Springtime is the Land Awakening!

Every once in a while, I get extremely wanderlusty. Wanderlusty is not a real word, but it is so fitting for what I feel as winter comes to an end … it’s different than cabin fever. I don’t want to leave this amazing farm at all; yet I still dream about venturing to far-away places.

The Greenhouse longs for spring and wind-less days, too!

When I feel like this, it reminds me of my little brother when we were kids. My family went on some very cool vacations; however, he would often gripe and moan the whole time about how he wanted to go to Fargo.

I can see where his internal struggle might have come from. There are amazing things everywhere, and it is hard to not feel conflicted over these amazing things. I want to stay in this beautiful place, but I want to trek the Himal of Nepal, too. I would love to hike the Appalachian Trail or give El Capitan a run for his money, but I also want a cow, a vegetable garden, goats, chickens and an off-the-grid house. All of the latter don’t do well when mom and dad are gone for extended periods of time. As humans—particularly American humans—we have been spoiled for choice. I think my generation, especially, hasn’t had to make too many definitive choices, we have often pursued and received the best of all worlds. Soon it will be time for me to make a definitive choice: to farm or not to farm? (I think it will be the former).

Ice climbing near the Knik River

This feeling of wanderlust isn’t foreign to me—it usually comes right before the seasons change. This winter has been long and beautiful and snowy, but I’m ready for some buds on the trees and a patch of grass to sit on. I guess I cope with this by dreaming of journeys to far away places!

That’s what it all comes down to right now: Snow. I truly, deeply love snow. It is beautiful and calming, it is renewing and it is special, and it is best appreciated in five month spans of time. We are now approaching five months of snow here, with no end in sight. (It has snowed about eight inches since my last post.) That must be where my yearning for something green and living comes from. I don’t mean to complain about the snow, because it is awesome in every sense of the word. I have done some of the best cross-country skiing and snowshoeing of my life up here, and we’ve found some wintery artistic outlets in the forms of snow sculptures and icicle fences. But my inherent need for spring is creeping in!

Cross country ski to Independence Mine Historical Park on March 13—Look at that snow!

Luckily, there are hopeful signs of spring everywhere: I spotted some grass growing near one of the houses out here where the snow had blown away. A few of us went ice climbing yesterday and the smell of soil and moss seeped through the slowly melting ice. If the smell of soil isn’t the essence of spring, I don’t know what is! The farmer here, Amanda, and I did some soil blocking and seeding the other day for the CSA; and I also finished my own seed order. The most exciting sign of spring right now is the incubator full of eggs in my living room! The eggs are for Louise’s Farm School (a home school supplement program here on the farm); but all of those kiddos are on spring break now, too. So, the eggs are under my watch for now … and a slightly paranoid watch it is as I haven’t incubated eggs since my own pre-K days.

My roommate, Marc, discovered shortly after this target practice that it is hard to find arrows in the snow. See our icicle fence?

While I was musing about writing this post, the word “primavera” kept creeping into my mind. While this word makes me hungry for a light seasonal veggie-filled pasta dish, it is also the Spanish and Italian word for spring, and a lovely word at that. It is a perfect word for this time of the year … as I’m sure the Spanish and Italian knew and know to this day. Just think of it: “prima” means first while “vera” can mean green or truth. Spring does feel like the “first truth” after a long winter. Seeds, eggs, fresh soil, bird migrations, budding trees! These all contain a spirit of first truths and certainly first life. Perhaps the egg did, in fact, come before the chicken.

My first attempt at a solar cooker. We got some warm water out of the deal! Next time I’ll try a more efficient shape.

While a part of me still longs to get on the move, that part has been fading over the last few years. Fostering new life and being a more intimate part of the continuing cycles of nature, agriculture and animal rearing are calling me a lot louder, now. They are both epic journeys in and of themselves, just with different locales. I’m in the right place to do both—with majestic mountains buddying up with the farm fields. While I don’t foresee any epic journeys (near or far) in my immediate path, this coming spring and summer are sure to be some of the best in my life.

Do any of you, fellow farmgirls, get the itch to venture far and wide for extended periods of time? How have you satiated your wanderlust while keeping true to your farmgirl ways?

Buona Primavera to you all!


P.S. Thanks for all of the warm welcomes! You are all so inspiring!

  1. I’ve had the opportunity to travel overseas when I was younger 🙂 🙂 i still love to travel. However, I’m at the point in life, where I just want to stay in one place. I’d love to have a place with a yard big enough to grow my own food 🙂 ): That’s a dream of mine!!!

    Alaska is GORGEOUS. I went there to visit my grandmother, once, when I was a child…before she moved back to California!!!

    Love and hugs from the ocean shores of CAlifornia, Heather 🙂

  2. Nancy says:

    According to Dorothy Gale, the greatest adventure is in your own back yard. But sometimes you have to go over the rainbow to see it. May you have an adventurous spring!


  3. Connie says:

    I really enjoyed your blog Alexandra! Thanks for sharing! Happy Spring! :o)

  4. Laura says:

    I totally understand the either/or feeling. Ties that bind or wander free. After raising 2 boys (both in high school), I am holding out for some "wander lust". A trip to other continents, a swim with the humpback whales…Maybe when I get that out of my system, I can get the chickens, cow, sheep, goats ??? that I also always dreamed of. For now, my gardens satisfy all 😉 buona primavera to you !!

  5. Sonia says:

    As someone who used to travel to Europe almost every summer and who hasn’t been in 10 years, I’m definitely wanderlusty but not as much as I probably should be. Rather, I’m more interested at this point in doing nothing on vacation which means being at the beach, lying in the sand, maybe reading a book. Hopefully this contentment will last!

  6. Tina Robinson says:

    Lets try this again… Thank you for sharing the read.. Everything has turned green here even the crocus have already bloom this my sign to start my seeds inside for my garden now,I can see spring is on its way:)

  7. Shery says:

    Welcome Alexandra to the MJF blogging team! I’m awed by your sense of adventure and it makes me feel as though age 20 isn’t as far away as it is in reality. Yes, I had wanderlust!! Yes, I followed it – not globally, but in this country as much as opportunity allowed. I loved back-packing into the mountains.

    What a grand trail you are on. I’m so looking forward to seeing what your world looks like when it isn’t under all that snow. Louise, your inspiration, was quite a woman!!

    My wanderlust hasn’t really waned, you find ways to follow it in a way that works for your age. Sleeping in the ground is over for this farmgirl…but I have a packhorse and a new little glamper. Love the FRESH view of your farmgirl wilderness! Take me where I may not walk anymore ;o)

  8. Pam deMarrais says:

    Alexandra, I love your blog! You present a new perspective on farmgirl living. Your love of all that surrounds you and your passion for life and very engaging. Thanks for bringing us into your world!

  9. Diana Spires says:

    There are seasons in our lives. I traveled with my parents as a child, being somewhere new every two or three years. Loving the experience of new cultures and environments. This life did not allow us a planting season or animals.
    I then settled for 35 years to build a home in the country, and raise three children. My husband and I farmed and were almost self sufficient for years. Raised animals and enjoyed the wandering wild life. I have had the comforts of a warm fire and the cat on the hearth along with the faithful dog by my side. All these years of living on the farm, loving every minute of it, I still yearned to travel and experience life away from home. Only having two cats left on the farm now, I can only hope they will be fine without my presence for a few days at a time with only the company of my husband. I plan to have only seasonal gardening and travel when the earth rests. In a life time you can do all that your heart desires.

  10. Frances says:

    This is really something!

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