Why we wassail
Each winter, my family goes to our orchard to carry out an ancient tradition.
The springtime gift of sorrel
The perennial plant's tightly furled leaves emerge in March, pushing aside wintry desolation.
The wonder of homegrown potatoes
Underneath layers of mulch, the German Butterball and Rose Gold flourish.
Planting garlic at the cusp of the seasons
All hands join in to get 40,000 pungent cloves into the ground.
Watermelons, watermelons everywhere
How does the blazing sun produce so much refreshing fruit?
Wrist-deep in the earth: Notes from the farm
We invest each seed and young plant with the exuberant yet completely rational hope of compounded returns.
Field of greens: Notes from the farm
By summer, the plants are working overtime. It's a wonder we don't have as many words for green as the Inuit have for snow.
The sting of spring: Notes from the farm
Harvesting wild greens always returns me to our species' hunter-gatherer roots. Not so long ago, this is what people did the world over.
Still life with winter squash: Notes from the farm
It landed on my patio in early November, a pointy-ended battleship that was more mineral than vegetable. It stayed there as the days got shorter.
Sweet harvest: Notes from the farm
As soon as frost threatens, my brother drops everything and calls all hands to come help dig the sweet potatoes.
Soil and soul: Our Protestant agrarian past
Christians didn’t baptize Aldo Leopold’s land ethic after the fact. They got there years before his work.
Heirloom apple trees: Notes from the farm
My favorite heirloom fruit tree nursery sent an e-mail about a sale. With scarcely a thought, I ordered a bucket of trees.
Not yet spring: Notes from the farm
It's been too long since Christmas, and most folks wish the winter were over. But this lingering not-yet-spring is a precious time.
Chicken keepers: Loving and eating animals
When you grow up with a grandmother who insists that you thank the hens every time you gather their eggs, gratitude becomes second nature.
Stories for dinner
by Rodney Clapp