It’s been more than eighteen months at the new farm, and there is much to share. After the emotional roller coaster of finding and making the right location happen, we spent the fall of 2016 rushing around to get ourselves and the animals settled before winter. And then we mostly collapsed. Most of our friends and family forgave us for the withdrawal, and even came to share a little woodstove-and-chat time. The door is still open (and will continue to be) for all.
Times of great change happen. I think the past several years have been times of great change for a lot of people, for a lot of different reasons. Our extended family has had tragic losses and some (one might even say, sacred) reemergence, healing and transformation. The farm has helped us heal and grow roots–already–that we never seemed to have developed at the old place. Maybe it’s the regular wind up here on the hill; we must develop those deep roots to stay upright. A good lesson on so many levels.
In 2017, we spent much time just experiencing the farm through seasonal changes. There’s so much more to understand about the wildlife and the forest and the farm’s potential, but it was a good start. I wrote a whole bunch (270 days) of haiku. We tried a Kickstarter campaign, which was ultimately unfunded but absolutely successful in other ways. I wrote a three-part series about our fifteen-year journey to the farm for On Pasture.
We hosted the first of our annual Lamb Open House events to meet neighbors, moved sheep every day through the grazing season, picked a ton of blueberries, cooked up barbecue for our adjacent buddies at the Jacob’s Court mobile home park, and held an end-of-season farm workshop & dinner. And we’re finally back into raising pigs! All along, 2017 was about testing parts of this new life to see what fits and what doesn’t.
We have many plans for 2018, including events spread from June to October that showcase different aspects of our skill sets and the farm’s offerings. We are building a pig roasting pit and starting to develop a gathering area around the pond. The sheep flock is expanding and we’ll be running water pipe around the pastures to increase our capacity to include cattle in the mix. We’re documenting everything that we can. We’re still not sure whether 2018 is Yurt Year, but our aim is to really start digging in and sharing the farm in new ways to new people.
Much to do and say and love about the changes afoot. My recommendation: subscribe to our newsletter to keep up!