Thursday, December 3, 2009

we're not from around here

We're not from around here. I know you see us all the time, but trust me, we're from someplace else. We may have lived our whole lives right next door to you, but we left quite some time ago. We found another place and it suits us just fine.

It's not far or hard to get to. Chances are you pass it all the time when you're driving too fast to work or throwing another frozen dinner in the shopping cart. You can't get to us that way. We aren't there.

We're the ones in the next aisle buying yeast, flour, sugar, and coffee. We buy provisions, not groceries. We learned that food tastes better when you grow it yourself. We started with just a few recipes then learned to chew at a trot and now the idea of Lunchables and drive-thru hamburgers makes us tilt our heads a little. We're not above them, not by a long shot, we just don't have those where we're from. Or maybe we did and forgot about them? I can't remember. It's easy to forget about such things when you hop the fence to go where we went. There just isn't a lot of shrink-wrapped circular ham there.

We're from another place. It's just like yours but the naps are better. We came for a bunch of different reasons but we sort of set up shop in the same community. It's not a physical location, of course. (It's much better than that.) It's a place in our actions, our decisions, our conversations, our hope. It's a place in our hobbies, our skills, our secret desire to know what a warm egg feels like in lanolin-wet palms. It doesn't matter where we came from or who we were before, this new place kinda took us all in and showed us how to calm the hell down. What? You're confused? Oh, well, you probably saw us there and just didn't realize it. Remember when we didn't pick up the phone (even after twenty rings) because we were in the garden? Or that time we gave up a weekend to make a chicken coop? Or last Saturday when we spent the whole day at that indoor farmer's market talking to the people at the wool booth we'd never met before, but felt like we knew while you kept telling us the movie was starting in thirty minutes... That's where we left to go. Sorry we missed the previews, we were talking to our neighbors.

You can spot us pretty easy. Our men aren't afraid of facial hair and our women have been known to grab goats by the horns. Our children go barefoot, so do we. We're the quieter ones, in the corner, feet propped up on a second-hand coffee table in a fourth-hand wool sweater. That's one of us, right ober there, see him? The one with the guitar slung over his back, and the black dog following his bike? See him now? He's the one with the saddle bags on the back wheel overflowing with a half bushel of tomatoes. No, he's not a tomatoes fetishist, he's canning today. He'll be eating fresh organic marinara in January pulled off the larder shelf. He'll let the black dog lick his plate when he's done. Yes, I'm sure. He's from where I'm from. We know our own.

See, where we come from people aren't scared of dirt—not even mildly abashed by it. My people will spend an entire August morning with a potato patch. We'll also spend an entire October night in front of a bonfire with some home brew and guitars. My people know how to darn a sock and bake a loaf of bread. They know how to cast on and be cast away. Sure, we'll join you for dinner in a restaurant, but we'll probably opt for pasta. Where we come from food animals know what sunlight feels like and have felt grass under their hooves. We don't eat the animals from your place. We saw what they saw before they died.

We're not from around here, but you'll see us everywhere. We're walking down the streets of Montreal, Chicago, Seattle, and L.A. We're waiting for a Taxi on the Lower East Side. We're mucking out the chicken coop, chatting at the farm stand, jumping on the back of our horses and riding the L. We're everywhere and right next to you all the time, but we left that place and now we're gone. None of us are going back. We thought about it. It passed.

HOOOO! You should see this place. Man, it's so beautiful. I mean a Wednesday afternoon at 3:47 is fall-down-the-stairs stunning. We learned to see this. We watched the fireflies come out on the porch and missed the new CSI. Truthfully, we barely look at the television anymore. It's a side effect of the new place—there's just so much to do and we're scared if we let ourselves get distracted we'll miss the fireflies. We can only take so much tragedy, you see.

And hey, this place we went to—it's yours too. To be perfectly honest we're getting a little tired waiting for you to show up. Yeah, what you heard is true. The work is hard and the hours long, but I promise it's the best quiche you'll ever taste and the coffee is wicked good. When you're ready we'll show you how to hop the fence like we did. It starts with a mason jar or a day-old chick in your palm and the roadmap kinda unfolds from there. Somewhere past the cloth diapers and the raw milk we're hanging out, yes there, over past the used trucks and beat tractors. See the bikes and carts along the barn? Keep going and you'll find us.

