Don. looking very much the hippie farmer, contemplating a large carrot from the garden
I remember celebrating Don's 50th birthday when we lived on our old homestead in Morgan, VT. It seems so appropriate that 17 years later we are heading back to the woods as I approach my 50th birthday in December.
It is so surreal having excavators clear the site, blasters for the foundation and well drillers this time around because when Don and I built our first house in the Northeast Kingdom, (on the Canadian border of Vt), we did everything by hand. We dug the spring fed well, cleared the land by hand with just the 2 of us. We used pulleys and a 2 wheel drive truck to pull the logs out of the woods and most of the stumps were left. We had a portable sawmill come in and we milled all the lumber to build our barn and part of our house with. We built that house on piers so we did not need an excavator or blasting done to dig a foundation as we do with this one. We ended up lifting that house up and adding a walkout basement later which was a pretty awesome project. Each time we got more livestock we would clear a paddock for them, we had pigs, dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese, and beef calves, so we cleared lots of paddocks! This time it is all moving so fast.
The pace will slow down considerably when it comes time to actually build the house. We won't be hiring a "Framing crew" to build it, it will just be Don and Andy, his son-in-law, who we are hiring to come over for 2 weeks from NH to help with the framing. All the electrical, plumbing, sheetrock, taping, cabinetry and interior finish work will be done by Don. So that is going to take some time because he will still be running his Small Dog Handyman business during the week and I am no plumber or electrician LOL!
Here are some photos from our old Homesteading days. We don't plan to do as much as we did back then but it certainly is fun to look back and we travel forward on our journey.
Don and I in our woods in Morgan, Vt up near the Canadian boarder with our collies, Rosie & Noah
Goat milk, eggs and an abundance of veggies. When we were homesteading every item on our plates was home grown or home made. Even the beer and wine. I even made my own clothes back then.
Lots of canning, everything from veggies, bone broths, pickles, applesauce, juice, and vinegars.
Two of our goats, Lolly and Joey, and bull calf Simon...yes we named them all!
|Noah and I heading out to the garden|
Don bottle feeding a calf
Don milking Lolly. Look at all that hair he had back then, and it wasn't white LOL!
Rosie "Helping" Don collect maple sap for sugaring
My beloved greenhouse!
Don is the little speck cutting down the very tall tree. He cleared the site entirely by hand!
Rosie and Noah keeping a path open into the woods. We used them as livestock guardian dogs. They were totally dedicated to protecting the livestock.
Don loading logs onto the portable bandsaw mill to mill lumber to build our barn with
Don standing on the second story of the barn waving at me. That is Seymour Lake in the background.
We owned 25 acres above the lake on Wildwood Valley Road. The name of the road was later changed to Toad Pond Road,
Making cheese from our goat milk and hanging it in cheese cloth to strain.
The yellow liquid is whey that I used in soups or fed to the pigs.
Don picking Hubbard squash
Now that is a load of hay!