Goodbye Colorado. Hello New York.

After a 2,000 mile road trip, projects on the land are happening again

Hey, it’s been a minute!

This lack of writing the past month has been because we packed up our apartment and drove 2000 miles from Telluride to Penn Yan. We’re possibly the first people to ever connect those two destinations. For the next month, we’re working remotely in New York. I’m also working on the cabin when the weather cooperates.

We had a major storm come through the area, washing out the gully at Flanagan’s Landing and making a new peninsula on the beach. We shoveled it out on Saturday. It’s been raining most days. This week we had western wildfire smoke blow into New York. Even thousands of miles away, it feels like last summer in Colorado.

I was able to mow the lawn on a dry day last week. The brush clearing from last year and this past May is making a difference. My mom said, and I quote, “It’s looking pretty good up there!”. Big progress.

I mowed over one spot that was an island of shrubbery last year. Now it blends into the rest of the lawn. It gave me a bit of hope for the methods we used. In just a few years, it’ll be fruit trees and chard and comfrey.

“With every project, call it an experiment. You cannot fail an experiment. You can only learn.”

That quote is from a podcast we listened to on our drive. It’s a long one but that little clip tells about a revelation the guest had during a car crash. It’s sage advice for making incremental progress, especially in the face of a problem as large as climate change. Her organization is called TreeSisters and they’re reforesting the planet.

My dad and I started to sand off the old log cabin stain. It’s a little experiment. I had this plan to buy two angle grinders, sanding adapters and a generator. None of that is available without driving a few hours though. So we got some parts at Ace Hardware for our battery powered drills to add a 5” sanding pad. After getting about 25 feet of log done and it taking 3 batteries, the project is underway. I think we’ll keep iterating though.

I also walked around the woods after the rain. Water was flowing in five different gullies as I hiked across the hill. I noticed a few different spring areas that could become future ponds. There were tons of mushrooms popping out in the wildest part of my land. I’ve tried to identify a few of them. The hike back up the hill had me sweating. I forgot about humidity.

As I hit major milestones on a few of those projects, I’ll keep you in the loop. If you’re still reading all the way down here, thanks for reading. You must be looking for inspiration. I adore this farm-turned-pizza-kitchen in Ithaca. That's basically my dream life right there.


Hey! If you’re new here, this is West Bluff Food Forest. I'm building a permaculture orchard and home in the Finger Lakes region of New York. I write about the land, the cabin and other little projects.