It has been a very long and difficult year for us as a family. At this time last year, we were busy trying to sell our house, getting ready for our move to Maine, trying to get our son ready for his first year in college, and we were excited that our dreams were about to become a reality.
As many of you know, that dream quickly became a nightmare. I have grieved the better part of this past year over the loss of my animals, my gardens, and even my calling as a farmer. Even though some pretty terrible things occurred in pursuit of our dreams, the outpouring of love from family and friends has been unbelievable.
We are so thankful. Dom has the most amazing job in the world building gorgeous GeoBarns for clients, we have a very thoughtful and considerate landlord who has made our stay in Woodstock, Vermont, beautiful and memorable, wonderful and supportive friends who have helped us transition to Vermont, and family who made it possible for us to hope and dream again.
Our lives are filled with blessings and we are now overflowing. My health is recovering as well from the mold exposure and subsequent autoimmune flare-up. The Gluten Challenge I had to participate in last year prior to being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, damaged my body in ways I fear I will never come back from as it is still affecting me. One way inflammation shows in my body is through weight gain, and weight that is extremely difficult for me to get rid of now. I’ve gained more than 50 pounds, of which 35 pounds or more happened in the first month of the gluten challenge last year. The weight is uncomfortable and my body has a hard time carrying it.
I’m currently on the Wahls Protocol Plus™ after wanting to pull my hair out over the lack of improvement happening with my health on the Autoimmune Protocol. The Wahls Protocol™, however, is working for me. Thank god! I am finally making progress, and while it is her most aggressive diet plan, it was already what I was attempting to do prior to reading her book. I was already eating mostly raw foods while omitting foods that aggravate my autoimmune issues.
So I’m on the mend! And it feels good. And now that I’m feeling stronger and more vibrant, I’m also happy to report that we will be making a final move to New Hampshire. I can’t disclose the location, date of our move, or details about the farm yet, however, I will say that we are super excited that a farm is once more in our future! Dom and I decided that we didn’t want to start from scratch and build a farm from the ground up. I guess if we were in our twenties, that would be something we would venture into, but I’m almost 50 years old, and as the primary farmer with Dom helping when he can, I am in no way ready to reinvent the wheel. The clear choice was to do a long-term farm lease.
Farm infrastructure is expensive, and I would prefer working within the parameters of established orchards and perennials, and then add to that my exciting work as a soil farmer. That is where my calling lies. It is within the life of the soil. Without all the players in an ever-changing and diverse soil life, nothing could grow properly. I credit everything that I’ve learned about soil health to Elaine Ingham. Many people pay close attention to the types of seeds they plant, the kinds of fertilizers they use, and if they are organic- the types of organic products they could use to deter pests or even weeds. Not me. I’m interested in knowing that all the correct organisms are present in the soil because if they are all present and thriving, so will anything that grows in the soil. When there is an imbalance from overuse of fertilizers (organic or inorganic), tillage, etc. there is always a decline in soil health and an uptick in weed pressure, and pests. Build the soil back up, and you have less weed pressure, deeper root systems, healthier annuals and perennials as well as vibrant healthy animals, and ultimately a community of soil life that will sustain us year after year, if they are treated right, nourished, and tended to.
In the coming months, as I’m able to disclose the location and more about our new farmhouse, my excitement will be growing! I won’t be very active in this space until after we move since our landlord is selling the house we’re in and I need to make sure things look great when we have a showing. Trying to balance that and packing things away that aren’t essential is difficult to balance, but we’ll do our best.
I’m also busy building two other websites, homeschooling Simmi, I have some contractual work I do from home, and building a flexible garden plan for the new farm. I say flexible because until I’m there each day experiencing the microclimates in different areas of the farm, I won’t know for sure where everything will go in terms of gardens and animals.
It’s all very exciting though! Time will fly by, and all the sudden the moving men will be here to take us home.
It will feel amazing to finally be settled and NOT need to move again. We knew this house we’re in now was not a permanent solution for us. If the house was in a price range we could afford, we would have purchased it from our landlord. Its only on a few acres of steep slopes, but that wasn’t an issue for us. Hopefully, the right buyers will come along to purchase this house, because it is well worth the investment!