Pat and I are finishing up our second week of sifting, counting, and packing seeds. In addition to last week’s red dent, Chapalote, and brown Chapalote maize, we’ve worked our way through Pueblo sorghum, mixed okra, daikon radish, black oil sunflower, and three kinds of gourds. Most of the work takes place in Kyle’s house, as it has a convenient table we can use as a work space. This has us spending hours in his cold and dark living space, often with him working on his website right next to us.
It’s not ideal, and it’s not always that fun. It’s just us, counting seeds, for hours, in silence if Kyle is on his computer. There are a couple of things that bug me about this arrangement. It makes me think it might be time for us to move on. I have a lot of respect for what Kyle’s doing, and his property and projects are interesting. He hopes to sell the seed we’re packing on his website to raise some funds, and this will certainly help the other projects on his property move along a little faster. But Pat and I both feel like the opportunities for us to learn about natural building and farming in the high desert are diminishing. We haven’t finished any projects besides terracing the upper garden. The building excavation by the barn lies untouched; the lumber we hauled up there, unused. The other building project was put on hold when Kyle’s plans changed, and then changed again. What was going to be a living space then became hay storage, and now is going to be the home for baby chicks that will arrive in a few weeks. The space next to the shed was going to be a commercial kitchen, then an alpaca pen, now a living space. We tidied up another building excavation, but we haven’t taken any more action. It took Kyle a few weeks to get concrete, and I feel like it will take at least as long to take further steps on any of those projects.
So, with gratitude for all we’ve learned at Erda Kroft, we are setting our sights on our next adventure: hiking. We’re starting to think about mail drops, dehydrating food, estimated mileages. We’re making lists of the gear we have and the gear we’ll need to purchase. We’re making plans about when to give the car away and how to get to Springer Mountain. It feels good to me, it feels like second nature to set out again in the woods. The trail feels like home.
We’ll be here another week or so, then head east again, at a leisurely pace back along the dry southern route we always take. We plan to spend some time in March doing some preparations and start in Georgia around the equinox. There will be two thousand miles ahead of us at that point, and we’ll see where we go from there.