Polliwog Farm

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Farm update, November 2017

To start, a story I wrote a couple of weeks ago. I shared this story at a recent educational event I put on at the Cooperative called “The Future of Food”. I thought it held some lessons in that context, but I also want to share it here.


Red Ranger broilers, May 2017

I was really proud of our homesteading efforts this year. We have gardened for several years, but this was the first year we raised some of our own meat. We raised about 30 chickens for meat this spring, butchered and processed them ourselves in early summer, and tucked them neatly in our chest freezer to use over the course of the year. We learned so much and felt so self-sufficient – so connected to the process.… Continue Reading...

No, no, there is no going back.

 

“To be set upon by longing”

This, being the true etymology of the word “belonging”… seemingly paradoxical, given the way we conceptualize “belonging” in our culture. It’s the natural consequence, I suppose, of a culture rooted in slavery and theft and worship of insatiable “progress”, that we would have to redefine a word such as this as “to be the property of”, etc. Our use of the word has a binding around it, an attempt at control and ownership. And yet, I don’t believe any of that control yields what we are looking for. I looked up the etymology of the word “longing” and I see “to yearn after, grieve for” and “to grow long, lengthen”. What if we were to navigate towards our belonging in these terms?… Continue Reading...

Living in Community: Part 3

Yesterday I got one of those social media generated “memory” posts. You know, the “You posted this 5 years ago today!” thing? Well, it was the sharing of a 5-year-old-blog post called “Living in Community: Part 1”. It was a sweet blog post, all about how we’d suddenly become a household of 10 in our old house in the city. I was adventurous but well-reasoned, enthusiastic, principled… so not much has changed, in that regard! And yet, here I sit with a drastically different looking life. Now we live in a roomy house nestled in the woods with, for the first time in several years, no one but our immediate family living with us. My farm endeavors are much smaller and less productive and profitable, although far more stable and sustaining at the same time.… Continue Reading...

Just your monthly existential offering…

I’ve updated so few times over past months that I have trouble sitting down and deciding what to share and what can be left out. However, I often find that if I get started then things just come as they need to, and the think I’m thinking about is… ducks. Yes, let’s try from there.

Back in the spring we were extremely excited to find one of our ducks sitting on a nest. We were delighted and had been wanting the flock to grow. The clutch of eggs she was managing was extremely large, and we wondered if the other hens were adding eggs to it. But, we decided to go for a very hands-off approach and trust that she knew what she was doing.… Continue Reading...

A love note.

Panorama of the garden, weedy and alive.

I was working out in the garden this afternoon, shoveling leaf mulch over neglected areas and the spaces soon to be planted up for the fall. I’m dreaming of sweet roots harvested under a cool fall sun. The time to plant again comes quick. Sweat was dripping down my cheek and I was feeling strong and disciplined and capable. My thoughts fluttered between the physical “Ooof maybe that’s enough. No… one more wheelbarrow load. You’ve got it in you.” and then to thoughts on myself and the garden “I didn’t manage everything very well, I wonder how much food we’ll actually get…” and “I am still learning. I am super busy and I try.Continue Reading...

On contentment and new creative outlets

We are busy farm folk now. Almost every weekend is full of projects or company, and I’m just soaking it up and working to recalibrate any expectations of what life “should be” into gratitude for what is. I’m very happy, but the days often stretch long and I have endless cleaning and cooking and kid snuggling to do. At this stage of my life, my commitment to service of others is taking the main stage. In my more tired moments, I’ll sometimes resent the lack of time for personal time/projects or creative work. But also I often look up and see how much my world really is crafted by my unique point of view and creativity and I feel immense gratitude for the privilege of it all.… Continue Reading...

Friday Farm Update 5/19/17

That title has a nice ring to it, yes? A tad ambitious to commit to a weekly update, I think, given how infrequently I’m able to post this days, but still. Worth a shot? I am actually fine tuning a lot around these parts, so why not my writing flow as well? 

I’ll try to keep this update as concise as possible. A lot has gone on over the last few weeks, and I don’t really want to leave anything out since I’m still learning so much. I value the resource of this blog in looking back to see what we have done. 

Chickens. Last I shared they were still relatively chick-like and we’d moved them from the bathtub set up into the basement area. Well, I think they outgrew that in about two weeks and were dusty and smelly, so I had to think quick about a solution that would allow them to mature a little more in a protected warm environment and give us time to get the chicken coop situation in order.… Continue Reading...

Fred and Rogers, and Flynn turns 1!

We harvested a rooster. We had Fred and we had Rogers, and 11 hens. We thought this was a fine male to female ratio at the start, but we learned quickly that a 10 to 1 ratio is probably better, or even lower. I am interested in how to train a rooster to be friendly (which I have heard is very possible), but we just didn’t have the time or know-how last year to do that. Before we knew it we had these adult roosters who would charge us randomly. Their spurs are serious business! I’m fairly certain I will have a scar on one leg because of it. But essentially what happened is we found ourselves in over our heads. We’d either leave them locked in their yard, or, if we let them free range for the day, we’d carry a stick with us to protect us.… Continue Reading...

Spring Chickens!

Spring is here, and with it comes a flurry of activity and changes, both in terms of farm life but also within our personal lives. Our housemates of 5 years, Lindsay and her son Eli, are moving out at the end of next month. We will still see them all the time, but it’ll be strange not to live with them! This is a good relatively peaceful shift for everyone, but it’s still a shift. It was strange to know we needed to make such a change when I viewed our cohousing situation as such a success overall. However, I will say that I’d like to be a person who can make tough calls without a lot of strain or stress preceding- to be able to have enough insight about how the wind is going to change so that I can adjust my sails accordingly.… Continue Reading...

Thoughts on balance and the importance of showing up

One of the reasons I love this blog is because I sometimes find myself going into the archives and remembering. I get to pour through those posts full of pictures of the kids when they were babies, remembering the unique struggles I dealt with not so long ago, and reflecting on how far we’ve come. I get to see how much has changed, but I also get to see the relationship my past has with my present and future. Themes come up again and again, and sometimes I read something I wrote years ago only to think “Huh! I’m still really dealing with that in my life.” 

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More cool winter growth in the woods.

Like the lesson that I learned through that concussive haze, that the search for balance in life is not about achieving something that doesn’t move, it’s actually about maintaining an active and stable position rooted in strength and constant adjustment.… Continue Reading...