Ryan Hanning Ph.D
Ryan Hanning

Family Blog

The Hanning Homestead

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Family Update #3- Gardens, Trails, Bunnies & BBQ

Our adventures in homesteading are continuing as we accustom ourselves to opportunities that our new home home provides. Over the past two weeks we have begun turning the old barn wall into seating and bookshelves, got chickens, made coin rings, cut a trail in the forest, Isa got her bunnies (no we did not sell out...they are meat bunnies), and enjoyed the beach! We were also visited by the Professor Keimeg from Franciscan University, his beautiful family, and 3 grad students. Life is good!



The backside of the property is beautiful forest, one in which we plan to be good stewards of. Maple, Oak, Hickory, and Walnut trees fill the space between our home and the small creek. The kids, with the help of the goats, cleared out about 500ft of trail. This has allowed us to access more trash scattered from the previous owner, which we are sorting to re-purpose and recycle. The path should extend to the creek before we start full school days. The trash we'll be uncovering for years to come. Hours will be spent reading by to the creek, identifying native species, and observing the changing seasons. Who could ask for a more heavenly classroom?

136th Saint Lawrence BBQ.jpg

A sense of place

On Saturday we helped out at the 136th Annual St. Lawrence BBQ. Imagine the scene. It is Friday morning and we just loaded and lit 5 huge containers of hickory, the pork should arrive at any moment. The pit boss clearly knows what he is doing as he and 15 other venerable experts from the parish move hot coals into the pit using 10 foot shovels. One of the guys mentions that "these pigs were probably happy knowing that they were coming here." Banter continues until the truck arrives. Now things get serious. The pork is unloaded on to two 75 foot pits and large vats of basting juice are brought up from the kitchen. For the next 15 hours, with the exception of adoration and mass at 6pm, the pork vigil continues. Baste, rotate, re-coal, repeat. On the outside of the ramada hangs two polished shovels commemorating two previous pit bosses who are now interceding for the BBQ from heaven. On Saturday the kids helped sell snow-cones and cotton candy, and hundreds of people gathered for some delicious BBQ and music. Here, as in all places, faith, food and fellowship create a continuity that all culture is built upon.

Septic update: Spent alot of money reconnecting the lines and getting everything working. In the process we discovered that the old tank failed. The attempt to patch it did not hold. So yep, we are installing a whole new system. Should be good to go after that. We'll be experimenting with some graywater systems, which would water the trees and relieve stress on the system. More to come on that.

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