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!

Songs of a Frozen Farmer

This was a tough week on the farm: our hens’ once plump-red combs are specked with telltale black spots of frostbite, we’ve coaxed more smoke than heat from our fussy wood-fired boiler, and facing day-after-day of lukewarm showers in a 50-degree farmhouse has made the depth of winter feel inescapable. I also had the genius idea of hauling our welding machine across the shop, and in the process transformed myself into a 90-year-old man by spraining my back. The damn welder is as unwieldy as a cardboard box filled with... 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 →

 

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 →

 

The Story of Stuff

If you take 25 minutes out of your day and watch these two videos, you don’t ever have to come back to this blog again.  It would make us very sad, but there is probably nothing we could say or do to would better explain why the system we live in is failing us all. Tell me if this doesn’t sound broken to you: “Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we... Read the Rest →

 

Wendell Berry is Concerned

(See Bottom for Update) As you may know, Wendell Berry is very concerned about the fate of the environment and sanity our nation’s consumer-driven culture.  But apparently he’s also very concerned about me going off to farm school in the fall. Who would have guessed?! Backing up a few steps, I should tell you that it was Wendell Berry who originally transformed our farm fantasy into today’s purpose-filled reality.  For those who don’t know him, he is philosopher, author and farmer who writes beautifully about the importance of sustainable agriculture... Read the Rest →

 

A Real-life Lego Set

A Real-Life Lego Set! An amazing group of people in Missouri, led by Marcin Jakubowski, have started something called the Open Source Ecology Project which is a network of farmers, engineers, and supporters that is creating FREE, open source plans for building your own, low-cost, high performance Industrial Machines – everything that it takes to build a sustainable civilization with modern comforts. The Global Village Construction set, as it is called, lowers the barriers to entry into farming, building, and manufacturing and can be seen as a life-size lego-like set of modular tools... Read the Rest →

 

Perspective

On September 5th, 1977, NASA launched Voyager 1 on a mission to study our solar system and the space that lies beyond it.  As it sped away from us, visiting each of the planets in turn, it provided us with glimpses of our “neighborhood” that had never been seen before: active volcanos on one of Jupiter’s moons, technicolor rings of Saturn and the cool blue surfaces of Neptune.  After 13 years, upon reaching the edge of our solar system, it turned backwards to face us again and snapped one final... Read the Rest →

 

The Summer Day

If we were forced to pick one thing that represents the essence of our motivation behind this project, it would be this poem.  It is one item in a patchwork of inspiration that has lead up to this direction and it has just resurfaced with brand new meaning. The Summer Day by Mary Oliver Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean- the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar... Read the Rest →

 

Cabin Dreams

Inspiration for your quiet place somewhere - If you’re feeling a little caged in by life and would rather be imagining your happy place, here’s your outlet - a collection of big beautiful photos of cabins from all around the world. Despite the URL this links to, we promise it isn’t spam.  Be forewarned, it is a 28-page black hole that you may not crawl out of for until the end.  But it is oh so satisfying.  Our favorite? It is a cabin at Dunton Hot Springs, an old mining village turned rustic retreat... Read the Rest →

 

Rumi with a View

We love a lot about Rumi, but we seem to be completely dependent on others to dredge up his gems.  We have a book of his poetry and have yet to find a single poem that grabs us as much as the ones other people find.  I’m not sure why this is.  But Arthur Zajonc in his book Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry found this one, which knocked our socks off. (In honor of this poem, we have proactively named one guest room at Plough and Stars “Rumi with a View”) This being... Read the Rest →

 

« Older Entries