We’ve had a much-needed break from livestock chores over the Winter, and time for reflecting and planning. In that time we have finished redesigning the barn. I’m struggling to marshal enthusiasm about the process of rebuilding, but I am very excited for the structure to be complete! The only similarities to the old barn will … More What’s Next for Shelterbelt?
7 work parties, more than 75 volunteers, and 11 dumpsters. That’s our fire clean-up effort by the numbers. Of course, the numbers don’t tell anything close to the full story. While it is undeniably depressing to watch your life’s work leave the farm in dumpsters, our friends, families, neighbors, and customers have made it impossible … More With Full Hearts
When the building attached to our home caught on fire near midnight on Thurs Nov 4, the first responders were the only difference between losing something and losing everything. That structure, built by our hands, contained my farm store, all of our farm storage and workshop, and most importantly, an apartment where our dear friends … More The Safety Net We Take for Granted
Of all the strategies farmers could employ to both sequester carbon AND shield their farms from climate-changed-induced weather chaos, what do you think is at the top of the list? I’ll give you a hint: it involves livestock, pasture, and trees. But wait, aren’t livestock one of the big contributors to climate change? That’s a … More Coming Soon to Shelterbelt: The Power of Trees
Here in the humid Northeast, we are blessed with water, especially so in this monsoon Summer. A quick scan of the news headlines reveals how lucky we are to have an abundance of this resource, as drought-induced wildfires rage globally and unprecedented restrictions on water use face farmers and cities in the Western US. But … More Farm Makeover: Water Water Everywhere
Social media allows people to curate an image of themselves they want to project to the world, and it is almost never the full picture of what is going on in that person’s life. The same can be said of farming. Instagram is full of magazine-cover-worthy images of #farmlife; rugged, attractive farmers, fat healthy animals, … More The Full Picture of Farming
There aren’t many good things to say about the pandemic that has dragged on for 7 months with no end in sight. One silver lining for almost every small-scale farmer I’ve spoken with: customers have been flocking to buy local food this year, especially meat and eggs. If you are one of those customers, thank … More Where’s the Meat?
When I can no longer see my counter through the piles of apples, peppers, and tomatoes, and I’ve stubbed my toe at least twice on the canning pot that is parked for a few months on my kitchen floor, I think about how we’re not so different from wild animals. Putting up food for the … More Squirrel Mode, aka Winter Feed Math
Black lives matter to us. This is an invitation to civil, thoughtful dialogue about racism. I don’t pretend to know many of the answers, but I’ve been working to educate myself, and to overcome the fears that have kept me silent on this issue. If you too have felt paralyzed by the repeated murders of … More Do Black Lives Matter to You?
We are all getting a taste for what it might feel like to inhabit a science fiction novel. Or, as one meme said, maybe this is what life would look like it if was written by a 4th grader: “There was this virus, and the whole world ran out of toilet paper. Yeah, and there … More Local Food Isn’t a Privilege; It’s a Necessity