Our Rural Roots

Gather at the Farmhouse Table

(Jennifer Campbell)

I'm a firm believer that kitchen tables are the heart of the home, where real life happens one moment at a time. The kitchen tables I have gathered round could write their own book filled with a gamut of emotions.

I live for the everyday moments. While these ordinary days may not individually hold the weight of special holidays, graduations and weddings, they make up 90% of our extraordinary lives.

The farmhouse kitchen table is where my kids learned to eat, and hopefully, gained manners, as we went from a family of three to four then five. It's where they told us about their day at school. It's seen a lot of homework, both easy and frustrating. It's been ground zero for prom hair and makeup.

Deep family discussions have been held, such as when we told our three children we were exiting the hog business or when we were able to purchase a piece of ground.

I can vividly picture my husband, Chris, and the kids sitting at that table while I paced nervously wondering how to explain that I had cancer.

On a family farm, the kitchen table is the front office, boardroom and workbench combined. It's the place for meetings with seed salesmen, lenders and landlords. It's where we sort mail and scatter balance sheets and cash-flows.

It's where, as a family, we learned about artificial insemination for our sow herd, which included extending semen and using a microscope -- yes right there on that kitchen table.

It is where multiple carburetors have been rebuilt; spark plug wires assembled; livestock syringes cleaned. In certain seasons, it is the home to calf milk replacer and calf pulling chains.

The kitchen table will always be the most important piece of furniture in our house. It's cluttered, messy and wonderful, because it is where we gather and grow.


Jennifer (Jent) Campbell gathers her family and feeds her soul from an Indiana family farm. She also writes a blog called Farm Wife Feeds (https://www.farmwifefeeds.com/…). Follow her on Twitter @plowwife and on the podcast @girlstalkag