A gust of wind through the towering oak trees above sends down a smattering of acorns, cracking on the tin roof of 26 Goodines’ Way. It’s rainy and dismal on this cool, mid-October day, but the crackling woodstove keeps things warm and cozy inside the homestead, with the makings for chili cooking in the crockot.
The property is an understated swath of land on the Norridgewock side of Ward Hill, not at all like Jim’s more glamorous farm in Starks. In fact, everything about our new location is the complete opposite of Runamuk’s former residence.
Set back off the road and sloping downward into a forested landscape, there’s a small cluster of family homes where Paul’s parents, brother, grandfather, and aunt reside. We’re tucked in at the back, but have forty-something acres sprawling out into the forest to work with. The soil is sandy, there are several wetland areas, and the brambles have grown up following some logging Paul contracted out several years ago. It’s not anyone’s image of a farm.
The old trailer is small, rough, and not-quite finished. For the last 2 weeks we’ve had electricity and running hot-and-cold water, a flushable toilet, but it was only yesterday that we were able to bring in the first of any appliances: a refrigerator! We’ve been using coolers and ice, keeping a minimal amount of perishable food, and cooking on a propane camp stove outside, or in the crockpot.
I don’t mind any of it. I don’t mind the sand, the humble trailer we now call home, the tight quarters, lack of appliances, or even the relations living nearby. Like a weary pioneer after an epic journey, I am relieved just to have a place to settle into, and to finally be able to get down to the business of farming for the future. My future. And yours!
Far too long this beginning farmer has traveled along the path seeking a place to call home. Searching for a location where I can set up shop without fear of having to pick up and move again. I have faced obstacles and failed, picked myself back up and come at it again and again. At long last I have a partner I feel confident and content to work with, and I have come to this land where I can breathe easy knowing that I can finally dig in, put down some roots and really begin bringing my farm to life. This property may not be glamorous, but we’re here and this farmer feels as though a huge weight has been lifted from her shoulders.
Murphy startles from slumber in his new favorite spot before the woodstove as another acorn cracks loudly on the tin roof above our heads. I sigh with relief, thankful for the blessings in my life and for the opportunities that the universe has presented me with; I’m thankful for the people who have supported me along the way, and I’m thankful for my own dogged determination to live my life wholeheartedly─following my passions and sharing my love for nature and community with those around me. New beginnings are upon me and you can be sure I will make the most of them.
Things are about to get interesting; I hope you will continue to follow along with our story! Please share with friends and family whom you think might enjoy our blog and help us grow our farm-following.