In December 2007, we bought a house and ten acres in northwest Greene County, Missouri. Although the little spring-fed creek running through our place isn’t named on any map, we call it Pearl Creek, thus the name Pearl Creek Farm. Except for chickens and our attempts at raising a garden each year, we don’t do much to earn the name “farm” but we had to call it something.
Pearl is a tiny, historic railroad town along the Frisco Highline Trail that runs between Springfield and Bolivar. Like many small towns in America, its glory days were in the past and left with the railroad. A small cluster of houses exists at the site now, but if you didn’t know it, you’d think there was nothing more to it.
Pearl Creek itself arises just a few meters to the south of the historic town. From there, it flows northeast towards our farm. Somewhere along the way, a spring enters the valley and keeps it flowing permanently (even through two years of historic drought). Literally just outside our window, a small spring enters Pearl Creek from the west. The confluence of these two small streams is the scene featured at the top of this site. After leaving our farm, Pearl Creek flows more or less east to Asher Creek, then on to the Little Sac River, the Sac, then the Osage, the Missouri, Mississippi, and finally the Gulf of Mexico. Everything is connected.
The farm is about half woodland and half pasture and is mostly on a bed of sandstone, which is uncommon for this part of the Ozarks. There are trails throughout the farm and along most of the borders. We have a pond, a ginkgo tree (the only non-native species, along with the chickens, that is welcome here), a restored prairie, some massive post oaks, a sedge meadow, a few tiny waterfalls, some neat sandstone ledges, and a pawpaw patch. Although it isn’t perfect, it is home and we love it!
Owning and managing a piece of property is like nothing I’ve ever done before. I grew up on a farm, a real one, and spent countless hours on a tractor, helping my family grow crops and raise cattle. Although we hunted a lot and fished a little, most of the work we did on the land was for farming. At Pearl Creek Farm, it’s the opposite. Here, we pull old fence, monitor for wildlife, eradicate invasive species, restore native plants, put out cover boards, measure precipitation and temperature, mark box turtles, and burn at least part of our farm every winter.
This blog is about a little bit of everything. Although it is centered around our adventures at Pearl Creek Farm, there is much more to our outdoor lives than that. You can expect to read about nature, science, children, travelling, geography, and maybe even some technology. You won’t see much about society, entertainment, sports, religion, or politics. I have opinions, but not much patience, for such things.
P.S. Naturally, I wondered if there was another Pearl Creek Farm somewhere in the world. It turns out there is a “u-pick” farm near Fairbanks, Alaska called Pearl Creek Farm. I think the internet is big enough for both of us!