We know when you start coming to our place you'll get it. You won't want to go either. And hey, we'll wait, because we've got another saddle in the barn. We planted an extra row of beans. We put aside a few spare jars of tomato sauce and let the hens know there's more breakfasts on the way. We'll make room. There's always a place for you at the table.

(And just between you and me, If you want to get on the black dog's good side, let him lick your plate...)


Blogger nancmcp said...

Thanks. You tell the best bedtime stories... :-)

December 4, 2009 at 12:31 AM  
Blogger From the Country Farm said...

By far my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE post Jenna. What a beautiful, beautiful sentiment. Thank you SO much!!!

December 4, 2009 at 12:54 AM  
Blogger Tom C said...

Jenna - You are an amazing writer. You have a huge talent...a gift, like all great writers. You should publish, publish, publish. I am sure that, five or ten years from now, you will look back on this depressing situation with your landlord as a life changing event that resulted in major positive changes in your life. I have no doubt that you will emerge from this crisis, and we all have them in our lives from time to time, by taking a major step forward towards achieving your goal of having your very own house with acreage populated by all sorts of farm critters.

December 4, 2009 at 12:58 AM  
Blogger Cindi said...

I liked that. I liked that a whole lot.

Where was that vision of heaven, that picture, taken???

December 4, 2009 at 1:04 AM  
Blogger Goodiegang said...

Enchanting, thank you so much!

December 4, 2009 at 1:04 AM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...

I like to wear my Chaco's when I go barefoot :) That's a beauty Jenna. I totally agree with ammacamp.

December 4, 2009 at 1:08 AM  
Blogger Miriam said...

Jenna - I've been reading your blog for a few months, and now I need to comment. In June my partner and I quit our jobs and moved to a small rural property in the Cowichan Valley, on Vancouver Island, Canada. Only a few short months have passed, but my old life and my old friends feel like another lifetime. It's nice to know I can be part of your community.

I have 20 years on you, but I am amazed at your wisdom, your grace under pressure, your zest for living, your compassion for other creatures, and your amazing talent for writing from the heart and drawing others in. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

December 4, 2009 at 1:10 AM  
Blogger Sparkless said...

I'm not going back either. Its too much fun and too much beauty.

December 4, 2009 at 1:52 AM  
Blogger Bri said...

Amen, that right there is what I dream about. I'll have that someday. I will. It's beautiful.

December 4, 2009 at 2:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm actually tearing up. That was wonderful.

December 4, 2009 at 2:14 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

well said and so true

December 4, 2009 at 2:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna, Dan just posted this over on the CAFLocals site and I thought I had somehow missed an old post- You are so eloquent, such an amazing artist with words!! Thank you so much for writing this and sharing it with us- I'm literally wiping away tears. I'm so inspired by you, you have no idea!

On that note- I wanted to share something with you that I discovered thanks to MEN today. There is a movement of young farmers called The Greenhorns. Check out their movie trailer at

They also have a wiki-page for young farmers and one page is all about finding farming land and partnering with older, retiring farmers/ranchers in order to help carry on their legacy, etc. Anyways, here is the link- I think its amazing.

Keep on Keeping on, Jenna. We're right here with you and we're all from where you're from!

December 4, 2009 at 2:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops, I guess the entire link didn't post.

here it is, hopefully.

December 4, 2009 at 2:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, guess not. bummer. just go to the main URL and click on "Access to Land".

Sorry for the excess posts everyone!

December 4, 2009 at 2:59 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh Yes, Thank you for voicing what so many of us feel.

December 4, 2009 at 3:35 AM  
Blogger Kate said...


You hit the nail on the head. Thank you.

December 4, 2009 at 4:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sublime post. I am from where you are from. Great to hear the Jenna we know and love back on top form.
I met two remarkable young men this week. Both draw prejudice because they sleep rough or have tattooes but both very polite, very passionate about planet earth. I would be very proud of them if they were my sons. And who would I rather spend time with, them or their detractors? The two young men of course, like you would.

December 4, 2009 at 4:58 AM  
Blogger Sol said...

I hear you!

December 4, 2009 at 5:26 AM  
Blogger Amy McPherson Sirk said...

Thank you for this post and for expressing this life we love in such a beautiful way. My neighbors tilt their heads at me on a regular basis. They don't get why I would want to do the things I do. You explained it all. Perfectly.

