Working a Sandy Shore

I’ve a new writing project. It’s been nudging me for years – ever since I put my name on a piece of ground in the Ottawa Valley, in eastern Ontario.

I’m thinking I’ll write about all of this ‘belonging to a place’ trouble that so many who look like me have. I’m thinking of involving others in the preparation, via another iteration of our farm apprenticeship.

This place is glacial flood plain, minus all the storied benefit that rivers like the Nile lend to their environs.

It’s sand and gravel, and nobody should properly call it a farm. I do, though, in keeping with the indefensible opportunism and addiction to optimism of the enterprise.

Zone 3/4, too, if you’re keeping score of the likelihoods here. Almost sub-arctic. A questionable growing season.

We use Iron Age technology, mostly arm power. And conscience. And alertness to the troubles of the times. And ongoing translation of moral stances into farming practice.

And we’ll raise a 120 year old barn on the place starting in a few weeks, against all odds and good judgement.

If that sounds like the kind of farm apprenticeship you could learn from, your time has come. June 21-26.

With this kind of option, there’s bound to be quite a rush of other people with questionable judgement that’d want to join up. (Joking.) We won’t be having many apprentices come June. (Not joking.)

So if you’re going to do this, do it soon. It’s not every day a 120 year old timber frame barn is restored on an unpromising strip of tramore, sandy shore. Be in touch with us.

If dirt’s not your thing, how about bringing Jenkinson/Hoskins’ Night of Grief and Mystery to your town this fall? We’re planning a tour of the U.S. and Canada September through November, and with some help from you we’d be at your place too.

Stephen Jenkinson
Founder of Orphan Wisdom