Timothy grows against a stormy sky at Horse Drawn Farms.

It didn’t take starting a farm to learn to appreciate the natural systems that surround us.  Probably it was the other way around; loving the biosphere–the vital breathing earth– was the lure that led us to putting our hands in the soil.    First, just the attraction of adding to that vitality, growing a plant from a seed, was enough.  A realisation of potential, and the ability to use that potential as food, as sustenance, as independence.  But now, after a few successes with the food garden and the numbers of our animals increasing, the slow rhythm of chores is becoming a cadence that we march by.  We notice things.  Which birds have new families.   How the early honey in the hives smells so strongly of the massive cottonwoods bordering HDF.  How the bobcat tracks in the mud are joined close to the trees by a much smaller set, bounding along in cub-play.  Such attractions make even leaving the farm for errands more and more difficult, and for the first time, we are beginning to understand the deep tie to the land that farmers experience.  It’s beguiling and beautiful.    But not without conflict.   When we look over the two wooded back acres of Horse Drawn Farms, we wonder what to do with it.  Should we clear trees, making possibly critical grazing space for our livestock?  Or should we leave it alone, preserving the character of the land that makes it attractive to the wildlife we so treasure?   How much easier it would be if the decision had been made for us, if we had moved onto clear, denuded land.

Heading into the first winter of the farm, with shelters and raised boxes to build, hay stores to replenish,  and endless repairs to complete means things will stay as they are for now.  The Horse Drawn Woods are open– for the deer, bears, bobcats and coyotes that also make this place their home.