We're feeling a bit better this week, and a big part of it has to do with the fact that we've had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with two different couples who are also hopeful homesteaders. Chatting about shared dreams with like-minded people always gets us inspired. The first pair, Maria and Olaf (along with their daughter Ylva) drove down from Montreal to see us earlier this month.
Maria has been following our journal for ages, and we've exchanged a few emails over the years. Now, she and her partner Olaf are thinking about starting a homestead. We had a wonderful time exploring our land, and sharing all of our plans and fears, dreams and frustrations over glasses of delicious beer they brought from Montreal. A few days after they left, we received this email from Maria:
Olaf and I were very much re-inspired and reminded of our dreams, our goals, and that it is totally important to have faith in ourselves that we can do it! (No matter how vague they all might be still at this point). It was good for us to see the immensity of a starting-from-scratch-homestead in the forest, and think more realistically of such ideas in the future.
Probably looking for a place with a bit of existing infrastructure is what we will pursue more at this point—hopefully something with a bit of forest! Hearing the damp crackle of leaves under foot on late fall walks is such music!Maria
The next couple we hung out with was Leigh and Max. We met Leigh at the Tasha Tudor museum in Brattleboro when we were land-hunting two years ago, and she's been following our adventures sporadically ever since. She recently emailed us for advice about her own land-buying project—she and her husband are looking to move from a small cabin on his parents' property, to a place of their own where they'll be able to build a house, start a farm, and expand their goat cheese operation.
Instead of corresponding with Leigh and Max via email, we decided to take a day-trip to visit them. Over the course of an afternoon, we went on a hike with their goats, had a delicious vegetable soup with fresh chèvre, and visited a piece of land they've been considering purchasing. My favorite part of the trip was hanging out in their small cabin in the homey kitchen/living area, chatting by their warm wood stove.
In some ways, Leigh and Max are living the lifestyle I hope to be in few years: caring for a few goats, making cheese, living in a small cottage, and preparing tinctures and teas from a plethora of wildcrafted herbs. Visiting their place (which wasn't much larger than ours will be) helped me remember where we're headed, and how, if we work hard this coming season, we really should have a cozy home to live in next winter.
To Maria & Olaf, Leigh & Max, thank you for sharing your time with us!