I often refer to Rosslyn as a homestead, but I’m aware that might mislead some of you. No livestock. That’s probably the biggest deviation from most self proclaimed homesteads. No chickens. No pigs, sheep, or goats. No milk cow. No 160 acre land grant (though we’ve slowly grown Rosslyn’s acreage to more than a third of that historic sum.)
I’ve long longed for ducks. Hatchlings, then ducklings, then juvenile ducks, then mature plump ducks waddling around gobbling grubs and beetles and vegetable garden pests. Susan’s been a staunch bulwark against this homestead addition citing coyotes and hawks and an inadequately envisioned long term plan. Perhaps one day, some day. For now I celebrate wild ducks (“Common Goldeneye Ducks”) and safeguard the mallards (“Make Way for Ducklings” and “Mallard Jacuzzi”).
But ducks or no ducks, our homestead is not about livestock. There’s abundant wildlife, and our vegetable gardens and orchard provide plenty to eat for our family and friends. Throw in farm shares with Full and By Farm, plenty of supplementary victuals from Hub on the Hill, and nourishing ourselves offers bountiful satisfaction.
At Rosslyn, homesteading is less about producing everything that we eat and drink, and more about living as responsible stewards in a property presently and historically endowed with sufficient grounds and outbuildings for homesteading while honoring the homesteading tradition in as many ways as practical for us. I’ll revisit this idea soon, endeavoring to articulate more concisely our personal vision of Rosslyn as a homestead. For now I’ll shift to a few homestead haikus that might better — for their ample vantage despite minimalist format — illuminate what I’m trying to convey.
asparagus and apples:
While ambling brookside,
a murder of crows.
Green Zebras, Black Krims,
early cherry tomatoes,…
Now about those ducklings… I might bring up the idea again this spring. Wish me luck!