In 1867, Lars and Orlog England set sail from Norway to Quebec with their six children. They traveled by covered wagon to Belleville, Wisconsin and settled in the Driftless region, named for rolling vistas untouched by pre-historic glaciers.
Orlog made their home in a root cellar they built by hand. Still intact today, the chimney, clay floor and limestone walls protected the family through the winter.
Lars and brother Hans built a barn in the Norwegian tradition with vaulted ceilings, oak beams and wide-plank floors. Then came the farm house, hog barn and a milk house.
Orlog was a dairy farmer until she was 87. She is buried in the cemetery down the road beside Lars and their children.
A Scandinavian name that dates back to the eighth century, Orlog describes one who pursues a full life; who is skilled and eager to achieve all that can be imagined and resolved.
In 2016, we came upon the farm one Sunday afternoon. Coaxed down the drive we discovered a house in disrepair; so stoic and determined. The soft light and birdsong was an elixir.
We studied the farm's quirky and temperamental ways. Candle making and canning to outdoor pizza and winter saunas -- Orlog taps an insatiable appetite to gather, toast and try. She whispers that life is not long, and the journey is what you make it.