An Ongoing Story, In Words and Photos, About The Challenges Of Living Life On The Farm, The Inspiration That Sustains Us And The Lessons Learned Throughout. Thanks for visiting!

A Mouse of Their Own

Apparently, my farm school classmates are very good at keeping secrets.  But it’s more likely that I’m easily duped.  Driving to afternoon cow chores this Thursday, I keyed into Nora and Kate’s conversation: “SO tired,” said Nora.  “What time did you stay up until working on the quilt?” Kate shot Nora a look I didn’t understand. “What quilt?” I asked, curious. “Oh, you know… just a project,” offered Nora vaguely. “Hey, look at those turkeys!” pointing out the window and changing the subject. “Yeah, cool.  Turkeys,” I replied.  End of... Read the Rest →

 

They work hard for the honey

These days, Dina can’t walk a block without stopping ten times.   It’s not because she’s 37 weeks pregnant.  Rather, it’s her irrepressible urge to bury her face in the riot of color and smells pushed out of the ground by spring. “So many colors!!!” she’ll exclaim, dragging me from a perky tulip to a puff of cherry blossoms, the splotch of yellow pollen covering the tip of her nose growing ever larger. This is nature at it’s most seductive.  And though Dina falls hook line and sinker, this furious display... Read the Rest →

 

Boston

The calls started to roll in at 3:30 on Monday.  Seattle first, then New York, then Washington DC.  At the farm we were devising a new watering system for 30 new piglets.  It was the sort of day I’ve longed for during this persistent winter – bright, with a gentle breeze and the smell of freshly turned dirt.  Nothing but chickens clucking and rhythm of our work stood out from the stillness of the afternoon. But back in Boston, my city was under attack and editors from around the country... Read the Rest →

 

Go Mammals!

We were all holding our breath. “Come on… push girl… PUUUSH!”  pleaded Josh our livestock manager, pulling hard on a slippery lamb dangling limply from the backside of her mom. “Lamb?  Are you still alive?” None of us were sure.  And from the guttural and wrenching sounds mom was making, I didn’t know if she was going to make it either.  While on morning chores, Rich and Kate had discovered her only minutes before, laboring heavily, pawing at the ground, lip curling upward with each contraction. And as soon her... Read the Rest →

 

Farmer Midnight

Non-stop. That perfectly describes my last two weeks since we started our seedlings in the greenhouse. Bongi (my chore buddy) and I have been constantly watching, watering, and worrying over them like the needy infants they are. And because the entire farm is literally captive in a 30’ x  72’ tropical bubble, caring for those thousands of soon-to-be plants is priority number one around here. This means we’ve been left to squeeze everything else – animal chores and personal life – into the scraps of time in between pilgrimages to... Read the Rest →

 

Learning of Lambs and Labor

According to our midwife, Swisher is wrong side up for this stage in the pregnancy.  That means every time he tap dances, his little head bumps straight into Dina’s stomach.  It also means if he stays like that, he’s headed down the waterslide the wrong way – feet first. This, among other things, is making his parents a little nervous. But come May when Swisher is scheduled to make his appearance, I might just have some experience with what to do (if I can remain conscious during the birth). Eleven... Read the Rest →

 

Daylight Distraction Time

The tiny place in my brain where language is stored has been depleted of its weekly allotment of words.  I burned through them this week filling in first twelve pages of our business plan.  The few words that remain are inaccessible because at six o’clock in the evening, it’s still bright and beautiful outside.  Daylight savings time is here, which always leaves me a bit giddy and excited.  But now that the movement of the earth and sun governs so much of my schedule, I think my inner farmer is... Read the Rest →

 

A taste like happiness

We’re back from winter’s break.  Our farmhouse remains a weather-beaten outpost in an ocean of snow.  But since our return, signs are stirring that the blanket of frozen white will soon recede.  This week, during a still and brilliant afternoon spent pruning raspberry bushes, a flicker of blue flashed in the thicket at the end of my row.  A blazing blue – entirely unlike the hazy low mountains framing the Quabbain Reservoir on the horizon, and a world apart from the clear winter sky. We saw a second flash, then... Read the Rest →

 

Back in Action

In the event you haven’t noticed, things have been a little quiet here over the last three weeks.  It was winter break at the Farm School.  No chores, no chopping wood, no crop planning – just an empty farmhouse, an ocean of snow and the promise of a fully functioning wood-fired boiler upon our return. A number of the Farm School students have spent these past three weeks making prosciutto and sipping Prosecco in Tuscany.  But Dina and I have been at home in the Boston settling quite comfortably in... Read the Rest →

 

Taking the bull by the…

Let me be clear – there won’t be any Mary Oliver poems in this story.  In fact, as you may have surmised from the above photo, things got a little, well . . . nuts on the farm this week.  And if you scroll down any further, you’re going to read about – and see pictures of – five bull calves having a very bad day. We have made an effort to spare you the worst but read on at your own risk. Wednesday morning’s class was supposed to be... Read the Rest →

 

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