Ever since visiting my cousins on the family farm in Colorado I’ve wanted to farm. And ever since meeting Mark in 9th grade I’ve wanted to spend my life with him. That I get to do both is amazing.
My Aunt Geri let me churn butter when we visited the farm, and Uncle Bill got me under a cow’s udder and taught me how to milk a cow. Most of my upbringing though, happened in the city.
Meanwhile Mark grew up on a hazelnut orchard in Oregon, and didn’t think he ever wanted to return to farming. We met in middle school, were married at age 20, and are doing our best to live happily ever after.
Mark pursued a doctorate in psychology, and has taught for 30 years. Since farming seemed unlikely, I went to graduate school too, and taught sociology for 20 years. As of this year I stopped teaching to devote more time to farming, and writing.
We’ve lived at Fern Creek for 7 years, and farmed it for 5. We added chickens so they would eat the larvae that would attack our organic fruit trees, and bees because we wanted to help keep the bee population alive and well, and knew they would do Great Things for our blossoming fruits and vegetables. Besides, we love honey.
The life of my grandmother, who preserved life in the form of canned goods, homemade noodles, home-sewn clothes, baking, garden, and chicken keeping, inspired me to want to preserve life, too.
So in addition to delving into the life of the mind and philosophical conversations about living responsibly and well in our complex world, Mark and I both love working in the dirt, tending bees and chickens, and observing how all creation yearns to grow. We’ve raised three daughters who are finding various ways to preserve life, and enjoy the company of our three granddaughters, who delight in Fern Creek.
Mark and I have written about some of that life in our first co-authored book, Dirt and the Good Life. Check out the link for photos and a sampling of essays we’ve written about life at Fern Creek.