My visit to the farm: Dusty boots, dirty hands, and a happy heart!
This week I am so excited to share with you my experience visiting the Beiler Family Farm!
I will first set the scene...after a long car ride I turned around the bend to see the “Milky Way” street sign. As I pulled into the farm entrance the rumble of the dirt road let me know I had arrived.
I parked the car and a group of 15 piglets immediately darted across the driveway into the barn to meet their mama pig “Miss Fanny Bacon.” I stepped out of the car full of excitement and wonder as I took in the sights all around me.
To my left there was a pasture of sheep and free-range chickens, behind them there were rolling green mountains. To my right a beautiful white farmhouse, a weathered grey barn, and a large garden full of homegrown goodies.
I didn’t even know where to start exploring, all I knew is that I wanted to see it all!
So many wonderful experiences were packed into the 2 days I spent at the farm, I know I cannot fit it all into one news letter, but I will tell you about the most memorable experiences.
No time was wasted, I jumped right into farm life and followed along as farmer Jonas moved through the daily chores. It was a fascinating process to watch as farmer Jonas and two of his sons expertly and efficiently went to work. Watching farmer Jonas at work was like watching an artist at his craft. He takes so much care in every detail and patiently teaches his children at his side.
I love animals, especially baby animals and spending some fun time with the babies on the farm was definitely a highlight of my trip.
Recently a litter of great dane pups were born on the farm and of course I had to get some play time with them!
My kids and I made friends with the young horse named Andy, and much of their time was spent chasing after the ducklings. Which of course ended in them giving them promptly back to the mother duck who was not at all amused.
Much of my day was spent taking photographs of all the different products. It was so fun to combine my love of art and farm fresh food. Check out some of the new product photos on the farm store!
In the evening farmer Jonas showed us the milking parlor and let me give milking the cows a try. My kids even gave it a “shot” by squirting milk at each other and in their mouths!
It was a late night that ended with scooter rides in the dark and a popcorn party with all of the Beilers. Including homemade popcorn by their youngest son Chester and freshly made grape juice by Lydia, farmer Jonas’s wife.
The next morning, as the sun rose, I was surrounded by a world of clouds as a dense fog rolled through the farm.
It was magical to watch my kids run through the field with the sheep and chickens and disappear in and out of the fog.
As the fog lifted we continued with our photography work, and the kids freely explored the farm. They even pitched in with a few farm chores.
After lunch we were treated to a farm tour, and the whole Beiler family joined in. The Beielr’s led us through the pastures, past the bee hives and through an old grove of apples trees where some of the kids picked an apple snack.
Literally “over the hills and through the woods,” we explored the farm until we came to…..the cave!
Oh my goodness, I have to say for me this was the most exciting part of the farm trip! The cave entrance was a very small unassuming hole in the ground about 12 inches wide. One by one the kids all disappeared into the earth, and I impatiently awaited my chance to get inside.
I slid down the narrow passageway about 8 feet down and then looked around in awe at the large cavern I found myself in. The Beiler boys led us down a series of passages, some so narrow we had to army crawl and other so large ladders were needed to scale the terrain.
The ceiling sparkled in the light from our headlamps and the ground was slick and covered in a thin layer of clay.
We all felt so alive and had many laughs as we clumsily crawled our way in and then back out of the cave.
Jonas told us that he would spend time exploring that cave as a child on his parents farm. Now his kids get to explore that same cave, and I am thankful that I got to share in the experience too!
Day two came to an end by walking the cows in from pasture for their evening milking. It was a perfect ending to an absolutely perfect trip.
My time spent on the Beiler farm brought back many memories of my own time growing up on a farm as a child. The sights and smells filled me with nostalgia and brought back memories from a simpler time.
The nostalgia I felt on the farm though is something that I think many of us feel, or at least imagine when we think of farm life. It makes me wonder if we are nostalgic for something from our shared human experience or is it that we somehow romanticize farm life?
Is farm life the romantic picture we paint in our heads? I can only speak for myself, but I think people coming together, creating something with their own hands, and persevering through the good and the bad is a timeless romantic narrative.
Farm life can be messy, impossibly hard, and imperfect. It can also be incredibly beautiful, connecting, and fulfilling. In these ways farm life reflects all of our unique life experiences.
With dusty boots, dirty hands and a happy heart, I left the farm feeling more connected to nature, friends, and family.
I know I fell in love with the Beiler Family Farm, and I feel so happy to be able to visit and work with Beiler’s.
Thank you to the Beiler family for your hospitality, and for all the work and love you pour into providing people with nutritious hand crafted food.