This message has been a long time coming, and to be sure, it’s been a roller-coaster trying to navigate the next chapter of our lives as a family. As you’ve probably heard, last winter we had planned on leaving the state to move back to Michigan and farm my parent’s 15 acres that’s been in the family for several generations. And as you’ve also probably heard…now we’re staying! The truth is we never wanted to leave Talkeetna, but time away from family, finances, energy, and logistics were all running short and we were simply running out of steam on our Alaskan dream. Luckily, it looks as though we may have scratched and clawed just long enough and through various twists of fate, may have made it over the proverbial hump. It certainly hasn’t been easy.

Nevertheless, the summer of 2018 was very good for us, psychologically and from a business standpoint for several key reasons, which began to give us the hope we needed. We finally finished our tiny house for nightly rentals, which gave us 2 available rentals on the property instead of one. Now only one more to go! We’re now beginning to optimize and leverage the structures on the property that have been so financially burdensome in the past. This “burden” is now working for us, which was the idea from the start, it just took longer than expected to execute! We feel like we have a lot to offer on this little farmstead and we’ve really enjoyed connecting with all the guests that have been drawn here. We’ve actually had a much greater reach within the small farm/homestead advocacy space than we’d otherwise have. It’s always been an objective of ours to support this movement and we’re loving this role as a demonstration site for people around the world.

We continued fine-tuning the microgreens business, although there’s always room for improvement there! Our sales weren’t necessarily greater, but we cleaned up our operations to the point where we’ve made it a much more efficient and viable enterprise for us. Now were looking to take big steps in moving that operation out to the barn next summer. More to come in a future blog there!

After a healthy break for Arlo’s first year or so, Mindy has gotten back to working full-time at the brewery in a new role(s) that she loves very much. Denali Brewing has been such a crucial piece of the puzzle for us over the past 4 years and we’re so grateful they’re such an accommodating employer for our family and our community.

And finally, Sunshine Station Child Care have proven critical in helping watch Arlo, and in no small way has helped pave the way for all of the former to happen by freeing us up. Raising a child has been such a humbling dose of reality for us, where we never thought we’d be handing him over to someone, somewhere else so much, but it’s just what needed to happen for us to be able to make progress. And he loves it there, and gets time with other kiddos and adults, and time away from mommy and daddy. Turns out all these things are good, just not how we envisioned it. It’s nice to surrender, or rather, alter, some of your values sometimes. And things rarely turn out as you plan them, as it turns out.

Taken together, all we think all of these things will give us the ability to carry the dream forward, give us the ability to get back to see our families more often, and provide us some space to breathe. Thanks for all your support and understanding, and sorry we’ve been so flaky. Talkeetna is our home for now, and hopefully for good!

Many more blogs on musings from The Grove to come in the coming weeks, months, and years. Stay tuned!

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