Country Living – How I Ended Up Near Farmville, Virginia
(Yes, there really is such a place as Farmville.)
Country living is in my blood.
My name is Jeanne Grunert, and I was born on Long Island, New York, in a town just on the border with Queens – in other words, I’m a New York City kid. My high school was directly across the street from Belmont Race Track, planes roared overhead as they landed at JFK Airport, and the rumble of Long Island Rail Road trains bound for Manhattan was my lullaby.
I grew up loving plants and gardening thanks to my dad, older sister Ann, and next-door neighbor, Mr. Hoffman. I also loved horses and as soon as I could drive I’d head east to Holy Spirit Farms where my college’s equestrian team met and trained.
It was while working there one morning, gazing over the green pastures where the dozens or so horses grazed, that I realized my heart belonged in the countryside and country living was what I wanted, not the crazy pace of city life.
When I met my husband, I found a kindred spirit. Every vacation we took, we drove to a rural place, mostly the mountains, and hiked, fished, and rode horses. We loved rural living and yearned for a farm of our own, but how could we make a living if we didn’t live in New York City? I was a marketing manager and my husband worked in finance, two careers heavily dependent upon city living.
Was country living just a dream?
Making the Dream of Country Living Come True
Then a miracle happened: the internet.
I was able to start making money online, from home, while working full time in Manhattan, and I realized I could continue working from home no matter where I lived.
The light went on in my head. I could afford to quit my fancy executive job and move to the country after all!
I started an e-commerce business and art gallery from home. We bought 17 acres of undeveloped land in rural Virginia just outside of a two-college town called Farmville and near Appomattox, where the Civil War ended. Our plans included building our own home (we hired someone to do it but we designed it ourselves) and learning how to be a self-sufficient as possible.
It took a long time to adapt to country life but now I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I am a full-time freelance content marketing writing, novelist, marketing consultant, and business skills teacher making my living from my home office.
On any given day, I’m writing, canning home-grown organic apples, pulling weeds in the garden, helping a neighbor with her farm animals, hauling horse manure for another neighbor, chasing cattle from the road, or avoiding skunks as I walk Zeke, our German shepherd. (He thinks every skunk should be his best friend.)
Life is about living. It is here in the countryside that I feel like I am living for the first time. It’s not easy. But it is where I belong, and I love sharing it with you.
Welcome to my home. Welcome to Seven Oaks Farm.