The Benefits of an Early Riser & a Farm Girl

by Tess on May 16, 2010

Rooster Goodbye

Farmers get up early and I was born on a farm. We worked in the fields and at the Farmer's Market as early as age five. We worked outside from spring through fall. We were out the door by 6:00 am, even earlier on the weekends.

4586353615 07584b87f3 The Benefits of an Early Riser & a Farm Girl

My sisters and I worked out in the fields in the sun, in the cold, in the rain and in the midst of lightening and thunder.

We were always planting, weeding, picking, and playing on my family's 88-acre produce and trucking farm. There we chased our shadows and basked in nature and all of it's glory season after season. The contrast of the glorious colors of the sky, the earth and the fruits and vegetables were breathtaking.

We did the most difficult jobs in the morning before the sun would get the best of our energy. We often came upon intricate spider webs shining with morning dew.

Tons of strawberries, pickles, melons and green and yellow beans would be picked, packed, and loaded on refrigerated trucks for the following day at the Farmer's Market. I can still taste the tomatoes we would pick and eat from the vine as we worked. They were red, ripe, sweet and warm from the mid-day sun.

Cherry Tomatoes

Picking melons was one of my favorite jobs. It wasn't back breaking. We would crack open watermelons on the ground and eat the heart out with our hands. The juice would drip down our chins and on our arms as we devoured the sweet seedless middle. 


As we worked our way from one field to the next, I couldn't help but notice that the texture of the brown, sandy high ground compared o the black, mucky low ground was as different as night and day.

During the summer, we would catch pollywogs, swim and fish in the pond. All of my senses were heightened by these experiences. 

Green Frog

Gladiolas are often used at funerals, but to me they hold memories, of happy creative times with my sisters. In the late afternoon the gladiolas seemed to stand in the fields at attention proud and arrayed in shining glory as if they couldn't wait for us to take them from the field and send them on their way to brighten someone's day, true to their purpose.


"Six in a bunch," my father would yell to us over the blaring radio as we chatted and filled the empty buckets with water. He left it totally up to us to mix or match the colors. He trusted us to use our intuition. It was one of our favorite times of day. 

This Corn Is Sweet As Hell!

It was a sensory experience growing up on the farm. The smells, the tastes, the sights and the sounds are embedded in my memory. Often today the explosive squish of a cherry tomato in my mouth or eating hot buttered corn and acorn squash filled with brown sugar trigger sweet memories of the foods I ate as a child.

I go back in time every time I see a flower growing or a bee buzzing. Today I love shopping at the Farmer's Market. I'm swept back into childhood memories and feel grateful for how blessed I was to have nature as my playground and fruits and vegetables my mana from heaven.

farm girl The Benefits of an Early Riser & a Farm Girl

                                                                Farm Girl age 15

Photo CreditsCreative Commons License photo credit: Baugher Webmaster Services, Creative Commons License photo credit: ppphotographs ,Creative Commons License photo credit: SidewaysSara Creative Commons License photo credit: OakleyOriginal 
Creative Commons License photo credit: Dendroica ceruleaCreative Commons License photo credit: krossbow  photo credit: Sister72

Are you an early riser? What are some of your favorite childhood memories?

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    { 39 comments… read them below or add one }

    Sandy May 16, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Wow – what a wonderful childhood and the work ethic you developed is phenomenal. I don’t imagine there are many children willing to put in such long hours of physical labor without grumbling. Some may look upon this as hard labor for a child but I truly appreciate the values that you learned by being productive and busy. I’m sure that you are not afraid of hard work now but what you express here is joy for all of the wonderful memories.


    Stacey Shipman May 16, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Awesome memories, and what a great picture! Even though you worked hard, I gather there was also some peace that came with it just by being out in nature so much and so early. I am an early riser now, but haven’t always been. These days I love the quiet stillness that morning brings, so much different than evening (which I love, too, just for different reasons.)

    I just got home from watching my nephew’s baseball game, first time I saw him pitch (he’s 7 1/2). Reminded me of when I was young, gathering on a Sunday with my cousins, playing and laughing. Good times for sure.


