Well this has been a fun weekend! In addition to planning our summer garden and ordering our seeds (above) we have also had the pleasure of hearing from so many of you. Your interest, your support and your suggestions for this project have been uplifting and affirming. (And there are some damn eagle-eyed copy editors among you as well!) Among the many, many gems, Dina’s Grandma Dorsey of “Pharmacy School” fame gave us a bit of follow-up we just had to share. It’s representative of the larger response in... Read the Rest →
The Plough and Stars Project is a year-long narrative by us - photojournalists Erik Jacobs and Dina Rudick - chronicling our family's attempt to become first generation farmers through The Farm School in Athol, Massachusetts. It is a weekly story, told in two parts - words and photos - about the challenges of living our values through life on the farm, the inspiration that sustains us and the lessons learned throughout. The first day of Farm School began on October 4th. You can start there or dive right into this week's post. Either way, please be sure to follow the 'more photos' link at the end of each post. Thanks for visiting!
It’s just me and a dead chicken in the kitchen at 4 in the morning listing to the BBC. To mangle Anna Karenina, sleeping people are all alike, but every insomniac is awake in her own way. And my way is to get a head start on a chicken-pot-pie recipe as well to marvel at how circle-of-life-y this all is. From fluff ball to ultra-awkward pullets to egg-laying super mommas to rubber chicken look-a-like to dinner to scraps to chicken food. Dorothy, as she and her sisters are all... Read the Rest →
Working up the courage to apply to farm school has been one thing. Working up the courage to tell people about it has been another. Some of the conversations have gone well. In breaking the news to my dad, I found out for the first time he had harbored dreams of being a farmer too. He later filled me in on the details by email: My interest in farming was maybe sparked by a feeling that I really did not enjoy law school. I actually sent letters to several organic... Read the Rest →
It’s a bit precocious to be crafting menus for a bed and breakfast that exists only in my mind. But a man cannot live by bread alone, and this woman definitely cannot live without pumpkin bread. At least, that’s what I decided while falling asleep last night and visions of velvety spiced loaves bounced around my brain. Remembering the can of organic, home-grown pumpkin in our pantry (thanks, farmer Mom), I resolved to — upon waking — bake the Platonic ideal of “Pumpkin Bread.” The result? Well, I’ll let a few facts... Read the Rest →
One of the initial pieces of inspiration for Plough and Stars came from an article I read in the New York Times by Pico Iyer. In it, Iyer writes about modern society’s need for a break from our overly-connected lifestyles and our hunger to slow down – to find the time and space to think. His evidence: The presence of Internet rescue camps in South Korea, our need for software to forcibly shut down internet access whenever we actually need to get things done (I’ve purchased this myself), and statics... Read the Rest →
January 23, 2012 – by Erik If there was ever a rookie mistake to make when you’re visiting a Farm School and trying to impress people who grow vegetables as a living, I made it. We took the hour and a half-long drive out to The Farm School last week, traveling along Rt. 2 – one of the most scenic stretches in Massachusetts. It was the second trip we have made to the school. The first time we were there it was spring and Dina and I had only a romantic interest... Read the Rest →