In the breakfast room of our 100 year old house hangs this vintage produce scale. It’s cute and charming, but goes way beyond that for me… (read the rest to see one of my favorite pictures of my family and me from when I was little)
My dad is an amazing gardener…
He loves to grow and produce vegetables from the soil. And he’s so good at it! (He’s in his 80’s now and still spends every day outside growing vegetables galore!!)
This deep desire to be in the country and be a vegetable farmer was such a strong yearning for him, he and my mom did all they could to get out of the city to be able to buy a farm, both for the ability to raise vegetables, but also for the opportunity to have my sister and me grow up in the country where life was so different than Chicago, where he and Mom mostly grew up.
So working their tails off to save enough, they bought a 100+ acre farm in Southern Wisconsin with an antique farmhouse, barn and outbuildings on it.
This is our family in the mid 60’s shortly after they bought it. They rented it out for a couple years to finish gathering enough money to kick off their new farm business with, then by the late 60’s we moved from Ohio to the farm in Wisconsin and renovated the house and set up the farm for growing amazing produce. The soil on the farm was this fantastic rich black loam…
Life of the farm for me was wonderful!
I couldn’t imagine myself growing up any place else…
I have an explorer’s freelance heart, so living here and being able to build my own little treehouse in the ‘back 40’ was something that I took for granted then, but now realize how the amount of freedom I had to explore and create was only because of the fact of where I grew up. Well that, and the fact that my parents recognized my need to have that kind of freedom and allowed me to grow my creative, exploring nature. I’m so blessed to have the parents that I was given.
And I’m so glad for life on the farm.
It wasn’t all play and building treehouses, that’s for sure. We had to work… and I’m not talking a couple chores a week for an allowance, like the city kids did. Oh no, we realized that we all had to chip in and work at planting, hoeing, picking, and then finally selling the produce.
We grew a lot of sweet corn, onions, melons, peppers and of course tomatoes among other yummy veggies.
This scale holds in it memories of life on the farm.
This vintage scale was the actual scale we used at our family stand where we sold the produce we grew on the farm.
I remember oh so many tomatoes being weighed in this scale, and just how the paper bags would barely fit over the end of it to catch the tomatoes, as we gently lifted the bin to tilt them into it.
When we had the scale at the stand, it did have the numbers on it… but over the years the face of the scale got dirty as it was stored in the shed long after its use at the stand was over. One day I decided to bring it in to the house, and washed it up, and sadly the white face with the numbered pounds just wiped right off!
So now our vintage produce scale hangs in the breakfast room, next to ‘the black cupboard with a secret‘ and when I have my morning coffee I frequently sit in here and think of some fond memory of life on the farm that helped shape me into the industrious woman I am today.
Mother’s Day is in a few day, but this post is really for both my mom and my dad, because they made a team parenting me and my sis and teaching us values that we have chosen to live by in our own lives…
The other day I was reading one of my favorite blogs The Inspired Room, and Melissa took the time to thank all the gals that helped with another great book she’s written… I commented on there how nice it’d be if we all thought a little more about taking time to thank those that helped to support us… and I really meant it!
So, if I haven’t said it lately… Mom, Dad, thank you! Thank you for all the sacrifices and hard work you did and taught us, so we could be raised in an amazing place and lifestyle. It has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated! I’m so so so thankful for that life, and for you two. The ‘stick-to-it-ness’ and determination you taught us in every aspect of life, that was at times so challenging and overwhelming for you I can’t imagine now thinking of it with adult eyes, yet you stayed together and fought the good fight, all in love and sacrifice for each other and for us. I love and respect you so much…
Happy Mother’s Day Mom! (and Dad) 😉
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