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Dan Savage, a writer and advice columnist for The Stranger newspaper out of Seattle (and not for the prudish, as he deals with a lot of explicit sex advice questions for all comers, from sis to trans to everything in between) is famous for coining catch phrases. One of my favorites of his is The Campground Rule. In this scenario, an older person dates a substantially younger person, and in the end, as often happens, things don’t work out. Dan has no problem with the age difference, as long as you follow “The Campground Rule”. Your goal, should you be the older person in this situation, is to leave the younger person in better shape than you found them. Read the rest of this entry »

OrganicFertilizers_edited-1Years ago (in 1996 to be exact), I took a soil science class at Colorado State University. It was fascinating. The physical make up of soils (sand, silt and clay), the chemical make up of those same particles, and plant nutrition fit right into my nerdy chemistry loving brain. Of course, we did all kinds of fertilizer calculations, all of which I have completely forgotten how to do 20+ years later. And unfortunately, we spent all of about one day out of the semester talking about the micro-organisms that live in soil. If you are an organic gardener/farmer, giving so little attention to this critical ecosystem, which is literally the driver of the entire nutrient cycle, is just sad (not to mention short sighted). Read the rest of this entry »

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Min/Max thermometer. It’s worth having one of these (and not a digital one either – they don’t last very long). Blue liquid gets pushed up by the mercury (which is in a U shape). Left shows nightly low. Right shows daily high. Reset using a magnet. Last night? A chilly 25.

Spring is in the air, and everywhere you see helpful garden planting memes (graphic pictures and text with quick easy to digest visuals) that really aren’t all that helpful, and sometimes are flat out wrong. So I’ve recently made my own “when to plant your veggies” meme (see bottom of post). Read the rest of this entry »

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Babies!!!!

We generally like to have our American Blackbelly Ewes give birth in March. The weather has warmed up enough by then that we don’t need to worry so much about a newborn getting chilled, or mama being stressed enough that she decides she doesn’t want another mouth to feed. Because sheep have a 5 month gestation, that means that we put our ram in with our ewes in early October.

But not last year. Kenny, our beautiful ram, had only one fence between him and his girlfriends, and he had been pining after them for MONTHS, and so he promptly rammed his rather substantial head and horns against an inadequate wooden fence post until he broke the post. That, along with the bottom of the fence not being well attached, and in he went with his girls in early September. Read the rest of this entry »

Kraut and Peserved LemonsSo, what seems like forever ago (but was probably 2011), I started following the Food In Jars blog. A nationwide resurgence of interest in home canning and preserving was happening, and Marisa McClellan was one of the main movers and shakers behind the renewed interest in this almost lost art. Her information was safe, accurate, and inspiring. Read the rest of this entry »

Ham hock & Bean soupI grew up with bowls of ham hocks and beans, a classic stick to your ribs comfort food that doesn’t break the bank. My guess, given that my mother grew up poor on a southern Idaho farm and my father grew up poor on a middle of Montana farm, is that this was a dish they had in common (and trust me, they didn’t have all that much in common – wink). They divorced when I was 4, but this dish was a staple with both parents for my entire childhood. Read the rest of this entry »

Copyright Stitch Fix

© Stitch Fix

OK, I realize this is a 90 degree turn from farming, but a girl still wants to look good when she’s not wearing carhartts and mud boots, right?! And really, this is a post about trying to find the balance between consumerism and minimalism, between living deliberately vs looking like you’ve given up all together, between fashion and farming. Read the rest of this entry »

PoachedPearFinishedwatermarkI got this recipe from a friend some 25 years ago, while working at a photo lab in Boulder Colorado. It is still one of my go-to recipes for a simple elegant dessert. Got a half bottle of left over wine sitting around? Try these. Seriously. You won’t be disappointed. Read the rest of this entry »

Snow Farm Implement

First snow. When it all seemed charming.

Years ago, I took a summer biology class at the Mountain Research Station near Nederland Colorado. During the course of that wonderful week, there was a conversation with our instructor, in which she was talking about an old friend of hers, who used to do work at the station, and was now suffering from Alzheimer’s. She would go to visit him, and ask him questions about his past, to keep him engaged. At one point, she asked, “What’s your favorite season”. And his answer has always stuck with me, these 20+ years later. “WINTER, because it’s so dynamic!” I try to remember this, as I witness how snow transforms the landscape, softening edges, hushing the noise, insulating the world from all insults. Read the rest of this entry »

Thin cornmeal pancakesAfter my dad (1995) and step-mother (1999) passed away, I spent some time cleaning out the house I grew up in, and found a cache of recipes my father had clipped from various newspapers over the years. My step-mom tended to be the meat and potatoes cook of the house, but my father loved to bake. (I just used his Kitchen-Aid standing mixer today). I kept the recipes that sounded interesting, scanned them, and I’ve worked my way through most of them over the years. Read the rest of this entry »

Jennifer Kleffner

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