As we do each year, we want to take time to wish each and every one of our followers from around the globe a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Blessed New Year!

merry christmasThis is our favorite post each December, as we get to find out about you, our followers! We ask you to take a moment in the comment section below and check in. Tell us where you live, and what you will be doing this Christmas. As crazy as it sounds, our little Old World Garden Blog now has followers in 265 countries and territories around the world. It gives everyone a chance to share a little of the world with everyone!

A Special Thank You 

2016 has been an incredible year for us. First, we had our first book, Growing simple published. And then somehow, it made it to #1 on the new release list for it’s genre on Amazon. 2nd, we finally built our Simple House and moved to the farm! We have so many, many people to thank for it! First and foremost, we thank you, our loyal blog followers!

merry christmas
The Simple House At The Farm

This may sound crazy, but writing our weekly gardening, DIY and recipe articles keeps us going. It motivates us to continue on and follow our dreams. Including something very exciting we will share with you all next week on the gardening side! (cliffhanger there ๐Ÿ™‚ ) In all seriousness, thank you followers, you mean more than you can ever know!

And we can’t leave out the incredible folks at Weaver Barns! Mike, Jonathan, Jason, Michael, Jon and the whole staff – we would never have built our dream of the Simple House without you!

The same can be said for our neighbor, friend, and foundation contractor and construction advice guru Craig Ratai. You are an amazingly kind and generous man. And to our family, friends, and all that have been there to help with all kinds of love and support – THANK YOU!

Merry ChristmasAnd speaking of family, there is one last special thank you we need to cover, to Mary’s brother Rob. Rob not only encouraged us to first begin the blog a few years back, but also was a huge sponsor and supporter of our book. So for us, it is time to return the favor.

You see, Rob, in addition to a successful career, is the drummer in a band called The Sunny Era, based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. This past week, they launched their latest album, Save Yourself From You. Congratulations Rob and to the whole Sunny Era Band! We couldn’t be more proud of you!  You can head over and see more about the band at : SunnyEra.Com  And yes, Rob – as promised, the name goes up on our chicken coop for 2017! 

merry christmas
The Sunny Era Band – with Rob in the middle

And to everyone we wish you the best in the coming year! Remember, Follow Your Dreams! Be sure to leave your Christmas wishes in the comment section below – Jim and Mary. To receive our Recipes, DIY and Gardening articles each week, sign up to follow the blog via email in the right hand column above, โ€œLikeโ€ us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. You can also check out our new book, Growing Simple, now available on

Merry Christmas World! And A Special Thank You From Old World Garden!

60 thoughts on “Merry Christmas World! And A Special Thank You From Old World Garden!

  • December 23, 2016 at 8:21 am

    So glad you enjoyed the snowfall pictures! Yes, we are right near Nashport, and I actually grew up in Lancaster. Small world! I’m in North Carolina a lot for my work, and it is very beautiful country too! Merry Christmas!

  • December 23, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Merry Christmas from rural NC. We live on 12 acres about 30 minutes northwest of Durham. I love reading your blog, as it is both informative and a slice of home. I grew up in central Ohio, with relatives all over Lancaster, Zanesville, and an aunt and uncle in Nashport, which sounds like it’s near you. Seeing the snowfall pictures this week was wonderful – thank you!


  • December 22, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    Merry Christmas from TX

  • December 22, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Merry Christmas from NE Arkansas!

  • December 22, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Merry Christmas from our family in Waterboro, Maine. We will be having Christmas at our house, since we are the only ones with children. We wish you a Happy New Year as well!

    The Angel Family
    Waterboro, Maine

  • December 22, 2016 at 8:29 am

    MERRY CHRISTMAS from our little piece of paradise near Hortonville, WI! My husband and I purchased a home on 7 acres surrounded by woods a little over a year ago. This is where we will settle in for the rest of our lives. Fixing up a 1976 trailer home with a built on addition will surely keep us busy! I make a lot of your recipes, I have tried several of your gardening suggestions, and I love your home idea’s -your blog is the first thing I read in my email!

    God Bless you & your family & continued success through the coming years!


  • December 21, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Merry Christmas from the Central Coast of California! (We actually live 50 miles and over the coastal range from the ocean, but our whole area is called the “Central Coast.”) I live with my parents and sister on 1 acre, but we try to utilize the acre as much as possible: we have a good-sized garden, around 30 fruit and nut trees, and (a new endeavor this year) 6 laying hens. I do most of the canning/preserving, because I’m the one who loves to do it, but I always have willing helpers.

