It was time. It was time to invite a crew down to help me out. I had managed to clear off the cement pad, hack paths to the pond, and clean up the cabin. Going down by myself was my meditation, my freedom from the city, my excuse to not talk to anyone for hours on end. But now the list was too long, and there were jobs that would simply be easier with a crew.
I invited the family and a few good friends to come down for Farm Day…and lured them with the promise of lunch. There were two goals for the day.
- Get a lot of shit done.
- Introduce the family to the land once again and get them to love it again.
The weather was absolutely perfect.
It was a crisp and sunny Fall day, perfect for hard outdoor work. My dear friends Yonina and Mattie treated us all to yummy pastries from Laughlin’s Bakery and we munched on madelienes on the drive down.
Uncle Frank and Grandpa were already there, working on cutting down trees along the lane and clearing those that had already fallen. My oldest friend Erin, who helped me haul insulation out of the old cabin, came up as well. Mom and Dad came down in the truck, laden with tools and the bush hog.
Oh yeah. We rented a bush hog for the day.
It is a massive lawn mower on steroids. Let’s be honest here: I really want one now. This thing can cut down 2” saplings and demolish prickly bushes, leaving land in its wake that was mow-able. Needless to say the land around the soon-to-be cabin and the path up to the pond was much bigger at the end of the day. The thick brush no longer dominated the area, which was a massive relief. Maybe I’ll rent goats to clear the next stretch of land to compare effectiveness.
Once we had all arrived I gave the newbies a quick tour of the land, or at least the parts that were accessible. It went more or less like this: “Here is the lane that you can’t drive on, here is the pond that you can’t swim in because of all the overgrowth around it, and here is the cabin you can’t sleep in.” Yeah, there’s a lot of work to be done here.
Then we got to work.
Uncle Frank was on chainsaw duty (unfortunately his died halfway through the morning and he had to go buy a whole new one). Grandpa just kind of wandered around, on and off path, getting all cut up with thorns, and going down memory lane. Mom, Yonina, Mattie, Erin, Emily, and I worked on cleaning up the lane and all the trash around the cement pad. Around the pad they slowly unearthed pieces to a toilet, which made for much amusement. Dad was on the bush hog, slicing down overgrowth to make the land a bit more useable.
It’s amazing what can be accomplished with a team.
The before and after was enormous. The farm no longer looked and felt like an overwhelming untamed slice of woods. It looked like it could actually be something. I am so very lucky to have such supportive family and friends. The luckiest alive.
Once it was around lunch time we got out Uncle Frank’s camping grill and cooked up some delicious brats for the crew as a thank you for all their hard work. We sat on the cement pad and spun stories, reveling in the good company and beautiful environment. Then of course, once we left, we headed over to a local bar to grab a good ol’ brew.
I’m hoping to have a massive Fall Farm Day each year, because dang, so much was accomplished! It will be soon, and it will be digging. Digging a culvert, digging a hole for the outhouse, digging and leveling the lane for gravel. All the shovels, all the dirt.