By Jennifer Woolwine

Our Farm Story


baghdad to barnyard

September 29, 2020

Before the farm, I was working for the Department of Veterans Affairs and a full-time student studying Psychology at Liberty University. My husband David was a mechanic for Roanoke Electric Steel, and he was still serving in the Army. My medical issues exacerbated to the point I received disability retirement from my job at the VA when I was 27 years old.

We were in the process of selling our home and we were looking at beach properties in Anna Maria Island, Florida. We used to vacation in Florida every year and I thought the change of environment would help my physical and mental health. We had put an offer on a home and were waiting for a response when my brother in law kept telling us about a horse farm that was for sale.

I grew up on farms most of my life and I had always wanted a farm growing up, but I did not think it was something that I could afford or pursue. My brother in law was so persistent and one day we finally gave in and went to go see the horse farm. I remember driving on the country backroads and just felt a peaceful presence.

We turned onto a gravel road and when the old barns came into view, I was staring out the windows like a child again. There were rolling pastures and hills, with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The charming, partial stone farmhouse set further back on the property with a root cellar and several outbuildings. The farm had apple, cherry and pear trees with a large riding ring for horses. The property is also surrounded on all three sides with 6,000 acres of National Forest.

We immediately connected with the current owners and spent all afternoon on the back porch that overlooked the creek. The peace and serenity were overwhelming, and I knew when I looked at my husband, this was where we were meant to be.

We had been living in the suburbs the past nine years with six dogs on less than half an acre. We had neighbors on top of us and there was zero privacy. It felt cramped and claustrophobic. We both knew buying the farm was the right decision for us. We withdrew our offer on the beach house and less than 30 days later, we had closed and started our adventure at Baghdad to Barnyard. XOXO


 leave a comment 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Kristin Kelly says:

    Wow! Your story is beyond amazing! Your service, your struggles, & your recovery are something epic tales are made of! If you should ever decide to allow visitors to your farm I know my 7yr old daughter would love to love on your animals! I would love to just have a cuppa and a chat! We are along the BRM as well (Salem, VA). I think I’ll be spending the rest of the day just reading your blog!

    • Hi Kristin! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate the support and encouragement! If you are ever in this area, let me know and we can work something out! While we don’t have too many visitors or open to the public, I love meeting my IG friends and you and your daughter are more than welcome to come visit one day. My friend @thebluehornva are only 30 minutes away, and they have a Air B&B and do farm tours if you are interested. I just met them the other day and are super nice. You can make a day trip and visit both the farms!!! Thanks again for your wonderful comment. Enjoy your day!


Jen Woolwine       Author

Jen is a combat veteran and wife who is passionate about animal rescue, homesteading, and mental health advocacy. Jen's amazing journey of transitioning from military service to homesteading can be followed on her blog and social media platforms @baghdadtobarnyard.

Enjoy the latest Posts

find your next favorite post