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 a day job to pay for everything.
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: Toddler and unwitting accomplish in this tale. Refers to chickens as “Buck Bucks”, chicks as “Peeps” and ducks as, well, ducks. Loves: getting dirty. Hates: diaper changes.
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 and Delilah: Adopted to be barn cats (okay, basement cats meant to protect the animal feed from mice), it turns out these two want 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.
Tuck: a.k.a New Dog. A frantic beagle with so much doggie eyeliner Jack Sparrow would be jealous. Loves: being indecisive about coming in the house vs. playing in the yard. Hates: being banned from all people beds.
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!
In memorium, Watson, our Beagle/comic relief. Went on a three day hunger strike when we moved out of the city, but came along nicely to country life and fences with beagle-sized gaps that certain farmers hadn’t mended quite yet. Loved: attention. Hated: coming when called.