Stealth Farming

My Dad Was Not a Prepper

My dad was a peace-loving man with a great love of the outdoors. Back in 1962 my parents bought a two-acre plot off the Loves, a family who owned a sizeable farm in Pennsylvania. The Loves had lived there for practically forever and this particular plot of land had served as a sometimes cornfield, sometimes cow pasture. My dad was in heaven.

Several ripe red raspberries growing

Several ripe red raspberries growing

After building a small cape cod cottage in the middle of what was, let’s be truthful, a sea of mud, my dad set to work. One of the first things he planted was a willow tree, a well-calculated strategy to soak up the water in what had been a mucky mess. Soon afterward, we had several dozen pines. But the rest of the property? Food. Currants, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Pears, apples, peaches, and papaws. Asparagus, onions, horse chestnuts, and Jerusalem Artichokes. Saffron, catnip, lemon balm, and oregano. And more. Much, much more. The entire property – all two acres – was loaded not just with trees, shrubs and flowers, but with food. Edibles. He was not planning for the apocalypse; he was planning for his family. No matter what bills came in, our family would never starve.

For many years, in fact all the way up until the death of my father, I held that place as heaven, a place of comfort and refuge. So beautiful it could make a statue weep. In the back of my mind it was that place that would always be there, just in case. Now that it’s gone, I feel a bit vulnerable. There is no place like home, especially after it’s gone.

If the apocalypse ever came and you wanted to know where I’d go, it would have been here. A richly planted farm that didn’t look like one, so no one would try to steal it. Of course, now another family will enjoy it. I’ll have to come up with a backup plan.




Published by Flowers & Fullerton

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