Welcome to Windy Hollow Farm. Coastal Mendocino family living. Our friends Ben and Jen are cheerful, relaxed, hardworking, deep thinking . . . and have co-created this farm/homestead with the 2 generations on either side of them. Every time we visit there's something new to see.
First, they live in a castle. How cool is that? It's hard to see from my pictures but they have many fields and gardens . . . flowers and herbs surround them.
Here's the little guest cabin we stayed in. Built by Ben's father, it has all the comforts you need: 2 floors of beds, wood stove, cozy down bedding, an array of books for all ages, hooks in all the right places, a cooler of warm water for washing up and even a chamber pot. Seriously, what better way to recover from 4 late nights dancing and playing ping-pong in the barn than by cozying up here, napping and going to sleep with the children?
Not only is she a rad farmer, business woman, and spontaneous cookie baker, she's also got farm stylish down. Always.
If you're planning a Mendocino wedding or other festive gathering, she and Shauna from OZ Farm will dazzle your tables with Coastal Posies flowers. And you have the chance to study with them and a host of other sweet Point Arena teachers amid the rustic luxuries of OZ Farm at their Seeds to Salve retreat weekend in September.
Jen and I have had many conversations about "wildness" in children. In our culture, it seems to be a pejorative."Stop being so wild." "Their kids are so wild." "She just lets them run wild."
It's funny. I wrote about this in one of my first posts when we returned to Blue Lake from the farm. Now that we're here in Minnesota, we're living a very unwild life. Yes, we're outside all the time. Yes, we even can wander in the creek and some woods. Still much of our time is at the playground, skate park (more on that another day), and pool.
On these rambling acres where the wind and hills feel wild, it's easy for me to see why I would want to encourage this wildness in my children. It's more of a discipline of intention and consciousness when you're living the in-town life. And, of course, we'll keep visiting these friends and all the new and familiar wild places still left to discover.