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!

Bring on the Noise

“Giving birth is like jazz, something from silence, then . . . everything” — Elizabeth Alexander, poet I’ve been trying to write this story for three days now without much luck.  Today is Swisher’s due date and I’m as distracted as an 8-year-old on Christmas Eve.  But so far, Swisher’s holding tight and Dina and I are practicing patience.  It’s exhilarating to be at this threshold after four long years of waiting, wondering if we’d ever see this day.  But here we are, between silence and everything, ready for the... 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 →

 

Just? Or Just for the Rich?

Before farm school, I ran a food pantry in South Boston that mainly serviced two nearby housing projects.  Every two weeks, we distributed 10,000 pounds of food to nearly 1,000 people struggling to make ends meet.  But for each person who regarded the pantry as a temporary stopgap measure, there were 20 others who were locked in a more structural poverty and for whom trips to pantries were as routine as trips to the grocery store. Though I felt of service, I couldn’t shake the feeling that our efforts were... Read the Rest →

 

Packing our heads full of dirt

Erik and I spent the better part of this week sitting on our butts – all in service of becoming smarter, more successful farmers. We were lucky enough snag two scholarships to the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture’s Young Farmers Conference in Pocantico Hills, NY – a three-day whirlwind of workshops ranging from BioChar to soil science to Field Songs to Slow Tools to cover crops. Our heads are full to the brim and I’m only now starting to sift through the information dump. Here are some of my... Read the Rest →

 

Meat and the Maker

In July, I wrote about taking our four beloved Buff Orpintons to the butcher.  And from that post, it’s probably clear that I can be a bit sentimental about killing animals. That cold morning I remember searching their eyes for clues: did they feel betrayed? And even though it wasn’t me who slit their throats, did I have the right to determine their premature fate? In the absence of definitive answers, we’ve plodded ahead holding close to these questions and the hope that we’d eventually find comfort in our role... Read the Rest →

 

Generation F’d

Every generation needs a name. I was born at the tail end of Generation X. Kim Kardashian showed up in 1980 at the beginning Generation Y. And everyone born since 2001 is currently being called the iGeneration, Net Generation or Generation Z. But with our child, Swisher, on the way (Swisher – because that is the sound her awesome heart makes) I’d like to suggest a new name for the generation she’s increasingly likely to be born into: Generation F’d Yep, you heard it here first. This describes the generation... Read the Rest →

 

The Land Bank

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 →

 

Chop Wood, Manage Water

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 →