December 4, 2009 at 5:52 AM  
Blogger Toni aka irishlas said...

Incredible, Jenna, just incredible. This touches the soul.

December 4, 2009 at 6:33 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Cindi, that's a fence along the road at Cade's Cove, in the Smoky Mountains

Thanks everyone. I'm back.

December 4, 2009 at 6:46 AM  
Blogger nancmcp said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 4, 2009 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger nancmcp said...

Cade's Cove...portal to heaven. Mine anyway!

Glad you're back.

December 4, 2009 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger j.c. said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I actually have tears.

December 4, 2009 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

from Mississippi friends,

December 4, 2009 at 7:30 AM  
Blogger Patsy from Illinois said...

Aaaaaaah, Jenna. Amen. 'Nuff said.

December 4, 2009 at 7:38 AM  
Blogger Spring Lake Farm said...

As a life long LeConte hiker, unless you've been to Cade's Cove you wouldn't know that the photo only shows a very small, small slice of that particular heaven on earth.

Myrtle Point and Cliff Tops, my two most favorite places.

And this post....definitely one of your best!


December 4, 2009 at 7:46 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Im speechless....simply beautiful :)

December 4, 2009 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Chestnut Farm said...

Amen! Perfect! I don't know any other words to describe "IT"! You are amazing! Thanks, Jenna

December 4, 2009 at 7:52 AM  
Blogger ThiftedBliss said...

Hi Jenna, beautiful post today. Here is a little something that I thought you might enjoy. Have a great day.

Karen from CT

December 4, 2009 at 8:06 AM  
Blogger Karen Sue said...

Only thing - some people will NEVER get it...and that's OK, 'cuz it's their's to decide. I won't talk them out of their's and they won't talk me out of mine.
But it was a wonderful post... a sittin' with your boots off in your wool socks and each curled in a blanket conversation. Not so much a get-fired-up and run out the door one. More of an 'I'm OK'.

December 4, 2009 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger BJ Gingles said...

WOW. What an absolutely wonderful post. Again I see why I am sold on your blog. It's you. You are terrifically positive, insightful, articulate person who can sum up my mixed up jumble of beliefs and feelings beautifully in words that can take my breath away.WOW. Yeah, I'm subscribing. And if you are ever in my neck of the woods, you are definitely invited for a cup of coffee and a jam session.

December 4, 2009 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger DarcC said...

Awesome. I'll see you there.

December 4, 2009 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Pilgrim Soul said...

Amen, sister. Beautiful, inspiring, honest post.

December 4, 2009 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger mySavioReigns said...

Such a brilliantly written and inspiring post.

I know I'm not the only one who, after reading that, glanced up and said "what? where am I? Oh...I'm at work. I thought I was in Vermont for a minute..."

December 4, 2009 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

I LOVED this post, Jenna. I'm there with you. (Even as I sit in front of my computer working everyday). I'm still there!

Thank you!

December 4, 2009 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

All got me. I'm sitting here in front of my computer with a lump in my throat. Really really well said.

December 4, 2009 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Rachael said...

Perfect! Just what I needed to read!

December 4, 2009 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger small farm girl said...

Beautiful. Enough said.

December 4, 2009 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Thistledog said...

I'm here at the Acres USA conference in St. Paul, surrounded by my/our kind. In the company of farmers - what a blessing this is.

Totally with you on the going to stores for provisions, not groceries. My pile on the check-out line belt is always flour, salt, butter, potatoes and onions (cuz I don't have room to grow enough of those) - no veggies, I eat from my backyard.

Nicely said, dear, very nicely said.

December 4, 2009 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Jenna--Your words come from the heart and the spirit. You are a gift to all of us. You make me so proud that I get it about life and what's important. I came from that place and glad I'm goin' back after being away so long. I always look longingly at those who stayed true and didn't venture away. Anyway, I love your writing and especially your free spirit. Mimi

December 4, 2009 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 4, 2009 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wow, judge much?

I had been planning on purchasing Made from Scratch, but if it's anything like this post I doubt I'd be able to finish it.

