forest, farm and freedom
For some reason, I’ve always dreamed of going to Maine. I can’t really explain why. I’ve just always had this vision of what Maine would be like since forever. Last year, my friend Sarah and I had been talking about how we wanted to take a road trip to Maine. Just like me, she loved the idea of Maine with all its tiny towns and beautiful land. One day, Sarah tells me that she applied for an internship working at a farm up in Maine and I was so excited! She got the internship and moved up to Turner, ME in June to live for 6 months. I was so excited for her adventure and I knew I HAD to come visit her to experience farm life in Maine.
My trip to Maine fulfilled every single one of my fantasies and BEYOND. I can’t even begin to describe the experience I had but I will certainly do my best. Let me begin with farm life. Sarah lives on the most amazing farm called Nezinscot Farm in Turner, Maine. Their farm has EVERYTHING you could even imagine—its honestly ridiculous (in a good way). Their farm has every animal imaginable and I honestly don't even know what the names of what some of them are. There are brown sheep, white sheep, goats, pygmies, alpacas, cows, bulls, horses, little lambs, geese, cats, giant fluff ball rabbits (can't remember their names), turkeys, angoras, pigs, cats, and of course a dog too! The farm runs a little cafe and store where they sell home made cheeses, baked goods, soaps, jams, hand woven blankets, scarves, and pretty much anything you can really imagine being homemade--they make it. I mentioned the hand made blankets and scarves but I failed to mention that the farm has an entire fiber studio that is absolutely gorgeous. It is completed with looms, spinning wheels and all the yarn you can imagine. The farm is beautiful and it is truly a place that is indescribable. There is a feeling you have when you are on farm that is really indescribable. It's truly something magic. Maybe it was the wood burning stove on a cold autumn night. Maybe it was the delicious homemade granola. Maybe it was the spiral staircases (because who doesn't love spiral staircases). Maybe it was the night skies filled with endless stars. Maybe it was the little details and decorations throughout the farm that proved love was abundant in every where. I know the magic wasn't one specific thing, but instead it is everything coming together to make something beautiful--because that is what farm life is all about.
I was lucky enough to experience how farm life really works. I got the first hand experience of watching Sarah do her chores in the morning and put in every ounce of love and effort she had into it. Trust me, it is NOT easy work! It is a physically, emotionally and mentally draining in every way. Sarah cares for the sick animals and cares for each and every one of them like they are her own children. Not only does she work hard to maintain the animals but she gets to see the fruit of her labor firsthand. Her animals provide her with the materials she needs to make beautiful art in the fiber studio. She gets to watch some of her sick animals make it back to health. All in all, she gets to see how such a simple life can lead to such joy. Living the farm life is about responsibilities and doing your part. It is about enjoying the little things in life like curling up next to the wood burning stove after a long night. It is about supporting one another for the good of the farm. It is about waking up each morning because you know that hundreds of animals are depending on you alone for their survival. It is about finding joy in the world around you. It is about believing that you can accomplish tasks that you never thought you could. Farm life is about learning new skills. It is about pushing yourself to become better. It is about community. Farm life is an experience like no other that can change the way you view yourself and the world around you. I'm so thankful to Sarah for showing me her life on Nezinscot farm because it is truly something special.
Aside from experiencing life on the farm, Sarah and I had so much fun cruising through endless backroads, exploring small coastal towns, and spending time together that I will forever cherish. Here's a little list of my most favorite things.
1. Exploring every single antique bookstore possible. There are SO many antique bookstores around Maine.
2. Seeing vibrant autumn leaves with colors that I didn't even think possible. I got so excited because I thought the leaves were out of this world!! Only to be informed that they were at their peak three weeks ago and what I was witnessing was nothing.
3. Visiting every possible bakery in sight. Again, there are bakeries EVERYWHERE. You can be in the middle of nowhere and a bakery will appear set up inside a farm on the side of a road.
4. Seeing how small businesses and locally sourced products can really build communities.
5. Ransacking Goodwill for all of their AMAZING coats because those northerners have better coats than we do. (SO MUCH LLBEAN AT GOODWILL).
6. Visiting Augusta, ME because it was a life bucket list item for me.
7. Realizing that knitting stores and yarn stores are a common thing all around Maine. Talk about adorable.
8. Spending quality time with one of my most favorite people in the entire world, Sarah Ryan.