Simple Blessings Farm and Barn is possible because of the many blessings that God has so generously given. Our family has worked hard for many generations and has overcome many trials and obstacles to acquire, love and work the land that is a part of our farm. We are a century farm, which means we’ve been farming here (well, our family – Jones Bros. Farms) for over 100 years! It is our passion, it is in our blood, and we can’t imagine doing anything else, raising our children any other way, AND not sharing a piece of this with as many people as we can.
For the past nine years, I have been a teacher, but I felt a little tug that I was supposed to do something else, while still being able to use my gift of teaching. I can tell you everything in my life has led to this: Finding my wonderful husband, being placed in this family, my family, childhood and past experiences. I spent many days in the garden with my grandma and all my cousins, in the hay field and feeding cows with my grandpa, fishing, and just loving growing up on the farm as a child. Marrying a farmer, working side by side and seeing the experience and excitement our children have living on a farm really made me want to find a way to share this with others. We always had friends that wanted to “come out to the farm” for a day, or friends and family that really enjoyed the harvest we were able to share from our garden, or special treats we’d make to share from the farm. Though I had been teaching for nine years, and loved it, this life and being on the farm, was becoming my passion!
I had been feeling a little tug that I was supposed to do something else for a while, but had no idea what was in store when I decided not to sign my teaching contract in the spring of 2014, after the birth our third child, Phillip Ryder. The summer and fall brought many memory-making days and nights together in the garden, picking pecans and popcorn with Grandpa John and sharing this with friends. I knew I had to share it with more people and this was what I was supposed to do. My children loved it, I loved it, and so many wanted to experience it…..why keep it to ourselves? So…….we started a small garden/farm group. Eleven families were invited out to the farm for a “taste of the farm dinner” where we served food that came straight from our field, garden and trees. Those families also brought their children out for a day on the farm for gardening/farm camp, where we toured the farm and learned where our food comes from, as well as planted their own. They will continue to make trips to the farm to help maintain and watch their food grow, until they can hand pick it and eat it themselves.
What about the barn, you may ask? So…..I remember days of being in the kitchen with my grandma canning, but I spent a lot of time re-learning and reading about different ways to preserve the food we were getting so that it didn’t go to waste and we could enjoy it all year. I needed and wanted to make this easier on my families and anyone else that wanted to discover the lost art of being more self-sustainable. Where was I going to do this? In our basement? Amongst these thoughts were the fond memory of Grant and I’s wedding, which was held on the mound, a beautifully elevated hill, that when on top of it, you can see most of the farm. The view is just amazing, you have to see it to appreciate it! Many would comment about how beautiful it is out here, how beautiful our wedidng was and how we should just let people get married out here….build a big barn (so they don’t have to clean the shop out everytime). The more we thought about it and looked at our own wedding pictures, and overlooked what God has placed all around us………and the more times we had to CLEAN OUT THE SHOP for family gatherings, parties, and other receptions, we KNEW WE HAD TO BUILD THE BARN. It would be the perfect place to host our self-sustainable workshops to share knowledge and tips and it would allow us to provide a gathering place for weddings, receptions, parties, and anything else our community might have a need for.
So with lots of prayers, the help and support of our AMAZING FAMILIES, an overwhelming response and acceptance from our community, a little determination and a lot of passion and faith, we took the plunge and Simple Blessings Farm was born! WE are so ecstatic to be able to share our story with you and can’t wait to meet you and be a part of your big day….whatever that day may be! Stop by the barn and meet us sometime.