December 4, 2009 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

This one made me cry. I grew up in that place and did everything I could to get away from it. Now I'm living in the burbs, and my kids can't go barefoot because of the glass that keeps working its way up from the crappy fill they brought in. There are only two organic farms here and they're over an hour away. Sometimes I drive that hour and no farmers show up. People here care about coal not cows. I'm a stranger in a strange land, trying like hell to get home.
But you've inspired me, Jenna. I might not be able to get out of the burbs right away, but you were so right when you said that we can all have a piece of this life no matter where we are. Come spring I'll have my garden, and maybe some bees and chickens too!
Thank you for sharing your life and your wisdom with us.

December 4, 2009 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Humain, if this entry isn't your cuppa tea, I doubt the book would be either. This is distilled Jenna---like it or not. As you can see, lots of us love it.

December 4, 2009 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger KateAnn said...

Jenna, you do have a way with words . . . loved this post.

December 4, 2009 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger The MO Farmers Daughter said...

hi jena,It called being reborn,bueatiful post from such a young woman.Life is long,you will achieve your dreams.what about marrying a farmboy who inherits land?Remember in your book you recomended a singles sight for farmers looking for mates.I am in my 50s,your lucky,that you are still young,and haven't gotton sour.good luck,carol branum,

December 4, 2009 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger d said...


This is the best thing I've read in months - and not just here: anywhere. I'm with you, you wonderful adventurer you! Even though you don't know me very well, we're good friends and we have been for a while, and there's ALWAYS a place at my table for you.

(I do let the black dog lick my plate, and the ice-cream bowl)


December 4, 2009 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Yvonne said...


December 4, 2009 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Blake said...

Dear Jenna - I am a dedicated reader of your blog, own your book, and am inspired by your actions and words. I know how difficult it can be to feel like you have to continuously fight for your place. That being said, as a fellow homesteader, I was a little upset by this post. I firmly believe that everyone has the right to live the way they choose, and one way is not inherently better than any other. I have found the best way to help others understand my lifestyle choices is not to create distinct categories between "them" and "us," but rather to encourage a mutual exploration of those worlds. As you have said many times, sustainable, homemade living is about doing the things that make you happy, but it should also be about respecting and embracing the things that make other people happy. Of course, it is difficult to do that when those things clash with each other, but I know you and your beautiful farm will find a way to overcome this challenge!
Respectfully, Blake

December 4, 2009 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Tara said...


And Humain, if that felt like judgment, well, you might be missing the whole point.

December 4, 2009 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

This wasn't supposed to sound like a judgement, it was how I feel about finding this new life. I even make an effort to say we're not above it, it's just different. And it's not ours, it's everyones. The fact remains we're animals that need to eat food. We can do that in a way that nurtures our planet, communities, and natural systems, or we can keep going down the road more taken and watch as more things fall apart. Children are dying from tainted food, animals are suffering in factory farms, third world countries are getting their drinking water harvested for American soda companies.

Live how you want, sure. I'm not against it. But this is how I feel, and if you did not like this poat you'll probably hate the book. Oh well, meet you down the road halfway I guess?

December 4, 2009 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger K. said...

Awesome. It felt a bit like a map to me. I'm over the fence, but not on the ground yet, foot on the middle rung of the split rail.... by next summer I hope to have built my first chicken coop....

What amazes me most is how you come out with this beautiful picture after such a difficult week. Good for you!

December 4, 2009 at 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It could be that it's 11* outside, but I think it was this post. I got chills. You hit the nail on the head. That's it. Far more eloquently than I could ever express, but exactly what I feel. Thank you.

December 4, 2009 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger Kerry said...

Oh Jenna I hope this is the beginning of a new book.

December 4, 2009 at 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


That is all. ;-)

December 4, 2009 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger Joleen said...

Beautiful. Peace and love to you Jenna.

December 4, 2009 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Beautifully written, love your blog.

December 4, 2009 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger kandy Gray said...

i am printing it out and keeping it in my wallet.
when people say "why would you want chickens?" or "you are carding wool for mittens? just go to wall-mart!" with that look on their face, the one that says i am an alien, i will pul it out and ask them to read it.

you are eloquent in a way i could never be.

thank you,

December 4, 2009 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

that's beautiful Jenna, so glad to hear your feeling better.

December 4, 2009 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger hlbrack said...

Gave me goosebumps!

December 4, 2009 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Lil said...

Even a tried and true city slicker like me can appreciate the beauty of a post like this. Great writing, Jenna. :-)

December 4, 2009 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Leiflet said...

