Down a Dirt Road

Reader Contribution by Bethann Weick
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This is both an introduction and a goodbye.

Over the past year I have written a Permaculture Blog from D Acres Farm in Dorchester, NH, my home for the past four years. Tales of farm endeavors, animal adventures, garden lessons, seasonal projects: the color of the months was writ through the stories I shared in these pages.

Now, as autumn descends and the transition to winter is engaged, a transition in my own life is taking place.

And so I’d like to offer a goodbye to D Acres – to the people, the animals, the work, the rhythms of our weeks, and the community that created such an exciting and motivating environment in which to live. It is with tremendous gratitude for the skills and lessons learned, and the growth and maturation undergone, that I depart from my work and my silo home at the farm.

Fresh opportunities, however, have changed my course and offer a new present, suggesting a different future. The next adventure has arrived.

Mind you, I’m only a mile and a half further down the road.

Just around a couple of bends from the farm is Coösauke (coo-ah-sic, “Place of the Pines”), the site of my current homesteading endeavor.

It’s not just me who you can find there, though. No, the tales that will fill this column from this point forward are also the tales of my partner Ryan, and our dog Mica. Together we three are carving a life out of the woods.

Let me set the scene. A third of a mile down an old class VI road, driveable by truck or a car with little to lose, you can go no further. A path through the woods, smelling of duff, leads to a clearing. A platform there, previously home to a yurt, is now the site of our tent encampment. Next door is a fine little privy.

The tent, complete with bed, bureau, and metal food storage box, is a passing phase. Keep walking past the raspberry patch, under the pines, and you’ll find yourself in another clearing. Alongside the 1800s-era cellar hole of the old Jessaman place is a garden (displaying the last of this year’s carrots, beets, kale, cabbage, mint, cutting celery, & thyme), then some old apple trees, and a cabin. Almost.

Being built log by log, it is our home to be. Each log, cut from the property, has been carried, peeled, and shaped to take its place precisely where it is stacked. What stands is a testament to the hours Ryan has dedicated with each free moment.

And just beyond the cabin, through the woods, is the South Branch of the Baker River, its melody our constant accompaniment. With a little imagination, you can surely envision it. Welcome to our world. I’m looking forward to the stories, work, and adventures with which it will be filled. 

Read more about Beth Weick in the weeks to come.