This past week was all about taking a step back in time and emphasizing the basics of life. It was not fully intentional, but a couple of homeschooling projects, hiccups in machinery, and our first real food from the farm, led us to appreciate both “the simple way of life” AND some modern conveniences.
When we first arrived on our new property we found a fallen Ponderosa Pine that the boys were eager to cut up for future firewood. Being “all BOY” through and through… they are always up for any excuse to use knives, hatchets, or saws.
This week they were hoping to make a big dent in cleaning up the tree, so they loaded up the tractor wagon with gear and took their dad and “Papa” out for some work.
Fortunately (in their minds) they found our chainsaw “gunked” up with old gasoline, and had to resort to a newly obtained crosscut saw. Our 12-year-old thrives on tough manual labor — although, he did find it challenging with the disproportionality of his father’s arms on the other side of the jagged blade.
Tackling this overturned beast was rewarding for all three generations. Taking turns, strategizing, and accomplishing progress towards a goal without the roaring sound of machinery ended with success.
Rolling up their sleeves and roughing it fed right into the study of early explorers of the western frontier. As a seventh grade social studies assignment, our oldest had to cook a meal over a campfire using foods accessible during the Louis and Clark era.
This 12-year-old is probably the best fire starter in the family, and a very competent Kid in the Kitchen, so the project was nothing more than a great excuse to show off his skills and bring the family together for a beautiful meal with a beautiful view.
Even the dogs found this experience meditative in nature. Peaceful and grounding, while keeping watch over the farm (of course).
This week in the barnyard, we celebrated the chickens and pigs playing together, and our first edible goodness!
The chickens have been further stretching their boundaries…
… AND finally gave us the much anticipated gift of liquid gold! Our very first egg is shown here below. I think the enormous gratitude we have felt towards our chickens once we started finding eggs in their nesting boxes surprised us all.
As the days have gone on, we’ve been collecting more and more of these beauties in a variety of colors. Perfectly packaged, they are prized beyond anything we’ve ever brought home from the store.
This image below is my favorite barnyard picture to date. Pearl and Commander kissing!
While we aren’t directly caring for the cows on our property yet, we are starting to gain more trust from them (as long as we don’t have our dogs with us). “364I” always makes me smile with her uneven horns, tuft of hair, and deep brown eyes.
Rounding out the end of the school week included a day of living in preindustrial revolutionary times for another history assignment. Candlelight welcomed and wrapped up our day as we explored life without electricity. It was very pleasant, feeding our natural circadian rhythms, until it was time to make dinner in the dark — yikes!
Our new homesteading lifestyle has drastically reduced our screen time, increased intentional decisions, and left us with more purpose, HOWEVER, we haven’t completely lost our appreciation for modern day conveniences.
The highlight of the week for the boys was acquiring a side-by-side for occasional use when we need to get from one end of the farm to the other efficiently. Taking it to do chores, carry tools, and pick up random coyote pelts in the field (a story for another time), the Polaris is certainly a farm luxury that will come in handy.
Another week full of adventure, learning, and opportunity. We hope you enjoy a glimpse into our developing farm life and carry with you a tidbit of inspiration as we reach for deeper connection with nature, food, and each other.