Month: February 2013

Kicked-Up Chuck Steak Sammies

We’re not going to win any food photography competitions with this one, but these sandwiches turned out pretty darned delicious so I wanted to share. I was in such a hurry trying to get them done before doing chores last night that at one point […]

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On Genetic Diversity & Being Duped

Being a small farm that produces niche food products we often find ourselves walking a very fine line; one between taking concerns over the direction of our nation’s food supply seriously (because we, ourselves, are concerned, too — I’d contend virtually all farmers are) and […]

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Seed Starting 101

How to Start SeedsAs of today there are ten weeks left until the average date of last frost in our area. Of the past three years there was only one where we experienced frost that late in the year — May 10, 2010 — and it was just one night. Otherwise, recent history says we’re probably looking at more like six to eight weeks of night time temperatures below freezing. (Last frost in 2011 and 2012 were on April 18th and 29th, respectively.) The Climate Prediction Center appears to agree. And, as you’ve probably figured out by now, I can’t wait!

In fact, I’m just straight up ignoring the forecast that says our daytime highs will be in the 20s next weekend. If I ignore it, it’ll go away, right?

This past weekend I broke out the seed starting supplies and got to work on this year’s plans. Since we’re not offering a CSA this year and I’ve promised to do everything I can to help you with your own vegetable garden success, I thought I’d put together a post on the seed starting process.

Now, to be fair, if you’re looking for the single most frugal or DIY way to do this, I’m probably not your gal. I’ve been around the garden block enough times and have dealt with enough preventable gardening disasters to have a thorough appreciation for the value of a few good products, and I’m generally willing to make an investment early in the season in order to glean a worthwhile crop later. I’m also busy, which means in some cases convenience is worth a few extra nickels off the top. I’ll try to note instances where less expensive, though more time consuming options may exist so you can decide for yourself. Ready? (more…)

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On Joy, Hunger & A Little Orange Super Hero

When I went in search of pictures for this post it’d been at least a month since the last time I’d so much as scrolled through the folders containing the images I captured in Ethiopia. I’d forgotten how much joy there was to be had […]

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On Swine, Gender Lines, and Doing That Which Makes You Happy

Doctors use pig parts to replace worn human ones because, anatomically and biologically speaking, pigs are rather similar to humans. They’re not all that closely related to humans, that distinction goes to the apes who are known to use sticks as ant straws, but spend […]

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2013 Grow List


One Robin, three gaggles of geese, and nine skunks — four live, five of the roadkill variety — have been spotted here since the middle of last week. It may not be spring-like outside, but the signs that she is, in fact, on her way have given me renewed hope in the inevitable and this weekend I decided it was time to buckle down and finish the garden planning and seed shopping for the year. Finally. (more…)

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Maple Bacon Rolls

I’ve been craving cinnamon rolls for weeks, but as with anything one craves for weeks, I knew once I got one it would be a huge disappointment. There was way too much hype, too much pressure, so I whipped up a little something else entirely. […]

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When a Pig is a Hog (and When It’s Not)

When we were in Ethiopia Gabby pulled me aside at one of the stops and asked the difference between a pig farmer and a hog farmer. It wasn’t until she pointed it out that I realized how often I use the terms interchangeably, especially in […]

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On Old Red & In Defense of God


I don’t think I’ve ever introduced you to Old Red. She once was more of a new Red, a shiny Red, a Red with sex appeal and a kitten-like purr, but these days she’s earned the “Old” part of her name. She rumbles more than purrs and her parts aren’t all exactly as they once were. Like all good women, she’s gotten better as she’s aged. Only now, fifteen years later, is she beginning to slow down. Fifteen is like eighty in truck years and so it is to be expected. (more…)

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