Friday, November 18, 2011

It Wasn't A Dream

I've been asked if I grew up on a farm, if I'd always wanted to live on a farm, how did I know how to milk goats, et cetera.  Any dreams I had as a Kid had to do with horses.  Raised in the very outskirts of (what was then) a small town in Southern California, my dad got my first horse when I was twelve.  A few years later, we moved closer to town and I got another horse.  That was my experience with livestock.  I can remember my mother saying she hoped I'd marry a rancher someday so I could get my fill of horses.

The idea of a farm arose when my four Kids were small in the mid 1960s.  Money was tight and their dad thought it might stretch farther if we could raise our own food, and he considered a move to acreage in Oregon.  I loved the idea of room for the Kids to roam and play and have animals.  There were no computers then to Google for information, so I sent off  a request to the Department of Agriculture and received two big manila envelopes crammed with pamphlets on more than I'd ever wanted to know about farming.  How to grow and then preserve vegetables, plant fruit trees, raise chickens, how to slaughter cattle and pigs (eeuw).  I still have all those booklets.  Hoping to make a lateral transfer to another police department, we took a trip to Oregon to towns where their dad had arranged for interviews.  While living costs were certainly lower in that state, so were salaries.  That pipe dream went up in smoke, but the seed had been planted.

Years later, married to Steve, the dream resurfaced for much the same reason and we also turned our faces toward Oregon.  We generally took our vacations camping up in Coos Bay and I loved the farmland around Corvallis and the Willamette valley.  I bought a wonderful big, thick book called The Encyclopedia of Country Living, which is chock full of great information on darned near every aspect of farm life, including recipes.  That's how I knew how to make goat cheese long before I had goats.  The timing was never right.  I've never lived in Oregon.

When we moved to these ten acres, neither of us had experience with anything other than a backyard garden, but I was as prepared as reading could make me, and there was nothing that Steve couldn't build or fix.  Sometimes dreams do come true.


Kathryn said...

I like stories with happy endings. The only thing that begs a question is...where is the horse at Farview? I guess your goats will have to be a good substitute!

Kathy V said...

The farming gene lies dormant in many people. Aren't you glad you found yours? We are.