I sit on my front porch and I am surrounded by land that belongs to me. I live on a farm. It’s an awesome, and still surprising, realization. I’m raising dairy goats for milk, chickens for eggs, cats for…. Never mind the cats. I love the way our farm’s boundaries are defined in the old deed book at the county courthouse.
“Beginning at the road in the Schoolhouse lot, thence with the road of the ford of the run above the mill, thence back in the field about six rods to or near a small black walnut, thence to or just above the white walnut at the spring in the drain, thence just above and with the meanderings of the fence now around the upper side of the lot to a small sugar tree by the old fence going up to the cliff, thence with the creek to the branch below the ford….” And so on and so forth, including references to a pile of rocks, a stump hole and a dead hickory tree. Need I point out that of course most of these landmarks no longer exist? There is an iron pin referred to in the deed book that remains, as well as some survey flags in a few spots that were placed some years ago. We relied on the prior owners’ directions as to boundaries and the neighbors have been agreeable to the designations. Just being in possession of forty acres feels staggering to me–it is far more acreage than we will actually utilize, but the privacy it affords is one of its most important aspects.
I can walk and walk and get tired and still be on my own land. In suburban life, the perspective is more focused on the house and the yard. There is something so significant about land. Not its value in money, but its sheer substance. There is a weight to it, some kind of primal quality that is ethereal and tangible all at once. It has a life of its own, the land does. It teems with trees and springs, a creek and a river, wildflowers and vines, birds and chipmunks, raccoons and deer. It has lots of secrets I don’t know yet, and many I won’t ever know. It welcomes me and protects me, and it often exhausts me and sometimes scares me. It mostly tolerates me, though it will kill my car if it takes a notion. It expects me to know more than I do.
But it is also very patient with me. Land is longsuffering. It knows it isn’t going anywhere. It was here before I arrived and it will be here when I’m gone.
Honestly, it’s kinda uppity that way, don’t you think?
My great Grandfather Said” Always buy land, because they aren’t making anymore.” Beautiful Post.
On August 18, 2008 at 6:52 am
It’s hard to believe that very soon these beautiful woods of yours will be putting on their coats of red, orange and gold. I have six acres in the mountains of Virginia and I spent a few hours yesterday on a blanket beneath a huge grove of oak trees. It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.
On August 18, 2008 at 6:54 am
Reading your beautiful post, I am reminded of the scene in Gone With The wind where Gerald O’Hara says to his headstrong daughter,Katie Scarlett O’Hara “Ah, but it’ll come to you, this love of the land. There’s no getting away from it if you’re Irish”
On August 18, 2008 at 7:33 am
I think its totally a country thing to just feel that whole connection to the land you own.
heh we are weird but at least we can be weird in the privacy of our own land!
On August 18, 2008 at 7:52 am
your land is beautiful. we have 2 tiny acres in a spot in the road town and wouldn’t trade it for in town living. There is just something about the country.
btw: LOVE your goats!
On August 18, 2008 at 8:08 am
Oh girl, you are truly, truly blessed. and….it is so nice to hear how much you appreciate it. If only you knew how I envy how your view.
Tresh in Oklahoma.
On August 18, 2008 at 8:18 am
I’m right there with you Suzanne! I love my little farm! The only regret is that I have to work outside the home. I wish so much that I could work from home and enjoy the ever changing scenery more!
On August 18, 2008 at 8:25 am
mary beth says:
Beautiful post, Suzanne.
On August 18, 2008 at 8:26 am
It is so green there. We in texas are finally getting some rain and cooler temperatures but up in the 90s by the weekend. My grandmother had 35 acres in east texas before the gov put a highway through it in the 60s, leaving her with 3 acres. when she died, her will was a mess, so the old 1930 house still sits on the property that was not sold. too sad and too long a tale to tell. it was so nice to go visit, at night open the doors and smell the piney woods – no sounds for miles, water well, out house – until the highway cut through. but stil was an oasis
you are lucky – love the porch the best and your little managerie of critters – even in winter you can sit out and enjoy the snow with hot tea and afghan
On August 18, 2008 at 8:43 am
I often wonder about people who don’t feel a connection to the land. Do people in the middle of NYC ever feel it? Ever crave it? I often feel that connection when we go hike in the mountains, or walk on the beach, or even as I gaze out my back window into the woods.