I smugly realize my God-given ability to take a great nap. I feel bad for others who have to struggle to a)justify and b) enjoy their naps (like my poor new wife!). I can nap anyplace, anytime, for a good short length, and i feel awesome afterward. God bless naps.

December 4, 2009 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

This post brightened my day. I'm taking steps to get to this place. I see it in my dreams.

Blessings to you Jenna.

December 4, 2009 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger karental said...

Wow - I've been waiting to move there, and today I found out that's where I AM! I brought home-made-from-scratch-not-a-box-or-can-in-sight peach cobbler to work today; my husband took home-made bread for his company's get-together. "They" are amazed! It's a little sad, really.

December 4, 2009 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger HotFlashHomestead said...

Just wanted to say thanks for such an inspiring piece of writing. There is no denying that living the way we do takes more time and physical energy than living the way the rest of the world does, and sometimes it's hard to be in such a minority. And yet....the benefits are so wonderful, and you stated them so beautifully. Thank you.

December 4, 2009 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger omnicharm said...

Thanks for the reminder that where we are is as much a product of our state of mind and small actions as our physical location. I am so happy you shared this!

December 4, 2009 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger Seafish said...

One word, outstanding. You have summed up a mindset beautifully.

Humain,Blake, if you are not familiar with the situation, please don’t be judgmental yourself. Read the blog, and then make your statement. But I can tell you now; you’re not going to find much support here.

December 4, 2009 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Conny said...

I'm with kandy Gray: I want to share this post with many people. I never saw it as an "us" or "them" post, but all inclusive. I love my "them" friends and its okay to be different from them -the same reason they love me.

This was a beautifully written post AND I'm glad you shared it with your readers. Thanks.

December 4, 2009 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Twilicat said...

I sat down in front of my computer to check this blog like I do every day. And lo and behold, I was looking into a mirror. I was seeing the same things. I thank you for that. I have been making changes towards simplicity in my life, but when I read your book and then your nebulous resolve solidified. Thank you muchly for the support that you give as well as receive.

December 4, 2009 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

beautiful. thank you.

December 4, 2009 at 1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Jenna, what a lovely post! I sent links to everyone I knew because it's too beautiful to miss!
I'm so glad you've landed on your feet and started off again--I can see you from here--you're just the other side of my woods and you're running towards your dream.

December 4, 2009 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Dessa said...

Tell it, Sister...tell it.

December 4, 2009 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Seafish said...

I had to add another two cents real quick. Debi, I know exactly what your talking about. I live in an area were its possible to walk or ride my bicycle to work. I might as well have antennae growing out of my head. The idea that someone may choose to walk or ride their bike when they could drive is completely insane to some people. When I do drive, I drive my ’71 VW Bus that I’ve maintained and kept running myself. Again the idea that I would drive a vehicle that isn’t sparkling new is complete heresy. The fact that I’ve busted my own knuckles to do so is surely signs of my need for me to be committed. This is just a small sampling of several instances.

I’d really like to hear other people similar stories so we don’t feel so all alone. To everyone lucky enough to be physically around others of like mind, you have know idea just how lucky you are.

December 4, 2009 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger Sharyl Suzanne Morris said...

Love, love, love this!

December 4, 2009 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Shannan said...

Wonderful, you made my day with you inspiring words. Thank you!


December 4, 2009 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Thanks. I'll think of you when the black dog licks my plate tonight.

December 4, 2009 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger annagreenesays said...

I wholeheartedly concur, being one of those impossibly fortunate people on the next aisle over. I know very few things, and one of them is that now that I'm here, I'll never not live on a farm again.

For me, it's rural North Carolina instead of Vermont. I'm 25 and I show pictures of my little farmhouse like a proud wallet full of grandchildren. I know the dates for the first and last fireflies. I know how a full moon makes the fields bright as day. I have the bruises from 3:47 pm on Wednesdays. There's nothing better in the world.

December 4, 2009 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger kmfukuda said...

Thank you, Jenna. That was a beautiful, inspiring post. I'm learning to live where you are, and dragging my husband along for the ride. It's an amazing experience, and your blog provides inspiration and education regularly. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

December 4, 2009 at 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait to hop the fence!!! :) Wonderful post, Jenna.

December 4, 2009 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger Jordan said...

