Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Dirty Life!

Did you know that I was raised on a farm? Yup. It wasn't a huge farm where our whole livelihood depended upon but, rather, a place for my dad to teach his sons to work! We had a big barn, a couple of cows, some chickens, lots of sheep, barn cats, mice, and a horse or two. I have many fond memories of bottle feeding the lambs and having them shake my whole body as they sucked the milk. The touch of those warm eggs straight from the hen is a sensation I will always remember.

One night, I was about seven or eight, in the wee hours, my pops woke me up and told me to come with him. A ewe was giving birth and wanted me to "help" him. It was, up to that point, the most amazing thing I had ever witnessed. I was horrified when Dad slapped on an elbow length glove and shoved his hand into that sheep to grab ahold of the lamb. He actually pulled it out. All of this took place on the soft hay under the warmth of one lightbulb. That was a feeling I will never ever forget.

My parents had an enormous garden. I loved the gooseberries, strawberries, potatoes, lettuce, peas, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, raspberries (oh! those raspberries straight off the vine!), rhubarb, carrots, and radishes. We worked and worked and worked on that garden. I hated weeding, but we always helped Mom and Dad pull the weeds and harvest the spoil. If you've ever picked a carrot, rubbed the dirt off as best you could, and popped it in your mouth, you know what heaven tastes like.

I always pictured that my adult life would be exactly like my childhood farm life. It's not. It's not even close. I made a good effort when I lived in Lehi and we had a beautiful, large garden...until Clay "weeded" for me and pulled up my prize lavender bushes! But, that's another story! I really want to have a garden this year but I've got those dogs to fight with. I know there's a way. But, I can always find an excuse.

Until now! I just finished a wonderful book. It's called: The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love by Kristen Kimball. I LOVED this book. It is written by a woman who was a big time writer in NYC. She was assigned to write about local organic farming. She went to one farm in Pennsylvania and badgered a farmer named Mark. Then fell in love, started a farm together, worked together, fought with each other, and married each other.

I am taking away the eternal truth that hard word brings forth blessings. As I read each page, I was amazed at the dedication of this couple to their goal. I can do a fraction of that and plant a couple of plants...can't I?? I'll check in later. In the mean time, watch this video, then go buy the book and read it. You'll be glad you did.


Rachel said...

Reading your post took me back to how I grew up!! I so fight with myself on this one. I have such a pull to the land. Working the land, teaching my boys the lessons of hard work that come with having land, but I live in the CITY!

Admitting to myself that I couldn't run a farm with my health right now is a big pill to swallow as well. The Lord knows though.... it'll all work out.

Square foot garden. Very easy way to garden!!!! This year, I hope to add chickens to our 'farm'. :)

Tami Anderson said...

Did you know that Tina Mecham (the school's lunch secretary) is giving away her husband's chickens? You should check into it. She said they are good layers!

Rachel said...

I'm not ready for them yet! :D Have to build a coop first! Soon though. Very soon. I am bound and determined to have chucks this year. I wonder if she'd hold onto them for me.... Hmmmm.

Erin said...

Love this post too! Can you come over today? We can go out to our CSA (the closes I am getting to a damn farm anytime soon) and we can watch that one PBS special about the families who move out to the prairie in Montana.

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