Welcome to my second post in the Farmgirl Blog-a-thon! This weeks topic is “What being a farmgirl means to me”.
The blog-a-thon is being hosted by my friend Tina over at http://gardengoose.blogspot.com. You can also see my previous post to learn more about the blog-a-thon.
I have talked on this subject a little before but I will try to go into a little more about my journey to farmgirlhood!
I really think my initial journey into farmgirlhood began in 1987 when my family moved to Vermont just before I entered the fourth grade. We moved from a crowded neighborhood in a fairly large Connecticut town to a large rural farmhouse in the Village of Quechee, Vermont! We were on 7 acres (which seemed like millions) and surrounded by land, land and more land. We could not see a single house from ours except for the distant farm house at the horse farm that bordered our land. Our land was full of treasures to be discovered and my sister and I spent hours exploring.
The rock wall that seperated our yard from the horses was centuries old and a place of fun and imagination. The pond in the backyard became the hub of much of our imaginary play. We played with our dolls in the stream, cooked “meals” of berries and wild cucumbers in the woods. We played cowboys and indians with bows we made from sticks and arrows left behind by hunters. We caught salamanders, snakes, frogs and tadpoles. We “fished” in a fishless pond but had fun none the less, even building a raft out of found materials. We got to see deer and fox and even giant loggerhead turtles laying eggs in the front yard. We once had pet Swans for about a day but they weren’t too happy in our pond and we had to return them to the original owners.
Kids in Vermont had a different appreciation for outdoor play. Video games had yet to reach mainstream popularity and cable TV was still a dream for most pf the rural people around us. We actually played outside! Most every memory I have of being a kid takes place outdoors.
I dont remember doing a lot of gardening but I know that we had a small garden at least one year. We even made a scarecrow and called her Matilda. The thing about Vermont was that most people gardened so we were constantly receving bags full of fresh produce.
As I mentioned in a post a few weeks back we did make maple syrup. This was one of the highlights of my childhood and I have such fond memories of it. If you are interested in learning more about our sugaring adventures you can read my earlier post.
One of my “heros” has always been Laura Ingalls Wilder. Every time I watched Little House on the Prairie or read one of Laura’s books I felt a connection to her. I love cooking and making things and loved to read about all of her adventures. I loved it when the power went out because we would play “olden days” and pretend we were the Ingalls sisters.
Early on I really began to enjoy crafting and creating. I was always trying something new wether it was crochet or sewing or just making things out of stuff I found around the house. I remember crocheting little fish with my friend Shannon. I remember when my mom gave us scraps of fabric and we hand sewed pillows and filled them with the soft fibers of the milkweed pods we found outside. We slept on the pillows that night only to wake up with puffy, red eyes and sneezing fits! One Christmas I even prepared a “how-to” video for my family with directions on how to make things from christmas ornaments to stationary out of old magazine pages.
My friend Shannon was also a huge influence on my love of the Farmgirl life. Shannon lived on a beautiful farm with all kids of animals. We spent hours wandering the barns, chasing cats, playing in the hay, and exploring the ponds. We used the old kitchen to cook all kinds of things. One fond memory is making bread in an old coffee can. We spent many nights sleeping on the sun porch and dreaming of our futures living on big farms.
As we got older, my sister started to dream about city life. While I was intrigued by the city I knew deep down I would always live in the country. We both moved away from Vermont and went to college where we both met our husbands. Amanda’s marriage took her to Boston, Rockton/Rockford, Illinois, Nashville and then back to Illinois. Although she now lives in a suburb she has always been much closer to the city life! My marriage took me to a rural town (population 224) in Arkansas! We live on 200 acres of land!
I love rural life! I love that we can have 3 horses, 4 dogs, countless barn cats, and 1 indoor/outdoor cat. We have plans to get 2 beef cattle and a milk goat in the next year. We are getting 3 or 4 chickens sometime in the next month or so. We have room to grow fruit trees, berries, veggies and herbs. We can hunt deer and turkey right in our back yard. If we were the squirrel eating type (which we are not!) we could hunt those too.
I guess it truely doesn’t matter where you live, you can be a farmgirl anywhere, but for me I truly enjoy the rural lifestyle. I enjoy being able to “live off the land”. Life seems a little simpler and a little less hectic. We can hang out underwear on the clothes line and no one will see it. We can let the dogs run free and they won’t bother anyone. Our rooster can crow at 2 am and the only people he will wake is us. Farmlife is good!
If you ish to connect with other farmgirls check out the forums at Mary Janes Farm!
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