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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This Week I Discovered ... Cold Antler Farm in Upstate New York

South Brunswick Public Library ... Your Guide to Discovery...

Like many great journeys of discovery, this one began at the Library.

It was my great pleasure this past weekend to highlight a personal three-year journey of discovery that began at the South Brunswick Public Library and led me to an Urban Homesteading workshop by author Jenna Woginrich in Upstate New York. The self-taught farmer hosts workshops at her farm throughout the year. She'd rather be knee-deep in farm work than office work, but for now she needs a leg in both to keep the farm afloat.

In the meantime, she continues on her own journey of discovery, frequenting her local libraries and book stores to learn more about: organic gardening, country music, sheep, horses, chickens, rabbits, fiber crafts, archery, cooking, and more! Tables and shelves throughout her kitchen and living room overflow with how-to books.

Her life exemplifies the connection between one motivated person and a world of resources that can help make dreams come true ... Jenna's dreams, and to some degree mine as well.

It was my chance discovery of her first book Made From Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life on the 640 shelf at SBPL that connected me to this young author and her blog. The word "handmade" caught my eye. It implies frugality and independence, traits I admire. I enjoyed the book and picked up some new ideas for pancakes, bread, and needle crafts. Jenna always seemed so busy learning new things in the book that once I finished it I was curious to read her blog to continue to see what she would do next.

She did just want she set out to do. Jenna got a farm. After several years of relocations and rental adventures, she finally ended up getting what she came for... her own farm property, Cold Antler Farm. Here she continues on her journey of discovery, hitting the books as well as the barn, and then shares her experience with others in her workshops.

The Urban Homesteading workshop I attended was a fun, full day of learning. Jenna started out by giving the dozen of us (some from as far as Virginia) a tour of her farm, introducing us to her sheep, rabbits, poultry menagerie, horse, honeybees, and raised garden beds. We learned about gardening and then went into her kitchen to make bread and mozzarella together.

Throughout her patient and humorous coaching, one point was made clear again and again ... no matter where you live, whether the city or country, farm house or apartment, you can find ways to craft a more handmade life.

To learn more about topics such as greener living and self-sustained living, check out the 640 section of the Library's shelves. To learn more about Jenna Woginrich, read her books: Made from Scratch (available at SBPL), Chick Days (available at North Brunswick Library), and the newest release Barnheart. Between her time at the office and the farm, Jenna is currently at work on a fourth book and continues to blog about life at Cold Antler Farm.

By Rosemary Gohd, PR/Marketing

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