I stepped outside before the sun’s colorful hands glided over the edge of the prairie. The lighting was surreal and looked as if I lived in a Renaissance pastel that might hang in the museum. A painted landscape so beautiful my mind could hardly fathom. The owls called to each other from tree to tree and the city lights in the distance shone against the silhouette of the mountain.
Our year starts in spring when the baby goats are born and we start our early planting. Spring is filled with preparing beds, planting at the right times, bottle feeding goat kids, cooing over baby chicks, and praying for warm weather. We are also madly getting ready for farmer’s markets. Preparing, bottling, labeling, farmer’s market checklist; tent, tables, chairs, displays, application fees, products made…ready, set, go!
And we catapult into summer where for the next four months family and friends have troubles getting a hold of us. Those close to us understand. We live a whirlwind of sunrises, farm animals, farmer’s markets, farming, herbal business, preserving, holding classes, getting ready for winter. Always getting ready for winter.
September seems like it will be slower as some markets draw to a close and we see our pantry filling up but for the next three months we will still be actively preparing, just as the ants and bees do, to settle in for winter. Always wondering if we have enough stored. Enough food…enough water…enough wood.
Moving was a wonderful thing since it marked the end of our years of pining for a homestead. It is exactly what we prayed for. Low enough rent and no utilities that we can afford to be healers. The landlords share the property which is not something we would have ever considered before until we started being intrigued by the idea of cohabitating homesteads where we started to think that we should not share property with friends. Too complicated. But, the idea is sound. The owners here are quiet and leave us to ourselves but we are all here if the other needs us. Best of both worlds. We are near my favorite city. In twenty five minutes I am at a library, coffee shop, or restaurant if I want to be. Then back to the confines of the vast prairie, large stars, and serene silence. I am humbled to be here. But moving was exhausting and we find ourselves longing for rest. But there is something about Autumn that makes me want to keep working. An innate desire to get things done and prepared. The longer I homestead the closer to nature and natural seasons and intuition I get.
Our friend, Jim, was one of my students; he is a Vietnam Vet, commander for a veteran’s organization, lover of plants and herbs, a survivalist, loyal friend, and in the tree business. He gave me a great deal on three cords of wood. Even though it is a lot of money for us, a winter without utilities will even things out. He dropped off the cords one by one while Doug and I spent the afternoon stacking wood. Doug kept stopping to pull up his jeans. Forget a gym membership. We work hard, our muscles are defined, we eat healthy, homemade food, and though we’ll be a little soft by the end of winter, we’ll be right back in the swing of things for the remainder of the year. Homesteading looks good on folks.
We have a pantry full, two freezers full, now a total of four cords of wood, and we are getting closer. Time is ticking because we are still doing farmer’s markets through the end of the month and craft shows through the middle of December. In between we get ready for our winter rest. We are drying off the goat; we have plenty of cheese made and milk frozen. We are getting ready to breed Isabelle again. Today the gutters will be cleaned, homestead area mowed, garden worked on, chimney cleaned, and orders filled, even though we are under the weather. The seasons don’t stop for sick days. Soon we will only have craft shows on the weekends and the holidays to look forward to. Then for three months we will rest and grow restless and be ever ready for the seasons to start over. We are thankful to live this lifestyle. This is truly the good life.