Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On the farm, even the farmgirls get to learn how to do things like fix the doors on the barn. Here Betty works at putting the wheel back in its track.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Aspendance Alpacas I lived at the end of a long dirt road for 18 years. Not on a farm, mind you, but in the woods, on a lake. As of, Sunday August 1, 2010, I now live at the end of a very short dirt road, off of a very busy highway west of Minneapolis. It is a far cry from the quiet of the country where I first experienced life in the hush of birch and pine forests and the gurgle of rushing creeks and crystal clear waters of Gitchee Gumi. But, it is in the midst of beautiful rolling farmland, and quite a few lakes. And it is a farm. Kind of. An itty-bitty, 2-acre parcel with an 80-year old farmhouse and one acre of fenced horse pasture. Well not exactly pasture, more like manure and dirt. The grass will come later. Once the horses have been gone awhile. But, it is a farm, our first farm. Never mind it is not really ours. We’re renting again, like we have been doing ever since leaving the duplex in Duluth in 2005 and moving to the metro area (anyone want to buy a 120+ year-old piece of Duluth history?). Never mind this itty-bitty parcel doesn’t have a barn, like the Barns I Love. It does have a horse shelter though, does that count? What it does have is possibility. It is two tiny acres chock full of possibilities. This is where we plan on raising our very first chickens, moving our little herd of alpacas, and planting vegetable and flower gardens. Many of the things my heart has been longing for these last five years when we had no space or sun to garden aside from a few containers on the balcony. And this is where, just off the shoulder of busy Hwy 7, we will capitalize on the crowds of people zooming back and forth every day to market a few of our farm-raised goods. Alpaca yarn, rovings, raw fiber. Maybe some veggies, flowers, and fresh eggs. Our first real farm enterprise. Tiny as it may be, it will be the start of our next big dream, the next phase of our lives. When we opened up the side-garage of our new place to put some items away this weekend, Kelly noticed a nest of robins in the rafters. Two little sets of eyes watched us nervously as we quietly put items in the back of the space. No matter that we tried hard not to disturb them, both little birds took fright, I mean flight, and flew out of the garage this morning, landing on the driveway and the doorstep with mamma robin not far away, clucking reassurances to her two little fledglings. Anthem, Halo and Sienna C-baby is now mostly grown and gone, just like the baby robins. The nest is empty. Which gives space to Kelly and I to stretch our own wings now and take flight in new directions. And that empty nest? For now at least, I think it’s time to fill it with chickens. Blessings – Victoria

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