How different this week feels, already, from the last! A couple of days away to spend some time with lovely people, returning with days when the temperature struggles to reach zero Fahrenheit. This weather is a beautiful setup for some good farm planning. Before this turn to extra-cold occurred, my outdoor work shifted to making this place more livable, and also realizing a dream I've had since I was extremely young! I had no early ambition to become a farmer, but I did strongly envy friends or acquaintances who had wooded space, even small areas, with trails. I remember fixating on the joy of having one's own little trail, which carries on in a love for walking, maybe (or it is a related phenomenon), and interest in walking and thinking, and walking for meditation. Finally, space for trails!
My primary tool was still the trusty bow saw, and I also used some sharp loppers, tracing a path and cutting through dense brush along a hilly trail that begins (or terminates) in front of the house, continues behind the house and to the highest point on the property, cuts through the middle of the farm and continues behind the dairy barn and pasture, and ends up crossing the gully (where it is quite shallow) and terminating (or beginning) at the edge of the vegetable field.
Here is an extremely fancy map that I made:
The trail is yellow-green. House = orange; old windmill tower and highest point = blue; cherry trees = red; upper barn (where we plan studios and sleeping quarters) = fuchsia (did NOT know how to spell that); green lines = vegetable field.
The trail is somewhere around/just above a quarter of a mile long, and is important for me not JUST because it was my life's mission (not actually true), but because of the opportunity for solitude and quality time/thought it provides to us and to people who stay here in the future (who will be focusing on their own creative process and life, mostly). 9 acres in not a huge amount of land, but this particular 9 acres offers a rich diversity of open spaces, wooded spaces of different densities, high points with views, and low points. The trail adds another dimension to all of this and I am very excited about it.
This map also gives a sense of our surroundings. Just south of this aerial image are 2 neighbors, each with lots of about 2 acres. To the west is the road and corn/hay fields, and along the curving borders north and east begin large hay and corn and possibly soybean fields. What the crop is at any given time will depend on the rotation being practiced, and I haven't been around long enough to know what that is exactly. Those hills are great, at least, for catching interesting views of our farm and of the surrounding countryside.
Thanks for reading!