Our upcoming move to the Catskills means leaving this farm behind. It's been very good to us. We've been lucky to have a turn at caring for it for awhile.
Ramps are a favorite spring treat! We've enjoyed living in an area with such a bounty of wild edibles from leeks, to maple syrup, wild blueberries and raspberries, wild rice and even mushrooms harvested from our own pastures.
While I enjoy growing food I love going out into the wild and harvesting it even more!
Alas, it will be hard to leave the world's most efficient kitchen behind! Efficient and spacious. It's been a good house for us.
Our old dairy barn with its new metal roof keeping it sound for the years to come. Feels good to play a small part in preserving history.
The Fuchs family arrived in this area around a hundred years ago, started farming the land, built a simple home, and raised 15 children. In 1944 they added onto the house and along the way brought more fields into production. This photo was taken in the fifties. I'm still in awe of what they accomplished through sheer hard work erecting buildings and turning the land into a productive dairy farm. Some of the children who grew up here have told us stories of sleeping on pallets in the unfinished upstairs in wintertime when the snow would sift in through the spaces between the boards. The house is very different now from its early history and also from its life in the sixties and seventies. We've revealed and finished the original hardwood floors, removed dark paneling and opened up the rooms. Snow no longer drifts in to settle on us in the night. Still, the history feels very close by.
Less charming than an historic dairy barn we value our 40 by 80 foot poleshed for its functionality. In the years that we lambed in March and needed to keep the newborns dry there was enough room to lamb a flock of 150 ewes. These days we use it to store round bales and straw and for farrowing and shearing. The large sliding doors on one side and one end add to its versatility. And the small sliding doors let us erect a quick pen so an animal can choose indoors or out.
It's easy to look out on the pastures and think it's all about grazing, ruminating, foraging.
To think about the lives of cattle and sheep, hogs and chickens and how they intersect with the life cycle of the grasses: growing, grazing, and growing again. It's easy to overlook the little guy, living life on a smaller scale, perhaps, but dreaming big.
Bloodroot, hepatica and wood anemone are blooming in the forest.