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!

Boston

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 →

 

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 →

 

Learning of Lambs and Labor

According to our midwife, Swisher is wrong side up for this stage in the pregnancy.  That means every time he tap dances, his little head bumps straight into Dina’s stomach.  It also means if he stays like that, he’s headed down the waterslide the wrong way – feet first. This, among other things, is making his parents a little nervous. But come May when Swisher is scheduled to make his appearance, I might just have some experience with what to do (if I can remain conscious during the birth). Eleven... Read the Rest →

 

Daylight Distraction Time

The tiny place in my brain where language is stored has been depleted of its weekly allotment of words.  I burned through them this week filling in first twelve pages of our business plan.  The few words that remain are inaccessible because at six o’clock in the evening, it’s still bright and beautiful outside.  Daylight savings time is here, which always leaves me a bit giddy and excited.  But now that the movement of the earth and sun governs so much of my schedule, I think my inner farmer is... Read the Rest →

 

Back in Action

In the event you haven’t noticed, things have been a little quiet here over the last three weeks.  It was winter break at the Farm School.  No chores, no chopping wood, no crop planning – just an empty farmhouse, an ocean of snow and the promise of a fully functioning wood-fired boiler upon our return. A number of the Farm School students have spent these past three weeks making prosciutto and sipping Prosecco in Tuscany.  But Dina and I have been at home in the Boston settling quite comfortably in... Read the Rest →

 

Farmer Jacobs and Wife

Parents – You love them deeply and pray at the same time that you never become anything like them. I should assure Kate (Dina’s mom and Plough & Stars soap fairy) that this sentiment doesn’t come to mind because she’s currently visiting us.   Rather, it’s spurred by the following quote from Clarence Beck, the son of a Dust Bowl farmer, who was interviewed in Ken Burns’ most recent documentary: “God, what do I have to do to have money and not be a farmer? I don’t care whether it is being... Read the Rest →

 

Chicken Hospice

[Erik is on his two-week holiday break from Farm School, so in addition to decorating our Christmas tree – and lighting our menorah, grandma dear  – we’ve been involved an urban animal-husbandry dilemma. He returns to school on January 6.] This all started when we nearly killed the whole flock two weeks ago. Erik and I were driving home after five days away at the Young Farmers Conference in New York and we had the following conversation about our six backyard hens: Erik: “You checked their water before you left,... 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 →

 

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 →

 

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 →

 

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