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Showing posts from December, 2014

Holiday on the Homestead

Life is cyclical. Sometimes there are storms. Sometimes calm. Lately, thankfully, I can say there has been sunshine. Our family has experienced a number of unexpected blessings of late. Some kind soul, a secret Santa, had a local garage put tires on our van. The garage even picked the vehicle up and delivered it back to our house. We have no idea who extended such generosity but are sincerely thankful that they did.

On the same day close friends of ours delivered a new chicken coop they had built for us. They travel with their young children during the winter. This year they are heading west to California to leave the cold New York winter behind. The catch is they have four hens and needed a sitter. We had recently purchased four hens ourselves. So they suggested that in exchange for watching their hens they would build us a coop with a run. How could I possibly say no?

There are some things that I do well but I am comfortable admitting that there are some things that I do not do so w…

The Working Poor and Gardening

“The average person is still under the aberrant delusion that food should be somebody else's responsibility until I'm ready to eat it.” Joel Salatin, Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World
Over the years I have found that statistics can be easily manipulated to enhance the viewpoint of a particular presenter in an effort to sway their audience. Personally, I do not feel the need to show you the numbers in regards to Americans living below the poverty line. I do not believe that I need to provide you with brightly colored pie charts to include that often overlooked portion of our population, the working poor. I believe that our own daily experiences provides us with a stable platform to view the world we live in and for most of us if we are not living below the poverty line or are not working poor ourselves we know someone who is. Chances are as a collective we all know far more people struggling financially th…

December Morning

Thanksgiving brought a beautiful snow to our neck of the woods. Eventually the seasonal rains appeared washing away the remaining snow leaving the ground barren and brown. My wife is expecting our fourth child in late February so I have felt a renewed urgency to accomplish as much as possible when the weather allows so that we have a little less to do next spring. So I took the opportunity to gather a wheelbarrow full of stones for our raised beds. I have been making the transition in earnest from wood to rock since last year. It will not decay in my lifetime thus saving some money and there is a part of me that believes it must add something of value in the form of minerals to the soil over the long haul of its existence.

The air was crisp this morning. It would have been comfortable if not for the light but persistent breeze. I could feel the cold gnawing through my work gloves and biting the tip of my nose as I walked down the old dirt path in search of the perfect stones. I could…