Monday, May 10, 2010

We found what we were looking for!!

After we left Burnsville, NC we ventured into the beautiful Smoky Mountains where we backpacked for 4 days. We met up with our friends who are traveling across country as well and had a splendid time. Besides Caitlin falling every 10 minutes and breaking her finger, backpacking went really well. After the Smoky's we got in our van and headed to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We arrived at a farm called the Pickards Mountain Eco-Insitute which is an educational farm that leads workshops, field trips, kids camps and other events.

After three weeks here at Pickards we have found our community and new home. We plan to move here in October where we will begin creating a Pachamama Alliance East Coast Hub. Tim and Megan Toben, the co-founders of Pickards, are deeply involved with The Pachamama Alliance and want to turn Pickards into a Pachamama event and retreat center. We have committed to making this happen and will be living here for a while. This is SO exciting to us and is exactly what we have been looking for.

The farm provides most of the vegetables and is totally off the grid using a windmill and solar panels. There is also a well for water. Several other people live on the farm, some residents and some WWOOFers. We are in love with the farm and the beauty of North Carolina. It is soo green here with fireflies at night and hot sweaty days!

We will be finishing our trip with an internship in July for 6 weeks in Virginia then heading back to the West coast to say hello to you all before we leave again! We knew we were going to find something wonderful on this trip and we can't believe how all of our dreams are coming true. It's so awesome!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

More pics.

Pictures to Enjoy!

Through the Winter and into Spring.

We left Texas and went to Mount Ida, AR where we stayed with a couple for a week. The weather was not so great and we only accomplished a few things but the best part was we got to dig for our own crystals in a crystal mine. We moved on and stayed with a friends family outside of Little Rock, AR. (For those of you who know him, it was Larry Dean's family.) We had a great time chatting, watching the Olympics and seeing around the swampy part of Arkansas. From there went to Liberty, Tennessee where we stayed for a month and a half. Our internet was limited, hence the very delayed blog update, and phone reception was not so great either. We were staying in the back hollows of the Tennessee hills. There we got to watch the Spring unfold everyday and enjoy some time to ourselves. Our host was very friendly and giving. He has been a chef for many years and cooked the most amazing food! We met some great local people in Tennessee and put on an Awakening the Dreamer Symposium. We got to experience Nashville and see a couple concerts. This is a condensed version of Winter but it was a very long Winter and now are happy it is Spring.

We left Tennesse and finally officially made it to the East Coast here in North Carolina! We are three hours ahead of the West Coast and are up in the Appalachian mountains. It feels great to be in the mountains again and Spring is unfolding rapidly. The family we are staying with are really wonderful with two kids and two other WWOOFers. Their home is very sweet and we were put to work immediately!! We have created a potato bed, planted potatoes, planted carrots, garlic, onions, brussel sprouts, peas and mulched raspberries and cleared brush. Last week it was 80-90 degrees, which was just wonderful, and worked full 8 hour days on the land. We couldn't be happier!! It is such a gift that we get to experience this life and these people. We wouldn't rather be doing anything else.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Glass Center for Sustainability Overton, Texas

Currently we are near Overton, Texas on a lovely farm. This is a 1300 acre property with a 100 acre lake and many large fields. This is the site of Daisy Bradfords oil discovery in 1930 where there is the biggest oil field in the lower 48 states. There are two and a half acres of thornless blackberries which we personally weeded and mulched. It is beautiful here and a lot of our work has to do with preparing for spring planting.

We have been on the road for 5 months now and are not broke yet! We will be continuing our journey East and hope to be in New York by July. We are doing very well and feel like this is exactly what we should be doing right now. We are now very used to life on the road and now consider our van our home. We meet very amazing people and see new and cool places all the time. Our idea of what America looks like keeps changing. We are now seeing what it is to live a self-sustaining life and that this is exactly what we want to create for ourselves. Being on the farms is a very grounded life with low stress and simple pleasures. Going into cities has become almost a shocking experience, fast and complex. It is exciting to move onto the next farm and next part of the season with its new task, people and places. We will be heading to a farm in Mount Ida, Arkansas on February 6th or 7th in the Ouachita National Forest where a lot of quartz is found. The most exciting events that have happened here was a ghost encounter and an amazing thunderstorm with tornado warnings!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Some Pictures to Enjoy

Big Bend National Park, TX

One side is Mexico and the other is the U.S.

Carlsbad Caverns, NM

Mora, NM (Where we stayed for December and Christmas)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Beginning a New Year.

Plans for January have frequently changed and keep continuing to do so. We are still very happy and so excited for our journey to continue into this new year. Currently we are near Las Cruces (still in New Mexico!), enjoying our visit with our friend Nicole and her grandparents farm. We are getting an interesting perspective here going from a small scale intensive organic farm to a large conventional farm that sells to places like Costco, Walmart and so on. The differences are huge, not just in size but in aproach. The bottom line is the driving force. There are migrant labors, pesticides, fertilizers, packaging and distribution. To say the least we think it is really interesting and great to see where a lot of our food comes from and what it takes to get a watermelon from the farm to the store to your table.

We will be leaving soon and heading to Texas for January. We will be stopping in Austin to visit friends and then on to a farm in East Texas until February. More to included. Internet is not easy to come by here so we are doing our best to let you know how we are!

La Sierra Farm

Life on La Sierra Farm was very peaceful and beautiful. We stayed three weeks and learned lots of new things while we were there. Winston got to explore some forestry and chain saw work. We both made our first very large book shelf that hung from the ceiling. Caitlin spent a lot of time seed collecting while sitting next to the fire in the Adobe. We learned to make bread, applesauce and canning. Our time there was a very full experience of learning, working and connecting with the land and the family there. It was a lot of fun because Winston got to reconnect with Marianna and Ania who are old friends.

Christmas was very mellow with a nice gift exchange in the morning and a potluck at the Hummingbird Ranch Community. We met some really great people and were very grateful for being welcomed into their home for the Holiday. This year was our first Christmas away from our immediate families and missed them. However the journey must go on.....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Goodbye Calliope and Our Journey Continues....

We finished our amazing time at Calliope Collaborative with a nice home made pasta dinner and some fun photos. We spent the last few weeks of our time finishing the roof on the cold storage house, taking care of animals, finishing some stairs and doing small projects. We learned so much from this farm and have learned many skills to take with us to other farms. We had so much fun with this family and will miss them.

Our journey has continued to Mora, New Mexico which is about an hour and a half from the last farm going North into the mountains. It is about an hour South of Taos and at 7600 feet. Currently the snow is melting from and huge storm and we are happy in a small Adobe house with a wood burning stove. We will be here through Christmas (Mexico is not happening) and possibly through January. We will be switching off and on with the two sister farms here, La Sierra Farm and the Hummingbird Ranch Community. It is a very exciting time and we are blown away by the beauty here and possible future home for us.

We will update more soon with a video summing up our last farm and some pictures of the beautiful farm here!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Building a roof!

We are currently in the process of building a straw bale cold storage for the farm here. We have been busy putting chicken wire around the straw so we can mud it and building a roof as you can see above for protection. We are learning how to build a roof which is a really good skill and having fun doing it! Soon we are going to put tin on top of the wood frame and then finish mudding the straw bale house once the night time temperatures are not so cold. Below Winston is cutting the edge of the roof framing.