Looking back when I was pregnant with our first child, I wanted a house and yard that would be safe and fun to raise our children. A house with a white picket fence on a road with sidewalks and other homes filled with children to ride bikes with mine. But, on that sunny October day six years ago, I decided to take a different path with my husband and raise our children in a place that would become our own little farm. As a result, the children find it normal that much of our food comes from the backyard. Planting and harvesting food is simply a part of life. My six year old daughter gets the eggs from the chicken coop each day and helps to hang the laundry on the clothes line. I can send my four-year old daughter out for fresh herbs while I am cooking in the kitchen. And my little son helps me pick red tomatoes off the vine and put them in the basket. My kids love to “treasure hunt” and search for onions and potatoes buried in the soil. They understand that the chicken, deer and fish filling our freezer once wandered in our backyard, woods, and ponds.
I’d like to think one day when my husband and I are old, we will reminisce on these days of working together as a family and the day we decided to buy twenty acres of “potential” and live off the land. I couldn’t have imagined the opportunities and blessings we would receive as a family when we decided to go this path with our lives. A vision gradually became a reality we are now living and loving. We will be grateful for the decision that led to teaching our children how to depend on the work of their own hands, live a healthy lifestyle, and share what they do with their community. I wouldn’t trade my little farm for a white picket fence. But I’m sure my husband would build me one if I asked.