Latest Entries

Back to school.

Not long after I arrived in Madison, my friend John sent me an article by farmer-poet Wendell Berry with an accompanying note, saying: I thought you would appreciate his perspective as you play near the fire of the beast of modern agriculture in the US. I hope you don’t get burned. It has turned out … Continue reading

On precaution.

I just got around to listening to a January episode of one of my favorite radio programs, Radio Lab. They did a segment on Fritz Haber, father of, among other things, chlorine gas used for chemical warfare during WWI, Zyklon B used in WWII gas chambers, and synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. Interestingly, Jad and Robert were … Continue reading

A remembrance.

And suddenly, it’s December, and I’m recalibrating to a new wintertime routine. My apprenticeship at the farm is over, as is my life at the (loud, grungy, but admittedly always entertaining) bunkhouse. I’m staying at Hawthorne Valley for the winter but in a quite different capacity—I’m now living and working at the Farmscape Ecology Program, … Continue reading

Draft power.

I don’t remember exactly when and how my interest in draft power first started. It has been, I think, a slow series of small events and realizations about who I am and how I like to farm/work/live. This year has been good for me in so many ways—I have learned immense quantities from mentors, co-workers, … Continue reading


As luck would have it, Hurricane Irene arrived this late August Sunday, and I had long been scheduled to work all day. So, while people all up and down the eastern seaboard “battened down the hatches” and businesses closed their doors, while much of New York City was evacuated and my housemates were sitting cozy, … Continue reading


Here in the hamlet of Harlemville, we’ve had highs in the upper nineties the last few days, which adds a whole new dimension to farm work. We all have our own strategies for surviving the heat and sun that July brings. On the really hot days, work starts at 5am, for the sake of the … Continue reading

Gifts of abundance.

On Thursday afternoon, I found myself staring hopelessly at the crispers of our two refrigerators in the bunkhouse. “Virginia,” I hollered to my housemate, with whom I share a name, “how the fuck am I supposed to fit all of this in here?!” I had just picked up our two CSA shares, and I had … Continue reading

Cow therapy.

Now that the risk of frost is behind us, vegetable production is taking up more and more of our time. While farming is nearly always a busy occupation, June is a uniquely hectic time here at Hawthorne Valley Farm; we have seeding to do, both in the greenhouses and in the fields, and there are … Continue reading


When I decided to start writing this blog, I imagined it as part farm blog, part food blog, but I have hardly written about what I’m cooking at all. Part of that is because I’ve really been cooking relatively little since I got here, much less than I expected considering my love of good food. … Continue reading