Sit back for a minute with your cup of coffee, this is going to be a long one.
Below is the inspiration behind our LOVE sign. As you read it, if you don't already know me very well, you will realize there is thought and purpose behind most things I do. When I first wrote this story, I released it on October 31,2019 because it was one year ago from that day that my mom passed away and we started the current chapter in our lives.
"Inspiration for the LOVE Sign"
"L" is made from beehives.
John’s bee adventures started several decades ago while living in Florida. We moved back to the area in June of ’99, and he began this farming adventure with 3 hives. He lost all the hives several times over the years but currently has several dozen thriving hives. He hopes to continue to expand the beeyard in the coming years and looks forward to working more with the bees during retirement. The bees provide us with tasty honey to sell and wax to use in various products made here on the farm.
"O" is made from the spreader attachment for the tractor.
When we moved back to the area we had a lot of mouths to feed and were in the, “If we didn’t raise it, we didn’t eat it” chapter of our lives. Over the years we raised various farm animals along with a LOT of vegetables. With literally over 3,000 jars of home-canned produce on the pantry shelves, the vegetables sometimes seemed never-ending. While some of the girls worked the garden more willingly than others, they all quickly learned they could plant more than we needed and take the extra to the farmers market to earn “spending money” so they could go to summer camp. Katherine, who spent her spare time pouring over seed catalogs like they were the Christmas toy catalog from days past, chose each seed variety with loving care. With several garden spots and well over half an acre of garden space to be planted, there were a lot of seeds to be started indoors. Katherine “politely requested” that her sisters vacate one of the bedrooms and turned it into a thriving greenhouse. That was the beginning of the business venture that got us to where we are today.
"V" is made from the old sidelights that once flanked the front door of the log cabin built in 1836.
There are a lot of memories in this old house and life on the farm. When we moved back to the area, we specifically chose this piece of land because it already had three dwellings. That allowed us to raise six beautiful daughters as well as take care of “Grandma” and “Granny” until their life’s end. The house was more than a roof over our heads. It was a place for learning, love, and family. The girls were homeschooled here which also helped us get to where we are today. When they were young, Grandma enjoyed going on field trips with us to Douthat. It was there that we met Ellen when she was working as an interpreter at the park. As time went on Ellen started coming to the farm to present programs to the local homeschool group. It was through her encouragement that we started down the Agritourism road. As the girls grew and developed their own interests, we added more to our farmers market offerings and began to do craft shows. When Granny was no longer with us Grandma moved into her house so that we could turn the small house into what is now The Shop. The Shop is home to the bakery and the many products handcrafted and produced here on the farm, from honey and value-added food products to soap, lotion, and other bath and body products. Now that Grandma is gone, her house is the creative studio where products are developed and made. It is also home to the classroom, where we share the love of what we do with others.
"E" is painted as a crazy quilt with “Every family has a story Welcome to ours”.
The crazy quilt pattern was chosen for a couple of reasons. One of my earliest memories as a child is snuggling under a crazy quilt that was made by my great grandmother. I loved the fact that it had so many random colors and shapes but was full of history. In those days quilts were made from clothes that had been worn beyond repair and my great grandmother could tell me what each and every fabric piece was from. It was a hand-tied quilt with yarn that would tickle your nose at night. I felt that the crazy quilt was fitting for our family. While the girls were growing up we never know what adventure the day might bring.
As for the colors chosen, the yellow on the sign represents the bees. The purple is for the lavender which has replaced the vegetables now that the girls are grown and gone. The green is for everything else that has grown, is growing, and will ever grow on the farm, including family and personal growth.
Blue Spring Run Farm has gone through many phases during our family’s lifetime. The smallest of our vegetable garden spots, here next to the Love sign, is in transition. We lost several hundred lavender plants over the winter so we will be reworking the area and adding new features. The larger field across the creek that was once home to a half-acre vegetable garden will be planted in wildflowers for the bees.
The area below the sign at the creek is a great place for relaxing, whether it be enjoying a picnic under the shelter, s’mores by the fire, a night under the stars, or simply putting your feet in the creek.
We have spent many wonderful years together making memories on the farm. We have been blessed with wonderful times, but now our family is grown and gone, and things sit quietly. We chose to have the unveiling on October 10, 2019, because it was my dad’s birthday. As a child, he taught me that family is more than just blood relations. It’s a group of people who genuinely love, trust, care about, and look out for each other. We care about those who come to the farm and want to provide you with the best experience possible. So now we have grown our farm into a place for you to come and enjoy while making memories of your own. Welcome to our family."
During the offseason, the farm is open by appointment. You can reach us at 540-747-2055. Visitors are encouraged to take pictures and share on social media with #bluespringrunfarm #LoveVA #uniquelyalleghany