    I love your gardening and canning/preserving articles the most, though I have enjoyed seeing your Simple Home project unfold. Someday, I would like to live in a smaller house with less “stuff.”

    After church on Christmas day, we will be driving about an hour south for Christmas dinner with my aunt (Mom’s sister) and her family.

    Have a blessed Christmas and new year!


  • December 21, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Merry Christmas! We wish for another wonderful year in 2017, for you Mary, Jim & family. We’ve enjoyed your blog since it started, and have learned a great deal. We moved to our place 20 yrs ago, on 40 acres, and had a beautiful farm house built on it, outside Bend, Oregon. We have had chickens, love them, and their eggs, since we started here. We have had horses, calves, and cows on our property, and must irrigate five months/yr. We’ve grown hay, but found that renting pasture to others has been a nice way to retire. We love our country place, with beautiful mountain, forest, and pastoral views, and our pond. LOVE the wildlife, birds, raptors, squirrels and chipmunks, rabbits and bunnies, deer, Elk, Owls, coyotes, even a Badger one year. I love my greenhouse, built by my loving husband, and our garden place. This was a life-long dream for both of us. Our children thrived, with horses and ponies, ducks, chickens, rabbits, pigs, turkeys, and other animals to raise and care for. Life in the country, on our own farm place, has been a blessing, great joy, and a gigantic learning experience for us. (We were both city raised!)
    We hope your dream will continue to be a source of growth, and joy, for your family too!
    Bob & Brenda King

  • December 21, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Merry Christmas Iowa! So glad you enjoy the blog and wishing you the best in 2017. Here is to wishing all of your dreams come true! Jim and Mary

  • December 21, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Merry Christmas Karen and St.Louis! It sounds like you have a great Christmas day lined up for this year! Best wishes, Jim and Mary

  • December 21, 2016 at 7:09 am

    What an incredible story! We are so happy for you and hope that you enjoy an incredible life in Hawaii with your bride to be! Happily Every After wishes from Jim and Mary!!!

  • December 21, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Merry Christmas Gertrud! So glad you enjoy the blog and wishing you a happy and healthy 2017! Jim and Mary

  • December 21, 2016 at 7:04 am

    Merry Christmas Georgia! May your small dream garden come to life soon – and so glad you enjoy our photos and articles. Jim and Mary

  • December 21, 2016 at 7:03 am

    Merry Christmas Michigan! It sounds like you have a wonderful garden, and so glad the raised rows are working for you! Here is to a great 2017 growing season! Jim and Mary

  • December 21, 2016 at 7:01 am

    What an absolute inspiration to read! I love that you built your simple house 43 years ago and are still enjoying it today! Who knows – if we ever travel near you in our speaking or book tours – maybe we can stop out and meet you! Merry Christmas! – Jim and Mary

  • December 21, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Merry Christmas Ireland! Thanks so much for commenting and letting us know – we love to hear from all the places far and wide. Wishing you the best this Christmas season – Jim and Mary

  • December 21, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Merry Christmas and safe travels! Sounds like you have a wonderful garden! And wow – five son’s – that is a big family! ๐Ÿ™‚ Jim and Mary

  • December 21, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Merry Christmas Neighbor and fellow Ohioan! Thank you so much for the best wishes and for following along our journey! Jim and Mary

  • December 21, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Merry Christmas Billy! Thanks so much for purchasing our book and for following our journey. Keep working toward your dream and let us know how you are doing! Jim and Mary

  • December 21, 2016 at 6:48 am

    Merry Christmas North Carolina! Sounds like you have a great place with the 4 1/2 acres – and a great Christmas planned! – Jim and Mary

  • December 21, 2016 at 6:47 am

    Merry Christmas Lisa! Wishing you the best in building your dream home in the coming year! Jim and Mary

  • December 21, 2016 at 6:46 am

    Merry Christmas Judy! Wishing you the best and that you can built that home on 20 acres soon! Jim and Mary

  • December 21, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Merry Christmas to you in Minnesota! Sounds like you will have a great family Christmas with 3 generations there! – Jim and Mary

