Update on Vanilla Extract
Vanilla Extract at 2ish weeks.
The mist is thick, as we are not an intervale farm, sitting up high on ridge in the foot hills not far from Wachusett Mountain. We sit surrounded today in a thick dark sea of new England fog, rising off the icy snow that fell and iced over coating the ground, just last night. The damp smells almost musty it is such a strong aroma…. The sun has begun it’s descent….. Falling, almost like something knocked off a surface by a cat. Quickly, with the sound of it’s descent muffled by cushioning of the mist. The grey gradually blackens…. But I can’t see very far anyway, even during day light hours, because of the thickness of the mist, cloaking my view of forest trees, and field. My goats, look like shadows moving in the mist…..
Inside the farm house, normally I would sip tea and watch the sun setting through the trees…. Today, sunset has been cast aside for the ocean of grey mist. So instead, I hang out by the fire. I spent the afternoon quite peacefully…. Watching some university lectures through The Great Courses on the Popol Vuh, the religion of ancient Mesoamerica… It is too wet, damp, and icy to enjoy the barn yard today without breaking an ankle.
I also took some time to do some housekeeping, one thing I did, is check up on my vanilla extract that I made a couple of weeks back… I took it out of the dark cabinet it was in. Brought it out into the light and shook it a little. Which is good for it. But I wanted to show how it should be coloring the vodka, and what stage it is now at. I probably could get away with using it as is. But I think I will wait another couple of weeks… I just wanted to give an update on the project. It looks absolutely fantastic! I am very happy at how it is turning out. Nothing quite like a project coming along as it should on a day like today.
I hope you are enjoying your winter as much as I am.
Thank you for reading
Amanda of Wildflower Farm
Tags: agriculture, agro, airbnb, B&B, back yard chickens, baking, bed and breakfast, BnB, cooking, crafting, DIY, farm, farm blog, farm crafts, farm wife, farm wife blog, farmer, farmer's wife, farming, Farming New England, farmstead, goats, handmade, handmade vanilla extract, homemade, homemade vanilla extract, homestead, homestead blog, homestead farm, homestead farming, homestead house wife, homestead wife, homestead wife blog, homesteading, housewife, inn keeper, inn keeper's blog, lifestyle, lifestyle blog, lodging, new england, new england homestead farm, New England Winter, old fashioned, old fashioned housewife, recipe, simple life, simple living, simpler way of life, stay home wife, travel, vanilla extract, wildflower farm, wildflower farm acres
Wildflower Farm, is a small New England homestead, B&B and AirBnB, in the Baystate. We came out here 7 years ago, when we returned from the better part of 10 years as peripatetic aristotelian nomads, for my husband's post docs. Upon our return, we had a plan. We had a lovely home. Everything was so clear. Then, I got sick. Things I used to eat all the time during our travels elsewhere in the world and even here before I left almost 10 years earlier made me ill. It took a couple trips to the ER and a trip to specialist... It became clear, something had changed in the way food is processed in this country since last I lived here. Some off label things was inevitably going to be my demise.
My husband and I looked around to see the clear path we were on, had exploded in front of us. We decided we had to create a new path for ourselves. We put children on hold. We found a small piece of land with a house we loved in a rural suburb in a right to farm area. I began researching how to do it ourselves. Grow it ourselves, make it ourselves, survive on our own as much as possible. We bought the property, and began plotting a new course. One that didn't involve off label chemicals. Closer to nature, with a lot more DIY, gardens, and animals for the products they provide. We created a life we loved though it hasn't always been easy and has of course come with compromise with each other, and even with ourselves.
Our family thought we had lost our minds. What were we doing leaving the city? We had no idea how hard this would be. They thought we would be back in 6 months. That was over 7 years ago, now. We have been making it work. They were not wrong, it isn't easy. But has anything worth doing ever been easy? And for us, avoiding as much store bought food as possible was simply necessary so I could live given how sick I was getting.
Then Covid hit.... We were lucky to have this place. It has allowed us a lot less need for public use territories which has kept us a lot safer and spared us much of the risk others face daily. This place, has given us a privilege through this of great meaning to us. To be of use in a difficult time. We have been able to help friends family and even strangers in need when things couldn't be found on store shelves. Or money was tight due to not working, rent being due and a child at home, or some other draining situation. We are so very grateful to have been able to not be helpless like so much of society through this miserable time. Our families, got used to it some time ago, us being out here. They made peace with it the day there was no bread and they had to ask me for some. Or when fresh vegies were rotten due to supply chain issues but they could find plenty in my garden.
Wildflower Farm, was a place I dreamed of. One of those sweet pastoral dreams a city dweller grows up knowing will never come true, that became unavoidable when I became ill. I never expected to get to do this. I never thought I had what it takes to make this work. I have learned pacing myself is important, compromise is critical, hard work never ends, burn out is real so breaks are just a necessary evil.
We are not fully self sufficient, but we work hard in that direction as we create a new path through life for ourselves, always reaching to do even more ourselves and to get closer to the ideal we envision. We are however far more self sufficient than many in this world. 7 years in, we continue to learn and grow in this homesteading lifestyle. We welcome comments and advice and ideas and questions.
We welcome visitors from all over to our home with strict covid policies in place. We spend our time learning to live all over again in a more environmental and sustainable way though even there we are far from perfect always learning and growing doing better as we know better.
This little homestead farm is a magical place named for the New England wildflowers that grow all around. A place where a physicist, watches the night sky on clear nights with the aide of mirror and glass, and a woman, works endlessly in the gardens, the kitchen, and a variety of projects to create and to keep a very unique life style running and functioning. Wildflower Farm, has become so much more than simply a piece of land we can grow a few vegetables on. The longer I spend here, the more alive the land seems, the more I learn about it's function and the more meaning it has. My place in the universe and the next steps on our new path become ever more clear.
We welcome you on this journey with us.