I decided to crash amongst the chaos, submit to the never ending piles of boxes and trash, and reminisce. I need time to take a deep breath, to really see my surroundings, to really interact with all that encompasses this farm.
Because we've only got a week left. And then it's…
Part of me is shouting OH HECK YES! And every time I carry a bag of feed up the steep, snowy driveway from the shop, I mentally count the days until we move to the new farm that has… wait for it… flat land! I've been spending the cold, dark nights this winter dreaming about paint colors, animal fencing, and permanent homes for our perennials. I've been planning garden beds and courtyards and bedroom arrangements. This farm, this little 2.25 acres, will soon be our permanent home. That's something we've never had before. To say I'm excited would be not nearly doing this emotion continually bubbling up in my heart justice.
But then, a least a part of my heart, weeps a wee bit for this farm that we've called home for the last two and a half years.
When we arrived from Alabama on it's doorstep years ago, it was completely undeveloped. There wasn't a fence post or scrap of fencing to be found. Sage brush littered the hills, weeds were rampant, and animal shelters were nonexistent (apart from a run down chicken coop).
We first built a corral and shelter for our dairy cow, who arrived only days after we did. Oh Lord, have we learned a lot about fencing since those 1×6″ days…
Later on came electric fencing for the sheep…
… and then the piggies.
… we established a chicken run for the layers.
… and yet another chicken pen for the broilers.
We built two, fenced in garden beds and created an arch of willow over an old antique gate panel I picked up at a flea market. Hops happily grew vibrantly all over the other garden fence and enhanced the beautiful aroma of the garden all summer.
This past summer, I spent an entire month bent over in the potager planting dozens and dozens of perennials, hauling in an entire dump truck load of pea gravel to line the walkways and yet another load of stone to line the beds with. I planted fruit trees and honeysuckle who are now years into growth. Oh, and of course, we can't forget the greenhouse.
We built a stone retaining wall (okay, ‘we' being a very vague term here) and lined it with old, antique fencing. Moss was planted at the top of the wall, raspberries down below, and festive lights were hung in the trees above.
The pathways in the potager were lined with antique cast iron lampposts.
Hillsides were burned to control weeds. Shops were rearranged. Pathways were dug. Zinfandel wine grapes were planted. Milking parlors were built. Pig shelters constructed.
So. Many. Posts. Were. Sunk.
I will miss this view. Oh – what a view! Deep breath, Mama. Take it in.
I'll miss the supportive neighbors who are always quick to help me find a missing animal or ya know, kindly let me know that my pigs are trampling their landscaping. I'll miss the fact that this is the only place our children remember as ‘home'.
But with the sadness comes such excitement about what is to be done at the new farm! Sad. Happy. Sad. Happy. See how quickly one can lose their mind?!
In many ways, I feel like this is where I've grown up. In just a few short years, we went from raising rabbits and worms to raising cows, pigs, sheep, layers, broilers, geese, and turkeys. We've learned how to butcher pigs and sheep and chicken on this land. We've grown the majority of our food for the past years on this land.
I learned to milk my girl Sal on this land. And it's buried beneath this land that she'll remain.
I push forward with severe thankfulness and gratitude for what this farm has been and meant to us these past few years – for all the huge wins and huge losses endured on it's ground.
I also push forward still trying to figure out the logistics of moving 5 sheep, 1 steer, 30 broilers, 30 layers, 3 ducks, 3 geese, 3 turkeys, 5 pigs, and 3 children. But that's a tale for another day. I feel like I am forgetting some animals in that count… or maybe even children…
Goodbye, Farm! We love you. We appreciate you. ONWARD!