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: A Beloved View

  “Sunset on Green Hill Farm,” 36 x 48 acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas Original artwork by Tonya R. Hengerer This coming May 8th will mark fourteen years since Farmguy and I completed restoration of our house built in the 1790s.  It’s my family’s ancestral home or family home place and was purchased by my great-grandparents in 1912. The reference photo […]

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The Weekly Bleat: Not Baaad!

Farmguy and I have had our little flock of woollies for about ten years.  And, while they are truly the spirit of Green Hill Farm, gracing its fields and pastures with their quiet beauty (with the exception of Hamish and his incessant baaahs for grain), there are a few things you may not know about these interesting and intelligent animals. To start with, their wool will grow forever.  A sheep, depending on the breed, can produce between two and 30 pounds of wool a year.  Also, one pound of wool can make up to 10 miles of yarn.  Besides producing lots and lots of wool, sheep have another special ability—they have nearly 360 degree vision.  Sheep have rectangular pupils that give them amazing peripheral vision; it’s estimated that their field of vision is between 270 and 320 degrees (humans average about 155 degrees).  This is really important, especially when you’re a prey animal…it’s like surround sound for the eyes. Not only do these woollies have special eyes, they have special lips as well.  The upper lip of a sheep has a pronounced groove dividing the left and right side, called a philtrum. Sheep are very selective grazers, preferring leaves and blades over stems, and their philtrum helps them get close to the ground.  This gives them an advantage over other ruminants who can’t go as low. And, it’s really interesting that sheep, who have such fascinating faces, are so observant […]

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