I am inspired by so many things and people. From the Amish countryside to the Tuscany hills, there are people and principles there that appeal to me. Perhaps the aspects that I so desire are the same.
I am inspired by simplicity. In having few material items. More meaningful open spaces that are easy to care for and easy to feed a crowd in. The openness and simple beauty of an Amish home. The old worn villas in Tuscany where the doors and windows stay open, if possible, and streams of light and outdoors dance across the tiles of the homes filled with family and friends and wine.
An emphasis on family, friends, and spirituality from Catholic to Amish, a love for community, a devotion to family, a loyalty to friends, and a love for God all speak to me. To take the time to sit down and enjoy the company of those close, to pass a loaf of homemade bread, to pour another glass of wine or lemonade. To be interested and care about what is happening and to share in the richness of these various ribbons of people gifted to our lives.
Homemade food. Tapestried gardens, local, fresh, healthy farmed, real food. The taste of just pressed olive oil, or crisp kale from the garden, of earthy potatoes baked with cheese, or chicken just roasted with sprigs of rosemary and sage. Locally made red wine or glasses of refreshing iced tea. Things grown from our own hands or from a local farmer or artisan. Knowing where our food comes from, proud of its origin in the back yard, or from nearby.
Self sufficiency, or better, local sufficiency. A can-do spirit. I can get eggs from my back yard. I can grow a bit of wheat. I can put up vegetables. I can harvest my fresh fruit. I can grow mushrooms. I can savor my own herbs. I can….As my friend put it in a recent post when describing her grandparents’ farm, “The life of self sufficiency turned into a life of dependency.” Profound words to me as most of us have been born into a life of dependency. Being an incredibly independent free spirit makes me desperate to be able to provide more for myself and my family.
Arts and beauty. From paintings and pottery to home spun yarn and homemaking arts, I am inspired by them all.
Out here, folks do tend to move a bit slower, have less material items, and are comfortably Christian without the annoying evangelism. They are friendly, and community minded. I farm in town so that perhaps more people will be inspired to grow their own dinners and see that it can be done out here. I do have dinner with friends and close family often. I have many more arts to master. This will be an even better year.
This year in Farmgirl School we will be learning a host of new things.
We’ll become bee keepers. We will not be afraid of a few ten thousand bees.
We will create a corn fence around the front yard.
We will grow an entire garden’s worth of produce in five gallon buckets.
We will create a portable orchard.
We will learn how to be market growers.
We’ll show you how to start a farm from a business perspective and succeed with farm diversity.
We’ll be playing midwife and welcoming in new kids next month.
We’ll master the art of creating hard cheeses along with other dairy products.
We’ll be shearing large unlovey animals.
We’ll master the art of spinning.
We’ll color roving with plants.
We’ll create lovely fibers and then learn how to make sweaters and socks and they will be straight and even!
We’ll be hoping for farm hatched chicks.
We’ll expand the Apothecary garden and teach you more about natural cures.
We’ll visit a local Amish community.
We’ll host a food swap.
We’ll entertain more.
We’ll have some laughs, some mishaps, some roaring successes, and we’ll learn. Come learn with me.
Welcome to Farmgirl School. This year is going to be fun!