The natural world around us is beginning to burnish brightly with the autumn palette, though there is plenty of green to be found as well. Meanwhile at home in Wisconsin, the first snowfall was a pristine glimpse of winter on its way there.
Speaking of life before the Great French Farm Adventure, mais bien sûr, our #fridaynightpizza game is going strong. We had a few weeks of storebought dough while settling down + settling in, but yesterday I finally rolled up my sleeves, proofed the yeast + hand-kneaded a small test of my recipe using locally-sourced farine de blé française. Beauts.
On the first of November I woke to the sound of something skittering in the wall behind the bed. Then the crow of our rooster — once, twice, three times. Still dark, I got the fire crackling anew before setting out in the fog to greet the menagerie.
Back inside I warmed myself through in front of the woodstove with hands cupped around a mug of coffee. My ears pricked again as a tiny brown mouse scampered along the wall and into a hole between two stones. Turning to look out at the morning sun stretching its golden glow over the garden an earthworm inched across the table from a basket of greens harvested on walk back in. I return to my coffee and pick up a book.
I find it quite extraordinary how perfectly easily one can adapt to change. What once seemed impossible or improbable or even unacceptable effortlessly becomes happy routine. This is, of course, not so in all situations for all people, and perhaps is occurring more fluidly in our case because we dreamt of this simpler, homier way of life.
I now practically live in wellie boots, airdry our clothes on a line (or on a rack in front of the fire when it rains), research the best methods to keep a litter of outdoor rabbits healthy and their runs clean, and work to increase egg-laying yields of our flock with fresh herbs, homemade fermented feed + a DIY maggot feeder. He splits our firewood with an ax, espaliers small trees along the lane to create a natural fence, created an electrolysis bath to help restore an antique grain mill, and tills the garden + compost hill on a tractor. Hello, new normal.
The dismal weather began to cooperate some in the past couple of days, so we squeezed in as much work as possible, but have found time to make delicious meals + desserts, take hikes around our hamlet + in the valley, and here I am finally posting. Tomorrow the rain returns — market day it is. I hope all is well + wonderful by you as we get into the new month. Here are several things that caught my attention in the past week. Enjoy, and happy November!
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Some interesting, fun, delicious reads:
November is Prematurity Awareness Month. One out of every 10 births in the US are premature. Worldwide the figure amounts to about 15 million annually, and approximately one million of those babies don’t survive. Help raise awareness + show your support for our very littlest!
Hearty rosemary is still going strong in the garden, lasting through the winter in many regions. Mix up a batch of infused simple syrup for use on pancakes + waffles, or in coffee, tea or cocktails, like a gin gimlet.
A blanket of thick pale blue fog bookends the autumn days. Morning skies become painted a golden, pinky-rose as the veil lifts, but temperatures remain cool under the weakening sun. There’s even a forecast of frost. We’re working down a long to-do list to prepare the gardens + animals, and also the woodpile to keep our stoves cozy.
October is crisp days and cool nights, a time to curl up around the dancing flames and sink into a good book.
— John Sinor
This week was a marathon of final organizing + hands-on training for our two-season stay in France as our hosts prepare for their return trip to England in short order. No matter how much we scribble down in our notebooks about the day-to-day routine about minding our farmette, it seems that there is always something new to learn, something else to do.
A flurry of travel last week, posting a little late but better than not at all.
On Tuesday, the seventh anniversary of our wedding, we drove from Chamonix to our next Airbnb — an old stone home nestled amid lavender fields in the sleepy 12th c. hamlet Castellet. Though we were past bloom, the scent of harvest clung to the plants, gently perfuming the air when the early Mistral winds kicked up in our direction.
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