Nick Zigelbaum and Kate MacLean together with their young son run at small diversified Animal Welfare Approved farm on 120 acres in Chelsea, Vermont. Nick raises Milking Devon cows and Kate raises Icelandic sheep and Ossabaw pigs. The farm carries with it many chickens, dogs, a few goats, and a Jersey milking cow too.

5.21.2012

a weekend for summer and family

i spent the latter part of the week in new york seeing girlfriends i hadn't seen in months, years, and many years. eve. jacqueline. ayana. meagan. all smithies. each in their own way the antithesis of the farm and yet we still find so much to laugh about. and while that was wonderful i felt myself holding my breath looking at the bluebird sky and thinking of the garden. of the weeds. of the mountain. of nick. of those wretched beasts we dimly refer to as our brood. 


i bussed back to vermont late friday night and my parents met me in town and we rode the rest of the way to the farm together. they dropped me straight off at the barn so that i could milk and feed and close in. i breathed deeply again. nick arrived home the next day and the four of us humans settled into a weekend of early vermont summer. we herded runaway sheep. twice. dad built a dock on the pond with our neighbor. nick made cheese. rudy ate two wheels of drying cheddar + cloth. we navigated the newness of caring for a fox pup. mom made cake and we celebrated birthdays. dad made omelets and many pots of coffee. we brushed the winter coats of the donkeys and horse.  we ran and walked and swam. we hunted morels, furiously. we learned much about morel etiquette. you can politely ask somebody how their morel hunting is coming along but you don't dare ask specifics about where. it will embarrass both them and you as they don't want to tell you where. 


there is nothing i want more in this life than to have my family living on our farm. i don't care much for the goodbyes and the phone calls and the emails. i want them in the cabin through the woods. far enough away that we can all pretend we live in solitude but close enough that you can yell through the window to call them to dinner.

someday. for today i have what kristin kimball referred to in the dirty life as nostalgia for the farm's future. for the someday when the land we farm is our own. when we are picking from an asparagus patch that i had planted years ago. when we have our own morel spot in our own back field. for when we have family and friends staying and living and existing all around us. dreaming about that someday.

18 comments:

  1. That fox is too adorable for me to even look at that picture again. And a swimming pond? Maybe what I have is nostalgia for a future farm.

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  2. my goodness, that fox
    but mostly
    your pictures + words
    they bring a sense of calm to my urban life
    thank you
    always thank you
    xo from harvard square, m.

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  3. well now i desperately want a little fox. and maybe a hound for it to play with. you've fulfilled my childhood dream.

    your photographs are beautiful.

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  4. well now i desperately want a little fox. and maybe a hound for it to play with. you've fulfilled my childhood dream.

    your photographs are beautiful.

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  5. Sounds like an amazing weekend!

    Like everyone, I am SO curious about the fox! I actually grew up rescuing animals. we had 2 racoons we raised who lived with us and played with us, but eventually we had to let them go because they started to revert back to wild even though they had always lived with us. So do you think you're actually going to keep your little fox? or do you just plan to nurse it until it's ready to go back out on it's own?
    it's SO adorable. you make me hope that someday I'll get to rescue one too! heh!

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  6. That little fox is adorable, but I've zero sympathy for him & his ilk at the moment. Bursts of feathers are currently dotting the yard, and there go my good foxy feelings...

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  7. @josie, would LOVE to hear more about your experiences with raccoons!

    @sophie, i agree, the fox has plagued me for several years now. and i realize we are most likely raising an animal that would like to eat every one of our hens BUT top on my watch list right now are RAVENS! we had one pluck a little hen out of the barnyard just this past weekend. the audacity.

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  8. I love reading your blog! I just started reading it a couple weeks ago and I completely envy your life. I hope one day to be secluded in my own mountains one day....and certainly taking care of baby foxes!

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  9. Love this- it's funny, reading this feels like looking at a hopeful future version of myself. I'm training to be a doula, we have a small urban farm with lots of veg and some chickens and we go mushroom hunting in our spare time. Thanks so much for sharing - it's always a pleasure to read (but I always forget to comment).

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  10. I look forward to your posts so much. The fox is so adorable....The Dirty Life---such a good book.

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  11. I want your life (and your fox). One day I'll have a little farm of my own with a garden, animals, honey bees, flowers, fruit trees, and a hand-working farm husband.

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  12. that fox! oh my good gracious!

    i have wanted to say here before about how The Dirty Life made me think of you when I read it.

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  13. A RAVEN?! Now I've had lots of creatures - with wings and without - eat my hens, but never a raven... Great. Just one more thing to be suspicious of. And hey, enjoy that little guy while you can. My mom was forever saving abandoned and injured wild animals - they were such fun, and then all went their merry ways.

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  14. dear Kate..this weekend brings the thanksgiving poem to mind....
    " over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go...."

    ox pops

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  15. I am pretty sure I have said this before, but you write beautifully. Within the large array of lifestyle and fashion blogs I read on the daily at work, your lifestyle blog brings a refreshing dose of honesty and reality. You make me want to re-prioritize my life and figure out what is truly important to me. So thank you for that!
    Sincerely,
    Hannah
    thebraidedbandit.blogspot.com

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  16. such a beautiful life you have built!

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