You know, it just occurred to me, that even though I live in 200 sq ft in the middle of a city, and my handicraftness is limited-- if your blog posts are an accurate sample, I should read your book just for the beauty of the prose.

December 4, 2009 at 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post is absolutely enchanting and is an awesome way to end a weary work week - on my end.

I am so sorry to hear about the troubles with your landlord. In some shape or form, something will work out. You are handling this with much wisdom and grace.

December 4, 2009 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Jenna That was just lovely and that sounds like place I am trying to find.

December 4, 2009 at 6:28 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

It certainly sounds like you're back. Another great post, and I really think you should attempt a novel- my bet is that it would be a best seller. Maybe you should base it on your own life and write yourself a happy ending.

December 4, 2009 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger Kathy P. said...

Beautiful, Jenna!

December 4, 2009 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Hi. Came over from BooneDocks Wilcox; she posted a link. Wow, you have so hit this nail on the head. Love it. And just by coincidence, we have a black dog who gets to lick our plates, too.

Man, I'm so glad to find another soul who not only Gets It, but knows how to describe it. Too bad so many of the ones who could benefit are in too much of a rush to stop and read anything anymore.

December 4, 2009 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Faith said...

That was the most beautiful thing I've read in a l-o-n-g time. Thank you so much.

December 4, 2009 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger Faith said...

That was the most beautiful thing I've read in a l-o-n-g time. Thank you so much.

December 4, 2009 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger daveymac said...

Jen if you don`t mind i`m going to send you a message in my own language that of the farmers, crofters and fishermen of the northeast of scotland,'DORIC'

ah Jen ma quine yer wee bit ditty fairly gied ma hairt a lope, yon wirds were awfa bonnie an i ken fine thon wis richt fae the hairt, noo yeve fair had a scuunering time o it fae a thon clecks, jist mine there`s oor muckle killin in a good quard.

rougly translated it means yer blog really touch my heart and your words came stright from the heart, and although some people have strived to hold you down, as we say in scotland it takes a lot to hold down the salt of the earth, and you Jen are definetly made from he salt of the earth. hope all your dreams come true for 2010 . and i love yer blog

December 4, 2009 at 11:03 PM  
Blogger Jeff_in_Pawlet said...


This post is beyond great. You are now my second favorite author (we share a favorite book).

Stay strong and i'll see you in the neighborhood.

December 4, 2009 at 11:13 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Seafish, I'd love to see that bus! My uncle had one when I was little, and my kids think they're just awesome. They get so excited everytime they see one!

I'm sure my neighbors aren't diggin my 92 Volvo wagon either. Oh well, I'm not giving it up till the doors fall off! :p

December 5, 2009 at 12:44 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

I am absolutely moved.

December 5, 2009 at 1:11 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Thank you all, and I am working on a novel, it's about a black dog and everything else.

December 5, 2009 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Beautifully stated! You have captured what I feel everyday when I go to work (corporate america) and see people who think breakfast is a McMuffin and ohhh shudder the thought that artificial xmas trees that are built upside down so you can get more presents underneath them are cool - god help us all! We are blessed because we have farmer in our genes/jeans (no pun intended) and dirt under our shortly clipped nails. Life is good! Thanks Jenna :-)

December 5, 2009 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger Candy Duell said...

Bravo!!, your post is wonderful!

December 5, 2009 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Joy Tilton said...

I live on the other side of the fence, but I celebrate that we are neighbors! Grew up in your neck of the I abide at GrannyMountain, come over for a visit!
joy c.

December 5, 2009 at 9:21 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

You got it just right. We're in the world in our own way, not of the world around us. Their ways are a vaguely remembered foreign language, like their fluffy white bread. I've seen the looks they give us, but I don't care. Here's to being the best kind of weird.

December 5, 2009 at 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's why I'm fitting a recycled free 25 year old wood kitchen instead of a brand new one.

Why I make quiche and pasta when I have an egg glut instead of buying them ready made.

Why I choose to be cleaning out the chicken run on a Saturday morning instead of being at the shopping mall.

Why we turned the TV off and now have conversations instead of sitting glued to the box with our mouths open.

And why my family think my plum crumble made with my own bottled plums is the bees knees and complain they can't find anything like it at the shops.


December 5, 2009 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger Farmer's Daughter said...

