a fire, a dinner, a clean house and the love of a community

Some of you may already have heard that our barn burned to the ground in the wee hours of Wednesday July 13th. the building was full to the tier poles of our farm and family’s necessities, it was a sobering moment to see it aflame.fireIn the minutes and hours and days that followed we walked in circles to find direction and muster up the energy to carry on. I loathe to admit, but i really have to, when i first looked at the burnt remains of the farm truck and the shell of our main barn, my initial thought was ” I can not do this”. I am far too busy already, my resources felt pretty darn scarce just yesterday, and heck, it’s the middle of July!! truckfire

and then life keeps going, nothing stops.  there are mouths to feed and squash to pick and flowers blooming. my family and community mobilized immediately. the outpouring of love and support forced me to count my blessings, rather than my losses,right away. we are fine. there was nothing, absolutely nothing, housed in that barn that can’t be bought again. Our livestock was on the other side of the farm, no lives were lost, no irreplaceable objects burnt. truly, despite this tragedy, i am so lucky.smilequickly saturday arrived. as with every other saturday over the past 17 years, we loaded the van and headed to the metro nashville farmers market. a long and exhausting day in the best of times, this trip was epic. friends and supporters swarmed us with help and gifts of all kinds. we were enveloped with the love of a community in a way that words can’t describe. 1q

 

i came home to a house that had been scrubbed. clean, as in really clean. my three children, who offer me plenty of opportunity to gripe, showed the best of themselves on that long saturday. settling in on a couch not covered in books and toys to sip a tea made on a clean kitchen counter. i actually had nothing to complain about. then came a knock on the door. it was our neighbors with a delivery:  a three course meal fresh out of the oven. friends,  i have been waiting for 17 years of saturdays for someone to have dinner waiting for me after the 16 hour market day! i guess i’m sorry it took a barn fire to have a clean house and a home cooked meal awaiting,  but what a delight.123

i hope this post offers each of you the opportunity to see the phoenix rising from the ashes. i have created a gofundme campaign to help us recoup our losses as we try and navigate rough rebuilding terrain. i remain surrounded by hope and light despite this loss. thanks y’all. xo

in it

we have been through quite a few springs together in this space.  for those of you new to this blog, you can read my annual spring musings  here and there . be warned,  they’re kind of a bummer. spring is a transitional time and as with all change, it can be messy.

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these spring days are so full: our farm team is assembling, the greenhouse is jammed with plants, the high tunnels are busting out spring’s first wave of food, farmers markets are starting up, heck, the milk cow grazing on the green pastures again is giving so much milk, even my simple daily chores take longer.

it’s been three weeks since we have had a day to ourselves, a day off if you will. with guests and apprentices migrating to the farm with all of that seasonal excitement,  we have found ourselves with out a free moment. until today.

this past week we accomplished so much: new fence lines erected thousands of seeds started, maturing plants potted up, summer kitchen opened for the season, pigs sold, chickens given away (sorry cher, our loss is your gain, chuckle, chuckle). the list goes on. last night, as we all anticipated our first true sunday, the kind well earned from a week of hard work, we shared a great meal and smiled at the unfolding of the season before us.

pizza

 

today, the sun shines, the frost of last night is but a distant memory and spring doesn’t seem half bad. through sun and rain, warmth and frost, may this spring unfold flawlessly for us all!

bloom

photo credit mrb

i’m playing a bit more on instagram lately @hillandhollowfamily sometimes, when the days get long and my muscles ache,  a picture and a hash tag is all i can muster.

 

 

11 3/4 inches: a family photo project

snowed in. nature’s power and beauty all around us. we spent the days cooking, baking, playing and trying, each of us, to capture some of the majesty.

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dusk

 

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it’s been cold and cozy and it’s not over yet. photo credits to mrb and svb, they have the eye. a couple of these are mine too. why not guess who took which photos?