As soon as school let out for the summer this year, we hit the road. We spent the last two weeks of June on a family road trip (thanks again, goat sitters!), listening to Johnny Cash, eating crazy food, and sleeping in cabins and guest rooms across the country. We had an amazing time–visiting Gettysburg, Mammoth Cave, Graceland, and Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas, before making it to a family reunion in Kansas City. On the way back, we threw in a stop at Niagara Falls. It was fantastic to get away–it was the longest we’d ever been away from the farm, and a taste for the kids of our life during The Year of the Goat–but in terms of timing, being away for two weeks of Maine’s short summer isn’t exactly ideal.
Being away in June means that a lot of our summer farm projects are just now getting under way. The garden, miraculously, is mostly planted, with the exception of some bush beans and a few roots like turnips and beets that may just not make it in this year. But the list of summer goals is long: new tractors for the chickens and turkeys, better care for the fruit trees, reorganized perennial beds that do justice to the fresh paint and tight new chimney we’ve just put on the house. After ten years on the farm, the barn and the cellar are in desperate need of a thorough clean-out. And there’s the normal harvesting, canning and freezing that keep us eating our summer bounty through the fall. And clearing the brush that’s creeping out from the woods. And splitting all the wood we cut up last fall. And the list goes on. As with anything, the way to tackle is bit by bit, with time out for fun (snow cones!). This weekend was our summer restart.