Yes, I love November!

Most people like to wax poetic over July beaches or April crocuses or September splendor or even the stunning whiteness of February. I don’t deny any of that—I love it too. But unlike most people, I love November. That’s right. I love it. I love its heavy lavender gray skies and bare maple trees and […]

Why some people should not have livestock

Some people have hinted politely about it.   With others, I can hear the smug mirth in the back of their voice while we’re having a conversation. A few have come right out and said it. “Kathy, you have no business owning livestock.” It’s true that I march to my own tune when it comes to […]

Living on farm time

I have to agree with the Facebook memes I have been seeing lately. One of them is an image of a Native American saying how only the government would cut off one end of a blanket, sew it to the other end, and declare the creation of a longer blanket.   Another popular post is a […]

Bartering with jam

“I can’t feel my lips,” said The Mister. He was sitting across from me at the small kitchen work table, indulging in a midmorning break from farm chores and enjoying a slice of toast. Although toasted homemade bread is just fine by itself, it had occurred to him to up the ante when he remembered […]

The most challenging thing about growing your own–it’s not what you might think!

 The idea of growing and preserving your own food is intoxicating. Instead of buying packaged foods shipped from halfway around the globe, you can just stick some seeds in the ground, watch the plants come up, and there they are—the beautiful fruits of your labor. And then later in the season, it’s so exciting to […]

Glad for a change of scenery–but only for a while.

This is the time of year for wrapping up the harvest, putting the period at the end of the six-week-long sentence during which we sustainable-living types in Maine put up an entire year’s worth of food. That’s pretty astounding, when you think about it. Fifty-two weeks’ worth in just over a month. It crams a […]

Who’s braver, young chicks or old hens?

I was in the barn doing morning chores when a commotion erupted from the vicinity of the chicken houses. That’s right, houses, with an S at the end. Our chickens are segregated. Bird segregation is not our doing. Backyard chickens are extremely territorial, and often exercise a strong us-versus-them world view. They know who belongs […]

Embracing the end of summer

I was out on a quiet walk in the back woods with Honey the Golden Retriever when a sudden loud noise shattered the morning stillness.   We both stopped dead in our tracks, taken aback by the unexpected sound. It took me just a fraction of a second to realize it was the honk of a […]

Late blight in central Maine

We had hog heart paste tomatoes planted again this year. The lady selling seedlings at the farmers’ market assured me in 2014 that once I tried hog heart, I’d never want anything else. She was right. So right, in fact, that we had four full flats of them planted in our main garden. The Mister […]