Whenever the Dixondale Onion catalog[1] arrives I know other seed catalogs are never far behind. Last year, thinking I knew what kind of crazy this summer would bring, I didn’t order much; I didn’t plan for much of a garden at all and mostly planted from the stock of seeds I always seem to have in reserve. Turns out I didn’t really know the kind of schedule this summer would bring at all and even those were a waste given that the only even-remotely successful thing I did with the garden this year was the heavy straw mulch that kept about 50% of the weeds away. [click to continue…]


Midweek Miscellany: He Waits


“Muddy” does not do justice the actual conditions in Michigan this year. Sloppy, soupy and a downright mess are more like it. Which means The Pig Dog has been spending a lot of time waiting; sometimes patiently, other times not-so-patiently, but almost always waiting. His long fur picks up mud like a paintbrush and then flings it everywhere when we go back inside. So while he’s not terribly fond of the arrangement, unless his assistance is needed, I’ve been leaving him “loaded up” while we work. Water is a good thing, but this year has definitely been an exercise in the old adage about too much of a good thing not being a good thing itself.

For all his trouble I’ve made arrangements to get him a pretty nifty gift for (early) Christmas, but I’ll post more about that soon. Suffice to say: best laid plans sometimes go awry and this dog is terribly spoiled.

Lots of you have reached out and told me you miss the more regular updates I used to write here. I appreciate every last one of those messages and want you to know I miss it too, and I’m working on it, and you’re all fantastic for sticking around in the meantime.

There are only 43 days until Thanksgiving. This feels impossible.

Even though I have not been writing here as much as I should — or would like to — Kerry and I have been consistently podcasting for the grand majority of this year and you can catch all of the episodes completely free on iTunes. (Also up top here on my site on the “Podcast” tab.) Some of the episodes are a little rough, but we’re getting better all the time. A new episode drops every Tuesday morning. (They’re set to automatically have the “explicit” label. Not all contain anything explicit, but most do contain swear words. They’re definitely not intended for children.)

Amy Poehler is curating the ONE Women & Girls’ webpage this month. It really doesn’t get much better than Amy Poehler so you should probably check that out. I’ll have some more (and more personally relevant) details to share about ONE Women & Girls very soon. (Disclaimer: I serve on their board of advisors, but if you’ve been here long you already knew that, right?)

Well, that should do it for now. More soon. Thanks for standing by.



Over the weekend we had a sow farrow during the day. This doesn’t happen often so I took the opportunity to “live Facebook” the births as they were happening. You can read those updates and see the pictures here, here and here. (In that order.) [click to continue…]



And just like that, when we’d all but given up, spring has sprung! There’s rain and warmth and bugs — mosquitos, even — and glorious, oh-so-glorious sunshine; but also the familiar and very distinct feeling that we need to do all the things right now! I think this is actually why I love life on a farm so much; the periods of non-stop, top-speed activity that follow and are followed by times of cruising at a good, but manageable clip. It mimics my natural rhythms and I like that very much. [click to continue…]



Michigan’s been on a roll lately. First they banned wild pigs, setting off a crunchy firestorm that brews to this day. Now they’ve gone and had the nerve to revise the state’s Right to Farm Act (RTFA), closing an oft exploited loophole that leaves urban and suburban homesteaders without a defense with which to tie up their local court systems when they get caught raising contraband chickens, ducks, geese, goats, bees and potbellied pigs — or any other livestock — in residential areas.

In the wake of the change, headlines have come fast, furious and carefully designed to infuriate hipsters, hippies and tin-foil hatters. And I say that as lovingly as possible since I consider myself a member of at least one of those groups, but I digress. The point is, a lot of people are really pissed off about the one half of the story they’ve been getting in the media and I’m tired of hearing about it so I’d like to clear a few things up. [click to continue…]

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