  • December 21, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Merry Christmas! I am so glad you enjoyed the book – and it sounds like you have a wonderful garden and homestead. Hopefully the candied jalapeno’s don’t get any hotter! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • December 21, 2016 at 6:39 am

    Bless you for all the goodness you bring to this world. I enjoy reading and learning through your blog. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    We will celebrate the holidays quietly in Central Florida, and be moving next week to North Carolina, where we begin the first chapter of the rest of our lives. The hope is to buy acreage within 6 months so that we can create the dream life we’ve been talking about for ages.
    Love hearing everyone’s plans. So many folks, just like us, want a self-sustaining, peaceful life in the country. Continued blessings to you all…daisy

  • December 20, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Merry Christmas from Henrico Virginia (near Richmond). We live on 3.5 acres for 4 years now. We have a fenced garden of 20 raised beds. We shared with the deer the first three years. We also have 8 fruit trees, lots of berries and we’re trying almonds. Wish we started sooner. We’re in our 50’s. No kids so we hope to leave a self sustaining legacy to our nieces and nephews and their kids. Started following you from shared story on Facebook. I’ve used a lot of ideas and made many recipes. Latest was candies jalapeรฑos. My husband is the hot foods guy. He came home while I was cooking them. The cats and I were all coughing. I tried one and couldn’t taste anything for hours. He’s been afraid to try them. We will soon ๐Ÿ˜ณ Thanks so much. We’ve enjoyed the journey and I’ve enjoyed your book.

  • December 20, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Merry Christmas! Our family will gather in West Central Minnesota. We will be three generations, my parents, my siblings and my grown children and grown nieces and nephews. My three children live in the suburbs of Mpls so I will pass along your brother’s band’s information in case they want to try to see them. I have read your blog for quite a while, found it thru Pinterest (how to dismantle a pallet) and have been inspired ever since.


  • December 20, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    Merry Christmas from Green Valley, AZ. I am in southern Arizona in a small town, but have 20 acres south of here that I hope to build my small home on at some point. I enjoy following your endeavors, love your recipes and thank you for all the advice and tips you share.


  • December 20, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, you inspirational folks! We’re hoping to include many of your home and land ideas and implementations into our dream property/ build in 2017.

  • December 20, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Merry Christmas from Raeford, NC. My husband and I live on 4 1/2 acres. We love living in the country. I ran across your blog looking for a recipe this year as a matter of fact. My husbands brother and his wife are hosting a pig pickin for the family on Christmas Eve. May you be wonderfully blessed in 2017.

  • December 20, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Merry Christmas to you and Mary.I found your blog by looking up a recipe a few years back and have been following you ever since. I purchased your book and hope to someday soon have my dream home and little farm. I have always wanted to do it and am working toward it. Thank you two for all the inspiration may God always Bless and keep you. from Billy Ring in Stratford Oklahoma

  • December 20, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Hi Neighbor. Well, we’re practically neighbors, we live just outside Akron, OH. I’ve been following you for a while and benefitted many times from your gardening advice and recipes. I’m so happy you’ve been able to pursue your dreams and take us along with you. Best wishes for a healthy and successful new year.

  • December 20, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Merry Christmas! We live in Upstate South Carolina on about one acre of land with a huge garden, greenhouse and several fruit trees and nuts. We will be traveling to Virginia to be with one of our five son’s family! Thanks for your wonderful blog. I’ve been following you for several years

  • December 20, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Hi, I live in Armagh in the North of Ireland, have been following your blog for the last two years. Congratulations on living your dream!!!
    I help my husband run his business and also look after my two grandchildren,so kept very busy but enjoy life immensely.
    Christmas will be spent with family and friends.
    I wish you and your family a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.


  • December 20, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Just like you & Mary I am living my dream. I always wanted “A Simple House” . So that is exactly what we did. That was 43 years ago. We built a log cabin in the woods on our 10 acres of property & have been living the dream ever since. Things have changed over the years but I am still working my garden & living my dream. It has been fun keeping up with all that you are doing trying to make your dream come true. You are both hard working & deserve your dreams to come true. I am still living in my little log cabin in Pa. but have lived alone for the past 5 years & am almost 80 years old —but I am living my dream of a simple life in the woods in a simple log cabin. It has certainly been an interesting . Three children- four grandchildren -Three different business adventures & here I am putting another log in the fireplace & typing on my computer to two people I have never personally met but to whom I can certainly connect simply because of a dream for their life. God Bless you both & just keep living that dream !!!! Be Thankful–Dreams do come true !!

