Hey! Nice to meet you. Welcome to my corner of Two Rock Ridge publications.
My goal with these articles is to pass along some of the practical knowledge I have learned over the years with regards to farming, forestry, land management, livestock and I guess for lack of a better term…Homesteading. I might also use this to pass along my practical and mostly pragmatic views on topics that concern all these areas with quite a bit of humor thrown in.
First though, let me get through the dry stuff so you have an idea of who I am. My name is Jeff Grinnell. I was born and raised in Washington, Maine and other then some time away in the US Air Force, I am very proud to say I am a lifelong “Maine-ah’” ….Yes… I do have the accent. Sometimes more than others.
I graduated somewhat remarkably from Medomak Valley High School in 1988…I liked sports and girls way more than studying….and that summer went into the Maine Air National Guard as a KC-135 crew chief. For some reason, I did quite well turning wrenches on airplanes. I was active duty several times, worked for the guard full time, was a traditional guardsman and generally had a interesting time that I can honestly say I enjoyed. Towards the end of my military service, I was hired full time by the Rockland fire department as a firefighter/EMT, and since then have been a career firefighter/paramedic. Currently at this writing I am Lieutenant on Engine 6/Ladder 1 with the Scarborough Maine Fire department, as well a call firefighter medic here in my hometowns of Union and Washington.I really like doing things outdoors and I fish, hunt, hike, ATV and do all the things you see in the Maine Tourism advertisements which can and sometimes do get in the way of the Homesteading thing….refer back to high school priorities.
Throughout that time, I never lost my love of forestry, farming, and land/game management. It’s been a family thing for generations. The Grinnell’s have been living in the western part of Knox County, here in Maine, since late 1700s to early 1800s.All of them dirt poor but managing somehow to eke out a living. (To see how the other half of the family did…look up the Grinnell’s from Little Compton, Rhode Island…Same tree-smarter branch) My great great grandfather returned from the civil war after being wounded at Petersburg, took his bonus money for not dying after getting wounded, two Springfield rifles, and bought land and built the original Grinnell Homestead (The name is on the barn) here in Washington Maine. He and his wife hacked out a living on a rocky ridge, raised and grew all the food they needed, and sold the rest.
Throughout my life I have never been far from carrying on the family tradition…sometimes to my hate and disgust. Each season brought with it the traditional things my family has always done some of which I liked more than other. Spring– sapping, firewood cutting and crop planting, summer— tending crops, haying and splitting firewood, Fall— getting firewood in and harvesting crops, and winters cutting more tree length wood for the next season firewood…notice the repetitive nature of firewood. All this while helping to maintain buildings and equipment.
Then in 1998, full time work took me away to more suburban and urban southern Maine. We moved south but still while we were there, we made friends who farmed in that area, and we helped them…many times with firewood. In 2010 we had a chance to move back to my home,on land of our own where my father had a old farm that he had been living on since the 40s and is where I grew up. He and my mother were getting older and needed help. SO back we moved. And Two Rock Ridge Homestead was born.
So that’s the general history. If you follow these articles along you will pick up more history on the particulars of our adventure and how we were able, in our own way, to start hacking out our own farm aka Homestead. It’s not been a easy thing and we have had some failures…Some rather spectacular. But we also have had numerous successes. I invite you to follow along and see how, what, and why we do what we do. Im sure it will be entertaining if not education. I will leave you now with the words of PBS’s own, Canada’s everyman Red Green…a personal hero of mine..”if the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy” Have a great day…I need to go lug in some firewood.