Beets Me (March 5, 2003)

Detroit Dark Red Beets and January King cabbage are the only vegetables still worth harvesting at our farm this time of year. The beets’ flavor has remained sweet, their texture soft when steamed or sautéed. Their color is akin to Merlot. And though the January King cabbage may not be royalty, as cabbage heads seem […]

The Day After Christmas (Dec. 29, 2004)

The days after Christmas, we finally got the first rain in about a month, so there wasn’t anything to do but sit around the house and read books or watch the kids entertain one another. I was grateful that we have livestock at the farm, giving me an excuse to go out in the rain […]

A Hard Rain’s Already Fallen

Vallonia, Indiana, Labor Day, 2019 — “Do you believe in that there ‘global warming’?” asked the lady whose husband dropped off a port-o-pottie at our Hoosier homestead back in early June when I still entertained the idea of farming with employees this season.  “Think it is safe to say we are witnessing drastic climate change,” […]

Rotten Eggs & Rumpke Mountains

A mostly full moon reflects off the floodwaters to the west of my bedroom window. It is quiet at the farmhouse, 2:36 a.m. The tom cat from our hay loft must have snuck in the back door when I was lugging firewood, because his whining just woke me up. All my friends are staying in […]

Where’s Phil?

Saturday morning I awoke later than usual, with a headache after a night at the Buckhorn. Some wedding party had arrived from the Boonville Hotel across the street, mostly people in their mid 20’s from the Bay Area, jovial and insisting upon buying drinks for any locals who engaged in conversation. The Ukiah Farmers’ market […]

Sweetcorn Diplomacy

Saturday morning we showed at the Ukiah farm about seven o’clock to start picking sweetcorn. The market starts at nine. No matter how tasty your sweetcorn is, it’s always better harvested that morning, as the sugars turn to starch over time. At first I planned on dropping off the corn and heirloom Mickey Lee watermelons […]

At The Not So Simple Fair

Saturday morning the baby awoke at about five o’clock, like usual. For a couple hours she fussed and had her diaper changed, nursed again, and went back to sleep. She and her mom, Jetta, slumbered until noon while I loaded the recycling barrels and three bags of mostly biodegradable diapers that had accumulated over the […]

No Woman, No Cry

Monday morning I debated making a trip over the hill to the Ukiah valley where our watermelons and sweetcorn might be needing water. At the Mosswood Market in Boonville my girlfriend, Jetta (who is carrying a baby on the inside, due any time) and I stopped for coffee. The place was bustling with tattoos on […]

Brilliantly Sunny In Mendo

Wendesday morning after coffee at the Mosswood Market I sat in the truck with my pregnant girlfriend, Jetta, checking out the weather forecast on a smart phone. She watched the ripples on her belly, the baby kicking. “Look!” “Chance of rain Thursday. Just showers, no doubt,” I said. As it turns out, the garden where […]

Strawberry Gifts

Humboldt County, October, 1996 – Now that the Owl Creek Tree Village had been disbanded, that particular grove of old-growth redwoods cut and hauled away, the tree-sitters locked up in the Humboldt Hilton, the organizers at Earth First! Base Camp had to regroup and organize the next action.) Enjoying a moment of respite from battle fatigue, […]

Dawn In The Redwoods V

(Humboldt County, October 1996. Tensions mounted at the Owl Creek Tree Sit, where a village of at least half a dozen activists occupied strategically-located trunks in an attempt to protect that grove of ancient redwoods from a technically illegal timber harvest by the multinational corporation, MAXXAM.) After a week in the trees, the Humboldt County […]

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