Berry-pampering

I love oysters. They make me think of berries in the spring. With the buds breaking we’re entering four weeks where the berries are at their most vulnerable and they get a lot of pampering. In a conventional field this is a time for systemic fungicide that soaks into the tissue and prevents fungal respiration; …

On the Edge of Joy

I am drawn to slow processes that create beauty. It’s why I adore agriculture, why fermentation is a something I am awed by and surround myself with. At the turning of spring, the human world is keeling and reeling, buffeted by the waves of uncertainty, fear and change. All of us feel it. My children …

In the Wet of Spring

Wednesday we had an idyllic Grand Cheese Tasting with twenty guests on a perfect evening and I left about 8:15 pm to go home. I had been watching the weather for a week and I knew we were right on the edge. Rain was forecast to return in the middle of the night. Rain again. …

Elderslie Creamery Door

A Creamery Door

A door is what stands between two worlds separating them and uniting them. Practically a great invention, symbolically also a rich one. I learned long ago that my wife is much more talented than I am so I have her do my layouts, which take her 15 or 20 minutes. Then I get to carve. …

Mangle Board

My wife is more talented than I am. I have a plodding methodical creativity and work ethic that has served me well through periods of stress but has not always been productive of real creative output. My wife on the other hand is electric and fast-moving; difficult to contain in her velocity and volume of …

Not Done

Two weeks ago I was in a gas station in Lincoln County Kansas after two days walking in pursuit of birds along the vast expanse of the blue hills. A man got out of a truck next to me and walked inside. The clerk casually asked him, "have you got all your farming done?" I …

Walling

I am a son of Adam Smith. I was taught that endeavor is motivated by self-interest and justified by profit. But as I have grown older I feel that is an oversimplification of the human being. Not that Smith was wrong, but that maybe he needed to be blended equal parts with Tolstoy or Wordsworth …

Creating Local

Some days I wonder if creativity is worth the bother. The creation of a thing unique and planned from idea and brought out of the murky realms of our mind into the light is painful, expensive, and tedious. Local food and local products are not virtuous in themselves; rather they are an opportunity for the …