While there are many women who have farmed, one who rings a crystal clear bell in my mind is Tasha Tudor. She was a woman who walked away from what we call the “normal” of society and recreated her own reality- and it served her well.
I first learned of Tasha Tudor by accident. While perusing my local library, I came across a book cover that literally stopped me in my tracks. Suffice to say, I was hooked. I gobbled up all the information that I could find on this mysterious and amazingly talented woman, who dressed in 18th century clothing- because it was who she was.
Tasha was born August 28, 1915, in Boston Massachusetts. She made her home in Marlboro, Vermont, which is where she died, after living a life well lived, at the age of 92 years old. You can find plenty of information on her online; however, I suggest you pick up a few of her books and see if she casts her spell over you as well. Though a woman of many talents- illustrator, author, historic figure, it is this last talent, I’d like to focus on, the plant-woman.
This herbalist, farmer, and botanist created an environment most of us, literally, would shake our heads at in amazement. Known to root herbs in willow stems; for later plantings, grow massive amounts of flowers for their effects on her worn pathways- set amongst her 250 acre paradise, create secret spaces for mere enjoyment, and take pride in the meals and desserts she cooked from the harvest of her land. Tasha, one step at a time, accomplished what most of us seek to do, to build her farm her way. And that she did.
Tudor was self-sufficient. She had Nubian goats for milk, yogurt and cheese. Fruit trees lined the steps down into the gardens which held herbs and vegetables. She would say that she felt vegetables preferred plants growing around their base to keep the moisture levels balanced. I must remember that next time I’m weeding furiously.
What most intrigued me about this woman is the fact she created a whole business around a life-style that she utterly adored. Her flowers and farm show up in her illustrations, her life shows up on the pages that she wrote. She was brilliant, and her farm business model worked.
So, if you want to be inspired, pick up a book on Tasha’s life, her words will encourage you to move forward to build your own farm.