Beef Sticks Are Back

Last fall we tried a small batch of beef sticks and we completely underestimated just how popular they’d be. We sold out in a few weeks. We’ve restocked with a bigger stock of beef sticks. We also tried a small test run of a slightly spicier beef stick. Individual sticks and ten-packs are listed on the storefront here. The beef sticks are produced with traditional charcuterie techniques using lactic acid starter cultures and allowing the meat to ferment briefly. This is the same bacterial fermentation process employed when starter cultures are used… Read More

The Old Man and the Sea, and Me

“You give me much good counsel,” he said aloud. “I’m tired of it.” Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea The hoophouse roof was whipping in the wind and the building’s framework hummed and shuddered while I held onto the corner of the tarp, scrabbling to keep my feet under me, to prevent the roof lifting me with it. I had the end of a parted anchor cable wrapped around my hand. I could feel capillaries busting in my finger tips, but after a few minutes the loss of circulation made… Read More

Duck Eggs are Back, Sort Of

The ducks have come out of their winter break as the weather has warmed up and they are laying eggs again. I’ve added duck eggs back to the inventory. The “sort of” disclaimer is because we only have a small flock of ducks, so the quantities available are limited.

Hay: It’s Not Just for Horses

In the mild season, our farm is all about moving animals to grass. In the winter, it flips and we’re moving stored grass to the animals in the form of hay bales. I hate the term “superfoods” because of the snake oil connotations, but for the critters on the farm there’s no denying that grass is the superfood. It is an abundant, renewable, locally-sourced superfood at that. I prefer the summers when we’re moving herds and flocks between pastures. But I also enjoy these cold, brilliant days when I can get off… Read More

Menaced by Mechanisms

I hate trucks. I hate tractors. I hate depending on machines that break. Today the pickup truck’s transmission or transfer case (still undetermined) banged and then failed as I parked the borrowed stock trailer (our stock trailer has a gaping crack in the aluminum subframe) after a trip to the slaughterhouse. That’s also the plow truck, so it failed at an inopportune time. The only consolation was that the big bang happened as the truck was backing the trailer into the parking spot, not when it was out on the road in… Read More

Into the Winter Woods

A favorite poem by David Budbill.

Two Doors in One

When I used to remodel houses, I allowed myself the time to be a perfectionist. These days I’m dealing with too many projects to obsess with detail. The hectic schedule requires that many things be slapped together just to move on to the next task. But I am most pleased when I can take the time to think through and execute a design that includes details that matter to me. The chicken brooder trailer needed a door. It has a full overhead door on the back, but it also needed an easily… Read More

Duck Snow Bathing

While I was working on the new chicken brooder trailer the flock of ducks marched up the hill, enjoying the bright, warm day and especially enjoying the snowmelt puddles. They primarily focused on splashing and bathing in the puddles, but when they grew tired of that they would switch over to snow bathing as well. They quickly wriggle through the snow to work it into their feathers, and then the ducks would shake it back off. Here’s a clip: