So many vacation at Disney World, the beach, or even go camping.....we farm!!! We went up to New York this past weekend to visit our good friend Jenna who just bought a 6 acre farm from 1866. We have followed Jenna the whole way from finances to closing so it was only appropriate we go and help her celebrate her biggest accomplishment....her farm. We arrived on Thursday evening (Madeline travels better at night). The journey only took 5 hrs. Madeline had fallen asleep so it was great to be able to catch up with Jenna before we hit the hay. Zach and I got ready for bed and as we layed down to sleep.......silence. Something we haven't heard since we lived in an apartment in the woods when we were first married. We actually had trouble sleeping!! We are used to the motorcyles, trains, and cars that go past our house near our homestead. I missed the sound of silence and that began my time of reflection on the farm. After what seemed like forever, we finally fell asleep dreaming of our own farm someday.
The next morning I woke up to a horrible sound. I listened carefully next to the window. It sounded like an animal dying outside. All I could think was "oh my, what is attacking what outside". But it was only Winthrop, Jenna's rooster, who aparently sounds like a dying animal in his cock-a-doodle-doo's. What a wake up call....it was 5:30.
That day was filled with seeing what Jenna does on her farm and helping her at her old cabin and getting and loading her 3 sheep in her Subaru (aparently Sam had gas...glad I wasn't in the car with Jenna and Zach!!!).
When we were all back at the house we all rested and chatted. We went out on the porch and Jenna taught us how to play the fiddle. It has such a beautiful sound. And it's especially beautiful watching our daughter dance around in her bare feet on the grass, on a farm, with no cares in the world. I'm so glad we have the oprritunity for Madeline to be a part of that.
After dinner we headed outside again for evening chores and to enjoy the ending of the day...that night we had no problems falling asleep to the silence.
On Saturday, we woke up and Madeline and I stayed behind to clean Jenna's home while Zach and Jenna went over with some of her friends for more fencing for the sheep. We put on the record player with some bluegrass and got down to business.
Outside we checked on the animals and mowed the lawn (push mower style!!). Madeline's favorite spot was the natural spring. I found myself stopping and looking around really coming into the fact that this is what we want. I want my daughter to know where her food comes from. I want her to understand responsibility and hardwork. I want her to breathe fresh air and use her imagination. But as I was reflecting on all this, I realized, I want that too. I don't want to go to a grocery store and ask myself "okay, what's for dinner". I want to do that out my back door. I don't want to read a label and trust they didn't miss anything. I want to put that trust into my own food KNOWING that what I feed my family truly is safe. I want to understand that some animals are food, and some are loving lazy pets who like to be scratched!! I have this burning desire to make this world work for my child, my future grandchildren, and of course us. I feel God wants us to be farmers. But I must say I was beginning to get into a rut....until Jenna's. I told Jenna in the car how she was an encouragment to me to keep moving forward towards our dream to farm....
On our final day around dinner time, it was time to say good-bye. A part of me was sad because so much will change on the farm until we see her again, and we won't see it and maybe I didn't want to leave....But a part of me was ready to go home....to go home to our homestead. It may not be a farm yet but I had that burning desire to get that farm and I was ready to take away what I had learned at Cold Antler and use it here on Snyder's Homestead.
As a thank you for coming up Jenna gave us 2 angora bucks to start yet another journey in homesteading. They are settling in here nicely. We may not have a farm, and we may not have the farm animals, but we have the dream and we have the passion to make it.......and Jenna is just a phone call away......never know, we might just call New York home one day :)