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Finding Purpose in a Simpler Life

Home + Garden

How a city gal traded in her nursing scrubs for gardening gloves and is finding new ways to help others.

Leaving behind the noise and busyness of city life seven years ago has been life changing for Annette Thurmon and her husband Jared. Being able to reconnect with nature and get back to the basics of daily living has reawakened a joy and appreciation for the simple pleasures that can be found in tending to animals, growing and harvesting their own food and enjoying the azure skies of Adairsville, Georgia. Through Azure Farm, Thurmon has found a new purpose, a new zest for life, not simply some new tasks to perform on a daily basis.

As she puts it, “Nature draws me in every time and gives me something to look forward to. There is something magical in it all and a true blessing to my soul.”

woman and little girl picking flowers

From Nursing to Nurturing: A Journey to Simplicity

College educated, with a nursing degree, Thurmon loved her former work caring for patients. She saw how fragile life is and that each moment needs to be cherished and not taken for granted. It is this same mindset that she carries with her as she shares her daily adventures through the Azure Farm Blog. Through the years she has seen how homesteading and country living have become overly complicated, and her hope and intention is to educate and teach others the ways she has discovered to live a simple country life.

Connecting Through Podcasts and Homegrown Videos

One of the other ways that Thurmon shares their life is through a podcast with her husband. A weekly dose of laughter, some farm stories, inspiration, and some heart-to-heart talks are a creative way for them to give their listeners a behind-the-scenes peek into their daily farm life. In addition to that, Thurmon has created a video library of resources called HOMEGROWN, where she creates and curates content that walks you through all the facets of country living, step by step, with recipes straight out of her kitchen to how to raise chicks. This Kansas City raised gal has fully immersed herself in the outdoor life and revels in the joy it brings her to share it in the ways that she does.

Future plans include growing the Homegrown platform to include more topics such as soap making, duck care, more cooking, etc. … and any and all topics that would help others get back to the basics of simpler, healthy living. Thurmon is also dreaming of creating another book that would help connect families together with the seasons, and her big dream – to create a line of products for little ones, gardening and for the home that embodies simple living. At the heart of all that she does, Thurmon is dedicated to inspiring others to spend more time in nature, bringing families together, and learning what can be learned from getting one’s hands in the dirt.

woman sitting on a table in a greenhouse wearing a brimmed hat and a black dress with cowboy boots

The Challenges of Rural Entrepreneurship and Social Media

Like many rural entrepreneurs, Thurmon experiences the challenges that come from sharing her life on social media, while running a business. Because not many can relate to what she does, and it can be a lonely path to walk. One of the positives though, Thurmon has met many wonderful friends through social media who support and encourage her in all her efforts. She has found that building relationships and finding a community that uplifts her has been instrumental to lessening the loneliness she occasionally feels.

Being a businesswoman and full-time stay at home mom is another way that Thurmon feels challenged at times. As one who wants to ‘do it all’, her role as mother comes first, and that helps her keep things in perspective. Her four-year-old daughter Ava Rose joins her during her daily work of tending the garden and the animals, and this keeps it real in terms of what she talks about and shares. Built into her weekly schedule, Thurmon does have a few hours each week where she has alone time to focus solely on the projects and tasks on her priority list. And working with a 6-week social media and blog schedule helps her to delegate some of the tasks to outside assistants. Thurmon is the first to admit, she just can’t do it all.

a woman holding slabs of hay wearing a robe

A Day in the Life at Azure Farm

So what does a typical day look like? On days when she has a lot to do, Thurmon gets up early to get some computer work done before her daughter is up. After breakfast and worship time, they head out to do farm chores which is usually around 9:00 am. Chores are letting the chickens out, filling the waterers, feeding the bigger animals, and just doing a general check on everything. After that it’s craft or play time, laundry and any house-related tasks. By then it’s time to start lunch preparation, which the family eats together. Afternoons are for errands, gardening, and outdoor time. Thurmon is working on setting regular time to exercise daily, so that is an afternoon activity as well. Dinner is family time, followed by one more round of farm chores, feeding and getting the animals settled for the night. In her words, “It’s not that glamorous”, however she wouldn’t have it any other way.

When asked what she wishes she had more time for, Thurmon had this to say, “I wish I had more time to just truly sit and appreciate nature and the small things. This life can be very idyllic, but it is also very busy. There are not many times I just take an afternoon to do nothing. With time being so fleeting I try to enjoy the little things as much as I can. I did however the other day take an hour to just sit on the hammock with Ava and soak up the amazing weather. It was nothing short of magical and I am so happy I did it.”

a woman watering plants in a robe in a greenhouse

Advice for Aspiring Homesteaders: Start Where You Are

Thurmon has some advice for other women who look to her and her lifestyle as something they would like for themselves. Her first recommendation is to start today. Don’t wait for the perfect moment, the ‘right’ piece of land, house, etc. Begin with doing simple things now to get back in touch with nature and enjoying a simplified life. Things such as making home-made meals, learning to garden, eating together as a family, being more sustainable, are all activities that can be added to one’s lifestyle slowly, day by day, and they add up to real changes over time.

Trading in city life for a back to the land lifestyle has helped this Trailblazher share farm, food and family with the world!

Article From: Summer 2023 Issue #11

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