Skip to content
Feb 24 / Jamie

Were you raised on a farm? If not, how did you learn to do all of this?

No.  Neither of us were raised on a farm.  Jamie’s mom was raised on a dairy farm in Ohio (they also had lots of other animals) and her parents lived on a dairy farm in MO while her dad was in college.  Growing up, her parents gardened and canned when possible and always either had pets or were involved in things like managing a horse barn.  Mike was raised in rural NC in a highly agricultural part of the state.  His dad was the town doc and most of his friends had large farms.  They were regularly given produce and other farm products by the families they provided care for.  He and his siblings did tons of DIY projects while he was growing up.

Mike and I began dating during our freshman year of college.  We spent much of our free time camping, hiking, cooking, making things, etc.  We have always both been very interested in food, from techniques, to culture, to the growing of vegetables and fruits and the raising of animals.  Slowly but surely, we have acquired knowledge and experience through reading, watching documentaries, and visiting farms and farmers markets.  When we bought our first home, it was 300 years old, so much time was spent repairing and restoring it.  We also put in fruit trees and a system of organic raised garden-beds.  We had our chickens and tapped our stand of sugar maples.  We had cats and dogs.  Whenever we do anything, a good amount of research is done first, so we were always learning, trying to read from as many sources how to do something so that we could put together the techniques both ancient and modern that would work best for us.

Since moving here, the learning curve has been steep.  In every room of our house you will find books and magazines dealing with all matters of livestock husbandry, vegetables, fiber crafts, etc.  We also read a fair amount on line, the blogs and articles written by those who have come before us are inspiring and very informative.  The River Cottage books and television series have always steered us in the correct direction.  We are also now lucky enough to have developed relationships with a number of local farmers who don’t mind answering questions when they come up.

We are all very curious people in our house.  We all like to know the hows and whys of things.  We don’t mind asking people questions.  We also don’t mind making mistakes.  We use whatever resources are available to us; books, magazines, the internet, people, and our own trial and error.  Hopefully life will continue like this for our entire family long into the future.

Leave a comment