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!

In The Weeds

Nine months ago, the hard-neck garlic went into the ground.  We fifteen wide-eyed and eager student farmers, just weeks into our academic year, cased the immaculate field unbroken by latent weeds, its rows of square-shouldered beds unmarked by foot or trowel. The whole year lay ahead of us. We blessed, buried and patted each clove as we inched along the rows.  A third of the way into the nine thousand-clove planting, we got a taste of the blisters and aching backs to come.  But our morale soared. We were drunk... Read the Rest →


Too Much of a Good Thing

“A dry summer will scare you to death.  A wet summer will starve you to death.” Fellow famer John Moore intoned these words as he watched a slow trickle of customers eyeball his offerings of grass fed beef and maple syrup at the Athol Farmers Market.  Moore works a neighboring farm in Orange, MA and we have in common a patch of sky that either blesses or curses our fields each year.  This summer, despite a warm and dry start, fields around here are now rivers of mud, having been... Read the Rest →


Same Land, New Landscape

Last October, when I first arrived here at Maggie’s Farm, the onions and shallots had long been harvested.  The only vegetable residents of ‘Home Base,’ which is what they call the field outside my bedroom window, were a few beds of passed-over leeks.  It was the tail-end of the growing season so we harvested what we could and turned the leftover crop residue back into the soil.  The snows came and went and came again, while the promise of new life come springtime – both botanical and human – loomed... Read the Rest →


He’s Here!!!

A week ago, May 24th, 2013, our lives changed forever when our son (I can’t believe I’m writing that), Wendell Jameson Jacobs burst onto the scene weighing in at seven pounds two ounces of perfect and wonder.  The labor was intense and another sobering reminder that all plans are subject to ruthless revision.  But Dina was INCREDIBLE and after 36 hours, pulled us through… err, I mean pushed. Now that he’s here with us, Jameson (we’re calling him by his middle name) is melting our hearts and kicking our butts... Read the Rest →


A Sheep in Sheep’s Clothing

I guess I’m no longer allowed to detest Mother’s Day as another guilt inducing, wallet widening holiday foisted upon us by Hallmark.  That’s been my convenient excuse each May to rationalize the paltry present I’ve offer my mom: the ‘gift’ of my voice on the other end of the phone.  But it turns out the holiday has a legitimate non-commercial origin, first celebrated in 1908 by West Virginian Anna Jarvis in remembrance of her recently deceased mother and in honor of peace. Combine that with the presence of a soon-to-be... Read the Rest →


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 →



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 →


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