pastured pork

The Coming Fall

The plants prepare for winter with an enviable complacency. The goldenrod and grasses store up energy in their roots for next spring even as their leaves begin to desiccate. The early frost started the trees turning, but a scorching hot September held them in a yellow green stasis that finally gave way orange and red a week ago. The annuals and …

Garth BrownThe Coming Fall
pastured pork

Fall Piglets

A newborn piglet usually weighs about three pounds. The natural way to pick one up is to reach down and grab it one handed, the way you might scoop up a dropped beer. Though even the smallest piglet has a surprising heft and solidity, it is hard to believe that something so tiny will grow into a market hog in less than a …

Garth BrownFall Piglets

Identity Politics

This blog’s primary author (Garth) writes posts on a wide range of topics. One of the beauties of farm blogging is the plethora of examples and metaphors one can find in the daily work of farm chores, animal interactions, weather, and land. In his writing I’ve come to expect philosophical mental wanderings and insights into both the human condition and …

Edmund BrownIdentity Politics

Utopia, Lard, and Many Questions

I read this New Yorker article about a failed Utopian reality TV show with great interest. In it a group of strangers was confined to about 600 acres on a peninsula in western Scotland, with the intent of establishing a new society from the ground up, at least for a year. Boredom, bickering, factionalism and cheating ensued. First, I had …

Garth BrownUtopia, Lard, and Many Questions

Stormy Weather

As I drove back from a delivery Saturday evening a disk of sooty cloud cut across the sky. When I turned off the interstate a wispy finger drifted down and the air itself took on a sickly cast. The trees tossed their leaves about, silver underbellies flashing like a school of fish, and though rain obscured the distant hills only …

Garth BrownStormy Weather

Eyesore of the Beholder

This time of year the pastures on my farm look particularly bedraggled, with thistle patches thick as the goldenrod used to be, the patches of goldenrod now thin , and burdock plants that, despite being denuded of leaves by the cows and sheep, are ripening their endlessly irritating seedpods. Maybe most of the ground is covered by more grass and clover …

Garth BrownEyesore of the Beholder

Rising Waters

Water and time have forever been linked in the literary imagination. In Genesis the first acts of creation are the definition and separation of waters. Fitzgerald connects the two throughout The Great Gatsby, with the bay standing in for the gulf of time between Gatsby and Daisy, and then, as if he’s worried you might have missed that, he closes with …

Garth BrownRising Waters

Technical Difficulties

In his book Irresistible Adam Alter argues that much of modern technology, in particular smartphones and the programs they run, is designed to be as continuously engaging as possible. The devices are so intuitive that it’s easier to use them than it is to not use them; it takes a conscious effort to not look at the phone in your …

Garth BrownTechnical Difficulties

English Major!

The constant struggle when writing about the farm is specificity. In other words, how is it possible to write about a particular pasture, or a particular cow, or a particular summer day? About noon yesterday I walked into the woods. It was very hot. My dog Oban was with me, and I was fixing the waterline. In college I was …

Garth BrownEnglish Major!