This is the story of the country-fication of a small family, attempting to ease their way into homesteading on a very small farm in Central Virginia.
Lisa: Wife and narrator. Hails from New Jersey, where everyone assumed she’d be living in Brooklyn by now and not writing about compost. Interest in farming largely related to her interest in local food… kinda like making the last meal in The Omnivore’s Dilemma the goal for dinner every night. And lunch… Also thinks canning is bad-ass. Loves: no cell service on the farm. Hates: having to drive 30 minutes for anything.
Will: Husband, and would-be farmer. May have been born in Maryland, but gosh darn it, he is proud to be a Virginian. Interest in farming based on experience working with local farmers at his restaurants, a love of gardening, and a mild streak of doomsday conspiracy thrown in for good measure. Dreams about heirloom tomatoes. Loves: doing something “authentic.” Hates: keeping track of it all.
Alston: Now that he’s four, this boy is a proud mini farmer, even if he doesn’t have any real farm chores yet (since we don’t want all the eggs broken). Loves: getting dirty. Hates: washing his hands.
Marie: Baby. Doesn’t do a whole lot yet, but sleep, eat and be cute. Loves: nursing. Hates: the hours between 6 PM and bedtime.
Ben: Our farm manager, he joined us in November 2012 after a summer of fighting fires out West. With a background in landscape architecture and a childhood spent on a tree farm in Idaho, he’s the only one around here with real country credibility. Loves: permaculture. Hates: chickens who scrtach up recently planted apple tree roots.
Scout: Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dog we got as a rescue pup. Given the choice, she’d guard Alston and not the sheep or chickens. Loves: Barking. Hates: Not barking.
Samson: Adopted to be a barn cat (okay, basement cats meant to protect the animal feed from mice), it turns out these he wants nothing more than to sneak into the house and lay on the beds, so as to torment my allergies. Love: being indoors. Hate: using a litter box.
The Farm: a five acre plot with a 100 year old farm house, fenced pasture, small forest and a half acre stream-fed pond. Loves: growing poison ivy. Hates: any attempt at cultivation.
Featuring: numerous animals, both wild and domestic, and a whole lot of fruits, vegetables and weeds. Oh good god all the weeds!