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!

Wisdom of the Seasons

December is dark. Darker than any other month of the year. Before we started farming, I would trudge reluctantly into 4 o’clock sunsets feeling burdened by entirely too many layers of clothes. But now, after a year of farming, I’m rested as I’ve been all year and couldn’t imagine a better coda to the season. This annual gift of winter blesses both farmer and earth with rest. Farmer Eliot Coleman calls these the “Persephone months” during which fewer than 10 hours of light reach the ground each day. Vegetative life... Read the Rest →

 

Looking Forward, Looking Back

I’m not in the field today. I’m on a train to New York City. In fact, I’m on the same train that delivered me to my last photo job before Farm School began, two years ago. The job was an annual black hole on the calendar – an international economic symposium to whip up trade between US and Russian businesses. Zzzzz. It was boring, creatively soul-crushing work complete with a difficult client but it paid well. Eventually, though, the gig became emblematic of all that frustrated me about my photography... Read the Rest →

 

Taller, Straighter, Prouder

The picture above isn’t from our farm. Obviously we didn’t take it – our lovely friend Nancy did. But I LOVE this photo. It perfectly illustrates this period in my family’s life – hands, heart and son – all in the soil. This photo is especially precious because we haven’t been taking many pictures ourselves these days. That’s due entirely to one number: 13,298. That is the number of plants we’ve put in the ground since the doldrums of our last post. I can’t quite wrap my head around it... Read the Rest →

 

Rain and Foxes

For months after our son was born, Dina and I routinely woke in the middle of the night, panicked that our infant was tangled in the sheets. One of us would rip the blankets off the bed (much to the chagrin of our sleeping partner), frantic to find him before he smothered, only to realize that Wendell was safe and sound in his crib. The midnight panic attacks returned this week when I woke to find myself again searching the blankets and shaking Dina awake. But this time, I was... Read the Rest →

 

Moving Pictures

One year ago today, Dina and I held our breath in a darkened exam room as our doctor studied an ultrasound glowing on a screen overhead. Years of tests, procedures and crushing losses convinced us that this attempt, possibly our last, had failed as well. “There is a pregnancy in the uterus,” the doctor intoned as we tried to comprehend the nebulous white blob on the screen. He continued to speak but a fog descended and I only remember hearing him call out, “Have a great pregnancy!” as we danced... Read the Rest →

 

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 →

 

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 →

 

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 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 →

 

« Older Entries