Free Hippie Mike

Steady, gentle rain has pelted the surrounding firs and madrones for days on end. Jetta and I have been house-sitting a remote cabin up on Peachland while the tenant is back east for the holidays. He’s got two black cats to tend. Around New Year’s we stayed down in the Valley for several days, watching […]

A Horse Named Fitch

Cooler weather has finally arrived with the annual return of the flocks of sandhill cranes. The winter wheat, usually burned by freezes to a retreated frazzle of dark green and brown at this time of year, has grown nearly ten inches tall, lush and emerald. Our four goats, not preferring to be fenced in, steal […]

A Visit To Boonville

Thunder boomed, lightning flashed that Thursday night as our ride dropped us off at the Caretaker’s Garden, near the old Boont Berry farm where we planned to spend the night in the yurt I built out of redwoods and necessity in 2007. He’d picked us up from the Greyhound drop off near the airport on […]

Red Roaster Roosters

Roosters crow almost 24/7, building from the pre-dawn hours into a crescendo at sunrise. We got too many cocks, not enough hens. One gallo is usually able to service about 13 guillinas every day, but this spring I ordered 50 red roaster chicks straight run, and about 30 turned out male. I’d tried raising a […]

The Ghostbuster Pole

Three hippies linger in the former dining room of the Farmhouse, lounged on sectional sofas and recovering from the first annual “Rakefest” Friday night. It’s now Sunday afternoon, the clouds finally breaking after three days of breezy rain, temperatures in the fifties. I guess the frigid precipitation warded off attendance for the one-night event, as […]

Bachelor Farmers & Rakes

Fog drifts past the doorway as the sun rises and a rooster crows, like a typical Boonville dawn this time of year, though our farm is located in a river valley surrounded by the foothills of the Appalachians. My sleep schedule is all screwed up, as lately the best time to be awake has been […]

Song About Nothing

Giant ragweeds bloom in the fields of our river valley after an unusually wet spring, with vast expanses of the bottoms and low ground temporarily abandoned by modern agriculture. Most of the watermelons have succumbed to fungus blights exacerbated by weeds thriving, shading, and choking out the vines. “Driftwood Organics,” as our farm is known […]

Hoefest 2015

For several weeks we’ve had nothing but blue skies, breezes, and low humidity in the Ohio Valley, and the ten-day forecast calls for more of the same. Our climate seems to be headed in a Mediterranean direction, with wetter than normal springs followed by high pressure ridges that persist through summer and fall. June and […]

Poultry Apocalypse

Sometime in April my neighbor walked over to the back corner of our place while we were stretching the plastic over our wooden greenhouse frame. He had plenty of guinea eggs, he said, also informing us we were welcome to shoot and eat most of the flock of the chicken-like, noisy birds who show up […]

Springtime Decisions

The dogwood tree outside my bedroom window is exploding with white flowers, in contrast to the redbud in the backyard. The forest edges are painted white, purple, and green, as mustards bloom in all the fields, and the domestic tulip magnolia in our front yard flaunts pink like skin flicks with amorous white people. Bees […]

Brick’s Fish

Balmy, humid storms drop Gulf of Mexico moisture on the Ohio valley. Last Wednesday evening I considered engaging my son’s friends to help drape the new roll of plastic over our newly-completed spruce greenhouse frame, as a moment of high barometric pressure had caused the breezes to subside. I spend a lot of time considering, […]