Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Everyone Needs a Farm in their Life!

I know a farm for sale.  It is a beautiful one in upstate New York.  It is the original Bedlam Farm and can be seen on line in Jon Katz’s blog (

Why would I recommend a farm to anyone?  It is simple.  Some twenty-three years ago we moved from our city life in Denver, Colorado to a three hundred acre farm in Orwell, Vermont.  It was one of the best decisions in our life,  just ask our children, who were 2 ½ and 7 years old at the time and are now 24 ½ and 30.  They are on their way to adulthood now, bold, determined, courageous, respectful and responsible young country women that value their connection to God’s finest creation, the land and hills, wildlife and nature.  Rural New York is only a step away from the green hills of Vermont and Jon and Maria’s Bedlam Farm is truly one of the most beautiful old farms I have ever seen.

Although we missed our family and friends in Colorado, we took this courageous, albeit, risky step and drastically changed our life style almost overnight, though actually it took us about five days to make the cross country trip in a big U-haul truck pulling another small van behind it.  I followed behind in my old VW convertible. The bottom had literally fallen out of my car the day before our trip and thus began our lessons in Yankee ingenuity. My most sturdy cookie sheet was bolted over the hole and we simply carried on with our plans.

After driving off into the sunset with friends watching, and stopping for our first break on the long journey to Vermont, the starter went out in the VW.  Being too hard to unpack the car to have it fixed, we simply continued.  All the way across country, my husband could be seen pushing my VW to jump start it! We learned to stop only on the tops of  inclines, making his push a bit easier and getting another lesson in practical living!

But what does that have to do with needing a farm? Like I said, a farm in Vermont was our destination and in good faith we took on the challenge and the biggest adventure in our life!  From organic gardening (A Tomato Is Born) to experiencing wildlife right in our own back yard-sort-of-speak, being the fields, hills and woodland surrounding the old farmhouse. We treasured every moment of this life, as did our children,  who never lacked for subjects to write about in school and we are all still telling the stories that we gathered during this experience!

We would be there still had the owners not surprised us by selling the farm, as we were almost permanent renters! We have since moved to a small town down the road a piece, shortening my husband’s commute to his work by a few miles and pulled down the shades on the windows,  as it was hard to look out and not see the beautiful fields, orchards and wild life.  Curtains were merely window decoration on the farm, as it was totally private and serene!

Whether you rent or buy a farm, farm life provides a rich experience not to be forgotten.  We will never forget the lessons we learned.  It changed our values and made us into people that we wouldn’t be now without such an experience. Our love of the land and stewardship of the earth with its wildlife and wonders of nature continues to be a shared value for us all!

My young children’s city interests in sophisticated life beyond their years was replaced with frogs and newts, newborn kitties, and climbing high into haylofts to take in a bigger picture of life.  Howling to call coyotes was added to their list of memories, many of which I was fortunate enough to be clueless about until later, but that too added to the thrill of their young years!

My girls became best friends, as their friends from school were spread throughout the country side and not next door or across the street.  Our farm road was so private that the dog thought it was the best location for soaking up the rays of the sun. Our kids watched their cat birth kitties, walked through puddles, ice-skated on the frozen wetland under the big old willow tree in our back yard, and enjoyed simple play and family times gathered about the cozy heat of our wood burning stove despite developing a bit of cabin fever every winter.  We all led a truly charmed life.

Our local small town held its treasures too. Memorial Day Parades with everyone in the town from bands to girl and boy scout troops participating.  Historical re-enactment groups, including The Green Mountain Boys were wonderful ways of learning love for American values and history! The local town band formed every summer, gathered any who had an instrument and could play a note to the village green once a week.  These concerts brought all who didn't play in the band to come together to enjoy a nice concert, connect with friends and extended family.  Just bring your lawn chairs, blankets, a picnic dinner or thermos of lemonade, your tiny children in their pajamas and your knitting or peas for shelling, and have a great time!

True communions were gatherings for Bible study while listening to the peepers in the early spring, or meeting at local ponds or lakes to swim and wade and gathering with friends.  These were rare moments, better appreciated when contrasted with isolation caused from lives too busy to afford many such breaks. 4-H groups thrived and showcased their life-sustaining skills of rural living at the local county fairs and a value for  excellence was taught by example!

So if you are suffering in traffic jams each day as you commute to work, are living with the demands and pressures of the city with little time to slow down and live, consider what such a change in location could do for you and your family.  More and more careers are done via computer and could be done in the country as well as the city…consider the fresh air awaiting you and the adventures to be found on a small rural farm.  Guaranteed, you and your family will never be the same.

Visit Jon and Maria's Bedlam Farm on line at and while you are there check out Maria's Full Moon Fiber Art, as well as Jon's books.  In his Running to the Mountain, I realized that we were not the only ones to find peace and serenity in rural living!


  1. Just beautiful Jane.Thanks for sharing this part of your life with us all. You are a great writer.(among other talents!) I really enjoy your blog. :)

  2. Thank you so much Cindy! It was truly an amazing experience. I am so grateful to have been able to live there, even if just for a few years!

  3. Well, if THIS accolade doesn't sell the Katz's farm, nothing will! I love your blog, Jane. You keep it real.

    My grammy retired to a farm in Middletown, NY when I was little. The best days of my life were spent there and your description of your life on a farm with your family broughtit all back. thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you for your feedback Suzanne. We loved our farm experiences. I truly think memories are the true riches in our lives. I am reliving these a lot!