Publisher’s Letter: Here’s to Trying Something New!

One of four hens lays an egg on Blaine's mountain property for the first time (Photo by Blaine Howerton)

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By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

Over my lifetime, I have never been averse to trying new things.

This newspaper, for instance, five years ago, was about to go out of business. The previous owner convinced me to save it. But with no experience in the newspaper publishing business, I wasn’t too sure. He explained that my extensive Journalism experience and entrepreneurial spirit would prevail. He convinced me to try something new. So, I did it. And here we are five years later. I tried something new.

Three years ago, a classified ad came into North Forty News for a piece of burned property. I had never owned 20 acres, much less a forest of burned trees. I began to dream about living there. When I decided to build a home there for my sons and me, I purchased a tractor to help me do the needed things. I had never even driven a tractor. But I knew it would be a necessity. I use it almost daily, and I’m glad I tried new things. I tried something new.

Over the winter, I purchased a lumber mill. After countless hours of research, weeks of leveling a spot for it, and days more building it — it was working. I had never milled lumber, but I knew it would be an opportunity to use dead standing timber on my property — burned in the High Park Fire in 2012. I needed to clean up the property to prevent future fires, but I didn’t want to waste such a precious resource. So, I am now putting the mill to work. The lumber is beautiful, and North Forty News readers are ordering not just once but twice. And they say they will come back for more. This new thing turned into an opportunity and a way to restore a small slice of the burn area. I’m glad I tried something new.

Within the past few weeks, my friend Rolly came across an opportunity when his co-worker, Lexi, was trying to find good homes for chickens. I can’t say I have always wanted chickens, but Rolly didn’t have a place to put them. So, he built a coop on my property with my lumber. I researched to help care for them, and they are now thriving. Soon, those eight chickens will be producing so many eggs we won’t know what to do with them. I enjoy talking to (and taking care of) the hens daily. I tried something new.

I always try new things, maybe even more than I realize. I do know that life would be much different if I didn’t have the courage to do these four things. This community wouldn’t have North Forty News. I wouldn’t be building a future home for my sons and me, and those hens wouldn’t enjoy life on my mountain property.

Need lumber, anyone? Let’s try something new together! See the ad on the front page.

So, here’s to trying new things! Find something you enjoy, research how you can do something new, and get it done.