We moved onto the farm three days ago. I am writing from a house that’s nestled between a highway, a barn and some mountains. The pastures are greening, the birds chirping, the cars zipping past, and the former owner is still hanging around, using our tractor to move farm implements in some master plan that we have yet to grasp. We are simultaneously peeling off old yellowed wallpaper, replacing drywall in the kitchen, trying to find the source of a leak with the inherited washing machine, pounding fence posts and installing fence lines to move the cattle off the conventional mucky paddock they’ve been on since they arrived here a month ago, finding a veterinarian to figure out what’s wrong with our feverish Jersey dairy cow, and taking care of a curious toddler in a space that is not childproofed in the least.
In the same way that I had a hard time conceptualizing what forty-two tonnes of sulphur looked like prior to seeing the delivery of fertilizers that came yesterday, I still don’t fully grasp the extent of the work that lays ahead. It is endless. It is overwhelming. Empowering too to think that Paul and I can make this place our farm home, we can set it up as we please, and decide for ourselves the makeup of our days. But it is still so so much to take in.
And then there’s the lost feeling of home and rootedness. The not knowing how to carve out a space here. These feelings of being quite lost and scattered amidst the overwork, the sharp edges of exhaustion, and this rural newness.
But I am grateful for the strolls through the fields as we install insulators for the electrical fencing. I am grateful for a partner with more know-how than I realized. Grateful for the remarkable friend who came and so generously stayed with us for two whole weeks to work, to keep us company and to keep us sane. Grateful for this child who’s so eager to get his rubber boots on to go look at the calves and push his little red wagon around. And at this point, I’m just trying to focus on the ‘adventure’ quality of all of this. Despite the blood, sweat and tears.
Here’s to hitting the ground running, and to starting a farm in May.