By Dina It is Saturday and Thanksgiving is behind us. Erik and I are lounging around in our PJs reflecting on (and recovering from) what was a three-day knock-out parade of family bonding, farm-to-table values, and a few (rather large) surprises. We’re wiped out, but we’re feeling especially grateful. To explain: Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday. There are the traditional foods, which make menu-planning a joyful variations-on-a-theme pursuit and the focus is on gratitude rather than acquisition (other than a third-helping of pie). But we also love Thanksgiving because, at... 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!
Yes, we know. Black Friday is an odious and made up holiday. But what the heck, farmers are all about the seasons and since this is the ‘season’ of shopping why not get into the spirit? It just so happens that we know of the perfect thing; the ultimate gift for the holidays for you AND your loved ones — formulated with a unique blend of righteousness and virtue that will lift the conflict of consumerism and exfoliate the guilt of overspending away. A gift that’s hyper local (if... Read the Rest →
We’re six weeks into life at Maggie’s and already we’ve established steady working relationships with the all animals on our farm. We lead cows to fresh pasture daily and pull fresh eggs out from under broody hens. We try to our best to keep the peace with Mr. Marbles the pushy ram and I’ve even grown accustomed to the regular mouse fiestas inside my bedroom walls. But because we don’t have horses on this side of the farm, I have not yet had to confront a 15-year fear I’ve harbored... Read the Rest →
The other night, I dreamt I was seated in a fancy restaurant surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows and busy white-gloved waiters. Without even looking at the menu, a crushing fear came over me: I was a farmer and I couldn’t afford a thing. To make matters worse, I was seated with another farmer in the same pickle, except he was clearly insane. When he spoke I was panicked and wanted to get as far away as possible. In reality, half of the dream is bogus. In my awake life, I’d jump... Read the Rest →
As you know, the so-called Frankenstorm lurched its way through the Northeast early this week. On Sunday night, I awoke to the sounds of wind swirling around my window casings, howling Dickens-esque about the ghosts of Christmas future – a.k.a. the weather on our planet in years to come.* At dawn, we weatherproofed ourselves as best as possible and headed to soggy fields to harvest spinach. The work was slow, thanks to the frost damaged leaves that we had to sort from healthy ones while we played tug of war... Read the Rest →