In 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.
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.
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