Green Hill Farm: A Retrospective


Ten years ago this year, my husband, Scott and I moved to the place where I grew-up. Although Green Hill Farm in rural Virginia is a 100-year-old family farm, the main house was built around 1790, the brick cottage between 1750-1775, and the farm was referred to as Green Hill as early as the mid-1800s. My great-grandparents bought this farm in 1912 and started Green Hill Dairy Farm. My grandfather was only 2-years old when they moved here, and his sister Florence was born in the main house in 1915. My grandparents were married in December 1933, moved into the brick cottage and continued with the family farm. My dad was born upstairs in the cottage in 1940.
I spent the first part of my life in an environment of beautiful scenery, mountains, meadows, fresh air, fruit trees, vegetable gardens, farm animals and most importantly, living next door to my grandparents. I have wonderful memories of watching my Grandma Rieley make black raspberry jam, shell butter beans with the colander on her lap, and cut flowers from my great-grandmother’s lilac and sweet shrub bushes to make a lovely bouquet for me to take to my 3rd grade teacher. I remember the smell of freshly cut hay and running around barefoot in the summertime catching lightening bugs with friends. It was only after growing-up and moving away that I realized how lucky I’d been to grow up in such a place. It was this love of family and memories of my childhood that inspired me to embark on the restoration of my family homeplace. It has been and continues to be a labor of love.


  1. Lovely Tonya. I love the fact that there is so much family history on your farm. There are not many people lucky enough to grow up living next door to their grandparents. It is wonderful too that although you went away, and carved out a totally different career, you are still dedicated to running the farm as well having never forgotten your roots. Lastly, how lucky that Scott is also dedicated to you and the farm and is working by your side. A truly wonderful first post, illustrated with those treasured photos, makes it all pretty special! I have loved reading your stories about life on the farm and all the work you have put into it, and I always look forward to seeing what you are doing next as there is always something going on! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your kind and generous comment, Judy. I feel very fortunate to have spent my childhood in such close proximity to my grandparents ( my mom’s parents lived nearby, too). There is certainly “no place like home.” Once I’d grown-up and had perspective, I realized how lucky I’d been as a child. Moving back to our farm seemed to make sense, and I was fortunate that Scott was willing and enthusiastic about it. I obviously couldn’t have done it without him. He’s been a real trooper at times! It really warms my heart to think that you, and perhaps others, enjoy and look forward to the stories and happenings of Green Hill Farm. 🙂 xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on fourth generation farmgirl and commented:

    This time twelve years ago, Farmguy and I moved into my family’s ancestral home, now our home, embarking on a life on Green Hill Farm; a life filled with mountains, pastures, sheep, chickens, and whatever dog or cat who finds its way here. I like to re-blog this post every year for new followers as well as myself. Sometimes, in the rush of daily life, it’s good to remember what inspired us to take this path. As I read this post and see the family members in the photos, my heart is full. And, I definitely remember the reason I’m here.
    I hope you enjoy this post and take a moment to remember what inspires you. 🙂


  3. So happy to read this and see these lovely photos. Your childhood really was special and how wonderful of you to continue the legacy. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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