Although mother nature has been doing a number on the state of Maine, winter is making its way out. Within a months time I will be sowing allium seeds and setting out maple sap collection buckets around the property. With my greenhouse cleaned out of any remnants of 2014, I am ready for the thaw. Yet, as I write this post, another blizzard is making it's way north. I am quickly put in my place and reminded that winter is not over yet.
When the snow keeps me from getting my hands dirty in the soil, I use the time to reflect on the previous year and plan out the year ahead. For the past 2 summers, Camille and I have hosted an event here called Back to the Land, a concept that first came to my attention while reading a book entitled The Good Life while out on a solo cross country road trip. Before diving into this book, I knew very little about homesteading and sustainable living. I was inspired, but not quite ready for change, so the book would marinate in the back of my mind for a few years until meeting Camille and embarking on our own journey back to the land.
I see this event as a way to connect to our landscape and learn valuable cooking skills to best utilize the various ingredients that are growing on the property. For many, it is a weekend of inspiration, education, and a much needed break from city life, where you can kick your shoes off and enjoy a simple, relaxing weekend off the grid. It is, even if just for a few days, a chance to connect with a global community of like minded folks, share stories, sing songs, and be yourself.
Back to the Land connects the forest and the farm, to the table. We forage what we can, harvest fresh produce off the land, and what we can't procure, we source locally. Throughout the weekend, not only will you learn howto properly cook and prepare what's fresh and in season, but how to preserve the summer bounty well into the colder months of the year. We cover egg, meat, and fish cookery. We chop cabbage for slaws and krauts. Fresh berries will be transformed into medicinal meads and syrups, while preserving roots and peppers in vinegar. Overall it's a weekend of celebrating fresh ingredients without the rigidity of trendy diets!
Our vision is to create the world's first solar powered farm-to-table culinary school, using our land to produce a lot of the food prepared in the classroom. As we grow and evolve, these events will become steady fixtures of what we do and offer. Having the ability to teach from home, utilizing my own ingredients and tools makes for a much more worthwhile event, as I feel most enthused and inspired when in my element. I look forward to spending time with you this summer!
Our first event of the year is in June and will feature guest Ben Falk of Whole Systems Design, LLC. Our weekend will merge permaculture with traditional foods and provide you with the tools to not only grow nutrient dense food on your land, but how to properly harvest, cook, and preserve the bounty for years to come. Click HERE for more info.