How Did We Get Here?
In Western Ohio, you can drive for miles and miles with nothing but farms on either side of the road. Big old barns, old farmhouses, old tractors, old farms. It’s heaven, really. The remarkable, quiet beauty of that part of the country is an experience you want to take with you wherever you go. That’s just what Bob did. As a boy growing up in Ohio, he spent summers on a farm owned by friends of the family. And, he took the experience with him when he grew up – to college, to his jobs in tall office buildings in New York City, and to his rose garden in his suburban backyard. He talked about his summers on the farm, and he imagined himself back on that farm in Ohio. He called it his “farm dream.”
From the time Bob and I met over 30 years ago, Bob talked about his farm dream. We would go on long Sunday drives and admire houses that looked like barns, and mowers that looked like tractors. We would visit an orchard gift shop several towns away and Bob would talk to the owner about the apple crop. We’d buy apple pies and cider donuts and we’d feel like we caught a piece of the farm dream. Then one summer, Bob was having a milestone birthday and I wanted to find a meaningful gift. In spite of living many miles from a working farm, it didn’t take long to find a used 1952 Ford 8-N tractor. On his birthday, when Bob arrived home from his job in New York City, he spotted the tractor sitting in the driveway, balloons tied to the steering wheel. He shouted, “Well, if that isn’t a Ford 8-N, I don’t know what is!”
Bob rode the farm tractor around our suburban yard, with our then 2-year old on his lap, waving at bewildered neighbors. He gave kids tractor rides at our daughter’s birthday parties. He used the tractor to haul leaves from one part of the yard to the other. The farm dream was alive and well...but still not quite a reality. Then, several life-changing events happened in rapid succession: jobs changed, family members passed away, 9/11 happened. We decided it was time to make the farm dream real. And that's when Small Ones Farm was born.
This year (2018) is our 15th growing season. We grow apples, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, blueberries, melons, grapes, garlic, and pumpkins. We press our apples into cider, we make our own apple cider vinegar, and we use our fruit for fruit pies. We have a big old barn, an old farmhouse, old tractors, an old farm. It’s heaven, really. Our farm has a remarkable, quiet beauty - an experience you want to take with you wherever you go.
~ Sally Fitz