It wasn’t more than seven years ago, that day. That day we became farmers. We were a family of three, trying to take over the farm from my folks in rural Wisconsin. We had big dreams. We had big plans. And we had no idea what we were in for.
Three years of hard, hard work. Three years of amazing, blessed experiences. Three years of heartbreaking life lessons.
And it was over. We moved on to what we thought was the answer; a farm across the state. But that only furthered our life’s journey and heartbreak. Eventually we came back to the Fox Valley. We came back to live in the city.
We were no longer farmers. We worked with farms and local food. We championed those still in that noble profession. But being and doing and living what we were in the late 2000s? That dream was never revived.
Even when we moved back to the countryside, on our own plot of land and a home with potential … it didn’t seem that we would ever be in that farming life fully again.
Today, we are a family of six. When I last wrote here, we had just moved to our farmette and were settling in nicely. Potential with jobs and land and home were endless, and that hasn’t really changed.
Andy’s job has changed, though. He left Gourmet Grassfed and pursued his degree full time. Today, you will find him in downtown Appleton, marketing for a web consulting business and about as far away from the rural lifestyle as our “urban” Fox Valley will allow. I am home full time with the four kidlings, teaching them as best I can and keeping home and ‘stead.
We have chickens, of course, and five acres of pasture. We even have a pond! But we are not actively farming. We are, by definition, just living in the country now.
But I’m a farm girl by heart. You can’t take it out of me. I need the fresh country air. I need the wide open spaces. (I don’t necessarily need the Wisconsin winters, however!) So here we are, learning to live smaller. I like to think that homesteading is just a scaling down of full-fledged farming. We have a garden. We have livestock. We have fences.
And then there is the canning and preserving and foraging and fermenting and home improvements. There are life lessons learned with children in tow … and lessons one learns because the children are in tow!
So while I began blogging for GRIT in 2008 as a farmer, I will continue blogging for GRIT in 2015 as a mother and homesteader. Hello, GRIT-y friends. It feels good to be back.