About the Farm:
Built in 1889 and christened Cedar Oak Farms, largely due to its location amid a grove of cedar and oak trees, our farmstead shares a long history with the land. Butted up along Middlefork River and Forest Reserve the area was once a popular hunting grounds of the Kickapoo Indians. Area artifacts suggest there had been Indian homesites, but of a temporary nature, not tribal settlements. Even today a hike through the timber will kick up an arrowhead or the occasional bits of broken pottery. Today the river is used for kayaking, fishing, and quiet strolls that allows us an up close and personal view of all the locals: deer, red fox, otter, coyote, and as legend would have it, a lone black panther. Last summer we encountered our first least weasel.
Hi, I’m Ella. I come from a long line of farmers. Even though I personally grew up far from the farm. My playground was amid tall skyscrapers, not trees. I enjoyed major sports events, museums, and dining out. But, my mom made sure we visited the family and the farm regularly. It wasn’t long before we all realized I had inherited some of the farming gene. I started spending a good part of my summers with cousins playing in the creek and helping with farm chores. It wasn’t any surprise that I met my husband during one of those summers and gladly waved good-bye to city life and moved backed to my roots.
When the kids were young and the farm was filled with animals, gardens, renovations, cooking, and DIYs, there was not much time to appreciate the country and all it had to offer. When the kids started school I went back to the financial world I came from. Soon I was immersed in board meetings, community outreaches, and financial analysis working fifty to sixty hours a week. Then one day after a long grueling day I looked out the windows of my corner office to see the sun shining and the flowers waving in the summer breeze. I felt my soul break in that moment. I realized I was homesick. I wanted to go home, plant a garden, spend my days out in the sunshine tending and caring for the ground, my animals. my farming community. All those things I once did in a hurry and with a little bit of a chip on my shoulder because I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have.
Soon after that I turned in my resignation and headed home. I remodel my barn and opened it up to the community bringing in local farmers and local products. Before I knew it a farmers market grow out of the idea. Then we opened up the farm to onsite shopping, put in a bakery, scheduled farm dinners and events. And Cedar Oak Farms was created. I planted that garden I so longed for, enlarged it, added to it, until I created a monster that needs consist care. I once came home mentally exhausted I now come inside dirty, sweaty, and exhausted. Yet, I would not change one ache or blister for a single paper cut. I am finally home!
Here on the blog I hope to share my farm life with you through home décor, recipes, DIYs, gardening, farm events, and shopping. My goal is to connect and inspire you through unique ideas and beautiful photos, but I won’t gloss it up. Country life can be hard work, farm critters can be scary, and sometimes we have epic failures. It cannot all be idyllic and photographic moments. Some days we have to scoop manure, remove unwanted snakes from the chicken coop, or stick our hands in orifices we rather not talk about. That’s just farm life. Welcome to Cedar Oak Farms. I’m so glad you’re here!