Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Slugs & Scythe

It's deer season and every moment I have to spare afternof farm chores, freelance, and 1860's-era-farmhouse care and maintenance has been sitting in the forest hoping a deer presents itself. I am out there with my shotgun, because I don't feel comfortable with longer-distance rifles on land so hilly. I won't shoot at something unless I know exactly where the bullet ends up if I miss. So it's a thermos of coffee, slugs in my pocket, and a land-me-down duck hunting camo jacket my friend Mark game me. So far no luck. But even without venison in the freezer (yet!) it is entirely lovely being in the forest without anything but my gear and a worn copy of The Hobbit. I go to my perch nestled beside an old maple and read and wait. Squirrels and rabbits scamper by but none of the cervine traffic that usually trots pass the stream has made it. I think all the local deer are bedding down and waiting for the first week of intense human activity in the woods to slow down. I am hoping my luck changes. I have a doe tag this year I can use in Washington County. If I can get any sex of deer I'll be glad to have it in my winter food storage.

So I haven't been lucky with the hunting, but I have been lucky in the form of new and old friends coming by the farm this week. Leah from Moxie Ridge joined Game Night regulars, Tara and Tyler, last night for potluck and a game of Scythe. It's based on an alternative history of 1920's eastern Europe. In the game an industrial mechanized capital city runs the lives of pastoral people. It's a trip! I did not do too well at conquering a land mass and taking over a semi-feudal people but I did have fun! We had slow roasted bbq pork burritos and Leah's farm cheese. Tara brought some amazing gingerbread and hand-whipped cream topping. We worked on taking over the world through spoonfuls of candied ginger and soft cookie crumble.

I will never forget reading in You Can Farm! by Joel Salatin the importance of staying on the farm if you want to afford to keep it. That making your own fun on your land is just as key to keeping it as paying bills on time. If you dreamed of the farm and country life, don't leave it every weekend. And it's something all four of us have in common as non-traditional people in our thirties trying to make it as entrepreneurs - all around food and computers. It was a good night of camaraderie, hard cider, and much laughter - right here at home.