The early morning was gray and overcast, but late morning brought sunshine and a sky with a shade of blue you only see the day after a rain. It had rained four inches that Sabbath and by Sunday our land was soaked, muddy, and puddled.

The ground was perfect for planting. There was a cool breeze that swept through from time to time, a reminder that we were on the eve of October. Seeing as how our dirt road was impassable we were to remain at home for the day and we were delighted to do so.

We were ready for the garden, or rather the garden was ready for us. After a dry, too-hot summer not much was left standing save a row of sweet potatoes and some beans that had given all they had to give.

We set to work. I, seeds in one hand and shovel in the other,carefully hacked the stalks of the beans down so as to leave the roots in the ground. The shovel pulled the mulch back revealing our not-so-friendly milk chocolate colored clay soil.

In a nod to the need for diversity per the permaculture concepts, I mixed the seeds of herbs, roots, greens, and brassicas in my hand. A row of kale, carrots, cilantro, and onions was already pouring forth green and I knew that the soil, if you could call it that, wouldn’t always be this amiable. These rows needed to be planted today.

Seeds of cabbage, collards, lettuce, turnips, black spanish radish, chives, parsley, and peas found their home in that clay. The layer of mulch was replaced and a raining down from the green watering can finished the job.

By this time I was needed back in the cabin, the baby stirring from her morning nap. But the men remained out in that late September sun planting row upon row of garlic, tending to an almond tree, and making a boat for the stuffed animals children to float down the puddles in.

And then it was inside, only to devour big plates of salmon salad and roasted potatoes dipped in homemade kefir ranch. A cup of tea, more tidying, bread baking, and a supper to make would fill my afternoon. The men would return to the land to do a bit of tidying and tending of their own only to break for a quart of ice cold goat milk and again later for supper.

It’s not everyday that we’re all on the homestead together working, living, and learning together. After Papa’s long illness and with our intense freelance schedules, these types of days remind me just how good it is to work with our hands alongside one another, pursuing the simple life and the nourishment it brings. 


4 Responses to A Day of Simple Living

  1. Those really are the best of days!


  2. Elise Lin says:

    Nice post with beautiful pictures! It sounds like the work you’re doing on the homestead is hard but unstressful for some reason.


  3. Thank you for the constant reminders of the joy found in focusing on the moment. You are such an inspiration! Sending love from Maine!


  4. Laura Jeanne says:

    Sounds like a perfect day. Truly, working outside together is just the best.

    I understand very well what you mean by “milk chocolate colored clay soil.” We have the exact same thing in southern Ontario. When the soil is dry, you literally need a pick axe to get into it. But the good thing is, we don’t have to worry about it blowing away! :)


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