Where I've compiled loads of articles and tips that I've written to help you make the most of your grassfed and pastured meats.
A little reality check about the glories of the good life...
Featured on Northeast Public Radio
Featured on Northeast Public Radio
Featured on Northeast Public Radio
Finding, selecting, preparing and enjoying the most delicious and healthful meats for your body and the planet.
Shannon's latest grassfed meat cookbook. Nose-to-tail cooking for grassfed and pastured meats, plus the leftovers.
About this BLOG: This blog focuses on my farm and family life here in West Fulton, NY, with occasional efforts to promote my books and farm products. The sale of books and my farm products comprise the only compensation I receive for maintaining this site. For folks who like a more intense read, each Tuesday morning I put up the "Tuesday Post," an in-depth essay examining some aspect of farming, homeschooling, radical homemaking, or living sustainably. If you'd like a reminder, you can sign up for the weekly newsletter, under "stay in touch," listed on the menu at the top of this page. If you do, I will send you a link to each week's Tuesday Post. For those of you who like to breeze through on a quick visit, I try to post a photo and short entry every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, showing up-to-date glimpses of our life here. I hope you enjoy it, and that you'll come back often!
May 24, 2013
I love to see how nature never ceases to take Saoirse on as her playmate as this child's body and mind changes and grows. When she was younger, the outdoors was the realm of rocks, feathers and flowers awaiting discovery. Now, wherever she turns, she is presented with an opportunity to challenge her emerging (more…)
May 23, 2013
Remember doing this? I still find it fascinating. My brother used to get frog eggs every year to hatch them out . He also maintained no fewer than 11 fish tanks in our house, exhibiting an astounding variety of fresh water creatures, many of which he caught in the farm stream and ice pond. (A few occassionally held found reptiles. Some of those got out. But that's a story for another day.) For those of you wondering why he hasn't come back to the farm to join the family, you probably won't be surprised to learn he wound up becoming a marine biologist and lives on the opposite side of the country.
I think about him a lot this time of the year, as today is his birthday, and this is the time of year where I have my most childhood memories of him, as we spent hours in tall boots and cold water this time of year, and he tirelessly instructed me about the proper care, identification and development of fresh water pond life.
Happy Birthday, Uncle Sean!
May 22, 2013
Ula's attempt to help me cut the grass. Yes. Those are scissors.
May 21, 2013
I woke up this morning and came down to my office. I should have done yoga. I should have meditated. Instead, I fixed my attention on the woodstove. It’s late May, for Pete’s sake, I shouldn’t need a fire. But I couldn’t stop shivering. I stumbled through the dark outside until I had some kindling and firewood. Without even realizing I was doing it, I came back inside, and fabricated an excuse to wake up Bob and ask for his help.
He came downstairs bleary-eyed and dutiful, tripping over the dog bones and scraps of kid projects littering the floor. I groped my way through the curtain of laundry that was hung to dry from the tie rods on the ceiling and met him half way. And there I fell into his arms, clung to his waist, and burst into tears.
“I had a bad dream,” I whimpered. “You left me.” (more…)
May 20, 2013
Yes, we have bees to pollinate our fruit trees. But while we generally avoid alcohol during the week, we have a ritual of drinking a martini on Saturday evenings after the farmers' market. Yet drinking and parenting don't always mix. So Bob took the girls outside, showed them how to pollinate with a paintbrush, then set them loose to pollinate every blossom on the property. We got to enjoy the show at a happy distance from our porch, cocktail glasses in hand.
May 17, 2013
All right, some day, one of these blog posts will regale you with the littany of woes that have befallen me in my lifetime attempts to make personal friends with poultry. For those of you who have ever wondered if it is possible, it is. Chickens and Guinea Fowl can make charming, personable pets. But make sure they don't ever find your pet door, because you'll come home one day and find them hanging out and pooping on your couch. And then there are all the premature deaths that happen because the birds learn not to be fearful of potential predators...but like I said, those are stories for another time.
So what have I learned from my experiences? Apparently, not enough. For several years we've resisted the girls' pleas for their own personal flock of chickens. But Ula redefines the term
persistence, so here we go once more with the pet chickens...
May 16, 2013
Our farmers' market opens for the season this Saturday. Bob and I were down there a little over a week ago, cleaning up the booth my family has operated for over 20 years now. We decided that it was time to freshen it up a bit, so I've been working at making new tablecloths and a giant skirt for our meat display. Wish I'd thought of this last fall, when the urge to sew and stay indoors was more pronounced...I've got 10 blueberry bushes waiting to get in the ground while I'm tripping over the cord of my iron and trying to clear a path to my sewing machine.
May 15, 2013
I'm guessing we're about 80% finished with this year's lambing season. I chose to miss out on it this year. Before, when the girls were younger, it was easy to allow the demands of nature and farm life to supercede academic life. And while the pull to surrender to that once more is strong, I also see their need for the rhythm of my steady presence until our "deskwork" lessons are finished. Here is a time when my interest in unschooling conflicts with my interest in more formal work. The call of the grass, baby lambs and blue skies beckon us to abandon our school books, but at the same time, I can tell that all three of us are longing to bring our school work to some completion, rather than simply dropping our projects. Soon enough we'll be joining Daddy, Pop Pop and Grammie down at the farm. But for now, we need to focus on one last push. Then school will be behind us for another year, and our complete focus will be here.
May 14, 2013
If asked, I’d have to say that my spiritual education began somewhere down by the creek bed on the farm, where as a child I pondered the flow of water as I filled my palms to drink, or the miracle of the wild raspberries that hung over my rocky perch. But my formal religious education began in second grade, when I was first enrolled in a Sunday school at the Catholic Church for weekly lessons that would continue through my junior year of high school. At first I enjoyed going. We read stories from the Bible, talked about what they meant, and discussed how they might apply to our daily lives. We learned about different ways to pray, and I developed relationships with a number of community members from my church. The trouble for me settled in when I was 14, and my teacher for that year was particularly zealous in his faith. For the first time, I began to hear repeated references to “sinners,” “evil,” “the devil.” Indeed, this teacher seemed so obsessed with identifying the work of the devil, in hindsight I wonder if he placed more faith in Satan than God. He preached to us about the end times, which he felt would take place in March of that year, and about how he relished “the coming,” because the sinners would finally be sorted out from the “true Christians.” (more…)
May 13, 2013
Maine was fun, but nothing beats pulling into the farm, seeing that rooster weathervane, and re-aligning our thoughts and activities to all that is spring around here. There's lots of work to be done, now that the grass and leaves have finally emerged.