Wednesday, April 10, 2013


The representative from Farm Family arrived exactly at the time he had specified. He stepped out of a brand new 4-door sedan, black and shiny as Merlin after a long ride. He had on a dress shirt, dress slacks, and a pair of shoes I don't think has ever intentionally stepped on the ground of this mountain farm while I called it mine: loafers. It was not that long ago that such clothing was as normal to me as topsoil and rain, but after nearly a year away from the corporate world the gentlemen looked like an alien. Or, if not an alien and ambassador from a strange land.

To add to the divide, my muddy dog ran up to him and tailing the black dart was a pair of goat kids. Ida and Loki (renamed from Earl) were bounding up to him. Here was the test. Instead of asking Gibson to sit down or stepping back from the kids the Rep simply laughed and smiled and told me, with great reverence, how much he missed the dog he just had to put down. And there I was in the parking lot, talking to a stranger not about insurance regulations or paperwork, but about lost love. He didn't ask Gibson to do anything, and he laughed when Loki butted his knee. And at that moment I knew Cold Antler Farm was in good hands.

We spent the next half hour touring the farm and going over my recent improvement projects required for coverage. Truthfully, they weren't my projects at all, but completed with the help of Patty and Tom, who gave up time and tools to get this place where it needed to be come inspection time. Thanks to them, and the folks who bought season passes, workshops, sent in contributions, friendly emails, and even those of you just clicking on ads…. thanks to you I was able to sign that check and hand it over to the man explaining to me my new coverage and costs. I was able to pull together the 25% upfront cost needed for the new insurance plan and as I type this, just four days short of the deadline, I am covered not as a homeowner but as a farmer. It feels like I just graduated to a new level of agriculture.

To be honest I have been treading water lately, dealing with things and conditions I do not feel comfortable writing about here. I can assure you they aren't chronic, tragic, or any different than the same curves life throws at each and every one of you but sometimes (as you all know) things get heavy and sad and you can either curl up in the fetal position or punch your way through it. I am happy to report I am punching harder than ever, and resemble nothing of a fetus save for my oddly round facehead.

So this is how it seems to work for me? This is how it happened when I bought the farm, which only transpired because I forced out of my rented little haven in Vermont. And the new insurance came when my old providers kicked me out as well. I'm not sure what that says about me, but I am grateful I have the ability to react and land on my feet in a slightly better stance than the one I jumped from. Some people go through life looking and living a lot better and never learn that trick, and for that I am grateful. But not as grateful as I am for you, and to you, the readers of this blog and the thousands of cheerleaders keeping me coming back for more.

There's a lot a head. I have the Plow Days with the Draft Association on Saturday. Archery practice on Sunday, and events like the spring garden overhaul, Poultry Swap, pasture expansion, pumpkin field, new book launch, haying season, and even more ahead. Not to mention a big state-ran Falconry test in just over a week. You have no idea how much I am studying about ornithological feather patterns and nesting sites. Did you know how most Falcons nest only on cliffs save for some random tundra species that shack up in trees? I do. I do because lately I am inhaling hawks whenever I am not milking a goat or hauling water or sitting down in my office.

So much ahead. So much to share. Thank you for sticking with me.

P.S. Anyone who signed up for the Grain Society this past fall, email me so I can mail you your seeds and book please!