Grit Blogs > Weksny Acres

Welcome to Weksny Acres

Eric head shotIn my heart I’ve always been a farmer. Regardless of anything else I’d done in my life, it was always there deep down in my core. It took nearly 29 years after striking out on my own before I was able to realize this dream. 

I grew up in the beautiful Pennsylvania Dutch country of eastern Lancaster County, PA.  well known home for generations of Amish and Mennonites in small towns like New Holland (my home town), Blue Ball, and Paradise.  During my childhood, I could walk outside our back door and gaze across the open fields of our neighbor’s farm, smell the freshness of spring and watch the crops grow.  I spent many a day roaming through the fields, investigating the barns, and catching crayfish in my Amish neighbors’ springhouses.  After a stint in the military, I went back home to Pennsylvania, until I started working with a small police department in rural North Carolina.  While there, I had my garden in the back yard, and even tried my hand at raising some ducks.  Every spring was a special time for me back then. It meant a trip back to Pennsylvania.  Even now when I think of those trips, the same image flashes through my mind…the image of cresting the hill and seeing miles of farmland in every direction, spread out like a patchwork quilt, with the telling smells of spring enveloping my senses.  It will always be an experience I treasure.  

PA Landscape 
Scenic Pennsylvania 

After Wendy and I married, we talked about the day when we could buy our piece of land and build our dream farm.  So when we found and purchased our property here, it became our turn to build and pass on this rich heritage to our children.  Our farming philosophy here is simple; if you heal and nurture the land, the land will take care of your needs for many years.  To me it is a matter of being a good steward of the land, livestock, and resources that we are blessed with. 

Weksny Acres is nestled on 3 acres in the north-central sand hills of South Carolina.  The home was originally built in 1856 overlooking a 500-acre plantation.  Being the history buff that I am, it’s a thrill for me to live in a home built during my favorite period of study. 

We currently raise American Guinea hogs, Dominique chickens, and Muscovy ducks as well as many varieties of vegetables and herbs. You won’t find much in the way of power equipment here. Not only don't we have much money, but we don't have that much land.  The implements that we do buy are mostly hand tools that fill more than one role. You might say that our "tool shed" is pretty sparse.  But that's okay; we have too much fun and enjoyment in getting our hands dirty.  I will admit that I love the smell of sweat and the feel of tired aching muscles after a good day of farming.  It’s a satisfying way to live.

We are in the process of expanding our little operation here, from the livestock, to our vegetables and herbs.  As we grow and become more self-sufficient, we want to share the things that we’ve learned with others who want to learn how to grow wholesome and nourishing food.

We are so excited about being asked to share our journey with you through Grit. It is our hope that you not only enjoy the journey, but that we might learn something from you.  Oh, and if you are ever in the neighborhood, stop on in and say hi.  But be careful, you might just get your hands dirty. 

cindy murphy
2/21/2012 2:39:07 PM

Eric, I have to correct myself (and apologize for not getting back to your question sooner). I did some checking on the Internet and found Dad was not from Pennsylvania Dutch Country, but much further north. He grew up in a rural area near Wilkes Barre. My confusion came from when I was a kid and listened to Dad, his brothers and sisters (there were 14 of them) talk about "back when they were Pennsylvania Dutch"....which I didn't realize until checking on the Internet the other day, was originally "Pennsylvania Deutsch", a term for German immigrants way back. That made sense....Dad's parents or grandparents (I'm not sure which) immigrated from Germany.....or from Austria/Hungary, depending on which brother or sister was telling which version of the family history. I really should verify all this - there's only one of the 14 left now, and the history might be lost forever.


eric slatt
2/16/2012 2:46:50 PM

I must ask.. Where did your dad grow up in the dutch country? We probably haunted some of the same places. :) The SC mountains are gorgeous too. One of the joys we have of living where we are at is both the mountains and the ocean are less than 4 hours away. I just depends on which way we turn out of the drive.


eric slatt
2/16/2012 2:44:12 PM

Thanks for the warm welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed my little post. I'm looking forward to reading more from you. Those tired muscles means a day well spent to me.


cindy murphy
2/15/2012 3:34:44 PM

Another Slatt! I enjoyed "meeting" Wendy through her first blog here, and am pleased to "meet" you too, Eric. It seems we have some things in common - ties to Pennsylvania Dutch country (my Dad grew up there, and I've heard a ton of stories), to South Carolina (my husband grew up there, at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains; I've heard a ton of stories), and dirt - my hands are always dirty, (during the gardening season; right now they're fairly clean!). Looking forward to hearing more about Weksney Acres.


nebraska dave
2/14/2012 9:18:36 PM

Eric, welcome to the GRIT blogging world. There are a great bunch of bloggers here that will keep you busy reading about all kinds of experiences. Those that have read my blogs know that I'm a firm believer in working hard and going to bed tired at the end of the day. I really don't have many engine powered machines that help me either. My latest purchase for the tool shed was a pick axe to bust out a chunk of concrete the size of a pickup box on my newly acquired property. Three hours of picking and pounding with a sledge made the hot shower and recliner feel real good at the end of the day. I'm looking forward to hearing many more stories about your farm/home steading experiences. Have a great day.