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

Ungrounded Earthing

I am by nature a somewhat skeptical person. Send me an article about how Basque sheep farmers in Wyoming are actually a fifth column seeking to undermine the existing political order and I’ll shake my head condescendingly! Call saying you’re from the IRS and that I must immediately send you a $2000 wire transfer if I don’t want to be arrested and …

Garth BrownUngrounded Earthing
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

Tool Review: Fiskars X27 Splitting Axe

In his essay “Why I Am Not Going to Buy a Computer” Wendell Berry lays out a utopian standard by which to assess the adoption of a technology. A new tool should be cheaper, at least as small, and demonstrably more effective than what it replaces. It should use human power if possible, be easily repairable, and it should be produced …

Garth BrownTool Review: Fiskars X27 Splitting Axe

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

Drowning Berries

For the first time this year the ground has gotten hard enough that sinking a shovel takes a bit of weight. But the current dry spell is too little too late for our raspberries, which are suffering from what I assume is stress caused by the sodden soil that’s been soaking their feet all year. After starting the summer with …

Garth BrownDrowning Berries

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