Walter White, Megan Murphy’s grandfather – her mother’s father, was born in 1918 – the second generation to live on the farm. He married Virginia Clark in 1940 (a fantastic story of meeting in a U of I chemistry class) and they raised their four children on the same farmstead. Megan’s mother was the youngest of these four children and built her homestead 1/2 mile down the road from the farm. So, Megan grew up living next to the family farm and, now living on the family farm, her children live 1/2 mile down the road from their grandparents.
Walter and Virginia had the typical small family farm – diverse crop plantings, diverse animals, and a large garden. Virginia raised chickens and sold eggs, knew how to drive a tractor and bake cherry pies, and had cupboards full of preserved and canned goods. Walter did the farming until his eyesight deteriorated in the 1980s and then he hired neighbors to do the actual fieldwork. He managed the farm decisions until a few months preceding his passing in 2012. He was 94 years old.
Megan feels blessed to have this opportunity to build on the existing farm infrastructure and resources and strives for a vision of reconnecting people and their communities with the food and medicine that can be grown in their own backyard. While Backyard Beauty began as a cut flower farm with a perennial farm vision, she is now stepping into her perennial and medicinal farm role with an occasional offering of cut flowers. Regardless, she is cultivating the Beauty that is all around and within us… right there in our own Backyards.
Megan uses a biodynamic approach to farming and learns just as much from plants as she does from the books on her shelves. She is more than passionate about supporting a farming movement that does not use harmful chemicals and instead values human and ecosystem wellness.
Humans are at a critical point in our ability to take care of our selves and the Earth on which we depend. When we begin growing food in tune with the Earth’s best interest, we will reclaim our ability to thrive.