Grilling Sliders

We enjoyed an intimate farm tour this past weekend with four long-time customers. One of the highlights of the afternoon was firing up our dormant grill and serving sliders again. We cooked Moroccan sliders, coupled with homemade aioli, greens, a bun, corn-on-the-cob, fresh watermelon, and chocolate chip cookies. We ate near our new hog-heaven area, and while Susan and I grilled, Scott and Chris introduced our new woodlot complex and its inhabitants to the visitors.


With grilling season upon us, heightened pleasure can be gleaned from a grassfed steak.

Sea of Grass

With the dawn of June, the grass rolls in like waves on the sea. What to do with the abundance? It can be either grazed, mowed, or trampled. We do all three. The flock of sheep will be in this field in two days. They will eat much, trample more, and leave behind the pernicious ironweed. We await the custom hay-maker to exercise his magic on other fields. We feel like we are waisting grass at this time of year. The only way not to do so is to make hay or increase numbers of livestock. But then one has to feed the livestock through the winter, when grass is at a deficit. Does one stock to supply of the spring-flush or the winter deficit? It depends on objectives. We strive for middle ground.

Hot Morning

The cool mist of dawn gave way to a hot morning yesterday. By 11:00 AM, the sheep were under the shademobile, ready to wait out the heat. By 5:00 PM, it was raining and temperatures had fallen 20 degrees. As so the variability of the day goes.

From Whence Gyoza?

Gyoza originated in China, migrated to Japan, and now partially resides in Pike County, Ohio. These two-month-old hogs carry inclination to help you enjoy Gyoza at its finest. Gyoza is a dumpling whose ancient origins lie with a Chinese nutritionist, who sought treatment for the common malady of frostbitten ears... He was ahead of the times in anticipating the connection between stomach and ears. When you taste the delicate nature of these dumplings, your ears will ring in gratitude, and the connection will become clear.

Perfect Contentment

Hogs sleeping in the morning sun speak of perfect contentment. After the storm we have been through, it is tempting to crawl in among these noble ones to rest the head and spirit. Life looks so simple there in the shining rays of sun.

Broken Pottery

The Japanese concept of Kintsugi is to reconstruct broken pottery to an even more beautiful form than the original. This exquisite pouring vessel lost its handle to over-use. What was once perfect might now be considered obsolete or even useless. But Kintsugi offers another interpretation. It suggests that if we were break the vessel into even more pieces, it could be rendered to a state even more exquisite.

Upside Down

A week ago, our world turned upside down for a moment. We awoke to three inches of snow amidst and atop the green of late April. One had to rub one's eyes to make sure they were seeing accurately. I don't ever recall such a snow this late in April. Temperatures were not bitter, and one could tell this would be a momentary phenomenon. By early afternoon, the dream was over and the world had righted itself again.

Blazing Trails

Upon recent vaccination, Susan blazed a trail to the Georgian beach last week. I followed in her wake, and we enjoyed five days of stillness beside the ever-magical ocean. Upon departure, she suggested we make the same pilgrimage on a yearly basis. By the time we arrived home, the suggestion had become twice a year. Before it evolves into quarterly or monthly, I am preparing a counter proposal, emphasizing all the water that flows through our ten-foot-wide creek and the newly configured sloping bank, making it easy for wading... Being married to a former litigator is always perilous, when it comes to counter-proposals. Wish me luck.

Earthworm Society

Activities of the past few days have revealed life below the surface. We have been installing five more water points in the grazing zone of the farm, which has taken me four feet down in search of 2-inch waterlines, installed 30 years ago. It is quite an experience to spend time down below. One witnesses all sorts of phenomenon: how unchanged the PVC pipe is after 30 years, how much water it carries, how wet one becomes when drilling into the pipe even with water pressure off, how much dirt needs to be excavated in order to work that far down, how much water the trench holds when it rains or if a leak runs all night before the trench is refilled, how exact plumbing-installion needs to be to thwart leaks, how slippery it is to climb out of a wet trench that deep, how much mud one can accumulate on oneself from the waste down when working in such predicament, and other similar important observations.

Spring Promise

This sun was stuck behind the ridge for a few days, until we released it with large spud bars. And in so doing, we have begun to feel the change of seasons. With the advent of spring, comes growth of grass -- our manna and yours. Migrating livestock follow soon thereafter, so we are preparing facilities to launch them and pastures to receive them.

Making Tracks

Snow invites us to ponder where we have been and where we are going. It reveals steps we take for granted but rarely observe in such a stark form as bold prints on a white landscape. These beautiful and delicate footprints were left behind probably by a red fox, making his way from the past to the future. The tracks seem so certain, yet mysterious. How can a being maintain such clarity in the face of duress? Where had the fox been, and where was he going, with his intent? How can a fox know so much, when we feel we know so little in the midst of a snow storm?