The phone and email also bring us a steady flow of messages from young people who want to apprentice on our farm this coming season. While it is heartening to us how many young folks want to learn about diversified farming (integrating animals and plants into an ecosystem) and farming with draft horses, the number of applications we have to wade through is at times a bit overwhelming. We wish we could welcome the majority of these wonderful folks into our farm family, but we currently only have the housing for one or two more.
Friday and Saturday are busy days for us year-round, as we prepare for and head to Brunswick for farmers' market. A couple Saturdays ago, we added the Portland Winter Market to the mix. Jeff and Rich rise early, pack the coolers with meat, bins with winter veggies, eggs, salsa, yarn and lambskins, and pile it all into the truck. Jeff drops Rich with half the goods in Brunswick, then heads to Portland with his half to sell. I join Rich with the girls later, after dropping my sister off at her basketball practice. It is busy, but oh those markets are so fun and delicious! I highly recommend both: Portland Winter Market and Brunswick Winter Market.
The rest of our days bring a bit of rhythm with the daily chores of feeding horses hay, moving the sheep fence to new pasture, feeding and watering chickens and collecting eggs. As a family we join in the seasonal rhythm of celebration, lighting the Hanukkah candles nightly, stringing lights on our Christmas tree, making new wool felted ornaments with Nonnie (because, well, where DID that box of ornaments go?!), and joining Ruth's school in song at the Alna Meeting House to welcome the solstice.