I’d love to have 40 acres to connect with though!
On August 18, 2008 at 8:48 am
Shari C says:
What a great post. I love my small piece of property; it is mine to care for, relax on and enjoy…would not trade if for the world.
On August 18, 2008 at 9:08 am
Lisa L. says:
The land is gorgeous – what a view. And it is yours!!! I think the land is lucky that you returned to it. Lisa L.
oh and that’s great news about Fish Creek!
On August 18, 2008 at 9:11 am
Clover loves the COOKIES that you feed her when bribing her to be milked. That’s what she is saying in the photo!
On August 18, 2008 at 9:25 am
I grew up in town, but have now been on the ranch for 30 years. I think I might shrivel up and die if I had to move back.
On August 18, 2008 at 9:47 am
I have always lived in town, or on an Air Force Base…but I have had the opportunity to experience land, on relatives ranches, or on a friends farm…and LOVED IT. It truly is a gift – the privacy esp., and not to mention waking up to hear the animals, and look out over gorgeous scenery!!! The icing on the cake is it’s YOURS!!!! Must be an awesome feeling.
I am so glad those blogs were shut down! If you can’t get your own material, dont’ do one, is my thought – but don’t steal from others! As 52 would say “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”>Right? LOL
On August 18, 2008 at 10:11 am
Oh, and I LOVE Clover’s little milkstand!
On August 18, 2008 at 10:11 am
Debbie in Memphis says:
It’s beautiful land. I so envy you the peace and quiet that comes from having that much land with a gravel road that you have to drive to get to it. I miss my grandparent’s farm.
On August 18, 2008 at 10:21 am
This is what it is all about…Out of 7 only one brother does not live w/in walking distance..My 2 kids have their own places next door & I have 2 grandsons that I spend time with daily. Only have an acre set aside for animals (pets).
Just getting started on the animals. My first ones are 3 alpacas..Hope to add dwarf goats & chickens…I am retiring in 3 years, so I have my work cut out for me. But this is what it is all about….
On August 18, 2008 at 10:22 am
Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife says:
Ah yes, I love my land also. We have another piece on top of the Ouichita Mountains in Arkansas and I’m very attached to that land.
I’m reminded also of Pearl S. Buck’s, “The Good Earth”. The land is patient and not always kind. It has it’s own agenda which doesn’t always follow ours.
Re: The plagiarism situation. Anyone who is maintaining three or more blogs is certainly in it for it’s revenue generating possibilities. You know yourself that writing and providing content for ONE blog is daunting, much less three or more. It’s seems that “cut and paste” is the solution. Not a very good one though. If this person actually does maintain a brick and mortar business, she stands to lose her reputation and business.
– Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife (the other Suzanne)
On August 18, 2008 at 10:37 am
I HAVE A FRIEND WHO HAS THE ‘TINY’ GOATS. HE SAYS THAT TRYING TO BE PRODUCTIVE (MILK – CHEESE) WITH THE SMALL GOATS IS LIKE GARDENING IN A SMALL BUCKET. YOU NEED THE LARGER (MILKING) GOATS…..WHO WOULD HAVE THUNK IT?????
On August 18, 2008 at 10:37 am
Crystal B. says:
On August 18, 2008 at 11:00 am
Sure did enjoy your post about the land. We are 4th generation farmers/ranchers. We feel that way about our land, too. We live in a small farmhouse, but it doesn’t feel small because there’s a great view out the windows and there’s just so much land and sky! Of course, our view is different from yours, since we’re in Central Texas. I enjoy your photos.
Your place is truly beautiful.
On August 18, 2008 at 11:10 am
I think your land is beautiful and the way your farm has grown this past year is incredibly special. I’m impressed because I could never take on the responsiblity of farm animals.
On August 18, 2008 at 11:46 am
Teresa H. says:
I would LOVE to live somewhere like that!!!
On August 18, 2008 at 11:56 am
Robin G. says:
God, I miss that. Though I am happy to do without The Bugs that come with The Land.
And The Cats eat The Bugs. Sure, then they throw up The Bugs on The Carpet, but still, they’re useful in their own way.
On August 18, 2008 at 1:05 pm
Your words paint a beautiful picture. I know exactly what you mean by land having life of its own!
