Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Anu's Farm

 (This is a continuation of a previous post, in which we visited a textile museum with the curator - Textile artist Anu Rand. Her artwork is a permanent gift from Estonia to the UN.)

Not only does Anu live in an idyllic little farm house, it's full of yarn! A traditional wood stove and classic textiles fill the farmhouse with a rustic feel.
And the weaving studio has baskets of yarn stacked in the corner. (I kept reminding Mr. Crafty that my yarn at least fits in a closet!) Anu showed off her looms and a finished piece, this one created during an artist residency in Finland.
Outside she has a herd of sheep. A wide variety of breeds and colors filled the field, munching away in the midsummer sun.
Anu has wool milled occasionally at a local place, but of course the sheep must be sheared no matter what! Fleeces were stored in this overhang of the barn, and we were invited to take home a handful. (I grabbed two!)

The garden was filled with all manner of veggie delights, and the usual greenhouse. Because of the short season and large temperature swings everyone seems to grow tomatoes and cucumbers in greenhouses. In the period after Soviet collapse (and at times during Soviet occupation), when food supply chains were not yet reestablished, many people subsisted almost entirely on tomatoes and cucumbers from their own gardens. We found that a plate of sliced fresh tomatoes and cukes were available at almost every meal, a staple garnish as it were.

And this lovely oak! The farmstead has been in the family a few generations. This tree was planted by Anu's father, from an acorn gathered at his father's gravesite. A fantastic heirloom!
Scene's like this gave us a great temptation to more to Estonia and become farmers, but alas! My city loving ways are at odds with my farmhouse desires. It was wonderful to visit Anu's studio and hear her talk about her artistic process, her vision for Estonian handicraft, and the history of the area.

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