April 5, 2017

  I have big dreams. I grow my own vegetables with compost-enriched soil of my own making, raise animals on Rennsli’s pasture to fill my winter freezer, process the plethora of the garden’s summer bounty then tuck it away in the root cellar, and generate most of our po...

November 17, 2016

We had underestimated two important factors: Hazel’s intelligence and strength. Up at 4:30am we attempted a revised plan. We moved the carrier closer to the pen so Hazel wasn’t able to escape and readied ourselves with crackers and pasta.  The elusive dance began. Kind...

November 1, 2016

In the spring of 2016, we decided to raise our first pig to fill our winter freezer. Part of our progression towards self-sustaining living included developing the ability to raise and harvest livestock for sustenance, which is an essential protein staple during long c...

October 10, 2016

   Vermont Mandala

    Round and Round, defiant of the straight line

I til the dirt with my orange hand,

My strong arm, my iron spine

White and gray layers dance in my spirals,

gleefully trapping earthworms in their chiseled beaks

He yells over the engine to go in...

September 30, 2016

  For the past two years, I set aside a huge chunk of time in September and October for harvest and preparation for winter storage (freezing, root cellaring and canning). This year, with the addition of 15 meat birds to our flock, our first ‘harvest’ was planned for a...

July 15, 2016

Next, we need a cash crop. It seems like everyone in Vermont raises heirloom vegetables and the market is saturated from July through October. I've explored the idea of raising specialty items for restaurants, but the truth is, without being grid-tied and having establ...

June 30, 2016

Weeding is the perfect mental activity for farm planning. As I nimbly separate curly dock and bedstraw from acorn squash mounds and tomato plant rows, I sort through a matrix of ideas we've identified that could support our goal of becoming self-sustaining. Our focus t...

June 1, 2016

  I'm a project person. I have the type of mind that only releases its anxiety after I make sure the checkboxes are filled in on my daily TO DO list. Throughout my incarnations as a filmmaker, mother, graduate school student, therapist and non-profit administrator, I'v...

May 1, 2016

   

DAY SEVEN - SUNDAY

    I love Sundays. Building a self-sustaining lifestyle while having to do 'off farm' work is a triple full time job. I admit I get caught up in my to do lists and become overwhelmed by having to assign priorities to a few tasks when 10 need...

April 30, 2016

DAY SIX - SATURDAY

   Two days left and little produce left in the house, I drove to work wondering about what to pull together for tonight's local dinner. Sean wasn't working so I asked if he could spend some time going to the Brattleboro Co-Op to see what they have to...

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