Congratulations on at least two of those sites closing down. :shimmy:
On August 18, 2008 at 1:25 pm
Kim W says:
Beautifully said. I hope you take a pic of that very same view in the fall so that we can see those wonderful colors. I just LOVE fall! My favorite time of year. I love *smell* of fall as I’m walking through the woods. :treehugger:
My youngest dd is a senior in our homeschool this year (our last year…graduating our BABY baby! We LOVE homeschooling!) and we are going to really try to become active nature journalists. I’m very excited…especially since fall is right around the corner. :snoopy:
BTW…I’m glad I could help get fishcreek lady off of homesteadblogger.com!! It’s too of a site to ruin w/someone like that.
Blessings from Ohio…
On August 18, 2008 at 1:52 pm
I bet your dad is sooo proud of you living on the family property and don’t you know this is a treat for HIM, to be here these two weeks and relive memories and enjoy the new memories!
On August 18, 2008 at 1:52 pm
Amy Addison says:
Great post, Suzanne. I’m so glad you’re settling into farm life, uppity land and all.
On August 18, 2008 at 2:18 pm
Beautiful post. :clap:
On August 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm
Alison from BC, Canada says:
Ah, the love of the land. How did the human race ever loose touch with it? Suzanne’s words, that “there is a weight to it, some kind of primal quality that is ethereal and tangible all at once” is so apt. My heart sings with joy at those words.
I live in suburbia, but as Shirley wrote in her comment, quoting from Gone With the Wind, “There’s no getting away from it if you’re Irish.” I’m Irish, and my vegetable garden overfloweth, even in suburbia.
My dream is to one day own a small hobby farm. While 40 acres would be amazing, I’d be happy with 2 to 5. Chickens. I dream of having chickens one day. Goats. Maybe a little Jersey cow. A little orchard with apples and pears and maybe a nectarine tree.
On August 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm
Beautiful post Suzanne…I can feel your connection to the land. It seems so peaceful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing it with us…you make me feel like i’m right there with you 😉
On August 18, 2008 at 3:45 pm
Cats for…catching little critters (mostly unwanted ones I hope).
On August 18, 2008 at 3:47 pm
Ann – where in central texas are you? I use to live in Bowie a very small town and my neighbors were cows, horses, a few chickens and great people. I now live in Mesquite. i like it but I miss th country and the neighbors.
On August 18, 2008 at 4:13 pm
Beautiful photos; can’t wait to see the colors change.
On August 18, 2008 at 4:42 pm
I love your farm so much, Suzanne!!!
On August 18, 2008 at 4:56 pm
Martha F. says:
I’m your age– this reminds me of a time in my early twenties..my boyfriend broke up with me.. he admitted that he was still in love with a former.. He said that he missed things like how she noticed simple things like how one blade of grass would differ in color from all the rest. What this taught me was that we are all blessed with simple pleasures, the gift is slowing down and recognizing them.. and lightening up and enjoying them. You my farm boot wearing country girl could teach a class on this.. write a book.. Your love of life is contageous…
On August 18, 2008 at 5:09 pm
Beautiful picture of your woods!
On August 18, 2008 at 5:13 pm
I always thought land was stoic. It’s been here before us, will be here after us and will always…BE. *G*
On August 18, 2008 at 5:55 pm
I love this post. And like you I love the land!
On August 18, 2008 at 6:46 pm
Two things I can’t comprehend…people who don’t appreciate our beautiful lands and people who don’t love dogs..
On August 18, 2008 at 7:07 pm
We have 20 acres and that feels like a lot. I can’t imagine 40. I’m sure it’s going to be beautiful in the fall.
On August 18, 2008 at 7:30 pm
Shimmy Mom says:
It’s so beautiful. I’m quite jealous of your land and I’m living vicariously through you as I read your blog.
I’m so glad to see the the plagarist is down, I hope that she has learned her lesson.
On August 18, 2008 at 8:43 pm
Carolyn A. says:
I second everyone who said they can’t wait to see Fall pictures at your place. I bet it will be spectacular! xxoo
On August 18, 2008 at 10:12 pm
I dream of exactly 40 acres. We just went from 10 down to 5 when we moved, which for me is the wrong direction, but hubs wanted a bigger house. Someday…
And speaking as a title company employee, that “legal description” both intrigues and scares the mess out of me. 😉
On August 19, 2008 at 3:06 pm