We had a crazy weekend recently. My nephew and his bandmates are in the midst of a US tour and, as they were performing locally, they all spent two days with us at Barefoot Farm. These 20-something kids (or young adults) used to bright lights and big cities were plopped right down in the middle of a New England village, a place without a traffic light and where the sidewalks are rolled up by 9 pm. What would their reactions be?
We gave them a tour, and what I heard over and over was just how “totally awesome” it all was. The cider press, the dehydrator, the candle molds and the honey extractor were things they had never seen. The compost heap and the pig pen were doses of not-so-bucolic reality. I think the orchard was the biggest hit. To walk from place to place, plucking a pear here and a stray apple there was far different than choosing a tray of shrink-wrapped produce from the refrigerated case at the market.
The game of, “What the heck is that?” continued. They had never seen a grain mill or a pasta maker, a pressure canner or a cheese press. They could not believe that the glop in the 6-gallon bucket was homemade laundry soap or that the hurricane lamps were necessities rather than decorative.
They were supposed to leave at 4:00, but the garden yielded such amazing vegetables that we decided to eat a pasta primavera first. The new 8:00 leave time was pushed back due to pumpkin pie and 10:00 came and went as we discussed sleeping arrangements so everybody can return for Thanksgiving dinner.
I love village life. I have the best of both worlds here with a small, walkable community and space to grow a lot of what we eat. I really appreciated having an opportunity to wax euphoric about the beauty and the contentment that this kind of life brings. Of course, they didn’t see us in the middle of a blizzard or on butchering day. We do put up with a lot of February for the joys of October.