  • December 20, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I live in the metro Detroit area but garden on our second home property in Michigan’s thumb. I have a large garden of perennials and a big vegetable garden that I work in weekly during the growing season. Thanks to your blog, I use raised rows, have wood chips in my walking rows to help with weed control and plant annual rye each fall. I have built many tomato cages, some smaller ones for peppers and eggplants and have used lots of your ideas! Thank you for sharing. Again, Merry Christmas!

  • December 20, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Jim and Mary, my husband and I wish you a merry Christmas from Rincon, Ga. (Just a little north of Savannah). Someday, our small dream garden may come to life, but for now we enjoy your blog, pictures, how-to’s and recipes. May 2017 be everything you hope for.

    Ricky and Sandy

  • December 20, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Merry Christmas from the Piedmont area in NC. We will be spending the holidays with part of the family. Enjoyed all your blogs and ideas for home and garden. Have a happy and healthy 2017.


  • December 20, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    I have been a fan of your Blog for a long time and I have enjoyed the progress you have made on the farm. As of right now I live in N.C., But on Jan. 4TH I will be leaving the Homestead for good. I will fly to Iowa to spend a few days with Family and Friends. Then on Jan. 10TH I will fly to HILO HI. where I will retire and get Married! I’m 63 tears old and the Lady who will become my wife is 66. We first met in Aug. 1964 and have been in and out of each others lives over the years. I have Loved this Woman for 52 years! And when she retired to HI. 2 years ago, We started to talk on the phone every Friday night and I finally told her how I felt, She proposed to me that same night!
    So if you are wondering why I’m leaving the Homestead after being here for the past 9 years, I can start living “My Happily Ever After!
    Merry Christmas!

  • December 20, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Merry Christmas from St. Louis, MO! We will be spending Christmas Eve with my husband’s family and spending Christmas Day with my daughters and 10 grandchildren. We watch them open gifts from Santa and then spend the day enjoying each others company! Enjoy your holiday! Karen

  • December 20, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Merry Christmas from Humboldt, IOWA.
    You 2 are living my “dream life”. Your blog has given lots of inspiration in living simply, trying new recipes (always good), and gardening ideas. Love seeing your new home take shape.
    Have a very good new year!

  • December 20, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Merry Christmas. I’m in Oklahoma and will be spending Christmas with extended family. I love your house. Thanks for sharing so much with us.

  • December 20, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
    I look forward to your blog and love the ideas and inspiration I get from it. I’m a single young 72 and love my garden and yard. Unfortunately I live in bear country (one tried to eat my door knob this summer) so no fruit of any kind for me. I have 4.7 acres about seven miles in the country and the nearest town is a village of about 700 folks. I have great neighbors and friends and along with your inspirations keep me busy and motivated.
    God Bless and keep up with the GREAT blog.

  • December 20, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Merry Christmas from Vermont! My husband and I are looking forward to spending the weekend with his mother and aunt and sister and her family! We will ravel to Connecticut for the weekend. I love your blog and would love to downsize into a home like the one you built. It is just perfect!

  • December 20, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Merry Christmas from Michigan’s ‘Thumb’. We are looking forward to hosting a simple gathering with a few family here this afternoon and ‘skyping’ with my sister in TX: our first ‘virtual’ Christmas!

    You folks are such a joy to follow. I feel like if we ever met in person, we would all click and have such a good time sitting around a bonfire swapping stories.

  • December 20, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Merry Christmas to you and all of your family. I’ve loved seeing the evolution of your farm, so cute !! We live in the beautiful Pacific N.W. , Everson WA. We will be enjoying Christmas with our family and the first one for our grandson.

  • December 20, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Merry Christmas To All. May God richly bless you and your family and friends, both spiritually and temporally with more blessings then you could possibly handle for the coming New Year. BTW I purchased your book and sent it to my daughter in law in Minneapolis. It makes a great gift!

    Commodore & Teresa Collins
    Paragonah, UT

  • December 20, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to your followings! A very Merry Christmas and a beautiful New Year. We will be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with part of our family here in eastern PA and wishing our remaining family throughout the USA the brightest and best of the holiday season.