    Hulbert Lee May 16, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Wow wonderfully written Tess. I’ve never come anywhere close to growing up on a farm. I guess a unique experience I had when I was a childhood was visiting the temple in front of the house that my mom grew up (it’s still there today). I like how you used sensory details in this post. Once of my favorite descriptions was when you talked about cracking open the watermelon and how the sweet juice would drip down your chins and arms. Nice description. :) Thanks for sharing this Tess!
    .-= Hulbert Lee´s last post…Attraction – Esther Hicks =-.


    Debbie Hampton May 16, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Wonderfully vivid memories. Thank you making me feel as if I were there with you. I can taste the watermelon, see the splendor of gladiolas, and smell the scents bursting from life in nature around me. I can imagine myself as a 15 year old farm girl. I even had the cat eye glasses too! Beautiful photography also.


    Wilma Ham May 16, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Wow Tess, what an awesome memory and tribute to your youth. I adore the photo, you haven’t changed.
    It is great to look back on those days like you do, because it also must have been hard work for all of you. My father had a shop and us kids also helped there a lot. That too has left me with great memories and smells, unfortunately not the sensory memories you have but all the same, wonderful memories.
    How fortunate we are. love Wilma
    .-= Wilma Ham´s last post…Money and water, you can think shortage or abundance. =-.


    Farnoosh May 16, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Oh gosh, I am terrified of frogs, Tess but I’ll quickly comment here anyway…. ;) )
    Early rising rocks rocks rocks! I am up at 4:30am most days and 6:00am if I sleep in! It is sweet to watch the world wake up. It is hard to imagine going to work that early though (although I do work on the blog so maybe I go to “work” in a sense). Thank you for writing about early rising. I am a huge fan of that and needless to say, of this blog!


    Cath Lawson May 16, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    What beautiful images. I am also an early riser – although I did have bad insomnia for a few years. Morning is my favourite time of day.

    My grandparents had a farm, so when I stayed there, I was often up at 4.15 am. It was a dairy farm so the cows needed to be milked. I have so many memories – I loved how the noise of the milking machines starting broke the silence. The smell of the powder milk for feeding the calves. And the smell of breakfast cooking, with the radio playing in the background. It’s weird how the memories – even the smells and sounds are so vivid now.


    Topi May 17, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Hi Tess,
    Wow, you’ve brought back some good memories! I grew up next to a farm that grew pineapples and melons, and one of my best friends lived on a dairy farm and the other best friend lived on a horse ranch. I’d forgotten the joy of growing up in the country, eating melons with my sticky hands, and swimming in a pond full of frogs (and the odd toad!). I would wish the same for my children, but my parents have now sold their house to move closer to their city based children. However, my family and I are lucky to live near water so my children will grow up knowing how to fish and swim in the ocean, which I think is a pretty good alternative to the country. Plus, there’s a riding school down the road, must look into how I get my kids onto the back of a horse!! Thanks for the memories!
    .-= Topi´s last post…The possibilities are endless =-.


    Tony Single May 17, 2010 at 4:47 am

    I have to say I’m jealous of the childhood you had. I grew up near an industrial estate. Kinda boring really, which is why I escaped into books and cartoons. I wonder how I would’ve turned out if I’d had nature in my back yard like you did.

    Wow. That was a wonderful, evocative post, Tess. Thanks! :)
    .-= Tony Single´s last post…After =-.


    Tess Bold Life May 17, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Sandy it was difficult that’s for sure and crazy because there were 10 children. However the discipline, beauty and abundance experienced are immeasurable.
    We were and I am blessed!

    Isn’t it fun watching kids play sports? Family and friends rock my world. My life would be black and white without them. Nature has always been a huge part of my life. I’m sure it’s part of the reason I’ve been (and am) so healthy.

    What a temple is amazing to me! Thanks for complimenting my writing and I’m coming over to read your next post. Your blog is unique and always of interest.

