Polliwog Farm

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.” 

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...

Warm February days

The unseasonably warm weather has kind of jolted me out of the winter blahs and right into summer scheming and planning. I drew up an initial plan for the 2017/18 farm, and it’s got me swoony and also mildly overwhelmed. We are expanding but also simultaneously pulling back. We’ve decided to reduce down to one farmer’s market a week at least for the next year, so that we can work on getting the garden established, get the various farm systems rolling, and work on getting our own family rhythms back. I’m definitely still rolling on the theme of “growing inward”.

My initial 2017/18 homestead sketch. Gotta start somewhere!
My initial 2017/18 homestead sketch. Gotta start somewhere!

I have a good feeling about this year, despite all the end-of-the-world stuff out there. My family delights me, my work is fulfilling and solid, and I feel like I’m growing personally in ways that I didn’t have access to in my younger years.… Continue Reading...

Expanding inward



Another month has gone by here and I am feeling the delicious effects of this period of dormancy. It’s been funny for me, because I’m just starting to hear everyone’s winter woes- the collective “Enough already!” from people anxious for springtime. But me? I do apologize, but… I’m in no rush. I love the long nights and the cozy possibility in everything. I love my morning chores that leave my cheeks cold but get my heart and blood moving. Those lovely farm chores that have concrete and tangible benefits. Eggs collected, ducks and chickens have fresh water, spread some straw, dog walked, microgreens watered. Then I reward myself with a warm coffee, and there’s really nothing like a warm, aromatic, reward-for-the-cold-chores coffee. Farm life agrees with me, I think. 

Found a sleeping opossum in the chicken coop the other day!
Found a sleeping opossum in the chicken coop the other day!
Continue Reading...

Brief farm update, Dec 2016.

Photos of the farm from the past few weeks:


Jeff cleared the garden area for the spring and I’m delighted. We spent time scoping out the area and settled on this spot mindfully. This will be our permanent garden, barring unforeseen circumstances. I feel like I’m entering into a special kind of relationship with this spot. I get to not only grow our food here, but I get to spend countless hours here thinking about our lives and the lives within this place. Special. Anyway, I’m prepping the new garden beds in leaves for now, and adding whatever compost/old microgreen soil I have on top.  


It’ll be quite a garden by the summertime next year. In the middle of this area is a big pit that we’ve started to call “The Bowl”.… Continue Reading...

It’s everything.

I feel like I’m entering a new period of study in my life. I am always learning and musing, of course, but lately it’s been a little bit more focused. I have books I want to read, people I want to watch and help, and of course my own land to look after and to allow to teach me its special living language. I want to be quiet this winter. I want to be still enough to hear the very smallest voices. I suppose it’s got something to do with all the noise out there in the world. It’s *so* noisy right now. The world is huge and harsh and headed for disaster. I can’t save it on my own, and I need that humility in my life to keep me sane.… Continue Reading...

The god of loss

Yesterday we harvested 8 of our ducks. The whole time my mind was swirling, finding metaphors and perspectives all throughout. I’ve learned that this is how my mind seems to operate when I’m happy and doing the work I feel like I was meant for, even if it’s hard. I can dive in, immersing myself in a very earth-bound task, and it’s in that simple physical place that I seem to find the most meaning and purpose. It’s this connection between my physical and spiritual places that aligns in a way that makes me swarm with gratitude and energy for life.

Our little flock, before.
Our little flock, before.

This is not to say that harvesting these beautiful animals was easy or satisfying in a way that I could categorize as “comfortable”.… Continue Reading...

Lessons in Farming: Duck poop is nicer than self-pity



Jeff hurt his hip mysteriously and has been laid up for the past day. He went to the doctor and it looks like it’s some kind of a strain. He’s resting for a few more days and we are hoping it won’t be a long recovery, but it’s one of those things you don’t want to screw up early on just to make life harder for longer. So, rest. Which, knowing Jeff, the whole ordeal is a bit torturous. I gave him my most serious eyebrows and told him that resting an injury like this is the most effective thing to do here, so don’t even think about… yeah. He’s accepting of things, for now. But for me that means things ramp up a bit.… Continue Reading...