Mothering

I’ve been walking around my childhood farm with my inner child, helping her say goodbye to all her favorite places, and get used to the idea that we would never live there again.  Decades later, the loss is as palpable as the day I realized they meant it – we were really moving, selling the farm.  It hit me like a truck.  I never recovered.  I never mothered that girl through the mourning, until now.

Under the maple trees out front is where I met her, crying, saying goodbye to each blade of grass under the row of stately ancients, who have stood with this house for over 100 years.

We walked.  First, into the harvest room, with it’s cool brick floors, where we processed chickens and canned beans in the big double sink; out here is where we ground wheat for bread that Mom made every week.  These are the big windows we opened from the inside to reach into the raised beds, cold frames that kept tomatoes safe and that we could get to from inside; there is the well under the kitchen floor; and out in the barn, climb the stairs and climb the ladder up into the huge bin of oats in the loft, the one they come and pour hundreds of pounds of feed into each year, where we swim in the hulls; over there is the straw and hay we bale each summer and put up. We are careful not to break them and we make forts all through them; down there is where we make the igloos in huge piles of snow Dad would make with the tractor bucket, with rooms so big we could make fires in there and sleep.  Across the orchard is our huge in-ground pool where I have my pool party at the end of the school year.

We are farmers. My home is a big white 1850s farmhouse on a hill, with the biggest swing set anyone has ever seen because Dad made it out of telephone poles.  This s my pony who is so naughty, but she is mine, and one day I will have a horse of my own, who I will ride with my beloved riding teacher. This is where I am from; this is who I am.

To be away from my farm is to not be myself.  How could I ever leave? How could I ever live without this which is my essence, my self, my core, my identity. I am Celia from Flowering Rod Farm.  What do you mean we are leaving?  What will happen to me?  You are ripping me out of my soil.  I will be lost, forever.

Woods, fields, farm, flowers

You are my home forever

I’ll never forget.

Finding Farms

We now have three farms with land seeking farmers.  I, who always wanted a farm, seem to be collecting them beyond capacity to hold!  I didn’t know it would turn out like this; how ironic.  I do not own them fiscally.  Their titles remain someone else’s, so if you choose to pursue, please know this is going to be a walk that might or might not end up in your name.  Some of the landowners are open to that conversation.

If you choose to farm someone else’s property,  I support long-term leases, and lease-to-own, in general.  Each situation is thoroughly unique and every single relationship as tender and tenuous as farming.

Contact us at the address which appears, if you are a farmer interested in a long-term lease in Orange or Chatham counties.   One farm is just north of Hillsborough, a large multi-acre lot with garden in disrepair, fenced, with access to water and a garden shed.  Micro-housing could be an option, but is not provided.  Another is closer to Chapel Hill, just over five acres with a liveable microhouse/shed. The third is a bit over an acre and a half south of Siler City.

Farmers, we honor that your investment of sweat and time cannot be replaced, that your youth and energy, passion and purpose all add value.  We know you tend to be independent sorts, and are not to be taken lightly.  Our goal is to keep farms on the landscape.  We will nurture this relationship as you go forward, and support legal and long-term wise business structures for sustainable relationships with humans and the land.

We are so grateful for your good food.