Here are some photos from my recent trip to the family farm in North Carolina. My great-grandfather bought this farm sometime before the Civil War. His son (my grandfather) married the daughter of the neighboring landowner and the two farms combined in the early twentieth century. After my grandmother died in 1965, one of my uncles owned and farmed it until he died. Now it belongs to my Dad. Maybe someday it will be mine (or half mine and half my sister's.)
A little over half of the farm (not including my parents' house and HUGE yard - sheesh, I'm so glad I don't have to mow it) is used to grow corn and soybeans. The rest is a mixture of pines and wetlands. There is a small pond that my parents are planning to clean out a bit and stock for fishing.
My very self-sufficient parents have a year-round organic garden where they grow nearly every imaginable vegetable that will grow in that region. My Mom cans and freezes stuff, and I always come back with a ton of food after visiting. They have some fruit trees, blackberry and blueberry bushes, and they told me they are going to plant some walnut and pecan trees this year.
They raise Buff Rock chickens for eggs and meat, and they have 6 Guinea fowl that totally crack me up. Have you ever seen Guinea fowl? They do everything as a group - there's no clear leader - it's like they share a brain. The "Guineas" are really good for keeping mosquitoes, rodents, and certain other creepy crawlies away.
Two Border Collies and three cats complete our farm family. Two of the cats follow Mom and Dad around when they go for their daily walk. I don't know why the other one doesn't come along, but it stays home with the dogs.
Anyway, that's life on the farm. I like going there because it's so laid back. If I ever move back there, I want to build a log cabin back in the woods, have my own organic garden, and lots of animals. Sure, I'd miss Starbucks and other benefits of city living, but as long as I have an espresso machine and FedEx and UPS can deliver, I'd probably be just fine. :-)