the beginning is now
Welcome to my new website and to my blog, which will be about writing, art, the creatures and plantings of Goblin Farm, the creative life (warts and all) and anything else that lays on my peasant heart to share. There will be food and drink – in fact, our latest adventure is home-made Drambuie made with scotch, honey from our own hives, and various herbs. We’re experimenting with recipes and proportions. The latest includes angelica, a root with a pleasant but ineffable scent-flavor, that we want to start growing here in some spacious corner, as the Angel Archangelus can grow to eight feet. We’ve christened our liqueur “Queen’s Cup” to honor the regents of our three hives.
Newcomers may well ask “Goblin Farm?” What? Why? Here’s how the tale begins…
In 1998, Charles and I fulfilled our dream: a house of our own with a bit of land. Our budget was miniscule for my home county of Bucks. Many homes shown to us as handyman specials were really bulldozer-ready, and one had been on fire for more than a little bit. In Applebachsville, just east of Quakertown, we found a untrendy, care-worn little house – a brick and stucco rancher with three small bedrooms and only one bath – the kind of house that was on no buyer’s dream list at that time. I think we were the only home-buyers to get out of the car and walk around. The house, beneath grease and grime, was solid with a good roof and furnace and its own well, but it was the land, visible only if one walked into the backyard, that was our dream come true.
We could see past the trash and burn piles, tangles of barb wire, and leaning shacks to see a splendid view of western sky. The Rihl farm, with its small dairy goat herd, wrapped the south edge of our place and shared spooky, swampy woods to the west. A small 19th century church and graveyard ran along the north side. And across the road to the east was lonely Lake Towhee, a quiet park and haven for wild birds.
Our new place needed a fresh start and a name. With the hooting of owls at dusk and the glimmer of headstones in the moonlight, it had to be…Goblin Farm, small but definitely not cute, a place where earth spirits could rise and heal, a place that would soon be home to a trio of mischievous little goblin-y goats.
You might recall Christine Rossetti’s poem Goblin Market, a tale of two sisters and the danger of goblin fruitsellers. Goblin Farm does not sell its berries, veggies, or honey at the Goblin Market, though sometimes it looks like the goblins have nibbled our wares. That’s all right, as we Goblin Farmers plant enough to share.
by Arthur Rackham,
from Christine Rosetti's "Goblin Market"