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
The frigid temps of Winter arrived early this year. That first morning we woke up to a landscape covered in snow and temps in the teens, we shivered just looking out the window, and only left the house when clad in bulky layers. Our house pets, like us, have not grown a winter coat, and … More In Defense of Outwintering Livestock
If you have a desire to put your food dollars toward products that are good for the planet and also for your health, you are not alone. The organic, natural, and “clean” food industries have been growing explosively. The problem with such rapid growth is that the sophisticated marketing departments at major corporations have noticed, … More Natural, Grass-fed, Organic…Label Confusion!
Loving Animals, Eating Animals Recently at Shelterbelt Farm, we harvested our first beef. The two steers were shot on-farm, which avoided all the stresses of transport. They lived the high life until the very last minute, content to graze with their herd, free to do as they pleased. But I have had several people express … More Loving Animals, Eating Animals
My 5-year-old loves Bee Movie. If you missed it, it’s an amusing animated movie whose protagonist is a bee named Barry, narrated by Jerry Seinfeld. It’s designed for kids everywhere to love. But I got so angry watching it that I wanted to throw something at the screen. Why would such an endearing movie nearly … More What Are We Teaching Our Children About Farming?
My 9-year-old daughter Rowan sparked an interesting discussion recently by asking, “Why do we use money for everything?” Kids are great examiners of things we adults take for granted. As always, her question got me thinking. Before the advent of money, humans got what they needed by trading with each other, exchanging goods or services … More The Barter Economy
We are excited to be one of the host sites for the second annual Finger Lakes Permaculture tour happening this Sat, Aug 22. Permaculture design uses ecological principles to produce food, medicine, and other products while restoring the health of the ecosystem. Our farm will be open from 9am to noon with guided tours of … More Meet the People and Critters of Shelterbelt Farm this Sat, Aug 22!