Leading with Love

Every morning when we bring out the checks, Katie follows us. She watches and whines, urging us to be careful as we move the growing babies from indoor enclosure to box to the chicken tractor outside. She trails the Big Guy from room to outdoors and hovers as he releases the checks into the tractor. When the chicks are settled in their outdoor home, she'll sniff on all four sides, inspect the sky...

Poem: Murder Most Foul

I'm thinning basil seedlings.Eggplant, you’re next.I've killed dozens of pepper shoots,mourning the products ofseeds that worked so hard,tossing them out the door.Only the very best survive.The cat runs by with a chipmunk who may escape her maulbut will more likely end up in the middle of the yard,his entrails split over the new-cut grass while she,without a trace of blood on her mouthor guilt...

Katie’s Chicks

Katie settles in from a comfortable distance to watch the chicks. She makes a practice of checking on them whenever they move from their indoor house to the outdoor home. She lolls in the grass as Jim tries and talk the chickens into squeezing through the holes in the wire. The chicks love to visit with Jim, chirping that they'd be only too happy to show him their feathers up close if only they...

Lawnchair Psychology

The weather experts kept pushing back the storms’ arrival time yesterday, so we decided to get the chicks out of their indoor enclosure and into the outdoor tractor for a little playtime.  We still get some cold nights, and they’ll go outside full-time when we hear more clucking than peeping. That can’t happen soon enough for all of us because the difference in environment between even a...

Speaking of Organic

When we first moved to southern Vermont, we noticed official-looking helicopters frequently flying over our town of 300 at certain times of the year. Wondering what, in the middle of nowhere, could be of interest to any officials, we asked around and learned that at least one property owner was farming 100% organic Mary Jane. Acres of it. I get a little giggle every time my grow lights go on,...