seedlings sprouting

Kairos – the perfect thing at the exact right time

Dear friends, don’t you just love the energy of early spring? This time of year is crucial for anyone who is directly involved in the raising of their food. It is a time where you set everything in motion, where you essentially stock your freezer and pantry for the summer, fall, and winter to come. It’s a delicate and exciting time! Amy and I have been reverting to our college selves a bit lately, engaging in discussions of philosophy as we work and plan. We’ve been thinking especially of the concept of “kairos”. Continue reading “Kairos – the perfect thing at the exact right time”

free range hens in winter in nh

Why is Raising Chickens Like Swimming in the Ocean?

When we decided we were farmers, something changed in my brain, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. The first step was when we took control of a fraction of our food. Eggs. Suddenly there was one less item on the shopping list. I felt lighter, happier, just thinking of these eggs as they started appearing in our coop. Something we didn’t have to depend on others for. A drop in the bucket, maybe. But it felt like so much more.  Continue reading “Why is Raising Chickens Like Swimming in the Ocean?”

Would a Vampire Be a Good Farmer? The D.R.A.C.U.L.A. Criteria

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. About Dracula. And about farming. Normal thoughts we all have, surely. And this morning my thinking merged and I was struck by a question: would a focused, non-emotional vampire like Dracula have traits that translate well to farming? In a world where vampires need vegetables instead of blood, could someone like ol’ Dracs raise a nice carrot patch? Continue reading “Would a Vampire Be a Good Farmer? The D.R.A.C.U.L.A. Criteria”

Lard, the misunderstood fat (and how to render your own lard)

Oh great, another article about how lard is healthy.  I bet you think I’m about to make an effort to convince you that lard should replace all the butter, shortening and olive oil in your pantry.  Yeesh, no way.  Or maybe you’re thinking, here we go, a pseudo-scientific health article comparing different levels of chemicals that make up the various fats available and somehow prove that when you look at lard a certain way, it’s a bona fide superfood.  Nah, too over my head.  Lard is good for three reasons if you ask me: it’s naturally part of our evolved diets as omnivorous humans, it performs amazingly for baking and frying, and it can easily be obtained and rendered from local sources (perhaps most important of all!).  Leave the fake science for the wannabe nerds that think turkey puts them to sleep!

Continue reading “Lard, the misunderstood fat (and how to render your own lard)”

shovels of peace

Dig a hole. Fill it up. Inner peace?

There’s a story (seemingly fabricated) that, during the Great Depression in the US, the government hired people to dig holes.  One group of workers was supposedly hired to dig all day, and the next day they had off.  On that off day, another group of workers came in, hired to fill in vast holes.  According to the story, this was a way to give a struggling populace a sense of purpose to help them get through the tough time.  I’ve also heard that digging a deep hole and then filling it up is a zen practice.  The digging is so full of intent that the mind is free to relax and seek inner peace. Continue reading “Dig a hole. Fill it up. Inner peace?”

Curling into Autumn

It is September, the in-between month up here in New Hampshire. I can feel the shift to Autumn and the change in the air.  Oh goodness, most of us get all excited when the coffee shops start to make pumpkin flavored things and our flannel and sweaters start creeping from the boxes in the closet or that bottom drawer.   Continue reading “Curling into Autumn”

Cookie Factory

The Age of Automated Food

I work hard to maintain a high level of engagement with my food.  Whenever possible, I want connection to the process of growing and preparing meals with my family.  I want our children to grow up knowing where their food was raised, how it was processed, and how it was transformed into a meal before them.  I want them to see a box of crackers as somewhat strange.  They should think the chicken we raised and processed on our own is normal.   Continue reading “The Age of Automated Food”

The Rare Beauty of a Rainy Farmers’ Market

It’s the middle of summer. Gardens are beginning to burst, the chickens are nearly full grown, and farmers’ markets are bustling centers of joy with gossip and goods.  Summer is a favorite time of year because after a long wait through New England winters… there is a burst of fresh and local food.  All you need to do is stop by your local market and choose your favorites!  Come meet the farmers and visit with friends!  But it is summer and sometimes it rains.  While most will shake their head at the idea of a soggy farmers’ market, we are here to say, don’t miss out on the market because of the weather.   Continue reading “The Rare Beauty of a Rainy Farmers’ Market”

The Wild Blueberry’s Story

All food tells a story. Some of this story we can tell easily because we know where we bought the ingredients, or we heard a description from the waiter at a restaurant. But are there many foods you eat where you truly know the full story? It isn’t just about who serves the food or who makes it, but rather, where it was grown, and even where those seeds or animals were came from. Do we know if it is organic, heirloom, heritage, GMO free, wild or cultivated? Sometimes it’s too much hassle to think this much. But it can be worth playing the investigative reporter and getting to know your food and its origins. You might be surprised how long of a history there is on your plate.  Continue reading “The Wild Blueberry’s Story”