I have been working on a photo documentary for a few years now. The subject is local natural and organic farmers/farming, and the concept is something that my husband Nick and I have been passionate about for the last six years. I am not exactly sure where it started… or how. All I know is that every day we seem to grow more committed to eating healthier and supporting the movement.
The focus of the project is to educate. I want to shine a light on what goes on from the farm to the table. I want people to wonder who grows their food, why those people do it, and what inspires them. I have already greatly enjoyed talking with a number of these farmers. I have gotten to know them and their families.
So… this week I have been inspired to finish up my project. To make my final rounds to the farms taking photos and to visit with a few of the “newcomers” that I haven’t visited with yet. I was briefly introduced to Amy at a playdate, and found out that she and her husband Joel have a pig farm. They raise the pigs to sell for pork at the Farmer’s Market, and Amy also makes scented soaps and other products. I contacted Amy again, and she graciously invited me to her home to spend the morning with her and her beautiful children.
I walked into a beautiful home and immediately felt the love in the house. They have two dogs that greeted me at the door. Her little girls quickly whisped me inside and started sharing their lives with me. They had just been eating breakfast so they wanted to share with me what they had been eating, what their names were, and how old they were. I was tickled by the youngest informing me that she was five and a half, when she in fact was not. They then introduced me a second time to their mastif, Moses, and quickly took me to visit their robot vacuum.
Upon settling in a bit, the fun began again. All the little girls put on their patchwork colored aprons and took their spots in the kitchen. They were helping their mom make an all-natural flea spray which they sell at the Market. It was so much fun watching all of their different personalities unfurl during the process.
Two of the little ones went to play in their room while the other one, Ella Jane, took me outside to feed their chickens. Amy and I got to spend some time chatting about what inspired them to start farming. She shared some of their life story with me and we discussed the faith that keeps their family strong. I was delighted to listen and share some of my family story with her. She and her husband both knew my husband, Nick. They went to school with him and hadn’t seen him since they were kids. It’s a small world!
After our chat, Amy went to wake up their youngest, Jack, and off to the farm we went. It was a delightful car ride with four kids and the Annie soundtrack in the background, while the grown-ups talked up front. We arrived at a small piece of land. The girls got into the back of the van and put on their boots and unloaded to go feed and see the pigs.
After the girls fed the pigs their slop they immediately found the mud pit next to the pigs’ trough. Two of the girls seemed to go directly for it while one of the little ones found her way to the clean area and seemed to delight in watching while staying as clean as she could. I can’t tell you how absolutely delightful it was to watch these little girls dressed in cute dresses and shorts and aprons covered from head to two in mud by the time we left.
“This is why we do it,” Amy explained. “It is because of the girls and the essence of family. We wouldn’t be doing this if the girls couldn’t be directly involved.”
You can see even more of this incredible project and read more details about this particular family’s farm and lifestyle at Heather’s blog.