    It’s my pleasure giving you a feast for your eyes and mind. Yes those glasses are cat eye aren’t they. I was a tough kid;)

    I know the love you have for your parents and your family. Isn’t life grand? And yes blessed we are. Thanks my friend. xo

    Oh yes and waking up early has such a huge impact on the whole of our lives. But shhh…we won’t tell anyone! Thanks and I love as well;)

    Oh I can smell the cows and taste the warm milk! Yes the radio saved us…literally saved us from going completely out of our minds. Especially the teenage years….

    Pineapples, toads, melons…memories and yes horses and the ocean are amazing gifts. I think your children must love life and grandparents that have moved closer…it all says great things about your family. Thanks for sharing.
    .-= Tess Bold Life´s last post…The Benefits of an Early Riser & a Farm Girl =-.


    suzen May 17, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Hi Tess! From one farm girl to another – ahh the memories! I also remember canning in August in the basement kitchen – before air conditioning! That was not my favorite thing but we sure ate well during the winters!


    Evita May 17, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Hi Tess

    Oh this is just oozing with such warmth and a natural love for life and all of its beautiful parts!

    I love your photos! My goodness all that delicious, natural and wholesome vegetation to eat must have been a treat! And I know it came with hard work, but as you describe it, I have a feeling it didn’t always seem that way – there was a lot of fun associated with it, and it just was.

    Beautiful pic of you too – thanks for sharing :)
    .-= Evita´s last post…Healing: The Capability of Being or Becoming a Miracle =-.


    Keith May 17, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Hello Tess!

    Reading this post took me down memory lane as well. I have always been am early riser myself and being in the early morning is still one of my favorite times.

    I love the pictures you included, and what a great picture of you as a teenager. You’ve hardly changed at all!

    Thanks Tess!


    Jannie Funster May 17, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Farm Girl!

    As you may remember I too am a farm girl too. Sorta. Dad worked in the Mines, but to this day still keeps the farm up for his horses, and grows some veggies for his and Mom’s own use.

    Wow, Suzen’s a farm-girl too. I know Davina is. And Lance too. Well, Lance a farm BOY, of course, even with his tiara and pink dress. :) :)

    Oh, speaking of that Lance character… I think you may not have yet read my message to you in my comment there on his most recent post? (Comment number 11) :) :)

    Oh yes — I love to rise early, first up in the house, usually as Kitty is just coming in from his night cavorting in the backyard.

    And I am totally dreaming of fresh corn and tomatoes now.

    LOVE that pic of you, Tess!!! You are still as pretty.

    Some of my favorite childhood memories… riding on giant loads of haybales from the fields to the barn. Many days spent at the beach after weeding things. Summer visits from Dad’s brothers and sisters who had mostly moved to Toronto. Tree swings. Strawberry shortcake. Playing in the snow. Dancing at family parties. And many , many more!

    .-= Jannie Funster´s last post…How To Make Window Shutters =-.


    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work May 17, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I loved reading every word of this post probably because I worked on a truck farm from 10-17 years old and it was quite an adventure. I’m still an early riser and I wouldn’t trade that trait for any. They really ought to bring back glasses frames like those.
    .-= Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s last post…Top Ten Tips For A Confident Career Change =-.


    Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord May 17, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Oh my gosh, I love this post! Since meeting you, Tess, you’ve given me a new appreciation for the outdoors, and allowed me to dream about farm life in vivid, inspirational ways. I was always a suburb girl, but now I feel my energy creeping more and more toward the country… Toward farming, and farmers. It feels right, and your posts continue to sing to my soul. Thank you!

    Awesome pictures, by the way!


    Mama Zen May 17, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I grew up on a farm, too. I wouldn’t trade that childhood for the world.
    .-= Mama Zen´s last post…Not Holding My Breath =-.


    Mark May 17, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful memories. I too am an early riser. Morning is my most productive time of the day. You are blessed to have grown up in the environment that you did. Much of who you are today was learned when you were 5 years old working/living on the farm.
    .-= Mark´s last post…If I Won The Lottery … =-.


