shepherd ingenuity

The ladies get a parasol today. Most likely one of our last days of true summer if the 10-day forecast is anything to believe. Going to hit 90s today. I did chores with Leland in the ergo and by the end of it I was a delusional, dehydrated sweaty mess with a crying babe stuck to my shirt. After I cooled him down I threw myself in the pond. So we are spending most of today breastfeeding in front of fans. We might even treat ourselves to an airconditioned trip to town.


Siena Farm-Raiser

 (photos by Alexandra Roberts

The last farm we worked at before we moved to Vermont was located just outside of Boston. We were hired at Siena Farms to start their livestock program. We started them off with every farm's favorite non-vegetable; the chicken. 

Aside from the eggs, Siena Farms is a vegetable farm with nearly 50 acres in production. They sell to many fine restaurants in Boston, at the farmer's market in Copley square, and at their new farm store in the South End. In addition they run a CSA with options to get their veggies delivered all year round. Quite the feat in an icy New England winter. 

Until this summer, Siena Farms has leased all but 10 of the 50 acres they farm. Leasing farmland can be wonderful because often, you can negotiate a very low price on your lease. The landowner gets their money's worth in the tax break for having their land in agricultural use.  Leasing also carries with it the obvious downsides of un-ownership. The life of the lease may be tenuous, or you aren't able to build agricultural buildings on the leased land, or the landowner tries to micromanage. 

This past summer Siena Farms was presented the opportunity to purchase 26 of the 50 acres they lease, and they took it. They have been preparing to buy this property for several years now and they are looking for a little extra help to make this purchase truly viable for the farm. 

On September 21st they will be hosting a Farm-Raiser in their greenhouse, along with cocktails in the field and live music. Photos above are from last year's practice dinner. The meal will be cooked by two of Boston's finest chefs, Ana Sortun and Barbara Lynch. At $1000 a plate, tickets are not cheap, but for a farm that does a phenomenal job at supplying fresh veg to Boston, it is certainly a worthy cause. If you know of anyone with deep pockets and a passion for local food. Ticket sales for the feast end tomorrow. They are on sale here

Also, I love their idea of glass atop pallets atop cinder blocks for dinner tables. 


a bit of carolina in vermont

Some friends fit so seamlessly into your life. We marvel how it is so with the Jordans. Has been since we met them on the front steps of our apartment building in San Francisco. Was when we moved in with them when Melissa was pregnant with Everly. Was this way when we lived within arm's reach in North Carolina. Continues to be, with three children between us and only the biannual visits to sustain us. Nick and I to the relative warmth of Raleigh to escape the Vermont winter and they to the relative cool of Vermont to escape the Carolina summer.

This trip;

Melissa cooked us every breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Brent worked invaluable days with Nick on the construction of the new barn.
Everly took it upon herself to close in the mama hen at night and open them up in the morning.
Arlo spent most of his days playing on our '77 VW bus, or on the tractor.

We all dreamt of the summers ahead as the kids get older and as we get thinner and more good looking...and also older.

In the post-college, post-San Francisco world that we live in, the friends we made when we were young, whom we love so deeply are scattered around the globe. Now we are settled in a new town far away from most of our beloveds. Here, we are beginning the awkward dance of two adults trying to make new friends in a town where everyone has known everyone since grade school. We are not making great strides. They will come. We have a lifetime to work on them. In the meantime it is so comforting and renewing to have visits from families like the Jordans. To be reassured that no matter the distance between us, we will forever be good friends.


socializing with humans that are older than 7 weeks.

This morning I instagrammed about how happy I was cleaning the house last night. It's a little pathetic. We've had a house filled with friends, family and your everyday baby-pilgrim. Every time I have a free moment from Leland (obvious disclaimer; I ADORE my son, but I love the moments he lets me put him down) I am drawn to work rather than play. Obviously. There is a not literal, but figurative, ton of stuff to do and be done. From dishes and vacuums to goat fencing, milking and sheep herding. Not to mention my own need for sleep or food or for the painfully slow rehabilitation of my pregnant and child-birthed body in the embarrassing form of running whilst peeing in my shorts.

But if I had a dime for every time I looked up from scrubbing the tub, or washing a millionth load of diapers to realize I was missing out on hangouts or a hilarious ending to a long story or a sip of beer on the pond rocks or a jam session with the guitars.....well I'd probably have at least a couple bucks by now.

So, this week I've been working on embracing the visitors, and the mess of the kitchen, and the mess of my body and the screams of a sticky babe. Looking over the last week I noticed I took a lot of photos...as some form of proof that I was in on the action of the fun. Though, if I was taking photos I mustn't have been participating too actively. Which is another problem altogether. Baby steps.
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