Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Farm Girl Name

So why Farm Girl? Do I live on a farm? No. In fact, I don't typically refer to myself as a girl either. I am a woman who lives in a small isolated mountain town in northeastern California near where the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range transitions to the Cascade Range. I live in town on a large lot that backs to forest. The Farm Girl name is a nod to the profound effect that growing up in a rural setting had in shaping my values.  

When I was 10 years old my parents decided to move north from our acre in the foothills of Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, CA to nearly 20 acres in the coastal hills between Bodega Bay and Sebastopol, CA. In 1978 it was a very rural and agricultural area indeed. Our property came with a house originally built in the late 1800's, a large hay barn built with huge old growth redwood beams pegged together, an animal barn, a milking barn, and even an old tractor we later named "Bumpy". I learned to drive "Bumpy" when I was 12. My parents, who were gardeners but certainly not farmers, set about educating themselves and before long had a small herd of beef cows, a pen full of chickens, and fields of vetch and alfalfa.

I remember my best Mill Valley friend, Melisa, teasing me as we prepared to make our move north. "Your'e moving to the boondocks. You're going to turn into a farm girl with big muscles." As she said this she flexed her skinny 10-year-old arms and laughed. Since that time I have been lovingly referred to as a farm girl, as in, "You are such a farm girl", by friends through the years.

My parents still live there on the same property they bought back in the late 70's. The cows are gone now and so are the chickens. In the intervening years the farm was used in a myriad of different ways (perhaps a future post?). They still grow a substantial part of their food supply, have added solar power, and heat with wood from the property. They have obtained a nice level of self-sufficiency. 

So, there is a little background. My life on the farm instilled in me an appreciation for the simple things in life. I will always choose beautiful fresh produce over fancy clothes or jewelry. A bounty of produce moves me. A closet full of clothes oppresses me. I just don't care about those things, ask anybody.  


  1. Sounds like a great place to grow up

  2. This makes me feel good about our life. Thank you, Darling.

  3. Hi Karen - your Mom gave me your blog address- I have already read a few posts and look forward to reading them all! And your photos are beautiful. I, too, am trying to eat local. New Zealand avacados - no way...We don't eat beef, but do eat chicken and pork and fish. We were vegetarian for some time and came back to meat part of the time. Have a good Christmas ...Karen Bohn