Meet Judith Farrell Horvath: A Mom Turned Farmer Inspiring Others

I had the pleasure of chatting with Judith Farrell Horvath from Fair Hill Farm in Lancaster, Ohio. Judith’s journey from being a busy business executive to a full-time farmer is both inspiring and heartwarming. She shared her incredible story and how farming has positively impacted her family. I think her experience can motivate us all to try a bit of gardening and appreciate the benefits it brings to our lives.

From Executive to Farmer

Judith’s journey into farming began because of her kids’ food allergies. She told me, “When my children were small, they had significant food allergies. After extensive testing, my husband and I realized it wasn’t the food they were allergic to, but the additives in it.” Determined to provide healthy food for her family, she started gardening. “I started gardening with my kids to spend time with them and grow clean, nutrient-dense food.”

One thing led to another, and soon Judith’s hobby turned into a lifestyle. “We got backyard chickens and loved the different yolks and noticed how different they tasted from grocery store eggs.” Eventually, her passion grew so much that she and her husband decided to buy a farm. “We sold the house and bought a rural property and started turning it into an actual farm.”

 

How Farming Benefits Her Kids

Judith’s kids were 11 and 13 when they moved to the farm. They quickly got involved in farm life. “They learned how to drive a tractor, change tires, fix things, butcher chickens, prepare food, hunt, forage for food, and even can produce.” This hands-on experience taught them valuable skills (I’ve seen similar with just my small and gave them a sense of freedom. “They had far less anxiety and social worries. They’ve played hard, riding a quad, learning how to use a bow and arrow, fishing, building giant bonfires, and seeing thousands of stars and fireflies at night.”

Living on the farm has made her kids more responsible and self-reliant. “They are in tune with nature, appreciating the wildlife and helping to manage our land. These are the things that benefited them profoundly.”

Health and Well-being through Gardening

Gardening has greatly improved Judith’s physical and mental health. “It has taught me how to be better at planning, patience, experimentation, and how to handle frustration and loss when I deal with groundhogs and caterpillars,” she shared. The fresh, home-grown produce also contributes to their health. “There’s just 700-800% more nutritional goodness in produce grown in rich, fertile backyard gardens.”

Judith feels more centered and aware of her surroundings thanks to the quiet time spent in the garden. “It’s healing and nurturing to the soul, while providing clean, pure, nutrient-dense food for our bodily health.”

Advice for Aspiring Gardeners

Judith encourages families to start gardening, no matter how small. “Your first garden is your worst garden! So get out there and fail and learn and keep on going,” she advises. Start with simple plants like culinary herbs and beans, and involve your kids in the process. “Teach kids how to plant seeds. Start with beans; they are foolproof.”

She also emphasizes the importance of organic gardening. “NEVER use chemical plant food; it kills the microbes in the soil. Find an organic fertilizer if you cannot get compost or make your own.”

Making Gardening a Family Activity

To make gardening a part of daily life, Judith suggests involving the kids from the start. “Give them some ownership of the experience,” she says. Raised garden beds are great for kids because they can see the soil and seedlings up close. Make gardening fun by explaining the wonders of the soil and the life it holds. “There’s a whole other world of life in the soil,” Judith explains.

Get your kids excited by letting them help with planting, watering, and harvesting. “When you’re making dinner, send the kids out into the garden with a little scissors and ask them to bring you a snip of basil that goes into the fresh salad.”

Learning from Judith’s Experience

Judith’s biggest lesson from farming is the importance of food freedom. “It is also difficult and extraordinarily expensive to eat healthy today if you are shopping in a grocery store. This is why more and more people choose to grow their own food to ensure the quality that they want.” Supporting local farmers and learning to cook from scratch can also help ensure healthier eating habits.

Follow Judith’s Journey

You can follow Judith’s journey and learn more about Fair Hill Farm on her website Fair Hill Farm. She also has a podcast, “Fair Hill Farmstead Life,” available on all major platforms. Check out her speaking engagements and consulting services to get more tips and inspiration.

Thank you, Judith, for sharing your inspiring story and valuable insights with us. I hope her journey motivates you to try gardening and experience the benefits it brings to your family.

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Cindy
Founder and Lead Blogger at Akron Ohio Moms
Cindy is the top Akron Blogger with her own take on awesome brands for families, where to vacation for families, a beat on local activities and family fun, a knack for getting moms to share , and a house that is always 2 weeks away from a complete remodel!
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