Green Hill Farm: A Retrospective #3 — Faith

  *This post originally appeared in September 2014.  It is the last post in a trilogy titled, Green Hill Farm: A Retrospective.  I posted the second part of this journey yesterday as I am celebrating the completion of the restoration of my home and fifteen years of living on Green Hill Farm this month.  A kind thank you to everyone who took the time to read or re-read Retrospective #2 last week.   In looking back on the experience of saving my family’s homeplace, I’ve realized that not only was it a gesture of love, but more importantly, it was an act of faith. Faith, or wearing my rose-colored glasses as I like to say, sustained us through difficult times and propelled us forward. I don’t know where we would have been without it. At the beginning of this journey, shortly after my parents offered us the homeplace, my mom and I took a walk through the house. I remember walking through the dark, dimly lit downstairs hallway, the musty smell of rooms left undisturbed for too long, and cobwebs carefully covering yesterday’s treasures. I remember slowly climbing the stairs, counting each one as I went up. It made me think of Granddaddy. He once shared a story of the time his Grandmother Rieley visited when he was just a boy; She asked, “John, how many steps are there?” He quickly replied, “Sixteen!” He told me that he knew the […]

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Green Hill Farm: A Retrospective #2 — Perseverance

  *This post originally appeared in September 2014.  Farmguy and I were celebrating ten years of living on Green Hill Farm after the restoration of my family’s homeplace, and it seemed like a good way to start my blog, Fourth Generation Farmgirl.  Every May, I like to re-publish this post for new readers.  It’s an introduction to this blog, but even more, it’s a nice reminder for me of the importance of continuity. May 2019 marks our 15-year anniversary in my ancestral home. For those of you who may have already read this post, I apologize for its repetition; however, if you choose to read it again, you have my thanks. : )   There’s a sign that hangs in our vestibule or small covered porch that reads “PERSEVERANCE,” and it’s been our mantra since moving to Green Hill Farm. My husband and I were in our early 30s when we decided to take on this project. Sometimes when we look back at pictures we say, “WHAT in the world were we thinking? Were we INSANE?!!” Whatever the answer, it was the path taken. This path has lead us on a journey that has been difficult and challenging at times but rewarding and enriching, too. Anyway, we all know that anything worthwhile isn’t easy. Which brings me to the next piece of our story. The first day we visited the house after construction had started was surreal. It was a hot, humid day […]

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Eggs, Eggs Everywhere!

Growing up on a farm as a child afforded many wonderful experiences.  Meaningful experiences that shaped my values and inspired me.  I remember when I was about 6 or 7 years old, Dad decided that it would be nice to have fresh milk and eggs.  So, he bought a Holstein cow named Bessie and ordered chicks.  I remember sitting in our living room early in the morning before school with an old towel on my lap, carefully cradling a warm, fuzzy chick in my hands–marveling at its tiny body and feet as well as the soft, little sounds it made.  Every morning over the next 2-3 weeks, I would hurriedly get dressed and eat breakfast so I could hold one for a few minutes before the school bus came.  I loved those little chicks! As the chicks grew into hens, they free-ranged all through the pastures and even around the house; but, for some reason, though, they didn’t like to lay their eggs in the coop.  Much to my surprise and joy, while walking along outdoors, I would just FIND an egg laying in the yard or under a bush. It was like an Easter egg hunt!  After making the discovery that the hens were laying eggs all over the place, I remember enthusiastically running into the house and searching for my Easter basket.  “This is going to be fun!” I thought.  And it was. The hens free-ranged and laid their […]

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Heirloom Recipe: Tomato Soup

When we hear someone speak of a family heirloom, we may envision a pocket watch, silver teapot or even a quilt.  Recipes are also treasured pieces of family history passed down from generation to generation.  This tomato soup recipe originally belonged to my great-grandmother, Delia Crumpaker Rieley and dates back to the 1800s.  I remember watching Grandma Rieley making it during the winter months with juice from tomatoes canned the previous summer.  Last week, with temperatures dropping, I decided to make my family’s heirloom recipe for tomato soup; I made it in my great-grandmother’s kitchen with homemade juice from tomatoes grown on our 106-year-old family farm.  I loved being part of that continuity.  In taking time to carry on simple traditions, not only do we connect with the past, but we perpetuate memories that we hold dear. My great-grandmother most likely made this tomato soup with fresh milk from Green Hill Dairy Farm and the summer’s bounty of tomatoes picked from my great-grandfather’s vegetable garden. It is very simple, only requiring 3 ingredients; however, don’t let its simplicity fool you.  It’s delicious!  Just the thing on a cold evening–it really hits the spot!  Serve casually in a mug or in a bowl garnished with a little basil for color (my addition).  Oh, and don’t forget oyster crackers–the perfect accompaniment.  Enjoy! Heirloom Recipe:  Tomato Soup *Use organic ingredients when possible Serves 4 Ingredients: 1 quart tomato juice (homemade is best) 1 […]

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Green Hill Farm: A Retrospective #3 — Faith

  *This post originally appeared in September 2014.  It is the last post in a trilogy titled, Green Hill Farm: A Retrospective.  I posted the second part of our journey last week as Farmguy and I are celebrating the completion of the restoration of our home and fourteen years of living on Green Hill Farm this month.  A kind thank you to everyone who took the time to read or re-read Retrospective #2 last week.   In looking back on the experience of saving my family’s homeplace, I’ve realized that not only was it a gesture of love, but more importantly, it was an act of faith. Faith, or wearing my rose-colored glasses as I like to say, sustained us through difficult times and propelled us forward. I don’t know where we would have been without it. At the beginning of this journey, shortly after my parents offered us the homeplace, my mom and I took a walk through the house. I remember walking through the dark, dimly lit downstairs hallway, the musty smell of rooms left undisturbed for too long, and cobwebs carefully covering yesterday’s treasures. I remember slowly climbing the stairs, counting each one as I went up. It made me think of Granddaddy. He once shared a story of the time his Grandmother Rieley visited when he was just a boy; She asked, “John, how many steps are there?” He quickly replied, “Sixteen!” He told me that […]