    Patty - Why Not Start Now? May 17, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Love that photo of you, Tess. And your memories of life on the farm are a joy to read. But as much as I admire people who are early risers, I can’t count myself among them. I’ve never been much of a morning person, and probably never will be. Although I have seen a few memorable sunrises, usually after staying up all night!
    .-= Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s last post…Meaning Mondays: Creative Chick Meets Warrior Woman Edition =-.


    Erin May 17, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I am an early riser. I grew up in a rural environment at well. Through most of my married life, my husband has been involved with construction. Those guys get up early too. So I can hardly ever sleep in, but it has never been important to me to sleep in. I love how everything looks in the early morning before the light of mid-day washes out the colors. I love the way things smell with a little dew remaining to add a sweetness. It is quiet time and my most creative ideas come in early morning. Nice photos and post.
    .-= Erin´s last post…The Modern Neighborhood Church =-.


    Tess Bold Life May 17, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    My mothers love was first children, then cooking! Yes can she did…August heat and tomatoes! September was pickles but it was cool then. I’d like to hear more on your blog about farm living!

    There was chaos and craziness but when you heal your past only the good and happy memories remain. Isn’t forgiveness grand?
    Thanks for all of your wonderful compliments. xo

    You’re the best. Thanks for stopping by and let me know where to buy them when they come back. We’ll go together!

    Farmers are the salt of the earth…that’s the way I see it. Megan do guest post for me because you fit right in here;)

    Mama Zen,
    Oh maybe we should start a blog about farm children?!?

    You are so right and I learned a lot. And I’m grateful for the opportunity!

    What’s right for me isn’t for everyone. Our differences make the world go around. I always respected people who knew how to sleep in!

    You describe it so well. There’s no doubt you are “joy in the morning.”
    .-= Tess Bold Life´s last post…The Benefits of an Early Riser & a Farm Girl =-.


    Robin Easton May 17, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Dear sweet Tess,

    I LOVE this post. It brought tears of joy and memories to my eyes. Although I didn’t grow up on a produce farm, Mom had a large garden every summer and it went much like what you describe here. I remember weeding and eating carrots right out of the ground and raw corn off the stalk and pretty much anything we could eat, blackberries and lettuce, cucumbers, raw green beans and more.

    I loved those times with Mom, even though we sometimes complained about weeding. However once we got started we gladly lost ourselves in that garden. We lived on the edge of a small town in Maine, about a mile out from town and then summers, 7 miles out on a lake.

    It just becomes who we are doesn’t it, and never goes away. I look back on those days as the lazy days of summer, buttercups, tadpoles, sweetcorn, green grass, and more.

    I love the photo of you. It just moved me deeply and would make a great a book cover. Age 15, wow, you look so much younger. Just precious beyond words. I also loved the other photos. There is something so LUSCIOUS about seeing all the colors and richness of life up close like that, in abundance.

    I’ve missed being her and think of you often. It was good to get to know this part of you, makes sense as to why you have such a wholesome quality to you.

    Much love to you dear Tess (thank you for sharing this),
    .-= Robin Easton´s last post…Finding Your Way Home =-.


    Marko -- Calm Growth May 17, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    When I was very little, my grandfather took me to fish in a small river near the village. There were a lot of children, some fishing, some swimming in the river, it was a beautiful summer day.
    The rain started and then I and Grandpa went under the roof of a small house and watched as rain fell on the ground… I feel strange now… in a positive way…

    Thanks, I enjoyed your blog today…
    .-= Marko — Calm Growth´s last post…Someone Will Always Have More Than You =-.


    Davina May 17, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Hi Tess.
    Gorgeous photo of you at age 15. Love it. And I enjoyed reading about your life on the farm very much, me being a farm girl myself. What a special time. There is just so much life in this post. And lots of good memories. I used to be an early riser; not these days though. I’ve become a night owl instead.
    .-= Davina´s last post…I’m Respectfully Yours =-.


    Hilary May 18, 2010 at 2:17 am

    Hi Tess .. what a fantastic childhood – a purpose, a reason, a pleasure shared, the joy of success, and such an essential learning curve for a child – good habits, lots of life, appreciation of nature, the seasons, the veggies, the flowers – I didn’t know gladioli were for funerals ..I loved them – we had them at home at one stage, and delphiniums .. flowers that are coming back now.

