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Learning in Freedom

Welcome to Learning in Freedom, a blog all about the learning adventures (and mishaps) of the Allen family. My four children are unschooled, following their interests and passions every day and living the lives of their choosing. The purpose of this blog is to share our every day lives (and my not-so-humble opinons) with anyone interested in stopping by. We hope this will give a glimpse of how natural learning unfolds from day to day......

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


These are the eggs, butter and buttermilk we went to a farm to purchase. The farm we bought these from is run by an elderly couple who have known no other way of life. The house they live in was built by his grandfather in 1890. It sits on 51 acres today, where you can see no other neighbors but still hear the freeway just over the hill.

They handchurn the butter, purchased for $2 a pound. They collect the eggs, purchased for $1 per dozen and they make the buttermilk that smells like heaven, purchased for $2 a gallon. Yes, you read the prices right. She sells it just to cover her feed costs, to neighbors and friends that ask. No advertising or any other such thing. No CSA or farmer's market. They just do their thing and if you come and ask to buy some of their bounty, they'll share with you for a mere pittance.

I feel wealthy, having access to food such as this.
The same day, we stopped at our locally owned and run produce stand. I love stopping there as the kids and grandkids all take their turns working, the whole family is part of the venture.

Jellybeans and boiled peanuts are the favorite treats lately.
We made a slice of heaven out of their strawberries (brought over from NC, not quite local) and the wonderful buttermilk, butter and eggs from the farm.

Sierra and Jalen had fun shucking corn. Reminded me of past days living in Battleground WA, where Bleu's aunt shared her garden with us every season. I could fill the freezer with corn she grew. Back then, I thought I was a great gardener because that soil was so amazing! Florida knocked the wind out of those sails.:)

I do so love having local, fresh food to eat. There is an abundance of it in this region. The next step is to grow and raise more of it ourselves. Buying local is the next best thing though.....

Strawberry season brings up a lot of memories for me. My Mom adored strawberries. She cooked with them, sliced them fresh, made jam...heck, she decorated her house with strawberries!

The summer I spent at my grandparents farm was spent working and playing. My sister and I would help them hoe row after row of strawberries. They had a working farm the entirety of my childhood. There was that instant and constant connection with the earth at the farm. We ate the beef they raised. Her cupboards were filled with things from the garden. We made ourselves sick eating so many strawberries, cherries, apples, plums, blackberries, grapes and other growing things.

Thankfully, we visited the farm often and saw different seasons. Sledding down the back hill in winter was always fun, but my favorite times were bringing the hay in or picking fruits of the season. After the hay was in, we thought it would be great fun to sleep in the hay crib. It's really not that much fun though, especially when the cows sneak into the barn at night and make weird noises. We always ended up back in the house.

The farm for me, was a place where one was nourished. In so many ways we were free there, with more space to roam than most kids understand. I dream of the farm often and wish I could be the one to carry on the torch. But my life decisions have taken me away from the farm and away from the possibility of it being passed on to me.

I carry that farm with me though. My grandparents are still there, on the hill in the house they built in the 1940's. Their time is coming to a close......the farm will pass into other hands. It's effect on my life is permanent and I seek ways to bring those connections to my own family, on our small space here.


Blogger Snavleys said...

*tears trickle down my face*

I'm so ready for a visit!!! If Martin had more things closing I would get in my van and come! We are still sitting in the high 50's, i'm so ready for summer! Oh ya, I forgot we don't have summer here!!!

3:51 PM  
Blogger the Contrary Goddess said...

remember that all milk and milk products are totally and strictly illegal in TN.

And they are crazy for those prices.

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Hi Ren,

I tagged you for a meme at my blog. Hope you can participate :)

10:59 AM  
Blogger Ren said...

I totally agree they are crazy for those prices!! I would happily pay double, but they're old fashioned that way.:)

11:20 AM  

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