28 Day Blog Post Challenge 2018,  Family,  Gardening,  Personal,  Photography

How to Bring Farm Life to the Burbs

You won’t find me buying into the whole, “we need to move to the country and live off the land” craze because I think it was my idea.

When I left the farm and the beautiful miles and expenses of fields that separated my family from neighbors and into overcrowded dorms on campus, there were pros and cons.

Pros: +I finally knew the feeling of living just two minutes away from friends rather than a whole 20 minutes.

+I had an actual roommate rather than a brother to fight with.

+I was far away from home and farm work.

Cons: -There were people everywhere.

-I was living with a stranger and whole bunch of other strangers.

-I was far away from home and farm work.

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Since leaving the farm I have lived in three dorm rooms, a really old house, two small apartments, one mid-sized duplex and now finally my own home with over an acre of land and a mortgage. In every single place, I have found a way to bring the farm with me, because if you grew up on a farm, it is really hard to let it go.

There are a few essential things I have tried to do in each of my living spaces, and maybe if you want to jump into “country living in the city” like me these will ideas help you get there!

  • Photos: I hang a variety of framed photos of my childhood home around my current home. When I was in college, they were probably duct taped to the walls, but I still had them. Having photos of my family, the animals and even the buildings around the farm were helpful in making me feel at home.

  • Recipies: My Mom and Grandmas are amazing cooks, and when the college food got old, I could grab one of their tried and true recipes to bring a little bit of home to the table.

  • Plant life: I think I had a cactus in my dorms, and eventually graduated to bamboo. When I graduated college and moved into my first apartment with Eli, we started to gather larger plants. We eventually decided we could grow an “urban garden.” After a trip to Fleet Farm, we started a little herb garden and tomatoes. By the time we moved into the duplex, we graduated into large container gardens. This was really exciting because we produced enough to make salsa! Finally, when we moved into our home, we dug and planted a garden in the Earth. Taking this step of tilling, planting, weeding and watering this giant garden was like a dream come true. Gardening was something that my parents had my brother and I tend to with them while on the farm, and Eli’s parents did the same thing with his family. There were mistakes made last year and things simply didn’t grow, but we are excited to try for a new bounty this year.

  • Animals: It wasn’t until the summer of 2015 that we were able to bring home a dog of our own, but it was totally worth the wait. At the farm, we always had a dog. They brought a welcome presence and something different to our lives, and Eli and I wanted that so much for our home too. Luckily we had wonderful landlords at the duplex, and we brought home our first pup, Mika, from the Humane Society. Now, she and our newest pup, Nova, are not cattle which is even more like the farm. That may be a path for us someday, but definitely not the present.

  • Family: My parent’s home always seems to be overflowing with our family members. They show up for holidays, random visits, long weekends and the house is so full and warm. This is something we are working on, hosting our family. There are many years to come, and hopefully, we will be lucky enough to fill the house with our own children.

These are some ways I work to bring farm life with me wherever I go. It may not seem like much, but I’m proud to bring these traditions and practices into my adult life.

I want to do more, so please comment below on how you bring rural living into your life and home.

-Alyssa B.

Feature photo by Kate McCullough

This is blog 6 of 28 of the #28DaysOfBloggingChallenge! See the Day 1 post for more details on why I’m participating!

Would you like to document your family or farm with heirloom photos and a written story to share with your family, friends and future generations? Contact photographer and writer Alyssa Bloechl for more information at abloechlphoto@gmail.com or call at 920-445-8727.

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