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Simple Living

What Bullies Can Teach Our Kids—And Us

Saoirse and Ula have a favorite story they are forever asking me to retell. It is about my first encounter with bullies in my kindergarten year. It goes like this: At the end of each day, my older brother and his best friend would pick me up from my classroom, and together we’d walk to […]

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Radical Homemaking … With Houseguests?

I wouldn’t say I’m a slob. The toilets get scrubbed, I’m a champion when it comes to de-cluttering, and the sheets get changed. But I do possess a certain, ummm … blindness to grime. Since most cobwebs are above my sightline, I don’t notice them. The windows were last washed in 2008. Dusting really only […]

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The Downsides of Upselling: 4 Tips from the Farm

A few weeks ago Bob and I had the delight of sharing the day at our farmers market with a young man who is preparing to go into grassfed farming. He worked closely with my mom and dad to understand the production end of the farm, then chose to spend a day with Bob and […]

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What We Learned From Swimming With Leeches

We don’t go away much in the summer. Highways and traffic grate at our nerves, we fixate too much on what could be getting done on the farm, we get grouchy filling up at the pump. That is not to say our summers are without bliss. But once things are growing in the soil and […]

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The Audacity of Acting Out: What Our Kids Can Teach Us

Originally published by Yes! magazine. Saoirse and Ula are three years apart. Saoirse, 8, is unusually tall, slender, well-spoken, and comes across to grown-ups as particularly well-behaved and extraordinarily poised. Ula isn’t any of those things. At 5, she’s about a foot shorter than her sister, demonstrates an ability to move exceptionally heavy objects for […]

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Just Me and My Sink

Seven weeks of vacation was fun, but our farmers’ market starts in two weeks, and there is a backlog of work that needs tackling in order to be ready for opening day. We’ve been making soap, lip balm and candles; cleaning, repairing and updating our display spaces; weaving baskets to have in inventory;reclaiming the blueberries, […]

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Radical Homemaking … In the South of France?

For the past several weeks, our family has been living in Europe. Our itinerary has included a week in England, a month in a rural French village, a week in the South of France, and a week in Paris. After writing a book about home-centered, frugal living, a few readers have raised their eyebrows at […]

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When It Comes to Kids, Is Climate a Four-Letter Word?

My daughters, Saoirse and Ula, are no strangers to four-letter words. They’re growing up with farmers, for crying out loud! And no self-respecting farmer around Schoharie County is going to doll up the natural functions of nature with cutesy euphemisms or scientific jargon. When Saoirse was learning to talk, we tried cleaning up our language […]

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E-books, Earth and Counter Cultural Revolutions

This blog piece was written for my buddy, Dave Smalley, who acted like his brain might explode when I tried to explain to him how a counter-cultural Luddite might benefit from an e-reader. He asked me to write this up so that he could read it, instead of trying to understand my babble…Here y’are Dave! […]

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From the Farm to the Occupation

When an email from the group Food Democracy Now! landed in my inbox last week, asking farmers to occupy Wall Street, it seemed only right that I notify the subscribers of Grassfed Cooking—a monthly e-newsletter I run for other farmers of grassfed meats—and ask that they consider joining. Some farmers, myself included, heeded the call […]

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