Greetings, Friends –
This is our very first blog post and serves as our plunge into the public forum with this announcement: The Murphy-Collins team is giving birth to two new on-farm businesses!
These businesses have been in subconscious gestation for… years. And have come into conscious gestation a few months ago. Steve is renovating the old machine shed into an art studio / wood shop and I’m starting my farming venture with flowers. One of my goals is to share our process with others – regardless of how pretty it is (like this unfinished website going live) – and I thought it would be neat to mark this new journey as we both turn the page into 2018 and begin a new century. (I also happened to get our IL business authorization in the mail today, so it is officially official)
One hundred years ago today – January 6th, 1918 – my grandfather, Walter White, was born in the Illinois farmhouse that he would live in for the remainder of his 94 years. My mother was his youngest of four children and built her home within a quarter mile of this farmhouse. As the middle child of three girls, I was given the gift of growing up down the road from my grandparents and their farm.
Seven years ago I awoke in my Homer, Alaska bed and wondered, What will happen to the family farm? It was on this morning that the seed of returning to the farm was planted.
Last December, my husband and I moved with our two children from Alaska back to the family farmhouse. We weren’t sure we were moving at that point… Alaska is a hard place to leave. And diving into the family farm mix has lots of interesting layers (not talkin’ hens… yet). Still, I have felt called to this place with desires for fostering connection to my self, my family, and to the land. There is so much to say!!! Blog security, I suppose, as it is my goal to finish this before 9:30pm so I can greet my son’s 5:30am wake up call with sleepy grace.
I cannot count the number of times that my grandfather told me to keep a journal. You will appreciate having your experiences to look back on and learn from, he would say. So, this blog is also a nod to his record-keeping affection and desire to share history with others. He also always told me to keep your nose clean. Did anyone else’s grandparent say this? Anyone?
We are at an interesting time as far as connection to the land, to our selves, to our families, and to our neighbors goes. My friend, MPhillips – superstar farm manager at Chewonki in Maine – just shared this fantastic slogan that was observed on a woman’s hat while riding a train down to DC for the women’s march: MAKE AMERICA GRACIOUS AGAIN.
Oh, that’s so good.
I’m excited about this new journey – this new century – and am so grateful for the opportunities that have been planted and tended before me, enabling me to so directly grow a relationship to the land. There is much to be learned! I hope you’ll join in the celebration!