Rebirth of the land.
Slavic Heritage Farm takes root.
When we were traveling through the Midwest while on our journey to get ready to become farmers, we were astounded to see so many abandoned farm sites! Farm yards with a nice size house and a place to have a big garden, chickens and other livestock were once vibrant with the family life but now stood forsaken, abandoned, forgotten, dumped.
Most of those farm yards were sold for little to nothing money to big farms, tree shelter belts dug out and burned, houses leveled and the land added to the ocean of acres and acres of growing soy beans or corn. Huge machines would start going over it and make it quietly and inconsolably weep. The Prairie Meadow Maiden whispered that to me.
After each such sighting an eerie feeling would creep into my heart and make me join in weeping. It’s a fact that the big farms are growing bigger and spreading faster than we can blink and very few people are allowed or can afford to stay on their small farms. Most of them have no choice but to succumb to the inevitable sooner or later. Little patch of land gets swallowed by the giant and there is no return.
But not all is lost! Before it’s too late, someone could come and take care of the homestead again and breathe life back into it’s soul. We can still take it back, one acre at a time! And the more of us, the merrier! We have had this desire to go back to land for a long time. We have been waiting for the right moment and, in the meantime, searching far and wide! We didn’t even know that land had been already patiently waiting for us!
On our second month of cross country farming trip we were passing through North Dakota and put our eye on this 12 acre patch of land, a forsaken farm yard.
It had been standing there, in the middle of nowhere, quiet, lonesome, humbly waiting for the right people. And I guess we were those right people, because we heard how this homestead just screamed at us! We stopped by.
The land with a farm on it was once alive and then it became dead, or in a case with a happy ending gone hibernating. And hearing all these stories about the past of this farm made us want to give this homestead another chance! It deserved to be awaken and revived and made into a happy little place on the face of our huge Earth! Just because someone wanted it! We wanted it and it wanted us!
Our travels would still take us more west into gorgeous Montana, charming Washington, amazing coastal Oregon, breathtaking California and charming Utah. But that farmstead started working its way into our hearts since the day we saw it.
When you realize how everything around us is energy, our thoughts, our dreams and visions , our desires and fears, our words and actions, by dreaming in the right direction you yourself are able to make things happen! And we dreamed, and we talked, and we envisioned, with the ideas pouring out, and we included our children and made them excited as well. And we, together, became a very strong force!
And that force happened to have a lot of power! Raccoons were evacuated, tools brought in, sleeves rolled up and belts tightened. Virgin sod worked up and gardens put in, barns inhibited with God’s creatures once again and before we knew it the beginning of another adventure was upon us!
In 2010 we stumbled upon this forsaken piece of land, and the love we have been putting into it ever since has been rewarding us with amazing memories, experiences and opportunities we used to dream about and could only read on those “going back to land” magazines!
And that’s how The Prairie Meadow Maiden became our home and put us under her motherly wing. We heard her cries, and she has been rejoicing ever since!
It was middle of the summer, the grass was waist high, a huge red fallen barn still keeping its shape was going down to its knees already. A red barn is an icon of any rural setting, of any happy country side. I guess this one wasn’t too happy anymore.
We looked around and peeked into the house through the window. It was hard to see what’s inside. A dirty blanket was hanging over the window to prevent those curious eyes from peeping in. But what we saw through gaps and holes didn’t scare us. Even though there were piles of garbage everywhere, roof leaking, it was obvious it had been vandalized and was not in a livable condition and would require a lot of TLC (tender loving care), it stirred up our imagination and made us excited!
We pulled away from the homestead with a feeling that we were needed there. We looked around and asked the locals in the nearby town if they knew the owner, got in touch with the owner and the rest was simply a divine intervention!
We learnt that this homestead once was a part of a nice and vibrant farm, with a family living on it and raising children, making a living farming the land and milking the cows. Then the family lost the farm due to some family troubles and it went for sale. A local investor purchased it and for a while it was rented out to another family. They, too, were milking about 40 cows. Both wife and husband were deaf. Locals from the area recall visiting them and were saying that they were very nice and kind folks and told us what a beautiful yard it once was with flowers blooming everywhere! Each of them would carry a notebook and would communicate with you through writing. And if they wanted to attract each other’s attention while being in the house they would stomp their feet till the house shook so that the other one would come.
It felt right to get to know the past of the homestead in order to form a vision of its possible future.
Please visit our gallery to enjoy the "Before" and "After" pictures.