Sunday, August 16, 2009

pumpkins & antlerstock

Remember that little pumpkin crawling along the fence line? Well here he is a few days later—heavy on the ground. I took my little Barlow knife and scratched my runes into his side. Those symbols stand for peace/protection, love/hope, and harvest/autumn. (They are all over everything on this farm, from beehives to chicken coops to witten on paper cups at sheepdog clinics so I know which one is mine.) The scars will stay with him till he's big and orange: a neat trick anyone can do with squash. Write your kid's name, Happy Halloween, or your house number and set it by the mailbox. Besides this beauty, all the pumpkins seem to be coming along nicely and have taken over most of the garden with their giant prickly vines. I saw another giant like this under the corn and a few more just getting started. Already this guy is larger than my biggest from last fall. I hope to have some nice heavyweights for the porch, pies, and carving.

So I don't think I'll be hosting a big weekend camping event, but this October I would like to have Antlerstock. I was thinking a Saturday in mid October. And the plan would be to have all of us meet at Merck Forest Farmland Center to tour the heritage livestock, visit the trails for a short hike (I'll bring Finn!) and that way we can all revel in Vermont's woodland fall at a working big farm and then come back to CAF for food, music, and a campfire. If you are serious about attending let me know and if the number is manageable I'll start planning! There might be a small fee to help cover the food, but besides that it'll be just a time to catch up, fiddle, and laugh.

P.S. If you like reading up on the farm, you can click a link at the top of the blog called "Follow This Blog." I believe it let's you get posts either emailed to you, or just notified of updates. Check it out.


Blogger Tara said...

Well, hell's bells. I know this was my suggestion and all, but I don't think I can come up for a day trip. Because of where I live and where you live, it would literally be an all day odyssey getting there - two hour drive + two or three connecting flights + another two hour drive or some such thing. I don't necessarily mind that, and it would probably be worth it just to see this "Fall" thing you speak of, but I'd have to find stuff to do there for a couple of days, I think, to make it worth the trip. Stupid...distance.

What a happy pumpkin that is! :D

August 16, 2009 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger folk city said...

I don't see the "Follow This Blog" link. Am I looking in the wrong place?

August 16, 2009 at 10:09 AM  
Anonymous kandy Gray said...

hells ya! if it is on a weekend, and if i have enough time to save, me and cuzz are in! the drive from montreal cant be too far.


August 16, 2009 at 10:43 AM  
Anonymous kandy Gray said...

ill bring stuffed chicken and cherry pie.

August 16, 2009 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger omnicharm said...

There's a link to follow all the way up at the top in the gray menu bar. I use google reader and subscribe so new posts show up every time I visit google reader (and Jenna has written something new, of course). It's a great way to keep track of a lot of sites from news to cooking to CAF. I am not affiliated with google in any way; I just enjoy their free services.

August 16, 2009 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

tara if you are willing to come up from Texas, by all means, come friday and leave sunday. you're welcome for the whole weekend. you can camp at the farm or crash at a local inn.

August 16, 2009 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Nire said...

Assuming it's not either of the two Saturdays I'm not around, I'd love to go!

August 16, 2009 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

what weekend is best for everyone? I am thinking the 13th?

August 16, 2009 at 11:53 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I'd be coming in from the other coast, but it may work. My husband and I usually take a trip to Boston/New England during my b-day month to enjoy the fall foliage that I miss so much out here in SoCal. We could drive up for the day.

August 16, 2009 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Very neat idea with the pumpkin. I don't grow any pumpkins here -- season is too short -- but my mom has some.

August 16, 2009 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...


Just currious about the origin of those symbols? Pretty cool.

August 16, 2009 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Nordic runes, you can read scads about them online.

August 16, 2009 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...

Thank you!
Found this about the harvest:

In this modern age of central heating and oranges in February, it is difficult to imagine the close ties that people once had with the cycles of the year, particularly in the more Northern climes. The changing seasons affected not only the weather, but also the day to day activities and even the diets of ancient peoples. Constant change was the norm, and the object was to become attuned with those changes, not to fight against them. An ancient farmer (or even some modern ones) wouldn't need to look at a calendar to tell him when to plant, or read a weather forecast to know when the snows were coming. The changing seasons were a part of his blood and bones, and his very existence depended on adapting to change.

Jera follows isa just as spring follows winter. The frozen stagnancy of ice is broken by the turning of the wheel, and things are once again moving along as they should. In fact, we have now broken out of the entire set 'negative' runes with which we began this aett. This has been accomplished not by fighting to escape the ice or railing against the unfairness of fate, but by learning from those experiences and simply waiting for the inevitable thaw. Jera is the communion wine - the product of the joining of opposites bringing life. Storms may come and go, but the sun is always there and life is generally pretty good. Enjoy it while you can.

August 16, 2009 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Rachel B. said...

I'm so jealous Jenna, my pumpkins are behind...they just are blooming. I would love to go up to Vermount for a few days. I would if I had my own car and a friend to travel with because I would lose my mind if I drove five hours by myself. Perhaps next year.

August 16, 2009 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger s said...

aw, man. i so want to be there for this. my october's looking crazy, though.

the weekend of october 9/10/11, i have a friend in town for my birthday. and then the next weekend (october 16/17/18), i'm supposed to be walking 60 miles in the breast cancer 3 day.

if you decide on a later weekend, let me know!

August 16, 2009 at 11:42 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Well heck. Let me see what the Boss says about taking the week off, and you may just hafta put up with me too. I found a $250 R/T flight from Tallahassee to Syracuse, NY, and since I plan on doing a bunch of driving to near Plattsburgh NY, I might just be able to swing it.

August 17, 2009 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...


If Cold Antler stirs you, you'll be able to find lotsa stuff you will enjoy doing in VT and upstate NY for a few days. Lake Champlain has tour boats which are cool, driving around taking pictures is just as much fun too. And make sure to pay a visit to Ethan Allen's grave whilst you're there.

August 17, 2009 at 8:30 AM  
Anonymous kandy said...

oct 13 good for us!


August 17, 2009 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger TheRaspberryChicken said...

I think the 13th is a Tuesday... The weekend of the 17th is perfect for me as the 16th is my last day of school. What a great way to celebrate!

August 17, 2009 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

The 13th is a Tuesday, yes.

August 17, 2009 at 3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love those symbols Jenna (the meanings anways). When I first looked I thought they might be Celtic. But I couldnt find em anywhere.

I love doing that to my pumpkins wiht the kids names on the. Had my oldest convinced that there was a pumpkin fairy. That lasted till he got to the 2nd grade and was laughed outta school. Ha ha. Had to tell him the truth.
I just got finished reading your book. *clap clap clap* great job. My 12 yr old sone is reading it now. He thinks your a riot.

The farmer down the road was blown away by my "I wanna do everything I can do for myself" kind attitude. He cant believe that a 31 yr old woman, of our generation, would have any sort of motivation to do things in a self sufficient manner. I make most of what we eat by hand and grow a ton of food. This poor man nearly stroked in his front yard when I told him about you and countless other young women who all share these idea. He thinks its great. He also said that when he learns how to use the "darn computer" that he will start reading your blog. People like you give him hope for "one of the laziest generations he has ever seen".

Good job Jenna

August 17, 2009 at 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Laura Gaskill said...

I know I'm a little late to comment, but I've just been catching up on my reading...

My husband and I would love to come to Antlerstock - anytime would work for us as long as we have a bit of notice! We're just coming from Providence, RI, so it's not too far, though we'll probably make a weekend of it just for fun & stay at an inn or camp somewhere.

August 19, 2009 at 9:58 AM  

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