Love, love, love this post! Made me cry, and I'm not even going to blame it on the pregnancy hormones.

December 5, 2009 at 5:23 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Wow this is amazing! Thanks for writing this Jenna.

December 5, 2009 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger The Green Cat said...

This is fantastic! Thanks. Even though I live in a big city I feel like you and I are neighbors of a sort. (And thanks to Lisa for turning me on to your blog.)

December 5, 2009 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger Everydaywoman said...

LOVE this post! We're 12th generation farmers, not afraid of dirt, either, and our dogs ALWAYS lick our plates! Oh, and I'm the Farmer's Daughter's mother!

Happiest of holidays!

December 6, 2009 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger s said...

jenna, i've had this post sitting in my google reader since you posted it. i been clicking "keep unread" each day of the week because i knew from the title it was going to be GOOD and wanted to save it for the right moment. i just read it over a plate of (cage-free, organic brown) eggs and a hot cup of (organic) coffee and it was so totally worth the wait. enjoy your sunday!

December 6, 2009 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger Sarah Sanders said...

ok, so I'm a little late in replying (internet issues as of late) but this is my MOST favorite post - ever!!!! I love it and want to print it and frame it in my home (would that be ok, by the way?) Amazing, Jenna - simply amazing.

December 7, 2009 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

Absolutley beautiful. I think I might have to share this, and of course give credit to its author :). I can't wait for my husband to read this.
We learned about you through you're awesome book, I haven't enjoyed a homesteading book as much since and we've had lots of them around here.

December 7, 2009 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

never happened upon your blog before (probably too busy with that chicken coop!) but this is awesome. Gotta share it.

December 8, 2009 at 5:29 AM  
Blogger Ruth Trowbridge said...

You are my kinda woman. This is best writing I seen on the net. Thank you for saying it so well. Peace for all

December 11, 2009 at 3:03 AM  
Blogger Tree Huggin Momma said...

Absolutely beautiful. This is the picture I have in my head, and I am on my way over the fence, I just have to drag the family kicking and screaming.

December 11, 2009 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger John Going Gently said...

I have never seen so many comments on one blog!

well written.....

best wishes from a welsh smallholder in the UK

December 11, 2009 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger Irma said...

This post may be the best writing you have ever done. That is all.

December 11, 2009 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger Affi'enia said...

Hi Jenna

I was pointed in the direction of you blog by Kate at the frugal life This is a fantastic post. I'm off to read the rest now. We've taken a few steps toward that fence and are hoping to hop over soon :o)

December 19, 2009 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger kerrick said...

Hiya! Also here from Kate's. I've just started to see the fence, let alone got over it, and I don't feel judged--actually, I feel like a neighbor just welcomed me over for tea.

I will say from sizing up that fence, it doesn't look like a hop over will do it--it looks like a long climb. It looks like a few years down the road I might still be looking at bags of flour in the grocery store, panicking a little; do I hold out hope that my grain farmer friend will have some for me in a week or two, or get the 5lb bag of organic whole wheat flour just to tide me over till then, or get a 20lb bag of organic whole wheat flour and pledge to buy from my neighbor next time I run out because bulk is cheaper, or buy organic hard winter wheat from who knows where and grind it myself...

That fence looks big from here, but I get the idea that even once I'm "over" it, I might accidentally find myself back on this side if I'm not too careful. Seems like getting over that fence is less like an event and more like an avocation, is my point.

December 22, 2009 at 12:53 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hey. I know this is, what, 7 ish years old now but I had to comment. I am one of those people who finds blogs and goes back to the beginning and reads them all, all the way to the present (currently October 2016.) I have enjoyed so much of what you said. So much. But this. This is something else. Something different. I literally got goosebumps and tears in my eyes reading this. Good thing everyone else in the office went to lunch. Hard to explain crying from a 7 year old blog post.
I'm one of you too. I want to be more and sometimes I get stuck, but I'm one too. Thank you for your words.

October 7, 2016 at 2:46 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Jenna, this post from 7 years ago was the very first time I read your blog. I loved it!! Your writing speaks to something deep inside me! I have followed your "adventures" since then and have cheered you on, prayed for you, cried with you, envied you, and much more! Thank you for sharing your life with us! Please don't stop writing!!! Go girl!

October 8, 2016 at 7:02 AM  

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