We are fire huddled and weary, but looking back with gratitude and forward with deep anticipation.Winter, once a cold thought-- a dreary prospect to weather through-- has become a sought after respite; a desperate yearning. Although the projects are incredibly back-logged, winter will still enforce its morning and evening curfews and its slower moving days. We will fire-huddle, all together, in one room. We will share read-alouds and quiet and the cabin-fever annoyances that will create the stir-crazy energy. March will help us use that energy to boil sap to syrup and start our greenhouses. The cycle of life and seasons on a homestead, predictable and predictably unpredictable.
This summer we were caught off-guard by the amazing success of using airbnb to sell our temporary rentals. We were unprepared for the interest in our homestead generated by these customers as well as our pick-your-own blueberry customers. The garden suffered and projects continued to wait. It was all hands on deck from July 1-Nov 1, when harvest season was finally called quits by an early snowstorm. 16 inches of wet, heavy snow that left neighbors without power for several days and snapped trees and fencing without effort. (we have added storm clean-up to the to-do list)
My pantry shows that my energy was swept up by other duties. We have no applesauce this year, fewer pickles, less salsa and zero pressure cooked soups. Still, we somehow managed to stock the freezer with all those 5 am days and 10 pm nights. The fall harvest took a lot of energy, but that too, is in. We could feel a little sad for ourselves about all those missed chances to swim, canoe, hike or join with friends and family for some relaxation. Instead, we see that this is the time in our lives where we CAN make sacrifices AND be totally stoked about it, knowing that we are creating something that we cherish, learning from mistakes and moving forward to create a better world.
We are looking ahead and are hoping to make some changes next season. We will be adding a farm apprentice to our mayhem to help with the animals and gardens. We hope to get at least one more airbnb up and running, as well as fix/finish/add on to the cabin. We want to fence a large section of forest and get some bacon piggies to help us clear it. And we'd really, really like to get organized enough to start a farm stand. Tall ambitions, but the winter is long and our energy will be well-stored!
The Nancy Place sits on 200 acres of family land in Orland, Maine. It is a mostly wooded place, with our little off-grid, solar farm...
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