My favorite place
By: Kathryn Pasternak (Jul 7, 2010)
These days everyone I know hears about the "deer lady" who lives and farms out near my house in the Shenandoah. Gail's gotten used to my visits, always accompanied by some new guest I've brought out to meet her, and to hear about her charming flock of chickens, and her large, beloved herd of fallow deer.... as well as to sample some treats from her lush organic garden.
My new housemate, Lisa, first thought I was talking about a "dear old lady" when I mentioned Gail, but then she finally realized I meant the "deer" with two "e"s.
I bring my two boys out to Gail's farm as often as possible, and they love it and afterwards talk about "Blueberry" the chicken, pulling grass to feed the deer, and about Gail, too, and how nice she is to kids. I've brought film-making friends from far flung locations like South Africa and Angola, friends from Spain and Argentina and they come away fascinated and enriched by this unexpected experience in America. And I've brought my dear friends from Northern Virginia, who now return on their own with their family and friends because people just can't get enough of Gail and her farm. I know that now-- Gail hasn't just grown an organic farm, she's grown a community of people who love spreading the word far and wide about why we need to change the way we feed ourselves in this country.
Gail is a fountain of knowledge we should all know -- things we've known in the past but somehow have forgotten. Like why chickens are best buddies with a tomato garden, cleaning up all the pesky insects that might do the tender plants harm. Things about the food we should be eating, and thankfully do get to eat after a visit to her fantastic organic vegetable garden, or to the fridge full of beautiful "rainbow" colored eggs.
So just like probably many other people who make regular visits to Gail's farm, I go for far more than the delicious organic vegetables and eggs she has on offer. I go for her wisdom and incredible kindness and generosity. A trip to the Shenandoah just wouldn't be the same without seeing my friend Gail.
Comments on this Review:
Sandra Welch says: (Jul 20, 2010)
I second the comments made by Kathryn. I discovered Gail's Garden and deer farm about 8 years ago. She is an amazing woman who has a depth of knowledge about plants, animals, and the earth and a talent for teaching others and instilling in them a love of nature. Every springtime I start regular visits to hear about what new varities she is planting, how she has enriched the soil, what new experiments she is trying. Then I am thrilled to see the plants grow, and this year got to taste her first ripe tomato. I also had the thrill of taking my grandsons (ages 3 and 8 months) for their first visit with Gail this year. She is wonderful with children. I expect to take my grandsons to see her every time they come for a visit from Kentucky. Gail has informed and inspired hundreds---maybe thousands of people to understand and appreciate the world of plants and animals and how our lives can be blessed by them.