    Wonderful pictures .. and corn and acorn squash with sugar .. well that’s a new one .. we had huge squash in South Africa that would be made into a sweet dessert .. but not here. I love squash and/or corn just served with butter .. delicious.

    Total appreciation of the land and nature .. thanks Tess – wonderful memories .. from a happy Hilary on a sunny day here in the UK!
    .-= Hilary´s last post…Bat and Moth Survey Night – tonight =-.


    Joy May 18, 2010 at 5:09 am

    I love this post! I can picture you rising, doing your work, smell the deliciousness of it all…I love it!
    I am an early riser. I’ve always enjoyed rising first so I may have a few moments of quiet and calm to relish before the day begins, and so that I may start the day with good energy for anyone in my household. It’s my pleasure.
    I think so many people have a vision of my on the boat near the ocean…however, I grew up raising and training horses–with nearby apple orchards, bleueberry fields…..Raising and training horses required daily dedication, even at times my friends were doing something fabulous I had my horses first, and always to come home to and enjoy at the end of the day…mixed the friends and adventures of life into the middle of the day:) It wesn’t always easy, it wasn’t always fun, but there was lots about the chores I didn’t like that I soon learned to love (cleaning the stalls for instance)…because I knew it made for an overall better experience. Much like my boat experience now..the hard work and dedication make for some amazingly beautiful, fun adventures:)
    .-= Joy´s last post…Monday Blessing: Diamonds and Pearls…. =-.


    Lance May 18, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Hey, we get a picture of YOU from a few years back!!! Very cool!!!

    As Jannie has so nicely stated….I grew up in farm country, making me a farm *ahem* boy. I avoided the tiara back then – I may have gotten beat up by other farm boys wearing that thing. Today….I sport it while traversing the produce section of the grocery store (…it’s like reliving my youth…with the tiara!!!) (okay…I made that part up!!)..

    I love the early morning hours – it’s that time of day I find the most peace – and is always such a great way to start my day. And I recall those days of growing up – and working on the farm. My favorite part: feeding the cows (…and running through the pasture…).
    .-= Lance´s last post…What Does It Start With? =-.


    Julie May 18, 2010 at 11:18 am

    LOVE this, Tess! The wholesomeness of country living just bursts from the page—and right into my heart. Reminds me of my own childhood; though mine was quite different than yours, I’m a “farm girl,” too. Your photos are wonderful and the picture of you is so endearing. Thank you for sharing such loveliness with us!
    .-= Julie´s last post…Bright Moments =-.


    Jodi at Joy Discovered May 18, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Oh my goodness, Tess, what a lovely post! It is so nice to experience a bit of your childhood through your words and pictures. I love it that nature–fruits, veggies, bees and flowers all take you back to those sweet memories. Very heartwarming!
    .-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s last post…Off the Shelf: Spiritual Partnership by Gary Zukav =-.


    Jenn May 18, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Tess, this post brought back lovely memories for me! Mostly the photos say so much!! :D .. I was raised in the country for 10 yrs of my life and so I understand what you mean …

    I love the tomatoes reminds me of fresh ones, on farm stands. Toasted tomato sandwiches with cheese, mayo and black pepper ;) yum!

    I love the gladiolas. I have actually been thinking of these flowers lately, rarely seen, but in the country they are on most sides of the road! ;) our neighbors would grow them and at the time it was ordinary but now i see them for their “happiness quality” sort of flower! ;)

    thanks for the moments here today, Tess. It was nice to reflect on my own childhood memories..
    I love Nature to this day because of those 10 yrs. .. I believe it gives one a deeper appreciation as we move on through life living in other areas that are more established. The depth never leaves us though. :D like open space in the heart and lungs.

    take care, Jenn
    .-= Jenn´s last post…One Heart, One Voice…..Stepping Up to the Plate! =-.


