One day in the summer of 2014, a fellow, with dreadlocks and tattoos in work clothes, came walking up the driveway. I thought, Oh brother and I am about to go to town and be leaving this farm and who is this?? Well, he tells me his name is Matthew Wood and they have 400 acres up the road a bit and that he was interested in seeing our animals. I told him that another time would be better because I had an appointment. So, every now and again, Matthew would come and talk. He started buying hay for his and Heather’s organic garden, gave us a chicken that their other chickens were picking on. I noisyinly ( is that a word?), asked him about ‘being so young and owning 400 acres, because I had no idea of someone so young could have bought 400 acres around here. Well, I asked. Matthew said they are stewarding the land for another person.
Then, one day, while we were in the field of the ‘little white house’, Matthew asked if the little white house was empty, maybe he and Heather could work on the farm in exchange for rent. I laughed, patted him and said, “Matthew, you can’t live there, it doesn’t even have a toilet!” He comes right back with, “That’s Ok, we compost it anyway.” Matthew then continued to tell me where they currently lived didn’t have electricity till a few months ago, and they had to carry their water to the house.
Dan, my husband, and I talked and since the little white house was empty anyway, I thought we could try it. Knowing that all, ALL my wool and fiber was stored there. At first, they just brought in a couple boxes. But slowly, more and more and I could see that it was going to be difficult to have my wool stuff in there, so, they helped me organize the upper ‘horse barn’ and slowly, all my fiber, wool and spinning items were brought to the upper barn. It is my goal, maybe within two / three years to renovate that barn to have a studio and such. Right now I will be lucky to just get some plastic up on the inside walls upstairs. It is a bit difficult to sew when the outside temp is 32 degrees.
Matthew bartered to work 20 hours a week and Heather said she would cook dinner for us once a week! Hey, that sounds good to me.
It is great to have someone to ‘man’ the farm so Dan and I could go out of town. And with Danielle expecting her first child, I would need a farm sitter!
One day I told Heather that we have the 75% disease. You know, you get one project done 75% and another emergency happens and it pulls you in another direction. Heather said, “Julie, no worries, I will be your other 25%.
Matthew has since learned to spin, helped Dan run the Lendrumm booth at SAFF, and Heather has harvested herbs and such from the farm and launched her herbal website.