Right now the sheep are out in the back field enjoying their dinner of freshly-stormed-on pasture. The goats are nibbling hay in their pen, their evening milking well over and their udders empty. The chickens are roosting, new chicks are on order, and hopes at the farm are high. like I said, luck and hunches.
By the by, there are five new little piglets here! I picked them up a few days ago from West Wind Acres. They are a home brew of many different heritage breeds, and pretty young. They all fit comfortably in a large crate on the ride home, covered with a shade cloth in the back of the pickup. Now they are enjoying a diet of chow, goats milk, scraps, and bolted garden greens. While these guys are so little, they are in the pen in the barn, but soon they will be out in the woods in the usual pig digs. I'm not sure how many pigs this is for Cold Antler, but I am certainly getting a hang of the pork train. Proud to raise them, proud to provide them to folks I raise them for, and always happy to share the spoils of the work with friends.
Last night after a swim in the river, my friends Tyler and Tara and I enjoyed BLT wraps. Fresh chard and bacon from the farm made us all content as we tucked in for a movie. It was a perfect night, and before they headed back to Vermont on their motorcycle we hugged goodbye. I'm not a hugger, but those two and I share the kinship of being self-employed, woodland, 30-something, weirdos and I love them. We were floating down the Battenkill earlier that evening, had all spent the day earlier earning a living from our businesses and dreams, and were still young and foolish enough to keep it up. If you are the people you surround yourself with, I am going to be fine. I hope, at least.
whole lotta jams as we drove around the hillsides southwest to Rockwood's place. I roll without a cell phone, and the only directions for the 46-mile trip were written by hand in a notebook from a conversation Josh and I had in Facebook. At one point the road I was on had a weird turn in the town of Stillwater, and I was lost. So I chatted up locals at the Stewart's and within ten minutes I had an iced coffee, two farmers, a biker chick, and a map all gathered around the hood of my truck, which I have been calling Taylor regularly (It's a 1989). Together, we all found the route to West Wind together. I loved that. People are great, and thanks to the kindness of strangers I found my way.
I swear music, running, this farm, good people, and those dogs are the reasons I wake up with sharp teeth and a wry smile. And that's the attitude you need to have to keep a crazy dream like this going strong. You need to outwit the odds. You need to keep inspired to create the life worth writing about. You need to care more about the whole than any single piece. You need force, hope, friends, collies, biker chicks, and bacon wraps.
Wish me luck, guys. This month I'm all in.