    Jan May 18, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    I loved this post and the photo of you at such a tender age. Your reflection touched me deeply and brought up memories for me (wonderful memories!) of spending time with my maternal grandmother. She was a farm girl herself and though that did not continue on into adulthood, the die was cast. She created a fairytale garden in her yard, complete with stepping stones, bird bath, crystals and stones lining the path as you tiptoed between abundant patches of flowers. My fondest memories are of being in that garden, in awe and wonder at God’s majestic creation. (My job was to keep the birdbath clean!)

    She was an early riser and so am I. My energy and creativity is highest in the morning. xo to you.


    Barbara Swafford May 19, 2010 at 12:41 am

    Hi Tess,

    Me, I’m a farm girl too. Although we didn’t have a farm ourselves, we lived next door to my grandparents who did. Family meant helping where ever we could – no excuses.

    Good memories for this gal who used to be an early riser but has now become a night owl. :)
    .-= Barbara Swafford´s last post…Blog Badges – Beneficial Or A Waste Of Space? =-.


    Tammy McLeod May 19, 2010 at 6:28 am

    Wow Tess. We are on the same wavelength. I just posted about early mornings and morning ritual also. You photos are really good and the one of you – well, you look just the same!
    .-= Tammy McLeod´s last post…5 in the morning =-.


    Phil - Less Ordinary Llving May 19, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Tess -

    I’m drooling from the poetry and the photos – could taste those ripe juicy tomatoes. You clearly took so much from your upbringing that still rings true today. I wish I could be an early riser, however us city slickers seem to struggle more with that. Your post has inspired me to use the start of the day to get the toughest tasks done first – thanks for the tip. Great and evocative post!

    .-= Phil – Less Ordinary Llving´s last post…How to avoid getting fired by George Clooney =-.


    Tess Bold Life May 19, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Yes nature becomes a part of who we really are…a really good great part. The photo of me …. a big cover? How do I love you…let me count the ways!

    Don’t feel strange on my account. What a memory and blessing!

    Farm Girl D.
    I think you’re a twitter night owl and I love it about you. Social media and you just go well together. Like hot dogs and summer;)

    Do you know how blessed I am to have you comment on my blog? I feel privledged to know you. Thank you.

    I didn’t know about your horses work. It doesn’t surprise me one bit…your life is awesome because of your dedication and hard work. I appreciate knowing more about you!

    A farm boy with a tiara. That’s a hoot! I love your playfulness about life and the fact that you share it with all of us.

    And thank you for sharing your loveliness with me as well.

    Thanks for the compliments and stopping by. I appreciate your friendship. xo

    Open space in our heart and lungs…our gift from nature…isn’t life grand?

    I remember the photos from last year of your garden. I think your grandma had a big impact on you. Lucky you for being blessed and soaking it all in.

    Nite Owl,
    What ever works Barbara and it sure looks to me like your life is working!

    I’m coming over to check it out. Thanks for the compliment…I’ll try to take that in;)

    There are probably good things about sleeping in as well. I don’t think it matters as much if we manage our time well. I think you’re success show that you do that.


    Lavonne May 19, 2010 at 3:41 pm


    What a beautiful word painting…thanks for sharing those sweet memories!
    .-= Lavonne´s last post…Thoughts on Joy, Sorrow and Forgiveness =-.


    Cathy Krizik May 21, 2010 at 7:02 am

    Gotta love those glasses!

    Thanks for the wonderful glimpse into your life. I’m a girl from a Boston suburb. While the images I conjure of my childhood would be different, they are equally idyllic.

    There was a wonderful sense of harmony and safety and possibility and stability that comes across in your writing. I suspect not everything was entirely rosy. All families have their stuff but you are blessed to have walked away with such nourishing memories.

    I came across your blog a few weeks ago and have been enjoying it! Keep ‘em coming!
    .-= Cathy Krizik´s last post…Be gentle with yourself =-.


    panorama May 23, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Wonderfully vivid memories. Thank you making me feel as if I were there with you
    Your article is very cool and unique


    Clint Cora, Speaker/Author June 18, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I haven’t been an early morning riser except on ski days. But now I’m starting to see benefits of getting up early for non-ski days as well. Nice photos by the way.


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