Common knowledge shows that there is a mass exodus from rural areas into urban ones. I completely understand why. Cities offer every amenity one could want: restaurants, shops, parks, culture, diversity – just to name a few of the reasons. This really begs the question: why – upon graduating from college – would I move back to the area where I was born and raised and live on a farm, smack dab in the middle of corn fields. I could go on to explain all the different small reasons, but really, none of those matter. What really matters and what I think we all strive to find in life is a sense of home.
Home has a different meaning for everyone. While I knew a city would be an easy choice, and I do love cities, I also know a city would never feel like home to me. Like many, I thrive on the many interests and hobbies I have. While we don’t have an explanation for why we develop hobbies and passions, I know what fed mine.
My passion for gardening and landscaping came from outdoor work with my mom and grandma in our expansive farm yard. Pulling weeds and picking vegetables were accompanied with stories and question and answer sessions. Again, most kids would have wanted to be inside, but something kept me outside working right alongside the older generation. My love for baking came from innumerable short walks to my grandma’s house to make cookies. Our farms were about a quarter of a mile apart and this farm is the one I now live at. Cooking and canning was earned honestly from mom and grandma. In our house, after fruits and vegetables were picked, you simply had to preserve them for the long winter months and I couldn’t get enough of the action. My love for the holidays is a direct gift from mom. She made every holiday an occasion. The house was always warm from baking and you couldn’t have found any additional places to hang the decorations. That being said, my sister and I always seemed to find an open spot for just one last ornament on the tree.
A farm is much more than a house to live in; it’s a lifestyle. As a farmer, my dad believed he was a steward of the land and took that seriously. I now find that I am constantly striving to leave the land in a better state than I found it.
All of this is a part of who I am. It’s almost as if I didn’t have a choice in coming back home because home is a part of who I am. That is how The Gray Boxwood started. I have learned so much and am learning more every day. My degrees aren’t in horticulture or the culinary arts, but my knowledge has been earned from years of home cooks and farmers who learned what they know out of necessity.
The Gray Boxwood is a way for me to pass these passions on to you! Whether you live in a city center or have decided rural life is for you, I hope to inspire you with the projects and recipes I use in daily life. We can’t all live on a farm, but we all need farms in our lives. Now you can be a part of my farm. From the dirt in my vegetable garden to the flour in my kitchen, I’ll show you everything I love to do. My hope is that you will gain some new ideas and receive the encouragement you need to enjoy the seasons to the fullest.
From my farm to your home!