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!

The Size of a Farm and Money Matters

The list price for the above tractor and implements is probably more than your house unless you live in a very tony neighborhood. Every year more and more food in America comes from farms of such huge scale that machines of monstrous size and power are required to cover the ground in a timely fashion. Seeds all need to be …

Edmund BrownThe Size of a Farm and Money Matters

Perception and Reality in Agricultural Marketing

A theme in the most recent issue of Graze (tagline: ‘by graziers, for graziers’) is what I view as the fundamental tension in the agricultural market. While the bulk of the industry continues on the same course it’s been on for the better part of the last century, with ever more dairies moving from milking hundreds to milking thousands of cows …

Garth BrownPerception and Reality in Agricultural Marketing

Tick Hunt! 2017

In the woods around our farm there are bobcats, coyotes, fishers, and even the occasional bear. (Sorry, no mountain lions.) These are the sorts of beasts that I imagine most people think of when envisioning themselves in a struggle with nature, red in tooth and claw. But you don’t need an advanced degree in statistics to comprehend the vanishingly small …

Garth BrownTick Hunt! 2017
two grass-fed beef cows and a grass-fed lamb ram sitting in a group.

Our Ram Sparky is a Neurotic Mess

Our ram Sparky is deeply strange. He has a shaggy beard, and this time of year his thick winter coat is shedding out in uneven clumps that drift across the pasture, like thistle seeds come two months early. His burly trunk coupled with twig legs make him look unbalanced. He has the proud, Roman nose and uncomprehending gaze of a …

Garth BrownOur Ram Sparky is a Neurotic Mess
pastured pork and grass fed beef

Country Folks Famous

“Hey look, it’s a celebrity.” This was how my vet addressed me as I stepped into his office to collect vaccination supplies for my pigs. I gave him a blank stare, so he explained, “You’re on the cover of Country Folks, around here that’s as good as being on front of Rolling Stone.”  Look out John Lennon, here comes Cairncrest Farm! I …

Edmund BrownCountry Folks Famous

Recipe: Ramps with Bacon

Ramps are only in season briefly, and this year they’ve arrived all at once. I expect them to be around for at least another couple weeks, but I can’t claim to understand exactly what determines how long they persist, so it’s best to enjoy them while they’re around. This is doubly true on my farm, where the cover of deciduous …

Garth BrownRecipe: Ramps with Bacon

How Do You Eat Raw Meat?

The short answer is “don’t,” the longer answer is “very carefully.” Cooking meat has become a cultural norm for a variety of reasons. Cooked meat tastes good, and it is more nutritious, or at least has more available calories. Cooking makes tough cuts tender. But these days the single biggest reason most people cook food is safety. Heat can kill …

Garth BrownHow Do You Eat Raw Meat?
Grass-fed beef kitchen

Pork Meatball & Rice Noodle Soup

Developing a good recipe is difficult, and figuring out how to write it is even harder, so I apologize in advance for this novice effort and for the even more novice video that accompanies it. This simple soup consists of pork meatballs, sauteed vegetables, rice noodles, and chicken broth. Keeping the ingredients separate is a little more work than it …

Garth BrownPork Meatball & Rice Noodle Soup