Worth Remembering
The Radical Homemaker
by Shannon
1d ago
Recording will be posted tomorrow! “Think over your life,” Xavi said, a Marlboro perched between two fingers of one hand while the other used a demitasse spoon to stir so many sugars into espresso that it had become a syrup.   I sat across from him at a sidewalk cafe in Barcelona thirty years ago, sipping my cappuccino in awe. He had seven years on me, and a couple more continents under his belt.  We were both travelers back then.  I’d taken the money I had saved to buy myself a baritone sax and used it to get to Argentina.  From there, my girlfriend and I had traveled to L ..read more
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Eclipse Chicken
The Radical Homemaker
by Shannon
1w ago
recording forthcoming tomorrow… “I need to find a tempting treat for a chicken,” Ula says aloud to no one in particular one afternoon this past winter while she distracts herself from writing one of her college essays.  She has plans with her boyfriend for the weekend, so she really needs to get her work done.  But her mind is elsewhere.  She’s been befriending a young pullet all winter, who has come to be known as Tina.  But Tina had been spreading her wings, figuratively and literally, as her feathers came in, and had taken to ignoring Ula. “Tuna fish,” I call over my sho ..read more
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(Trying not to be) An Angry Farmer
The Radical Homemaker
by Shannon
1w ago
This story first appeared on the Sap Bush Hollow Farm website on April 2nd.   Jean-Michel Sibelle and his wife Maria are selling their farm in France. It has been in their family for over a century. I don’t know Jean-Michel and Maria. But my stomach churns as I read about them in the NY Times in a piece published this week titled Angry Farmers are Reshaping Europe. The regulations are too strict. The costs are too high. The work is too hard. The income is too low. And then there’s the clincher: their kids don’t want to take it on.  I don’t want to ..read more
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Sap Bush Cafe has a new home on the web!
The Radical Homemaker
by Shannon
2w ago
Sap Bush Cafe is now open for the season, every Saturday, 9-2 through the last Saturday before Thanksgiving.  We are now posting the weekly specials over on a special page dedicated exclusively to cafe event over on the farm website.  Find it here: www.SapBushFarmStore.com/Cafe ..read more
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Feed
The Radical Homemaker
by Shannon
2w ago
Photo courtesy of Jasper Gribble, Unsplash: https://unsplash.com/@jaspergribble The email query from last week keeps swishing around my brain. A customer wrote to ask for all the ingredients of our livestock feed.  She was looking for chicken that had been fed no corn or soy.  The feed had to be processed in a mill where there was no possibility of wheat chaff residue coming into contact with it.  Everything that went into it needed to be organic. That’s a set of criteria that neither we, nor our local farming infrastructure, have the resources to meet.  I told her so ..read more
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Windows
The Radical Homemaker
by Shannon
3w ago
“Homelessness.  I think it’s a big problem.  But is it one we want to tackle?”* The question appears on the front page of the March 7th issue of the Times Journal, our local newspaper.  It was asked by a Lieutenant-in-Charge at a nearby village meeting convened to discuss a proposed affordable housing project at our former county jail.  Half of the project has been earmarked for those in need of supportive services (which includes housing for the homeless). The officer’s question sticks in my craw as I read on to the next article, about a main street shop in Cobleskill that ..read more
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These final days of winter.
The Radical Homemaker
by Shannon
1M ago
He can’t play the guitar.  He can’t do chores.  He can’t help me clean the cafe to get it ready to open. Then we remembered how we used to spend those final, restless days of winter, when the sun would shine one moment, and ice, hail and rain would fall from the sky the next, and mud coated everything, everything, everything.   We painted Easter Eggs.   So out come the dyes, the wax, the dozens and dozens of eggs gifted to us by the pullets who are laying like crazy these days.  And Bob sits down to one of the few activities that can take his mind off the broken arm ..read more
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Poor guy.
The Radical Homemaker
by Shannon
1M ago
Yes.  I got a lovely poem for my birthday. The other part of the story was that we got to spend the weekend in the ER after Bob fell on the ice while doing chores.  He broke his arm in two places.  He typed that poem up anyhow, even though his arm was blown up enough to look like the balloons my brother and I used to make with A.I. gloves (a great source of amusement that only farm kids will know about). Today the swelling is finally down enough to get his cast, but he’s crestfallen.  He’s just learned he’ll  be out of commission for another two-three months at least ..read more
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Every Day
The Radical Homemaker
by Shannon
1M ago
Turned 50 on Monday.  Woke up to this beside my bed, my gift from Bob: Every day, we sit with the stream. As the spark of Venus fades into the wakening  embers of dawn over the field,  we turn to the path that takes us into the woods,  threading through the trees, crossing rows of cobble,  the strewn ghosts of ancient labors,  padding between the cushioned mosses, skirting where water seeps and trickles like tears.   Every day, we arrive at the stream. As tree shadows streak the slope, weaving into a tweed  brocaded with fallen limbs,  we fold ourse ..read more
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Oh my oh my…
The Radical Homemaker
by Shannon
2M ago
Who says a great Christmas gift can’t also be a tax write-off? For years, Dad wanted an ultrasonic pregnancy tester for the pigs and sheep.  Mom fought him on it.  “We don’t need to check for pregnancy when we can just see if they come back into heat!” Admittedly, that frugal perspective has kept this farm afloat since 1979. But just this once, we wanted to give Dad a little indulgence.  What better gift could there be for a Ph.D. in reproductive physiology?   So we bought him the pregnancy tester for Christmas.  And not the low-end variety, either.  We got him th ..read more
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