Monday, October 17, 2011

Antlerstock: the whole story coming right up

Antlerstock began Friday morning with a pre-dawn road trip to buy pigs and ended with a gentle walk through the Vermont forest with new friends. For the next few days I'll post the entire weekend, in detail, and share what happened on a little sloping mountain in Washington County, New York when a smattering of homesteaders and independent spirits got together to learn, laugh, and enjoy a life of animals, food, and music.

For two whole days my backyard was lucky enough to be transformed into a learning center/mess hall. Workshops on everything from felling trees to canning jam were well-attended and enjoyed. It was an amazing collaboration, and when I say amazing I mean Brett, Tara, Cathy, Raven, Mikaela, and Diane. I just hosted and figured out the logistics, but they gave up their weekend, talents, a time to help inspire and educate others. There were workshops and field trips, purple chickens and secret-sauce chili. There was a 1953 Ford farm truck, an old trike hauling squash, and a pair of little pigs. People came from as far away as San Diego and as close as a few miles south on Route 22. Couples from New York CIty and Boston talked about throwing axes and cheese cloth instead of parking spots and their office mail boxes. Saturday afternoon you could find yourself either in the pasture with me and the sheep (and Gibson's antics), inside the kitchen watching soap making demonstrations, outside learning to split and stack firewood with Brett, or just walking around the farm snacking on the morning's cheese workshop's products while petting a piglet or plucking a banjo.

I sincerely want to thank the people who came, presented, and shared their stories, efforts, support, and caramels. I felt at home with the whole crew, and hope to see many more of them soon. It was a special event, inspiring and simple. I will certainly do it again next year, but with porta-potties and a string band.

Next up:
How a Texan and I went on an adventure north to haggle for pigs.


OpenID barntalkblog said...

Just the introduction sounded like you had a heckova good time! I can't wait to read more!!


October 17, 2011 at 6:40 PM  
Blogger kate said...

Hey, Jenna, what did you end up doing with them pigs?

I plan to be there next year, though with the plentiful ticks in the hinterlands I am not the same person before I knew such things, and I have to consider.

Makes me think it is a sin to grow older and know so much, so I will make an effort to forget.

Sounds like a great time!

October 17, 2011 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger Trekout2 said...

It looks and sounds Like a good time was had by all. Can't wait for more information to come ... Let us know what the Texan thought about the green mountains of New York..

October 17, 2011 at 7:37 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

The culture shock for some must have been enormous. The Texan must have just about frozen. Wish I could have been there. Maybe next year with rabbits.

October 17, 2011 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Pigs are in a small pen in the barn. 12 weeks old and eating like...pigs.

Kate, I pull a dog tick off me every now and again, and get tested for lyme every year. So far, no problem. I know some folks with lyme, but they recovered, and are just fine. No one at my farm was deep in harsh woods like that, just in the yard and some open spaces behind the barn. It's safe, but if you worry you can always come to a winter workshop like wool or brewing.

October 17, 2011 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

jen we will talk!

October 17, 2011 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I can't wait to read more about the weekend! :) Another trip to add to my wish list. Also, I saw this and thought of you:

if your iphone is still cracked.

October 17, 2011 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

It was a great weekend. Consider me registered for Antlerstock 2012. I have already put some of what I learned to good use - Brett's tips and techniques for effective firewood stacking. You fed us very well, and helped us teach each other. I hope you can get some rest this week!

October 17, 2011 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

I echo Diane. It was a wonderful weekend full of great company. Count us in for next year too!

October 17, 2011 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger kaelak said...

SUCH a great weekend! Hubby asked me what the most useful/interesting thing I learned was and I yakked for 30 minutes! Thanks for putting on such an amazing event, thanks to all of the truly lovely people who attended and became fast friends, and hope you enjoy the mead! Looking forward to Antlerstock 2012!

October 17, 2011 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I am so bummed I missed this! Will definitely look for next year's event. Looks like it was a good time.

October 18, 2011 at 4:38 AM  
Blogger Jennifer D Riley said...

Hello, I'll match a story with another short story about farm life. Thanks for any feedback.

October 18, 2011 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

Long-time lurker, first time commenter :) I so wish I could have been there and am so excited to know that another San Diegan attended! Hopefully next year!

October 18, 2011 at 5:04 PM  
Blogger karen said...

Sounds like such a good time- Hope to make it next year! Looking forward to all the pix and stories. Karen from CT

October 18, 2011 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

I did not freeze. I was fine. It does get cold in Texas too. ;-)

Upstate New York was lovely - one of the nicer places I've ever been, and I've been to many!

October 18, 2011 at 8:38 PM  

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