  • December 20, 2016 at 10:40 am

    We hope you have the best Christmas ever! May the world find peace in 2017! God Bless!
    Lexie & Bill
    Port Murray NJ

  • December 20, 2016 at 10:29 am

    WHAT A BEAUTIFUL HOME AND FARM YOU HAVE!!! I enjoy reading your posts and often look for ideas, recipes, and helpful info to try in our yard and garden…as well as kitchen! Originally from Virginia, we now live in a small area called Wildersville, Tennessee. As my husband and I both are retired now, we totally enjoy outside. Our newest addition, the pergola, with two swings is my place of reflecting how we are all so blessed! Birds and caring for them amuse me every day. I come to your site for new ideas to try in every respect, even though it’s just a small area….making it our ‘country’ home is fun…including the clothes line and squeaky screen back door….that I can slam if I want to๐Ÿ˜‚. Thank you for all of your helpful and guiding ideas and suggestions. Merry Christmas and may your new year…bring all of us new beginnings! Your friend and admirer…Deb from Tn.

  • December 20, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Merry Christmas from our little goat farm in Harrah Okla.

  • December 20, 2016 at 10:09 am

    My husband and I live on 5 acres in Scott County, KY. We are spending the holidays with family, watching some “christmas” movies, and cooking together all day! God bless you in the coming year!

  • December 20, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Merry Christmas to you and your family,

    My husband and I have 51/2 acres in a rural area of Central Alberta, Canada, where we completed harvesting our final crop of Rhodiola rosea in adverse weather conditions this fall. You are my example of how my garden should look and I continue to work toward that goal.

    We will be spending our Christmas with family. First at the home of our youngest son, daughter-in-law and their three precious children in Edmonton, then travelling to see my wonderful mother-in-law and finally coming back home to host our oldest son and my brother.

    We have had a year filled with God’s blessings and we wish you the same for 2017.

  • December 20, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Merry Christmas to all from Amelia county Virginia doing some farm work taking care of chickens and cows and going to work on another pasture it never stops but it is good be busy

  • December 20, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Merry Christmas from New Paris, Ohio! That’s southwest Ohio. Stumbled across your blog looking for garden ideas. I purchased your book, and can’t wait to transform my garden into a hill type like you two use. We live on the top of a hill here and the soil is poor, so what a terrific idea I got from you.

    We purchased our ten acres about four years ago, with a small house on it. The barn was literally falling in on one side, but we saved it! Currently still a work in progress there, but with the pond, woods and old gravel pit, we are enjoying getting back to the basics ourselves. Our children are all grown, and we are expecting our first grandchild any day now!

    Have a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy 2017~!

  • December 20, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Our very best wishes for 2017 and congratulations on all you continued to accomplish in 2016. You are both so inspiring, warm, sharing, and amazing. Thanks for you and your blog. From sunny, but cool Laughlin, NV๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

  • December 20, 2016 at 9:37 am

    I’m in Round Rock Texas and it’s36 deg this morning. We will be getting together at my daughter’s house with family for food & presents. I thoroughly enjoy your recipes, pictures of your farm, and watching your dreams come true! God bless you and yours now & in 2017!!

  • December 20, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Merry Christmas! You are and inspiration! Best Wishes from Ohio transplants!

    Navarre, FL

  • December 20, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Merry Christmas to you and Mary! I have enjoyed reading along your journey of building your simple home and the farm. I’m from Texas. We will be spending our Christmas at our farm in Palestine, TX which is three hours away from our city place. You all have been a big encouragement as we look forward to making the farm our full-time home soon. Someday soon, I hope to have chickens, a garden, and beehives. Thank you for showing it’s possible to realize your dream!

  • December 20, 2016 at 9:22 am

    I must say that I found your blog early this year, and have loved it so much! Living in the South (Georgia), we have our own set of problems with gardening, but probably a longer gardening season. We moved to a small “farm” early in the spring (only 4 acres) and have received great tips, recipes and gardening advice through OWGF. We finally have a place big enough to host family for holidays, so that is what we are doing this year. Thanksgiving was grand with everyone here, and we really look forward to Christmas Eve when the family will gather yet again.

    Thank you for your passion for the simpler life and gardening in general. We also wish you a Merry Christmas and the best of everything in 2017!


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