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!

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 →

 

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 →

 

The Stevie Wonder-ful World of Plants

Thanksgiving is in the rear-view mirror and hunting season is now upon us, which means the roadsides winding along the forest edges of our farm have been lined with pickup trucks.  Hunters have their own harvesting schedule and it coincides with the time of year when adult animals have finished raising their young, furbearing animals are sporting their most luxurious coats, and, in agricultural communities, farmers finally have time off from their on-farm responsibilities.  For us at the Farm School, hunting is not part of our curriculum, but sharing the... Read the Rest →

 

Newest Member of the Flock

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 →

 

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 →

 

The Winter Woods

In November of 1992, 1,700 of the world’s leading scientists (including the majority of the Nobel laureates in the sciences) published a little-known document called the World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity.  It’s a quick and sobering read, using simple words to describe our future and the choices we have to make or pay dearly for later.  Next month will mark the 20th anniversary of that document and its starting feel like the future they describe is now blowing not too far off our coast, literally.  Their letter opens like this:... Read the Rest →

 

Simple Pleasures

“One of the intangible legacies the Shakers left to the world is their demonstrations that it is possible for man to create the environment and the way of life he wants, if he wants it enough.  Man can choose.  The shakers were practical idealists.  They did not dream vaguely of conditions they would like to see realized; they went to work to make these conditions an actuality.  They wasted no time in raging against competitive society, or in complaining bitterly that they had no power to change it; instead they... Read the Rest →

 

Slow weeding

Sunday October 14, 2012 Week 1. I suspect it’s no coincidence that our first week of Farm School coincides with the magical time of year when all the leaves are at their peak brilliance.  After people have uprooted their lives, sold their homes, left careers and family members to live among strangers and learn how to farm, what better way to assure them of the rightness of their decision than by letting dig their first potatoes in fields fringed by an impossible canopy of warmth and amazement.  On a walk... Read the Rest →

 

First Day of School

Today, farm school begins.  Today, the mental prep work ends and the physical work begins.  In the weeks and months leading up to this moment, I have sat with the words of many great farmer philosophers and I’ve not escaped unchanged. I’m excited for what’s ahead.  Farm School will be an exercise in living simply, practicing gratitude, being responsible to a local community and learning to respect nature’s limits.  It will be a chance to use my body in tangible ways to connect with the awesome force that sustains life... Read the Rest →

 

Pharmacy School?

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 →

 

« Older Entries Newer Entries »