PLENTY SUMMER 2020 | Page 18

B luebird F armstead Growing Food, Home, and Family Story & Photography By Bobby and Allison Tjaden If you have ever been on a house-hunt in the DMV area, you can appreciate the complexity of our search for our first home. We wanted to buy a farm, in commuting distance to College Park, with a move-in-ready house, and enough room for Allison’s mother to move from New Jersey to join us. All on a budget. After three years of searching and many compromises along the way, we found what we needed. And more. One facet we never considered during our search has become a cornerstone of our new life in the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve: the community. Our block is full of new parents alongside grandparents, chickens, goats, and horses. Hidden trails leading to connecting streams and knowledgeable neighbors willing to tell you how to find them. Our neighbors are willing to share their expertise, hands, and stories as well as their homebrewed beer and homemade goat cheese. The day we moved, we found out that we were welcoming one more to our new home. Our first baby was on the way. Two years later, our multigenerational home is bustling with a toddler, second baby-onthe-way, two full-time working parents, one grandmother, twenty chickens, eight ducks, one goose, two barn cats, and an old blind dog. 18 plenty I Summer growing 2020