As told by Sandi Johnson of Hexemaus Farms.
How our farm got its name is a really personal story. We don’t mind sharing the story, but it’s kind of a tear-jerker for some folks.
Years ago, when my late husband and I were young (before we got married) he called me hexe augen (German for witch’s eyes.) Eventually, that morphed into hexemaus…literally translated it means witch mouse, the closest thing to calling someone a black cat you can get in German. It was a pet name, like most couples have.
Over the years, as kids came along, we dreamt about having a place of our own, out in the country, with enough room to have horses. We dreamt about a giant weeping willow in the front yard, with two white rocking chairs under the canopy. We’d watch our grandkids play from those chairs. We never dreamed of farming, just having a big place with plenty of room for kids to play & to go riding.
In 2006, he was hit and killed by a drunk driver. As part of the civil settlement in 2007, the kids and I found ourselves the owners of a house on 8 acres, with another 172 acre parcel one lot over. We didn’t know what to do with it, since we already owned a house. The boys and I found a whole new life out here in the country. I watched my youngest go from boy to young man as he strolled the old dirt road leading to the back property, a paperback book in his back pocket & two scruffy little mutts he raised from pups trailing along behind him.
We still wanted horses, but with half our income gone, we couldn’t afford all the upgrades and repairs to the homestead necessary to have them. So, we started brainstorming ideas on how to use the farm for income to support having horses. Eventually, we found our way into organic fruits & veggies. We still don’t have horses yet, but we’re working on rehabbing the house, putting up fencing, and building the outbuildings we need in order to have those horses. In fact, we’re researching plans to turn our want for horses into a benefit to the farm. We’re looking at a team of Haflingers – small enough to go riding, but stout enough to work farm ploughs and the like. (I LOVE the idea of using a team of draft ponies instead of a tractor.)
In any regard, we needed a name for the farm when we started out. It seemed fitting that since this farm came to us through Frank (my late husband,) we should give it a name that meant something to us AND to him. So, it became Hexemaus Farms. It’s our tribute to him and the dream he and I shared as young kids. It’s our way of having him be a part of all of this, even though he’s not here to see it.