Greetings from Langley, Oklahoma. I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce myself and my family while giving you a little history on how two lab geeks from Minnesota made it to live on a farm in a rural town. Our story is a bit like Green Acres. I only recently started watching that show via Amazon Prime. While the show is funny and a little out of touch with reality there is some truth I can relate to.
My husband, Kevin, grew up on a hog farm in a small town called Montrose, Minnesota while I grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota, home of the Mall of America. Even though Kevin lived several years as an adult in the big city he never outgrew his love for land and elbow room between neighbors. I, on the other hand, enjoyed having several grocery stores to choose from and at least four big malls to shop at. I liked my creature comforts like fast food and movie theaters. I had no desire to live in the middle of nowhere.
Kevin and I met working at a large biotech firm in Minneapolis in the late '90s. He was a chemist and I was a lab tech. Shortly after we got married we moved to a small town called Elk River which is located about 50 minutes from Minneapolis where we found a nice little house on 10 acres. It was the ideal spot to have a few backyard chickens and maybe some ducks. Both highly influenced our desire to live on a farm.
We lived in Elk River, MN with our two children for some time before the bitterly cold winters got the better of us. We both dreamed one day we’d pack up and move south and often talked at length about where we would move to. Since at this point Kevin’s chemist days were behind him, he was now working remotely for Sprint as an IT tech, we could move anywhere in the lower 48. Sometimes having too many choices is daunting so we relied heavily on God for the direction He would have us go.
After a few years of praying, reading and learning about different Southern states I had exhausted all ideas, or so I thought, when I had a thought that wasn’t my own pop in my head, you know the kind, I call them “God’s Whispers”. The voice in my head said, “why not Oklahoma?”
January 2013, knowing nothing more than Northeast Oklahoma is green most of the year, Kevin and I drove to Tulsa and stayed 3 days at an extended stay hotel with plans to shop for a house and or land to buy. We left snowy Minnesota and Oklahoma welcomed us with a sunny 71-degree day. After a three day tour, we found our forever home in Langley, Oklahoma. Three months after our Oklahoma whirlwind tour we packed up our house along with 22 chickens, five ducks, three cats, two dogs and headed south.
We lived in Langley for 2 years before we decided to add cows to our little family farm. While living in cattle country has certainly influenced our decision to get cows it really all started with just a few backyard chickens. Hatcheries really should warn people that chickens are the gateway animal to farming.
In addition to our chickens, ducks, and cows we now have goats and pigs. I still chuckle when I tell people we have pigs. That was the one animal my husband swore we’d never have. Since growing up on a hog farm he had zero intentions of ever raise hogs again.
Sometimes I tease him and say as I point to myself “you have no one to blame but yourself for what you’ve created here. I was happy living in the city until I met you” and the rest is history!