Mountain view farm

​​​Patrick and Lara Hafner (that's us) have been running Mountain View Farm since 2013. Since buying this run-down farm (with about 30 seconds of thought on the matter), our lives have changed dramatically. Each year, we strive to make the farm more beautiful, more bountiful, and more sustainable.


Winter...


is a time of reflection, of taking notes and making plans while we congregate around the wood stove in the living room. We dream of spring and browse seed catalogues and cook decadent meals. There is always hot, yeasty bread coming out of the oven and a roast seasoned with herbs and sea salt sizzling in the roasting pan. We boil sap on the wood stove to make maple syrup and bring in load after load of fire wood.


Spring...


​Everything seems to come alive. The spring birds return along with the light and the grass. The cows nibble at the tender tops of grass as the leaves peek through the snow. If we've timed things right, there are spring piglets, always a delight to watch. We order our chicks and ducklings and care for them with heat lamps and fresh bedding every day. We wait eagerly for the asparagus, rhubarb and spring greens to come up - the first crops of spring! We harvest wild leeks and start our seeds in the greenhouse. Everything is mud, and life, and there's so much to do!


Summer...


The farm is thriving. The animals are all content and fat, grazing or rooting or pecking around on the lush pastures. Eggs are bountiful. We collect them multiple times a day and hardly need to provide the hens with any grain since the grass and bugs are so plentiful. The shells sometimes get so hard that it takes a real crack on the stone countertop to break them. The vegetables are abundant and the canning season begins in earnest. We make vats of tomato sauce, quart after quart of peach preserves, chop and parboil the green beans...all in preparation for the lean months. It's a delight to be outdoors from dawn until dusk, breathing in the fresh air and life of the farm.


Autumn....


Things are cooling, slowing down. The mornings are crisp, making the apples and kale taste sweeter. Frost shines across the fields in the morning and the light bounces across the skies, providing us with the most resplendent sun rises and sunsets. We pull the apple press out of the barn and make cider which the kids drink until they're giddy with the sweetness of it. I set aside a few bottles for apple cider vinegar which will go on top of the book shelf near the wood stove until it's ready for winter salad dressings and apple cakes. We've worked hard for many months and now we look forward to the slowing down, the lighting of the hearth fires, the rest that winter provides...