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

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


Ever since the snow melted, we’ve been keeping an eye on the grass. The cows have been keeping their eyes on it, too—one day at lunch, I looked out our kitchen window to see that Plum, a black cow with tall, curved horns and a mischievous disposition, had escaped the yard and was ferociously chewing … Continue reading

Dead Things.

A friend asked me the other day, after having such an intimate relationship with cows, whether they seemed sacred or whether I still thought, “Man, I could go for a cheeseburger.” It may seem a little strange, but both inclinations really have emerged within me over the last month and a half. It seems to … Continue reading

Winter lungs.

Biodynamic farmers like to talk about the earth as an organism, and more than once since I’ve been here, I have heard the metaphor of the cycle of the seasons as one cycle of breath, with summer being the exhalation and winter being the inhalation. Although winter may seem barren, this lack of life is … Continue reading


Three of our cows (Moon, Leek, and Noodle) were due to “freshen” (give birth, in dairy-speak) this week, and all three got increasingly enormous and began to waddle as their due dates came and went. Everyone on the farm team kept saying that they were waiting for the full moon, and like clockwork, all three … Continue reading

Farm Life, Day 2

So. I have just finished my second workday at the farm. I started here exactly 8 months after my first day at Skunk Hollow, and in the intervening time I had nearly forgotten how it felt to be new at things—the first few days are such a flood of information that I feel like I … Continue reading