepdogs and a small flock of laying hens live on the farm all year long.

We raise meat chickens in the summer and have plans to add beef cattle and pigs to the mix. The family has planted an orchard which promises future fruits and berries. We have a nice sized vegetable garden and preserve some of our bounty by canning, freezing, and dehydrating. It’s a wonderful feeling to sit down to a meal that originated right here on the farm.

Dad haying 1940s 

A family of adventurers, we like to try new and old methods of farming, gardening, and homemaking. Our parents and grandparents set examples for us, and we desire to live close to the land and be good stewards of it as well. Now we’re seeing another generation follow suit as even our young grandchildren jump right in and help with animals and gardens.

Our projects reveal the engineer here, the administrator there, and creativity in many forms. The complementary interests and skills of all eight adults result in a myriad of ideas. We win some and lose some, with our share of projects that worked better in our heads than in real life. But we also see many successes and have a lot of fun.

baby chick in hand 

Though the farm chores and other activities keep us busy, I always make time for writing. With other family members I review kitchen equipment at The Homesteader Kitchen and share practical how-to’s at The Homesteader School. We also offer encouragement and tips for the urban-to-rural transition at Rural Living Today.

And now I’ll be writing here at Grit about our journey along the rural roads of life. It’s truly an adventure, and I look forward to sharing it with you!