It was back at that small farmer's market in Ft. Benning, GA~ that one located in the side parking lot of an old strip-mall~ where it al began.
A young girl named Ashley popped up from behind her table with hands full of potatoes~ fingernails still lined with dirt~ and her sweet smile beckoned us to buy a few. That same sweet smile beckoned us the next week to but a few more potatoes and some eggplant too. The next week: potatoes, eggplants, and peppers. The following week~ join a CSA (community supported agriculture)? We had never heard of one... but sure! Receive a weekly box of organic produce picked just for us with a few recipes included? We would love that. And before we knew it, our relationship with the seasons, the land, the food we were eating, and our local farmers began to take root.
Over the next two years our relationship grew and we found ourselves in Washington state, driving each week to pick up a CSA box of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. We were harvesting carrots, wildflowers and tomatoes from our back-yard fence garden. We were watching Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage with his journey towards local delicacies in any and every spare moment. Evenings were spent dreaming of what life would be like: growing our own food, living close to the land, taking a step towards the slower way of life.
The house was up for rent and we were moving into a trailer with three acres (a trailer that was also home to 17 possums, a pack of rats, and black mold... but those stories can be saved for later...). Within a month we had a flock of chickens, a large garden planted, two goats, and two pigs (all brought home in the back of our Subaru Outback) and our life as wanna-be-homesteaders began.
We were in love.
Although our mornings began with the rooster's crow and our afternoons were spent chasing pigs and our evenings found us milking a stubborn goat, we were in love.
In love with the land, with the seasons, with the hard work that nourished not only our bodies but our souls as well.
The fresh eggs and swiss chard for breakfast, the fresh kale for lunch, and the fresh pork for dinner only clarified for us more and more: yes! This is the way we want to live. This is the way we want to raise our children. This is how we will choose to spend our moments.
Since our time at that farm in WA, we have fueled our passion with books, blogs, friendships, you-tube videos, and farm-visits. And we can't believe it's here. That it is now our turn to be the ones with dirt-lined fingernails and the smiles that beckon: come.
Come close to the land and it's seasons of harvest.
Come taste and see that the Lord is good.
Come and be nourished.