Dawn Peterson

Dawn Peterson

I was raised in the jungle by apes. You’re not buying that, I’m betting. Not raised by wild animals, I did grow up in a rural area north of Chicago surrounded by a maze of corn. There’s a reason for the horror movie Children of the Corn.

I started writing poetry when I was ten-years-old as a way to survive a dysfunctional family. Quick bursts of pain onto a blank page got me safely through high school.

After graduation I searched for gold in South America. Not really, I dreamed of doing that but the poetry writing is entirely true. Believe it or not, I went to college to become a psychiatrist until I learned I was crazy so I became a Registered Nurse instead.

Delivering babies became my passion at a time when my adventerous electrician/builder husband decided to buy a farm and grow trees. He knew nothing about horticulture, other than “Plant ‘em roots down.” This is a Green Acres story. Any sane person would have divorced him, but it took me twenty years to stop screaming and to see his decision was brilliant for our family as well as our future. (oneystreefarm.com—I love the website I created with a little help from my friends.)

For fifteen years I worked on the farm during the day and worked Labor and Delivery or taught pre-natal classes at night. Somehow I fit in writing for the newspaper, professional journals, or ecology magazines while raising two kids, two horses, four goats, two sheep, three llamas, two donkeys, chickens, turkeys, and four reindeer. Never saw the premonition of a zoo in the crystal ball. The reindeer part is real.

Having a whack-a-doodle gene for wanderlust, I wrote travel pieces for an internet site called IgoUgo and did a press trip to New Zealand the year Lord of the Rings premiered. During a trip to Tasmania, I discovered the amazing history about 26,000 women of “breeding age” snatched off the streets of Ireland, Scotland, and England, and sent to the penal colony in 1835 to settle the nation of Australia. I’m currently editing my historical fiction novel, Lands beyond the Sea which is about the six month voyage to the far end of the world. Consider this a tale combining the Red Tent with the slave ship Amistad. The novel centers around one of the worst maritime disasters in Australian history. I am passionate about honoring the survivor’s courage and strength.

Looking back over thirty-three successful years of building our business into the most loved agritourism destination in Northwest Illinois, I not only see the dusty road paved with consistent dedication and determination, but a life well spent. A year ago, I sold the business portion of the farm to my son and daughter-in-law. My husband’s legacy continues into the next generation. After fourteen years of being a part-time Rexfordian, I now call Northwest Montana home.

Writing a blog isn’t about me and my experiences. It takes a village to create a successful community. Please don’t hesitate to send me your ideas for the blog along with contact information for people (and the jobs) you’d like to see in print.