Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hey ho, let's go.

I went to college in Kutztown, Pennsylvania at the State University of the same name. It's located halfway between Philadelphia and Lancaster in an agricultural valley better known for its quilts and produce stands then design graduates—but I received a hell of an education there and think back on my time spent there fondly. Kutzotwn had a large Mennonite/Amish community and on Sunday mornings it was like going back in time. You'd wake up in your apartment overlooking Main Street and hear the trotting of horses heading to services. Late at night the Amish kids (whom I'm pretty sure were coming home from parties wilder than anything we English could pull off) raced down the hill on their bicycles. They could fly. I'd never seen happier teenagers in my life.

I found this picture hidden in my iPhoto files today. It's from 2004, taken my senior year of classes. It's an Amish kid's buggy parked outside the college record store. I remember looking at it with joy while waiting in my red Jetta parked outside the CVS for my friend Kevin to return to the car—secretly wanting to slap a Ramones sticker on the orange triangle on the back. I contained myself.

When I took this photo I was planning on living in Philadelphia. I wanted a loft in Rittenhouse Square. As you know, Cold Antler Farm is a long ways off from center city Philly. Knowing how it all ended up: I can't help but wonder if the local agricultural communities from Kutztown planted the seed in my mind? I do remember always turning my head and feeling a bit of envy when the buggies went by—not so much for being Amish (fairly certain my general attitude would have me shunned in about 27 days...) but for the scaled down ways of living. The animals. The food. The certainty. If I could have a stable under my apartment in Rittenhouse square, I'd do so in a second. And now here I am trying to plan for a future where saddling up my Fell pony to check on the lambs in the south field is my new reality. Or will be, eventually.

I'm pretty sure I was always the same person, the compass needle just needed proper adjusting. Looking at this photo of the buggy outside the record store now perfectly sums me up. The only difference being my Fell pony cart will certainly have that Ramones sticker on the back, and I'll trot him back to the farm, ipod blaring. Hey ho, let's go.

13 Comments:

Blogger laluna said...

This is exactly why I love reading your blog and feel a connection to you and what you're doing - you're able to meld your agrarian interests and lifestyle with that punk rock attitude. Let's go, indeed. ;-)

November 22, 2009 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Karen Moser-Booth said...

Awesome. I just finished reading Made from Scratch last night, a recommendation from Deanna at Crunchy Chicken, and found it inspiring. Delighted to see I can revisit you and your writing here on your blog. Cheers!

November 22, 2009 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger HEATHER said...

YOUNGONES!! thank you for posting that. I've been missing Kutztown a lot lately.

November 22, 2009 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Fallen Oak said...

My-My Kind of a Girl.

November 22, 2009 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Fallen Oak said...

This photo is interesting. The two main subjects are incomplete in order to capture them both.

November 22, 2009 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger Pricilla said...

My husband and I were both born in Philly, ended up finding each other at the Jersey shore. Built a life there and now live on a small goat farm in Montana.

Hmmmm. None of our friends understand it. If someone had told us ten years ago we would have laughed at them.

Times change.

November 22, 2009 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger Rachel B. said...

I just went to Lancaster on Wednesday. Sometimes I feel like jumping out of the car and joining them. I have up close pictures of a buggy and it's inside. I should post them on my blog...

November 22, 2009 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger ammamcp said...

A stable under the loft in the city square? Heavenly!

November 22, 2009 at 6:59 PM  
OpenID thatsthelife said...

Right now I have baking my very-first-ever loaves of homemade bread, made from the recipe in made from scratch.

Thanks for your detailed instructions Jenna, I wouldn't have been inclined to try baking bread if I hadn't found your book. :)

November 23, 2009 at 12:56 AM  
Blogger Mud Mama said...

We have some parallels in our lives Jenna - I went to the big city (Toronto) to study performance and installation art and got a degree in "Experimental Arts" I'm known for making compost in my locker and the heat from it accidentally causing a small fire.

I think you should design a punk rock farmer logo and we'll get patches to sew on our barn coats :-)

November 23, 2009 at 6:54 AM  
Blogger Slice of life said...

Are we able to buy the book directly from you or only from Amazon? I would kind of liked it signed.. ( i have a huge collection of signed books)

I am in England, which would make it more tricky...?

November 23, 2009 at 7:26 AM  
OpenID thatsthelife said...

Mud Mama - ha!

I too recently fled Toronto, after 10 years as an urbanite, for the down-to-earth paradise of small fishing town Ucluelet on Vancouver island.

You have to live in a place that feeds your soul - as a child of Northern Ontario, I never really adapted to or accepted city life. You just gotta get outta Dodge.

I'm thrilled as I just met a woman here who raises her own laying hens - so soon I'll have farm fresh eggs from just down the road. I think you have to have a certain mentality to be thrilled by the prospect of local eggs, and those who are have a harder time in cities.

November 23, 2009 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

slice,

i don't sell books, but if you mail me one i'll sign it.

November 23, 2009 at 4:48 PM  

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