Month: October 2015

On The Brown Bits: Pork Stock Recipe

If there’s anything Americans are good at, it’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater. An excellent example of this, I think, are the brown bits that collect at the bottom of the pan when you put a good sear on a hunk of meat. […]

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Today is a Beautiful Day

It’s a beautiful day in Michigan, everybody. The sun is shining, there’s a chill in the air, the leaves outside are the most incredible colors of the rainbow, there’s a perfectly seared pork roast in the oven for dinner, half a dutch oven full of […]

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Fall Reading List For Foodies, Farmers & Their Families


If all of my good ideas came about while cleaning I might be motivated to do it a little more often, but I think this is the only one that has ever hit me with the duster in hand. And that’s only because the books were right in front of me. While removing the not-so-thin layer of dust on my office book shelves last week I realized that while I read a lot, I don’t share what I’m reading or have read often enough — or ever, for that matter. With the days getting shorter and colder, I thought a fall reading list would be as good as any to kick off what I hope to be a seasonal series of book recommendations. I’ve raided every shelf and stack of books in the house in search of good food and farm related reading for the autumn and included four lists by age group below. Hopefully they’ll be as enjoyable for you as they have been for us. Some of the books on the little kids’ list, especially, are old favorites that we consider to be classics. (more…)

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3 Lessons From the ‘Great Mycotoxin Fiasco of 2015’

Going into winter and spring 2015 our farm was in high expansion gear, and then our piglet crop was devastated by mycotoxin feed contamination. We lost a lot of piglets, liquidated over half of our breeding herd and, in the middle of the financial and […]

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On Lesser Beings & Knowing Your Duty

You might not think religion and my unofficial comment policy would have much in common. Until a few days ago, neither did I. My unofficial policy is simple: For the most part, if a commenter seems cordial and contributes to the conversation, I’ll approve their […]

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Gratitude & Goodbyes


The weather here over the past 48 hours has been mostly made up of howling wind and cold drizzle punctuated by short, deceivingly hopeful bursts of sunshine through holes in the greyest clouds we’ve seen in months. Not greyest in true color, I suppose — there are no shortage of deep, grey stormy skies in Michigan summers — but greyest in that grey that says, “these are winter clouds,” for sure.

Every year I try to enforce my own arbitrary rule that we will not heat the house until November 1, and every year I fail. Today, for the second time this October the stove is blazing away, and I’ll admit the orange glow of the flames is soothing. (more…)

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And Then There Were Three

There are just 84 days until Christmas; just three months left in 2015 at all. Which, considering how brisk it’s been this week, seems relevant. A friend who lives a couple states away asked me today, “are you still raising pigs?” And I thought, “have […]

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