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About Us

The motto for our farm comes from what we truly believe…to enjoy the garden and everything in it.

Just three short years ago on a crisp fall weekend, we began work on what we now call “The Farm”. A little 3 acre plot of land in the middle of Ohio, “The Farm” was little more than an overgrown thicket of small trees, thick brush, and a whole lot of poison ivy. After a long weekend of clearing the land with a small rented walk behind brush cutter, and a few painful weeks of dealing with poison ivy for Mary…we had carved out a little space to start our dream.


With four kids in their teens heavily involved in extra-curricular activities, and with each of us juggling our own professional career, we wanted to build a place to be able to start to simplify our life – and enjoy our love of the outdoors and all it has to offer.

Let’s set a few things straight right from the beginning on what we are not.

We’re far from “hippies”…. and in spite of our children and friends constant ribbing, we don’t wish to make our clothes from hemp. We’re pretty regular people, we still go out to dinner now and then – we love to travel, and the last time I checked – we still shop in stores for some of our food and obviously those non-hemp clothes.

What we are – are two individuals committed to a more simple approach to life, who want to be responsible for a majority of the food we eat, and conserve the resources we consume. We both came from great families who gardened, and both have fond childhood memories of working alongside our parents in the garden and kitchen. We remember homegrown meals, and great winter dishes made from the food we grew and canned in the summer. We both loved it, and strive to once again create a household that embraces those values responsibly. Simply put – to do things the best way possible for us and the land.

We have tried to incorporate simplicity and responsibility into every facet of “The Farm” as we slowly work on our dream. We grow most of our own vegetables now in a 60 x 40 plot that yielded us over 3000 lbs of vegetables last year. Our chickens have grown up to supply our family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers with fresh eggs every day – not to mention they give us great compost for the garden. This past summer we canned over 200 jars of our own tomato juice, pizza and pasta sauce, salsa, peppers and more. For us, we hope it’s just the beginning.

Our goal is to re-use existing structures and products and utilize new only when necessary – and to do so in a way that adds lasting beauty to the property. Too often the image of reuse and recycle conjures up thoughts of cardboard shanties and soda pop structures in what can only be called a junk yard. That’s a stereotype we hope to break with Old World Garden Farm. Showing that you can recycle and reuse with an eye toward creating something lasting and beautiful.

Our chicken coop was built almost entirely of used shipping crates we obtained for free. Same goes for our composting bins. Our “new” barn, was built over the course of a summer by reclaiming 2 turn of the century barns (one of which was my dad’s), and turning them into our Old World Garden Barn. Both barns came only for the price of simply tearing them down.

Our farm is and will always be a work in progress – and always with an eye towards good stewardship of the land and its resources. Last year we planted a small scale apple orchard and grape vineyard on the hillside – and installed our rain collection system from the barn roof for watering the garden throughout the growing season. This year we hope to add our recycled window pergola and a cabin to the property, along with a sensory garden for use by special needs children, a project close to Mary’s heart.  The ultimate goal is to hopefully build a house on the property, and live the dream!

Thanks for stopping by, and here’s to a more simple life!

Mary, Jim and the Chickens

The Farm – October 2012

42 Comments on About Us

  1. Gerry Rao // June 8, 2014 at 3:00 pm // Reply

    How do I winter over a rosemary topiary? I was told to put it in a dark closet till March then bring it out and begin watering it. I live ohio

  2. Have been following your blogs ever since finding them a week or so ago, and am thoroughly inspired and impressed from reading what you do.

    An idea for you::: If you would put your writings in hardbound volumes they would sell off the shelves.. There are still many (read: millions of) old-school people out there that do not “do” computers and would love to read about your ideas, successes, failures (if you have any), goals, dreams, and everything else you do. I would buy them, too. :)

    Keep up the good work. :) Jim and Mary (-Jane)

    • Jim – Thank you so much for the kind words – that really means a lot! We are actually in the process of writing a book as we speak – and hopefully will complete it this year – and i hope you are right that it will sell! :):)

      • I totally guarantee you that they will sell. Proof::::: Just look how well received your articles already are. I wish I was your publisher. Just put one of those beautiful pictures on the cover of each one of your books. Go strictly hardbound and resist the urge to do anything in paperback. Your writings have real class and for that there is no substitute. Jim

  3. Hi! I just started a new blog about our adventures in Western New York State.

    My first post just went up tonight. We have a long way to go! We are in the planning stages and your blog has been a great source of conversations and guidance! Please keep doing what you are doing! :)

  4. I found your site just the other day, and I have to say that you encompass what my husband and I hope to achieve (with the purchase of some land hopefully in the future!) with our lifestyle. We’ve already started a raised bed garden complete with 6′ deer-proof fence and rain barrels to water the garden. Our kiddos are much younger than yours (2 and 4), and we want to raise them knowing the process and responsibility of gardening/creating your own food resources.

    I am curious about your climate – I am in Northern Ontario (Canada) and our growing season is brief, so we face some challenges with longer-growing veggies. Can you comment on what methods you use to extend your growing season if that is necessary in your area? I’ve been through Ohio many times, but honestly I’m not sure if it’s anything like Northern Ontario :)

    I look forward to reading through your blog and receiving email updates! Consider me a new fan :)

  5. Just found your site an copyed your blueberry syrup recipe my grandchildren will love this. We are also live in Oh not far from you Knox County we also grow most of out good, an what I cant do my dear amish friends help us. We are not that old 60s but health has slowed us down. We try an stay withheirloom seeds an most of the time I start my own, that way I get what I like. Due to ms this year in my life we got our veggies at a green house an wasn’t pleased with the out come. I would some day like a blog my sons tell me to but I am not smart about the ciber world I am Old world . Thank you for your most wonderful site,

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