Farmer instigated the unfolding of a story we never planned to write. He became a constant symbol and reminder that it takes faith to leap into the scary unknown–crossing the threshold from feeling safe and in seeming control over to a new world that’s uncertain and uncharted territory.
Oh the irony of not knowing the future.
We brought our beautiful, red-furred, energetic and wandering, cuddly, sweet-natured bloodhound home when he was around a year and a half old. Marshall’s friend had been fostering him, and as soon as we saw him, we knew he was meant to be ours. We were scared of the life change and new responsibility, but we realized even the commonplace unknown of dog ownership requires a leap of faith.
After lots of consideration–he was our first dog as a married couple after all–we named him, Farmer. We found him on the farm where we’d spent our days dating, riding horses and taking walks for miles. It seemed reminiscent and right. Little did we know that name was also foreshadowing our future.
A few short years after bringing Farmer home, we decided to move back east to our hometown to climb the steep learning curve to become actual farmers. Talk about life curveballs. We will be careful what we name our dogs in the future. But through unexpected events and conversations that I won’t take time to go into here; we were compelled down this path by our brand new understanding of the design that exists in nature. The tension of the “eden” and the “thistle” that imparts beauty in the process of sustainable farming.
EdenThistle was born, requiring a giant leap of faith into the unknown.
We loved this life. Deeper into our story, we had to let go of farming on a large scale ourselves–this was a grief though also our clear path. But we have been forever imprinted by its rhythms: symbiotic work, rest, fortified fertility, sustained growth, harvest and then the cycle repeating itself. It involved many tensions, many thistles. But also provisions. At so many of the junctures in the arduous moments of the journey, all we could do was lean into faith.
And as we did, Farmer remained our Ebeneazer of sorts–”our stone of help.” His bloodhound nose would cause him to wander off more often than we cared for. After endlessly searching, all we could do was hold out faith he’d come back–just like the times he’d wander away on a trail, find his way out of our securely-fenced yard or pasture, or the time he got hit by a work truck on a farm–his chance of recovery unknown. But each time, he returned to us, and that constant provision was not lost on us.
Our new name, Farmer & Thistle, is an ode both to the life of sustainable farming that still has its deep impressions running through us. And, it is an ode to our beautiful bloodhound, Farmer. Though he is no longer with us, his imprint is. His memory remains our Ebeanzer–our stone of help–to take that leap of faith into the unknown.
Our journey into the 'unknown' has been a beautiful unearthing. It's ongoing transformative process has led us to clarified and redefined vision for Farmer & Thistle. A vision that we are so excited to share with you: