Summer 2021 brought a radical and unexpected life change, leading me from remote reaches of Montana to the wet and warm West coast of Washington. Through many tribulations, the farm persisted and prevailed, and life continued much as usual. This winter concluded with the year’s trajectory looking quite predictable; goats, gardening, and foraging. A full plate of the familiar. I was a hair’s breadth from embarking on my falconry apprenticeship (a dream and goal 19 years in the making) and envisioned this summer lost on the mountainsides of Washington and Oregon- hunting, hiking, and doing all that I am prone to. This autumn was to see my shop rebuffed with a vast array of new wild-foraged and home-grown goodies.
However, this spring took some unexpected turns. My own journey in healing from a 4-year fiasco in Montana has lead me towards, if possible, bigger and loftier life goals. Is my future and my life in the PNW? Is it in the USA? To explore this requires travel and radical life adjustments.
Fast-forward to June; the farm has been consolidated to a manageable size that allows for extended travel. A long and surreal flight across the Atlantic ocean has found me on the Southern Norwegian countryside, nestled in with a dear friend. The sky here never truly darkens in summer. I desperately miss my fresh goat milk and the sound of turkeys outside my bedroom window. The bustle of humans and vehicles is disorienting. But the perfect summer weather and peace-loving culture bring both familiar and unexpected comforts. Unbridled nature abounds, cohabitating quite effectively with the forest-loving locals. Abundant biodiversity and the distinct cleanliness of the environment stand out here in stark contrast to the wilds of the US Northwest that I am so familiar with.
Here I find humans co-existing quite effectively with the wilderness; the apparent pervading culture preserving the natural world’s right to persist amongst development. Bees are prioritized over lawns and grassy public easements are overgrowth with a diverse pallet of thriving flora. The air is filled with insects, the trees are filled with birds. The subtle but pungent wreak of herbicides is absent from roadsides and front lawns.
The respect of a people towards their natural environment is evident.
With these first impressions in mind, I am curious to explore the depth of what farming and recreating in such a region might be like. I will travel in every direction; North to the midnight sun, West to the fjords, perhaps East into Sweden. I am curious to learn more about another culture of farming- already I’ve seen very insightful and intriguing concepts in traditional architecture and building methods, especially in regard to old houses, barns, and homestead outbuildings of various purposes and applications.
Of course, me being me, I have taken the sewing helm on the resident garden with the help of my cold-hardy short-season seeds. With any luck, a week or two from now, a robust crop of the usual plant-friends will begin to over take the presently-barren garden beds, and by mid-July, lush forests of squash and tomato plants will blanket makeshift trellising and the surrounding fallow ground.
So here’s to a hopeful growing season, grand adventures, good company, and new opportunities to learn! And of course in the mean time, I am still offering crow reduction collars for sale. So if you’re located in the EU, enjoy cheap local shipping! If you’re in the USA and don’t fancy the shipping costs (for which I wouldn’t blame you one bit), you’ll have to wait til late summer/early fall when I return to my usual US-based shipping routine.