Early Summer Garden Pizza

Someone brought a fellow gardener, introduced to us as a Master Gardener, out to see our garden, thinking that since we both are absorbed in the cultivation of earth we should get along great. Unfortunately he sneered at my companion-planted garden rows and the huge number of tomato plants I’m growing – one row to…

Bread, From Seed

“Our bread doesn’t shine like that,” said Cordelia. “That is the pity of it,” said the peasant woman.  “What makes yours shine?” asked Cordelia. “The sun in the wheat,” said the peasant woman.  -The Shining Loaf by Isabel Wyatt In January this year I planted four kinds of hulless barley, the kind that is easiest…

Peaceful Mornings

Being in the countryside, with a lot of empty land around us,  you would think that there would be a lot of peace and quiet all the time,  especially in the very early mornings as the sun is just rising.  But you can’t imagine the awful barnyard noises I was ignoring while taking these pictures!…

A Sacred Thing

We just finished our main season for harvesting animals, and someone asked me recently if it makes me sad to kill them.  Most people, even meat eaters, can hardly imagine killing an animal themselves. After many years of growing both the meat and the vegetable part of our food, I have come to realize that…

2017-2018 Lettuce Trials

You will have to bear with me for this post,  if you aren’t also a gardening nerd,  but i am so excited to write up the results of the lettuce trials from the fall/  winter season! I grew 15 kinds of open-pollinated lettuce, some were varieties I know I like and always grow,  but most…

Recovering

Last week was rough.  On top of all the new babies, Ethan was out of town for work,  and we all had a really nasty illness,  possibly the dreaded flu that’s been killing everyone. I have no idea really,  since I only go to the doctor if I’m actually dying,  and obviously i made it…

Spring Fertility Madness

It’s been the craziest week ever,  and nothing seems to be slowing down in the least.  Nearly every evening finds me exhausted and covered in some sort of birth juices, dirt, milk or all three.  It all started about 3 weeks ago,  when I had just finished creating an email to send out,  offering acorn-fed…

First Calf of Fall

I was just telling someone that Geranium looked as if she was going to calve any day.  She was huge,  and her udder had started to fill.  Still,  it was a bit of a surprise to walk up to the cows and find a beautiful new calf on the ground,  already licked clean and shiny. …

All-Raw Eggnog

There was a raccoon raid on the chicken coop last night. We had seen the scoundrel lurking around the barn earlier in the evening,  and in retrospect we should have dispatched him then.  But everyone was tired and chilled, and Ethan felt really ill.  Much later,  long after the restless teenager had ceased to flick…

Pigeon Pea, The Elusive Chicken

A few months ago our neighbor unloaded five defective chickens on us.  His old mother had gotten them as a bunch of straight run laying chicks,  and they had already unloaded the dozen roosters they had ended up with on us the year before.   Now she was going on vacation and the five chickens were getting…

Hurricane Days

        This season always brings uncertainty and shifts in weather,  and with that,  the hurricanes.  Here in the North and the middle of the peninsula, we are usually sheltered from the worst of the winds that devastate the coasts.  The last really intense hurricane season I’ve experienced was the fall and late…

Turning The Season

  This time of the year, the summer seems to hang over everything like a thick, sweat-drenched blanket.  Still, in the midst of it there are suddenly magical moments that I come on by surprise, like clouds of yellow butterflies mud puddling on the fresh cow pies that rise up in a bright whirl around…