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

The Surprisingly Interesting Life of a Pool

In an effort to take full advantage of the various perks available to me on the farm I’ve been using a pool beneath the waterfall to cool off after chasing pigs and cows all over the place. Because it’s been such an unusually rainy year the stream has maintained a good flow this summer, and it’s only in the past …

Garth BrownThe Surprisingly Interesting Life of a Pool

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
Grass-fed Beef

The Proper Thing

In case you have a hard time making out the script on the bottle in the lead photograph it says, “DISPOSE OF PROPERLY.” Until a few days ago I had a group of pigs on the edge of my little woods. The lot I laid out for them included some pasture and some area under trees for shade. At the …

Edmund BrownThe Proper Thing

I’m Wrong, But So Are You

By the spring of my sophomore year at Villanova I was disillusioned with the school, both socially and academically. The sense of alienation, inadequacy, and fear that I hid beneath a veneer of intellectual confidence should have made me susceptible to conversion by the disciple of Lyndon Larouche who interrupted my trudge back to the dorm one breezy afternoon, but …

Garth BrownI’m Wrong, But So Are You

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!

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