Going All In on All Things Sheep-ish This Week

September 1, 2020

As school started and our summer intern returned to classes, I recorded this week’s episode and had an unexpected opportunity to work with a former colleague again. And it all comes together with sheep.

Stick with me. You may remember Abby who interned with us over the summer, showed sheep growing up. I’m interviewing a farmer who raises lamb for the show. And while Molly Atkins and I were talking about how perfect everything would be with her contracting part-time on Grounded by the Farm and all the other things I have going with my business, she mentioned family friends had a sheep farm she spent time at.

The perfect fit is evident in the fact Molly not only had the chance to spend time on a sheep farm, but she’s already written about it and agreed I could share it here to help you get to know her a bit!

Here’s that story:

There are some places from my past that are crystallized in my memory.

When I was a little girl, my mother used to take me to a place called Full Circle Farm.  It was a small family sheep farm, nestled in the Cascade Mountains of Washington.  Bill and Phyllis were dear, dear family friends.  They ran their farm with love and care.  They loved their animals and cared for them with great devotion.


It was a magical place.  I think there must have been wild chamomile growing in the fields because the light smell of apples and clean hay infused into every thing.  To this day, the smell of chamomile tea takes me right back to the farmhouse and the warmth of our friends.

In the evenings, the fog would roll in from between the fir trees, and in the mornings, it would remain, reluctant to drift off.  The red wooden barn was full of hay, and sheep, and the warm, comfortable smells of lanolin and wooly bodies.

My time at the farm has taken on an almost mythical quality in my mind.  Was it really that green?  Was the morning fog that dense? Was the air truly that sweet? Having spent time in the Olympic Mountains as an adult, I am inclined to believe that it was.


Bill is still with us, but we lost Phyllis several years ago to lung cancer.  That loss still hangs heavy on my heart.  She was a deeply peaceful and deeply loving woman.  She was a mentor, a friend, and grandmother figure to me.

Last night I had a dream that I had gone back to Full Circle Farm.  Phyllis was there, but Bill was not.  They had sold the farm and the new owners turned it into a luxurious horse farm.  I didn’t recognize anything.  The farm house was a different building, the barn was in a different place.  Instead of chamomile and wool and sweet fir trees, it smelled like dust and heat and horses. And I was so sad.  I wanted to take the girls to show them the special places at the farm.  The barn, the goat shed, the kitchen, the chicken coop…

I’m not sure what my dream means.  Perhaps it’s telling me that you can’t go back.  A reminder that I must look forward.  Still, I treasure the memories of Full Circle Farm, and I hope I can find new memories to make for my own children that are full of the same magic as that place.

You may not see or hear Molly often, but she will definitely be making contributions. And she’s great at helping me level set so if you look, you’ll probably see her fingerprints on the things I do.

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