The motto for our farm comes from what we truly believe…to enjoy the garden and everything in it.
Just two 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 20 x 40 plot that yielded us over 2000lbs of vegetables last year. Our 9 happy 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. This past 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. Next year we hope to add our recycled window greenhouse and a cabin – and longer term goals include the use of solar technologies to help power our barn, coop and hopefully someday, some of our house.
Thanks for stopping by, and here’s to a more simple life!
Mary, Jim and the Chickens