Heidi Samec, 52, feeds her chickens corn mixed with grains and millet. “When I got the first egg from my chicken, it was the biggest day of my life. It was like being born again,” Samec said.
Asparagus, Brussels sprouts and shepherd’s pie, along with basil-covered tomatoes and apple salad, bring color to the plates served for dinner at Samec’s mother’s house in Ocala, Fl. “I really worship food because you are what you eat. Whatever you put in your body, you become,” Samec said.
Samec lounges with her 5-year-old dog Hannah, a Chihuahua mix she rescued. Samec owns five dogs in total and one house chicken.
When she's not on the farm, Samec brings 7-year-old Cruella to work at Miller Real Estate at least four times a week. “It's a split personality really,” Samec said about working as a realtor and as a farmer. “I think that a lot of realtors are money driven and competitive and high pressure. It's kinda like the opposite of how I want to live.”
Samec cleans out a pin from the pigpen – where she raises pigs for food. “I feed them as good as I can. They go in my body, so whatever goes in their body I care about,” Samec said.
Samec crosses her bedroom toward her bathroom before heading to work – which is adjacent to 75 acres of planted pines. “It's really kinda good to be isolated because all of a sudden it makes you responsible for your own emotions and feelings. It makes you self reflect,” Samec said. “You’re forced to be at peace with yourself.”
A kiss is shared between Samec and her husband, Raymond, on a sunny afternoon spent at the pool. Samec and Raymond met at AA. “The trick to our longevity is that we both still go to AA meetings,” Samec said. "We put recovery first, then our higher power, then our marriage comes after that.”
Samec twists her body during yoga stretching at I Love My Body yoga. “My spiritual foundation is yoga,” Samec said.
Samec whispers in the ear of one of her many cows, Spartacus. Samec hand-raised Spartacus since he was about 5 months.
Samec places her hands over her lounged cow Spartacus and caresses his head. “There's something about herd animals – they make you feel comfortable and safe,” Samec said. “Once you become part of their family they bond with you.”