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?
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
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
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
Our cows and sheep celebrated First Grazing Day in early May, their favorite day of the year, when they get their first taste of lush forage. I can tell it’s their favorite day by how animated they are. They leap in the air, kick their legs, and dash across the pasture with joyful abandon. I’m … More Deadly Pastures
Our culture has always had a fascination with group performances. There is synergy—even magic—in the collective movement of a dance troupe, or an orchestra playing music together. When it’s done well, it is a visual and auditory feast. But if someone is having a bad day and gets off rhythm or misses a cue, the … More Farm Choreography
“If you have livestock, you’re going to have dead stock,” a wise farmer friend told me when I was getting started. This depressing statement has repeatedly proven accurate. In our first year on this land, we were trying to beat back the brush that had encroached over 3 decades of neglect, and then use the … More Circle of Life
After 6 years of planning, working our tails off, and investing most of our savings, Shelterbelt Farm is finally starting to resemble our vision. … More Settling in for the Long Haul