Since we were out that way, of course I wanted to pit stop in Colonial Williamsburg. It's one of my very favorite places.
I grabbed some mixed nuts at The Peanut Shop for M as part of his birthday present, then mom and I checked out the colonial garden and nursery on the main street.
It's a pretty impressive space that packs a lot of greenery and agriculture into a fairly small parcel of land. The interpreters use colonial agricultural practices and work to test techniques of the era in modern conditions.
There's also chickens, goats, cows and other livestock wandering about and in the fields.
We were back a second day and dad and I chatted with one of the interpreters about drainage testing, in which they used pots in the ground to test drainage conditions for a certain plant. They had great cold frames and raised beds and some plants that I really want to try here at the minifarm.
it's the kind of place that comforts you with the knowledge that men and women have been doing this agriculture thing for centuries before you even existed on the planet.
They were so creative with their trellises of branches and twine. They used bricks and old windows for cold boxes.
On days when I think it's too hard, I can think of that colonial garden. They didn't have running water or modern technology. Granted, we're doing a lot by hand and have cisterns, it still has to be at least a bit easier for us now than it was for them. Not to mention the ladies were wearing so many more layers of heavy clothing.
I was out there sweating in a t-shirt and shorts, getting assaulted by mosquitos and fearing snakes at every turn, but I would have been so much more miserable if I was wearing skirt. So miserable.
This weekend we were out clearing the windbreak to keep the grass down, which limits the mosquitos and the snakes. That's also where we'll be relocating the chickens and adding some raised beds and fruit trees within the windbreak, eventually.
That might seem fairly easy, but the windbreak is seriously bigger than our yard at the old house. It's flipping huge. It's four rows of trees on each leg of the L-shaped wind break.
We're both covered in bug bites, hot and exhausted. So exhausted.
But those colonials did that kind of work without a lawnmower. And without an iPhone to blast music to keep them entertained. And probably without bug spray and sunscreen, though I refused the deet this weekend since that stuff freaks me out.
All that to say, we have dreams of turning these 26 acres into a small scale working farm, but it's going to be a long, exhausting road and I will probably drink too much wine and flip out too many times along the way.
Until then, more photos from Williamsburg. Because I love that place. If you're ever in southeastern Virginia, I highly recommend a visit to Colonial Williamsburg, as well as my former workplace, Historic Jamestown and part of my home county, Historic Yorktown. Together they make up the Historic Triangle and you can seriously do it all in a weekend.