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After counting down for months (sixteen if you’re curious) since the official closing date, this past weekend was when the magic happened. We finally moved into our little Michigan farmhouse. Like a lot of things I eagerly anticipate for a year or more, it went a little better in my mind. ….. Saturday December 1 was the big day. Despite waking up with a wicked head cold, I jumped into work mode with Ian in the early hours, packing up the last remnants of living with my parents for four months into the closest available bags. A process we expected to take half an hour took closer to three, as we kept finding hidden caches of possessions we had conveniently forgotten we owned. But after stripping my childhood bedroom bare, we finished packing both the truck and the family van to the point of being road hazards and made the 40 minute trip to Allegan. Walking into the house for the first time after a year away was sort of surreal…and chilly. It was surreal because I was finally in a place I’ve stalked on Zillow dozens of times since we closed on it, and seeing it as it was […]

The post Moving Into the Farmhouse: Week One appeared first on First Roots Farm.

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We stopped at Walmart today. It was a quick trip. With less than two weeks left on the mountain, there’s nothing we can pretend we need. As it is, it will take every day we have left to work through our stores of lentils, garden-grown beets and tomatoes, and the last stray cans of corn and tuna. So we dashed in and grabbed the luxury goods we came for (flavored licorice and frozen jalapeño poppers). And only once back in the parking lot was I struck with how different this grocery trip was from the first one we took in this state. Almost three years ago, we made our first stop together at a West Virginia Walmart. Then, fresh from our honeymoon and depleted from nine hours of driving, we were faced with the daunting task of buying groceries for our newly formed family of two. I remember walking dizzying circles around that store, fretting about whether I should impress Ian by buying the whole wheat flour and attempt to bake homemade bread, or just give in to my inclinations and get the half-off cinnamon rolls to cover the next few meals. I remember us stressing together about prices per […]

The post Coming to Terms with Endings in West Virginia appeared first on First Roots Farm.

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Hey everyone! Did you think you’d never hear from me again? It really hasn’t been too long since my last post. Just since…. May. Whoops. I blame three things for my major blog absence these past three months:  Working so hard to bring my freelancing business to the next level that the idea of spending even more time in front of a computer screen made me want to puke. 2. Gorgeous weather, a jam-packed summer camp schedule, and enough traveling to keep me constantly out of a routine. 3. The anticipation of sharing some BIG news that’s still not quite ready. I’ve been sitting on this story for months, and it’s almost time to go public with it. So stay tuned. Nonetheless, the cooler weather is getting me back into a contemplative mood, and I’m ready to start blogging again. But first, I need to share the kind of news I never wanted to write about. We lost our dog, Aldo, this summer. This is an ever-present risk of having our two dogs live a semi-wild life up here on the mountain, but it still completely blindsided me when it happened last month. For our second anniversary, Ian and I decided to […]

The post Love, Loss and a Pint-Sized Puppy appeared first on First Roots Farm.

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Trust me, I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true. Last year, our homestead garden was entirely my responsibility. While I relied on Ian to run the over-sized tiller to turn up the thick clay we were pretending was good garden soil, the planning, planting and maintenance of the space was completely up to me. And it was a disaster. I started out well enough. Seeds were started in our greenhouse in the early spring and throughout April and May I managed to keep the weeds at bay and coax out some impressive-looking boc choy and broccoli. Falsely inflated with undeserved confidence, I’d breezed over Ian’s requests to plant my seedlings in careful, straight rows (how boring is that?!) and instead placed my plants where ever I saw fit. I also dismissed the idea of keeping a garden log or even recording what was in each section, telling Ian that “I could easily remember it all”. Early in the season I crowded my transplants into corners with the expectation of needing massive free spaces for unspecified future plants later in the season, but by the middle of summer I became so overwhelmed with the big gaps that I direct sowed all the […]

The post Ian Was Right. Don’t Make Me Say it Again. appeared first on First Roots Farm.

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It’s been a rough ten days for the animals at our homestead. Despite a wonderful influx of dearly loved human companions coming to visit in recent weeks, we’ve dealt with far more than our fair share of animal-based disasters. Perhaps it’s only because we simply have more creatures in our lives than most people, but it still feels like what we’ve been dealing with recently is well beyond normal. Don’t believe me?  I’ll list the total incidents we’ve dealt with and you can let me know if someone’s put a hex over our home or not. The Chickens As you might know from my previous post, we are in the process of fostering a mother dog and her five cute puppies. These little guys have been nothing but a joy in our lives and the easily the highlight of my entire month. However, adding six new creatures to one’s daily life is never without difficulty. One big problem is that Rosie, the stray-turned-mother, isn’t all that used to living a stable life. In fact, we recently learned what she was most likely subsisting on before she came our way: live chicken. The problem started when I noticed some of our […]

The post Watching Our Pet Population Get Decimated appeared first on First Roots Farm.

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