November 3, 2010


A motley crew: Whitney, Kristin, Caleb, Ben, Steven, John

Last weekend, Whitney’s parents, Ben and Elaine, visited from Idaho. Their time with us was replete with apple picking at Carter Mountain Orchard, target practice in the woods, and a 10k for Whitney and Ben.

Ben and Elaine joined a long list of visitors we’ve had at the farm over the past 10 months. One of the benefits of the house at the farm is its ample space for guests. None of the four of us have recently lived in places that accommodated visitors from outside of town, so we knew that living at the Thomas Farm would provide opportunities for our friends and family to stop by and stay a while for a change. Therefore, it wouldn’t be particularly complete to reflect on our time here without commenting on our guests and how they’ve impacted our experience.

Carolyn and Mike, Kristin’s aunt and uncle, have spent several long weekends with us, and have been our most frequent visitors. (They really aren’t visitors per se, but it’s easiest for the sake of this article to characterize them that way). We’ve shared countless meals with them, worked with them, and had a lot of fun spending time with them. It’s safe to say that they have shaped our year more than anyone.

To give you a sense of our visitorship, I’ve assembled our cast of guests from the farm calendar in addition to Carolyn and Mike (pardon the error if I missed you): Callie (plus several friends), Ben, Angie, Darcy, John, Stuart, 2 Bluffton College students, Carl, Marilu, Sandy, Ed, Ann, Brian, Ashley, Mitchell, Kaitlyn, Jessica, Dick, Bonnie, Kacey, Charlottesville Symphony Orchestra viola section, Ben, Jillian, Molly, Linda, Sue, Sandy, Lindsay, Mike, Joni, Steve, Ben, Whitney, Jon, Karly (+ parents), AJ, Sophie, Steven, Isaac, Kerin, Emily, John, Lynne, Greg, Grace, Courtney, Jeremy, Lily, Janelle, Jason, Kali, Rachel, Ben, and Elaine. Yes — 3 Ben’s.

The sheer quantity of names in that list gives you a sense that things have been busy socially around the farm. As an introvert, I would sometimes find this environment a tad overwhelming, but on the whole, very positive. Guests often prompted us to do things around the farm and the surrounding area that I think we normally would have taken for granted — hiking in the woods, clearing trails, riding on the ATV, swimming, grilling, target practice, wine tasting, tours of local historical sites, day trips to nearby towns, clearing gutters, and so on.

If there’s one thing that united all of the visits we’ve had on the farm, it’s food. As we’ve mentioned in this blog, food has often been at the center of our activities as a household, and perhaps this is even more true when we had guests. I enjoyed being able to point to the salad on the table and say, “that’s Thomas Farm lettuce,” or, “those are our green beans.”

Enjoying the farm’s produce wouldn’t have been near as fun or perhaps satisfying if we weren’t able to share it with others. I have to say the same goes for our time on the farm as a whole. Sharing it with so many family and friends has gone a long way in making it special and memorable.


Four Bens. Not three.

An amazing guest list you guys have had. Wow. Speaking of visitors, have you talked to Jon in the last few days?

AJ — November 4, 2010

Feel proud to have been one of them! Wonderful, relaxing place to visit. Thanks for the hospitality.

Sandy — November 5, 2010

Thanks for the hospitality!

Joni — November 15, 2010