Looking at the world from my small rural acres in the Blue Ridge.

gardening

Where are we today?

Where are we today?

Today rather than judge ourselves by some illusory benchmark of historical rural American self ‘sufficiency’ we might do better for each of us to make the effort to be more self-reliant. By self-reliant I mean making the goal to do as much as possible for […]

Organic Hen Feed?  Sorry, Not Interested.

Organic Hen Feed? Sorry, Not Interested.

I’ve just heard on NPR this morning that the current price for organic soy beans (mostly imported from China) has risen to $800 a ton – roughly twice what it was last year.  This has put commercial organic chicken raisers and their customers in a […]

Taking care of ourselves and each other: Self-reliance, sustainibility, and Andrew Zolli

Taking care of ourselves and each other: Self-reliance, sustainibility, and Andrew Zolli

  Around about Thanksgiving is pretty much when I close up the summer and early fall making/doing/storing food bustle. I’m getting ready to hunker down; you’d think I was a squirrel. South Dakota winters have a way of sticking in memory even all these 29 […]

In which I harvest Japanese Persimmons and am made very happy

In which I harvest Japanese Persimmons and am made very happy

There is no way to share the lovely fragrance of a newly cut Japanese persimmon or the soft and slippery mouth feel of the deeply orange ripe fruit by word only; American persimmons at their best can be delightful as well but I find they […]

Chickens as fabulous garden cultivators for the fall

Chickens as fabulous garden cultivators for the fall

The birds always get giddy when let into the full greenery of the fall garden.  They immediately go for the mulch only to be distracted by the marigolds or the immature tomatillos.  The rooster is convinced we have set him to guard the world as […]