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Reflecting on a Bountiful Year!

Dear Farmstead Family,

As we gather by the fireplace, roasting chestnuts from our land and sipping on a warm beverage, we can't help but feel a profound sense of gratitude as we reflect on the incredible journey we've shared this year. We welcomed a wonderful new daughter-in-law, Cami, to the family; celebrated our first harvest of chestnuts; witnessed (and in one case assisted in) the birth of our first group of adorable lambs; introduced a large flock of laying hens to the farm; and enjoyed the bounty from our gardens. The farmstead has certainly been bustling with life and abundance this year.

Chestnuts, Our Pride and Joy: This year marked a significant milestone for us as we celebrated our first chestnut harvest. The orchards were filled with the earthy scent of chestnut trees, still young but anxious to make a contribution to the farm. Thanks to the support of our community, we were able to navigate the challenges of planting and growing these wonderful trees and enjoy their first harvest. Your enthusiasm for our chestnuts has truly warmed our hearts.

Rotational Grazing Harmony: This year, we embraced a sustainable approach to animal husbandry through rotational grazing. The synergy between our chestnut orchards, sheep, and chickens is building a harmonious ecosystem on our farmstead. These practices are making a positive impact on our land, and we're grateful for your support of our commitment to sustainable agriculture.

Feathering Our Nest with Chickens: Midway through the year, we welcomed a feathery addition to our farmstead – a lively bunch of chickens. The clucking and scratching of these feathered friends have become a delightful soundtrack to our days. We look forward to fresh eggs from our pasture-raised hens very soon. Our chicken-raising adventures have only just begun.

Lambs Frolicking in the Fields: Our hair sheep gave birth to the most adorable lambs, adding a new dimension of life to our farmstead. Watching them frolic in the fields and grow stronger each day has been a joyous experience. As we tend to the needs of our flock, they in turn tend to the needs of our pastures and wooded areas, providing mowing and fertilization services – a valuable barter from our perspective.

Elderberries, Nature's Gift: Our elderberry crop is still a bit of a learning curve, but we are grateful for the opportunity to learn and continue to explore the benefits of these immune-boosting berries. We are hopeful that our elderberries will soon find their way into delicious and nutritious jams, syrups and much more!

As we bid farewell to this year, we want to express our deepest gratitude for you being a part of our farmstead family. Your likes, comments, and shared enthusiasm have fueled our passion for sustainable living. Whether you're a fellow farmstead enthusiast, a chestnut enthusiast, or simply someone who enjoys following our journey, your presence has made our farmstead feel like a true community.

As we look forward to the coming year, we're filled with excitement for new endeavors, challenges, and the continued growth of our farmstead. Wishing you a joyous holiday season filled with warmth, love, and the company of your own cherished communities.

With heartfelt thanks,

The Averill Family at New Leaf Pastures

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