Rural Action

I recently completed Rural Action’s Whole Farm Planning and Mentoring program. What a fantastic experience! For eight weeks I got to hear first hand from experienced farmers and entrepreneurs.

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Chainsaw Chatter

They say that people who express gratitude are, statistically, happier than those who don’t. So let me invest in my own joy by telling you just how profoundly grateful I am for the electric start power tool

It may seem an odd thing to be grateful for, but it came to me this past Saturday as we ably felled 9 pine trees within a span of 3 hours.

As you may recall, this clearing is being done on advice of a forester, to open up space for oak, persimmon and other trees that have wildlife benefit…

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Meet your neighbor, glyphosate

Recently, while shopping at Kroger, I noticed a new-to-me offering in the dried bean section: mayocoba beans. I grabbed a bag, excited to try a new flavor and texture, then I swung by the library to pick up a book I had requested. 

I almost hadn’t requested this book because it’s title “Toxic Legacy: How the Weedkiller Glyphosate is Destroying our Heath and the Environment” feels alarmist to me. And I really don’t need to feel more alarmed than I already do.

However, I had been seeking informa…

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a bee on goldenrod

Your yard and transcendence

The elderberry bushes will need to be pruned soon, but I want the cold to settle in and make sure the plants are fully dormant first. Then we'll cut them close to the ground so they grow strong canes with enough room between them for air to flow, which reduces disease and pests. 

In the meantime, I am tempted to linger in front of the wood stove reading the news.

This week I was intrigued by Cara Buckley’s article featuring Bill Jacobs, an ecologist who promotes including native plants in our …

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3 spoonfuls of beans

Musings on beans

Been thinking lately about beans. Not sure why. Does stuff like that happen to you too? One random thing showing up over and over again until you pay attention. 

Bean Thing One

First it was the giant glass jar of dried red beans I unearthed while cleaning out the pantry. 

They had been saved from the garden, at least 8 seasons ago, possibly longer. 😂  Of course, I hadn’t labelled them, but memory suggests that they were “true red cranberry beans”. And if you are a reader of seed catalogs, you…

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trees from below

A visit from Ben

Ben, the county forester, visited the other day.  He was here to look at our small woodlot and make recommendations for “improving it.”  

The woods are a pretty sad lot.  Ten acres crammed with Virginia pine in the overstory and determined cedars holding ground underneath.  The occasional anemic oak is giving it a go, skinny and straight in a race for the sun that, as Ben pointed out, it will lose unless we help out. 

Why favor oaks?  Many reasons, it turns out.  Several hundred years ago, thi…

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brilliant sky

Hello again

We've decided to do better about writing emails and blog posts.  So much is happening here and it's all too easy to just keep our heads down and keep working. 

But that's no way to build a community.  So the plan is to share farm and nature stories, more or less weekly, sometimes here on the blog and sometimes via email. 

We try to be informative without being preachy, to share both the triumphs and the failures, and to do it all with a hefty dose of humor and appreciation for beauty.  

To st…

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This Place is The One

It took forever to save for and then find the land that we wanted. 

After countless hours browsing internet listings and driving around the back roads of Ohio, we found it.

When we drove up the driveway for the first time, we were both as sure as a couple of extremely cautious people can be that we'd found 'the one'.

It's 21 acres - about half of which are wooded.  There's a pond big enough to float a boat in and a very old barn. The land slopes away on both sides and there's a view of …

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Beth and Heather on a hike

Why Farm?

Why do we want to farm?  

We both have full time jobs and are watching 40 in the rear view mirror, after all. 

So why start this now? 

We're motivated!  That's why!

We want to be part of offering healthy local food to our communities. It's truly ridiculous that our food takes such long and fossil-fuel-consuming journeys to get to us when we live in a place that is capable of growing so much.  

But it's also about BELONGING. 

Our world is so disconnected.  So isolated.  So out of touch with…

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