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My Farm Roots: Farm Life Anything but Quiet

Suzanne Hogan for Harvest Public Media

Jack and Diane Aaron lived in Strawberry Hill in Kansas City, Kan., for decades. They loved their neighborhood and it was close to family. But when a friend passed away and left them land on a farm, they decided to take a chance on country living.

While farm life is different, they found it’s anything but quiet.

“Out here we’ve got, just different sounds. We have birds that will wake us up. A cat that likes to wake me up at six because he wants to eat,” Diane Aaron said. “It’s peaceful, but it doesn’t make you crazy,”

It seems so peaceful and relaxing, but it’s also a lot of work.

“People who live in the city think that it would be awful to live in the country, but that hasn’t bothered me,” Diane said.

Even before Jack and Diane made the moved out to the land in Raymore, Mo., they had been helping their late friend, Don Hutchinson, keep up the property.  A lot of the upkeep is mowing.

“We’ve kind of got it down to a fine art,” Jack Aaron said. “We cut 10 acres about once a week.”

And probably the biggest undertaking the Aarons took on was the restoration of the barn on the property, built in 1935. 

“It looked pretty bad,” Jack recalled. “Raccoons had gotten up in the rafters there and urinated down the wall, and rusted all the nails. And the wind blows hard out here. It blew probably 10 or 12 boards out of the front of it. They were just hanging there. And part of the wall was pulled out about 4 inches.”

Beyond structural repairs, the other major component of the job was cleanup. Between the critters who had called the barn home, and all the stuff that had piled up over the years, it was a huge job.

“You couldn’t walk into this at all,” Diane said walking through the barn. “You know farmers will keep everything thinking they’re going to use it again someday, so we’ve cleaned a lot of things out.”

The barn stands fully restored now, painted sage green with a large quilt pattern on the front that Diane and a friend painted. The Aarons, in their 60s, are not farmers, but they love to show off the work they did on the barn, and the flowers and fruit trees that are blooming along their property.

They say they feel completely at home and plan to spend their retirement on their new property. They host kids and grandkids often, driving around the ATV and golf cart. The kids love the pond, fishing and swimming. 

The Aarons say there is always something going on. Between family, neighbors, and all of their projects, they’ve created a strong community that they have come to rely on.

Diane says people are always willing to come over and help.

“You don’t even have to ask,” she said.

“If you get a case of beer,” Jack said, laughing, “you could get anything done out here.” 

Share your story: What do you remember most about growing up on the farm? Share your Farm Roots story here.