A convert to Catholicism, Alexandra Greeley is a food writer, restaurant critic, and cookbook author, who is passionate about every aspect of the food world—from interviewing chefs to supporting local farmers and to making the connection between food and faith
Making batches of goats’ milk kefir, feeding a Brahman cow, or delivering gallons of fresh cow’s milk illustrates how Catholic farmer Teri Guevremont leads her rural life. As it turns out, living the farming life on Reality Farm in Washington, Virginia, is very familiar to this native Colombian.
“I grew up around farming,” she said. “My dad had a big farm. I didn’t do the farming myself, but we went there every weekend and on vacations. As a child, this drew me to the faming life. It planted seeds many years ago.”
But Catholicism was also a critical part of her early—and present day—life. She attended Catholic schools until the 12th grade. And she was raised in a very devout Catholic household. As Guevremont noted, her grandmother exemplified true Catholicism. With her as a role model, she said she always tried to live her faith and to get closer to God. “I need God’s grace.” she said, “I go to daily Mass, I say the Rosary daily.”
And with God’s grace, she met her husband, a Marine aviator whose parents had been stationed in Colombia, and they reconnected years later when she vacationed to Florida. After their marriage, they moved from one post to another in the United States. But when he retired from the Marines, they settled in the Northern Virginia town of Great Falls for several years.
But she said, “You don’t know what journey God takes you on”—and that played out when she casually suggested to her husband that they buy a farm way out in the Virginia countryside. A family friend told her about a beautiful, 200-acre farm for sale. When the couple visited it, “We saw the farm and it was like in another world,” she said. “God pointed us in that direction.”
Twelve years and many turkeys, Chinese geese, goats, water buffalos and cows later, the farm has also established its own vineyard and winery. And Reality Farm has also become a destination for picnics and day trips, and the couple have hosted parishioners from their nearby parish of St. Peter Catholic Church in Little Washington, Virginia.
“I never in my life thought that I would be doing this, that I would be farming,” Guevremont said, adding that she is very thankful for God’s gift. “In nature, you are close to God, the perfection of nature. The sky, the stars, you can see God’s hand in all these things.”
As a contemplative and a member of Opus Dei, Guevremont said one can talk to God right there in nature when you see what he has made. “Farming has been a tremendous gift from God,” she said. “That is the passion I have in my heart. God says ‘keep going.’ That makes my faith part of daily life.”
Note: Area residents might want to order some of Reality Farm’s raw goat’s milk. Delicious.
Reality Farm, 115 Reality Farm Lane, Washington, Virginia.