ZERO to FARM, Dear Dungarees

“If it doesn’t excite you and scare you at the same time it’s not adventure.” Zero to Farm.

At the South Bay of the beautiful Flathead Lake on a Reservation in North West Montana rests a gorgeous town. Polson. My life has been located here for 25 years. Close enough to main street to walk to parades and far enough from the lake we can still afford the property taxes. Most often you can find us backpacking in the summer, paddling around the lake or floating the river. It’s been a great place to raise kids. But something was missing.

Obviously what’s missing is a farm. I decided a few months back I am going to write a book about sustainable farm living on a Rez whilst living in town with little to no property and a deep dislike of animals. I know nothing about sustainable farm life but I will learn as I write. My husband can grow loofah seeds so all my family can have sponges and dish scrubbers from our vines. I feel like a homesteader already. We can grow lentils and garbanzos. I will walk out onto my porch and wrap a blanket like a shawl around my shoulders as I look to the heavens for a sign of rain. Incredible. I think my hilarious lack of knowledge of anything pertaining to farm or sustainable living will hopefully fill my book with much humor and relatable failure. I recently bought a pair of overalls from a local thrift store so Im totally a farmer now.

Noteworthy sidebar, I am prone to be more absurd than absolute. More daring than dull. I often find myself on the outside of level-headed, practical conversations with little input to contribute. Watching all the sensible people talk, wondering when they last dreamed, who stole their excitement for life, and what causes them to process information like plain toast. Listen. I married a first born male who is incredible in his level-headed ways. It is truly a gift to us dreamers as we may find instead of eating or paying bills we forget altogether and float away in a hot air ballon. I need, WE need all the sensible, practical people in this world. And we need all the free-spirits. And this is where the next chapter in our farm life begins.

This farm thing has been a thought for years. Not sure how it would materialize we researched city ordinance for chickens. My level headed husband learned how to make sourdough bread and got obsessive about owning quail. My mom and I joked about buying goat girl dresses and learning how to can. I bought overalls and a seed catalogue and listened to James Taylor and Kenny Loggins for inspiration on peaceful living. Then bam!

This week we bought a farm on accident. More accurately, by chance. It presented itself in a place we weren’t expecting. 2 hours South of home. Victor, Montana, on the Bitterroot River. Fly fishing anyone? We fell in love with a piece of property that most describe as “It has potential.” We couldn’t live without it. We are selling our houses on the Rez and moving into a commune style life with my family on this farm. Away from the familiar to foreign.

We are cramming 2 families (possibly 3 if we can talk my brother into joining us in our absurd farm dreams)  into one house much smaller than our current houses. Shedding off some of our spacial comfort in exchange for acreage, river front, and doing this farm life together. In community with our people. Our family. Ridiculous and incredible. Stay tuned for the continued adventures of zero to farm.

PS. I bought our first goat. She is majestic. She will have friends. Not sure how many yet. Thanks to my dear goaty friend for hand picking our herd. Our pack? What are a group of goats called? Gawd… I have so much to learn.

Trip. They are called a Trip of goats. Thanks Google.

#tripofgoats #sustainable-living #farmlife #reservation #montana #flathead-lake #polson #victor #river #bitterroot # flyfishing #riverfloat #paddle-board #goats #familycompound

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Ski Report: Lolo Peak 11/15

Winter has arrived, and the Bitterroot Range is at its early stages of being ski friendly again. With about 6-8″ at ~6,000ft and 18-20″ in wind protected areas at ~8,000 we are well on our way to a solid year. For our tour, we took to the prestine and pretty easy to reach, Lolo Peak for a short 9 mile ~4,000 vertical ft tour. For more adventurous tours, to include Trapper Peak couloir, visit MontanaEscapades.com

 

Lolo Peak TH, on a crisp 5 degree morning
Those familiar, the shortcut has enough snow cover to save you time!
Atop Carlton Ridge with the beginnings of Mormon Peak to the right, and N. Lolo Peak center. The true summit of Lolo Peak lies just east behind it.

After a brisk skin up to Carlton Ridge we scanned the clearly wind spanked east face of N. Lolo Peak. There was hope though! Although the peak has zero ski tracks, we convinced ourselves there was a small path that might support Lolo Peak’s first decent of the year.

Mike making the last push to Lolo Peak, with Carlton Lake below.
The true summit, and vastly less visited portion of Lolo Peak.

We did a tour to Lolo Peak proper last year: http://www.montanaescapades.com/2013/11/lolo-peak-trifecta.html

Sweeney Peak looking dapper
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The skiing got better the lower we went, but going slow was the plan as there were plenty of underlying rocks.

 

 

 

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We are sitting pretty for a great year. Although there wasn’t much of a base layer on this tour, the warm weather over the weekend should be just enough to set up a great foundation. There is just one more weekend before one can make use of the Mormon road since it’ll be gated Dec. 1st until May 15th. Otherwise you’ll be stuck using the Mill Creek TH, which is quite the stretch of the legs.