It’s always nice to get off the homestead once in awhile. If you are on the farm too long you start to think that everything revolves around your little plot of land. That’s a lot of pressure. Thinking the world revolves around me getting alpacas can be overwhelming. I needed to get away. Every time I tell you all that I am taking a break, or a day off, I am lying. I can’t take a day off at home. Not possible. Call me a super charged housewife or a Ritalin candidate, my days off are best spent in another state so I can’t revert back to chores. My days off here have been filled with wine country, redwood forests, and seaside lunches. Not bad days off, if you ask me.
But while I am lounging around my friend’s patio, watching the traffic and taking in the new plant life, I am also getting recharged and inspired. Sometimes we need to step away from our little world in order to come up with conclusions.
In my quest for growing fresh fruit at 6500 feet above sea level, I have concluded that I am going to try to grow raspberries, blueberries, and grapes in five gallon buckets. That way I can control their climate, their soil, and when it is time to move in a few years, I can just take them with me and plant them on my permanent farm. I can keep them out of the deer’s’ buffet line, in the sun they crave, and hopefully harvest handfuls of delicious fruit.
As we walked through the Muir Woods, we took in the intoxicating smell of lush growth, soil, sea. The unfamiliar birdsongs, the moss growing up giant trees, our steps taking us through the enchanted forest. It felt so surreal, it could have been a set out of a Disney movie, or Lord of the Rings. The canopy tree tops, the babbling brook, the rustling in the underbrush.
As we walked though, I started to notice similarities with the terrain I grew up around. The land looked very similar to Colorado. The walking trails could have been the same (except for the occasional Palm tree and flowering bush…there are no flowering bushes in Colorado in November!). The birds were different, but their songs as sweet. The tree in Leo’s yard across the street is as high as many of the trees in the forest, having seen many, many a decade of pioneers crossing. We are all on the same space. I can be happy anywhere. I realized that I can grow where I am planted, and love the terrain I am on, but also that my next farm, probably still in Colorado, will be at a lower altitude and on an easier plot of land to grow things!
Oyster mushrooms climbed old trees in the forest. A delicious example of the bounty in nature. I need to inoculate a log and get us some mushrooms growing on our humble two thirds of a acre in a tiny part of the planet.
The next day, from the harbor in Santa Cruz, we dined on frozen fried clam strips (not at all fresh) but enjoyed the scenery of hundreds of sea lions bantering, playing, sleeping, sunning, babies frolicking and getting in trouble with the older lions.
These experiences show me that we live in a great, wide world with so many people and species. I should not get so in my head about my own place. Just enjoy what I have there. In the whole scheme of the world, of time, does it matter if I get two more goats, one pregnant, that I have no idea how to mid-wife? We are getting the fence fixed, surely it will be fine this time. Two alpacas who are adorable and may or may not come near us are coming to live there too. If we fail at our homesteading quest, does it really matter? We will surely be wildly successful on our mini-farm. Keeping my footprint small and taking care of my allotted space, loving the animals and people around me, and enjoying the life I am living right this moment is all that is important.