Since we moved here in May, I’ve been irritated at the 20 feet of vines growing along our front fence perimeter. The rest of the fence line was completely clear, so why did the previous owners allow this to grow so wild? About 3 months ago, we were about to pull onto the road when Tim said, ”Wait, are those grapes?” We stopped the car, got out to investigate, and sure enough – those vines were grape vines! Thanks to my handy plant identification app, I discovered that they were California Wild Grapes. Since then, we’ve left them alone until this past Monday, when it was officially harvest time.Continue reading
Since I was about 24, I’ve wanted to live on a homestead. It’s been dream for nearly half my life, and one that’s been out of reach for most of it. I’ve tried to make my home a bit more “homestead-y” wherever I’ve lived, but I’ve never actually had much land to do anything with. Still, I was undeterred and tried to grow some of my own veggies and actually use the land a bit. But it never worked out because there wasn’t much to be done with a patch of grass.
That is likely changing soon.Continue reading
What I’m reading…
I’m in love.
With a book.
I checked out Barnheart: The Incurable Longing for A Farm of One’s Own by Jenna Woginrich from the library, fully planning to leave it on my iPad until I got to the airport next Monday for my flight(s) to Seattle. That plan lasted all of…oh… seven minutes. Before long, I had my eyes glued to the screen and now I’m stealing a minute or two here and there in order to read some more.
As I said before, I’m in love.
Jenna’s memoir about establishing her farm on rented property in Vermont while living paycheck to paycheck is endearing. Her prose is entertaining and she has a way with words that sucks the reader in. (I mean, she talks about the “sun getting tired.” How cute is that???) I loved reading about her determination to get a small flock of sheep, her driving need to get a border collie, and her adoption of Finn, the most adorable baby goat to ever appear in any book.
I haven’t finished it yet. In fact, I have 33% to go. I’m trying to take it slow, even though I’m a fast reader, and savor it like a piece of decadent fudge. It’s too beautiful, too entertaining a story, and I want that life. As I sit in my townhouse, which is tucked under some trees but still close enough to a busy city street that I never escape the sounds of traffic, I realize how much I want that life. I feel the longing deep inside. It burns as strong as heartburn, but Tums will do nothing to take it away. I want my own flock of hens and four (yes, exactly four) goats, as well as two horses and a passel of misfit dogs. I want dirt under my fingernails. I want the kind of satisfying, exhausted sleep that only comes after a day of hard labor. When will I get to pluck a green pepper straight from the vine?
Jenna, though, has advice to offer about this exact question. In the introduction of the book, she says:
“When your mind wanders like this and your heart feels heavy, do not lose the faith, and do not fret about your current circumstances. Everything changes. If you need to stand in the slanting light of an old barn to lift your spirits, go for it. Perhaps someday you’ll do this every day. For some, this is surely the only cure.”
I have plans for my very own garden and livestock and even my own barn. They’re on hold until a few years down the road, after certain stock options have matured and are cashed out. But the important part is that they’re there. And as Jenna so wisely says, everything changes. Until then, I, too, have barnheart.