I'm sitting by the stove, watching the somewhat floppy melting snow meander its way down past the tangle of bare branches outside. The snowy monsters that greeted Maciek on his arrival (subscribers to the newsletter will have heard all about his dramatic journey!) have long since dissolved into the earth leaving plenty of mud, which managed to temporarily defeat me on the track leading to the house, even in the 4x4 I was driving. There's a pile of cabbages in front of me which I have just prepared for chopping and preserving (more details on the method of preparation in an upcoming newsletter. If you haven't already, you can subscribe at the bottom of the page).
The cats have been lured down from the attic and are rustling around in a box behind the stove. Their wild nature has been partly manipulated away by the regular provision of food. I feel vaguely regretful about this. The black one remains slightly aloof while the tabby likes to sit on my paintings...
I'm looking back over quite a momentous year, the crucial time being July, an intensive month of restoring our health, involving both fasting and plenty of herb picking, grinding, crushing etc, which is hard to imagine looking at the bleak landscape outside the window today. It was a full time job, which produced impressive results. From this point on we started intensively preparing the website for launch, and opening up the project to support. This also turned out to be a full time job, requiring attention and precision on all levels, as well as bucketloads of mental energy, so work on the land itself was somewhat neglected. But we got started, and it's heartwarming to receive responses from people who resonate.
The snowflakes are thickening up a little so the temperature must have dropped properly below zero. As they thicken they fall more slowly. The cat yawns and the saucepan of water boiling on the stove hums like a mantra.
Now we are preparing for next year, when come hell or high water, we are going to make the road. It seems as if this will involve a burst of crowdfunding, as so far we only have enough income to trundle along with things. Donations (which you can make via the homepage) are still really vital and precious to us. We're raring to go, looking forward to getting the garden going in earnest, building what we can, and meeting the volunteers who are planning their trips for the spring.
After the cabbages are salted and preserved it will be time to cut the rotten pieces from the pumpkins and freeze the good bits. Then it's time to tackle a load of extremely muddy japanese knotweed roots, whose presence in the bath, for reasons Maciek seems unable to fathom, bothers me.
The snow is horizontal now. Did I mention the wind up here?
We send our love from terrealuma.
Wishing you a year of full-on engagement with whatever it is that brings you joy.