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Green Hill Farm: A Retrospective #2 — Perseverance

  *This post originally appeared in September 2014.  Farmguy and I were celebrating ten years of living on Green Hill Farm after the restoration of my family’s homeplace, and it seemed like a good way to start my blog, Fourth Generation Farmgirl.  Every May, I like to re-publish this post for new readers.  It’s an introduction to this blog, but even more, it’s a nice reminder for me of the importance of continuity.  For those of you who may have already read this post, I apologize for its repetition; however, if you choose to read it again, you have my thanks. 🙂 There’s a sign that hangs in our vestibule or small covered porch that reads “PERSEVERANCE,” and it’s been our mantra since moving to Green Hill Farm. My husband and I were in our early 30s when we decided to take on this project. Sometimes when we look back at pictures we say, “WHAT in the world were we thinking? Were we INSANE?!!” Whatever the answer, it was the path taken. This path has lead us on a journey that has been difficult and challenging at times but rewarding and enriching, too. Anyway, we all know that anything worthwhile isn’t easy. Which brings me to the next piece of our story. The first day we visited the house after construction had started was surreal. It was a hot, humid day in June, and the grass was starting to need cutting. […]

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Friday Farm Favorites: There’s No Place Like Home

I’m truly grateful for this place…Green Hill Farm.  And, what I’ve come to realize is that no matter the challenges of living here, my love for this farm is constant and irreplaceable.  I love it for its enduring ability to lift my spirits, fill my heart, and give my life direction.  The very thought of it…is joyful.   I hope these photos of Green Hill Farm bring a bit of joy to your day.  Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂    

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Green Hill Farm: A Retrospective #2 — Perseverance

I’ve shared the Green Hill Farm Retrospective Posts a number of times:  A Retrospective, Retrospective #2, and Retrospective #3.  So, if you’ve followed Fourth Generation Farmgirl for a while, you may have already read them.  But, for my newer readers, this may be your first time seeing them.  I like to re-visit these posts every year, because they give me an opportunity to remember and feel grateful. These posts are beloved to me for a number of reasons.  They’re an expression of my thoughts and feelings about something important to me as well as my first attempts at creative writing since I was an undergraduate.  Most of my writing in recent years consisted of speech and language evaluation reports and IEPs (Individual Education Plans).   These Green Hill Farm Retrospectives reminded me of how much I enjoyed writing and were the catalyst for starting this blog.  Finally, these posts define my priorities and my path. But, mainly, they sum up who I am as a person. Whether you’ve already read the Green Hill Farm Retrospectives or if they’re new to you, I hope you’ll take the time to read them and enjoy the lessons in love, patience, perseverance, faith, hope….and a whole lot of tenacity.  Thank you. 🙂     There’s a sign that hangs in our vestibule or small covered porch that says “PERSEVERANCE,” and it’s been our mantra since moving to Green Hill Farm. My husband and I […]

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Eggs, Eggs Everywhere!

Growing up on a farm as a child afforded many wonderful experiences.  Meaningful experiences that shaped my values and inspired me.  I remember when I was about 6 or 7 years old, Dad decided that it would be nice to have fresh milk and eggs.  So, he bought a Holstein cow named Bessie and ordered chicks.  I remember sitting in our living room early in the morning before school with an old towel on my lap, carefully cradling a warm, fuzzy chick in my hands–marveling at its tiny body and feet as well as the soft, little sounds it made.  Every morning over the next 2-3 weeks, I would hurriedly get dressed and eat breakfast so I could hold one for a few minutes before the school bus came.  I loved those little chicks! As the chicks grew into hens, they free-ranged all through the pastures and even around the house; but, for some reason, though, they didn’t like to lay their eggs in the coop.  Much to my surprise and joy, while walking along outdoors, I would just FIND an egg laying in the yard or under a bush. It was like an Easter egg hunt!  After making the discovery that the hens were laying eggs all over the place, I remember enthusiastically running into the house and searching for my Easter basket.  “This is going to be fun!” I thought.  And it was. The hens free-ranged and laid their […]

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Friday Farm Favorites: The Beginning of a Journey

Green Hill Farm: A Retrospective #2 — Perseverance   “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~Lao Tzu (c 604 bc–c 531 bc) Tao Te Ching, Chapter 64 There’s a sign that hangs in our vestibule or small covered porch that reads “PERSEVERANCE,” and it’s been our mantra since moving to Green Hill Farm.  Farmguy and I were in our early 30s when we decided to take on this project. Sometimes when we look back at pictures we say, “WHAT in the world were we thinking? Were we INSANE?!!” Whatever the answer, it was the path taken. This path has lead us on a journey that has been difficult and challenging at times but rewarding and enriching, too. Anyway, we all know that anything worthwhile isn’t easy. Which brings me to the next piece of our story.  The first day we visited the house after construction started was surreal. It was a hot, humid day in June, and the grass was starting to need cutting. I could smell the fragrance of something blooming that I didn’t recognize, and the wrens were singing away–weedeater, weedeater, weedeater, tweet! As I walked toward the house and started to process what I was seeing, I felt sick to my stomach. The large, white columns that had stoically stood sentinel in front of the house had been removed from the front porch; and where they’d majestically once stood, skinny, dark, wooden […]

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