And do not need to be chilled every winter but here I am looking at another mid west winter and we all know how I feel about those. Read More


I am sorry about the “Moo” but you know the rules! Read More


The second and last pig field has been opened up for the six little pigs. It is glorious but as usual they are still afraid to walk past where the electric fence was. Read More


What I love about this blog is that even as the written content evolves into a less regular input from my side, with the meat chickens and bread making using up the early mornings before I go to The Mill. And lately there are less photos as I struggle along with too much to do in the afternoons.

Even with all this; that would sound like silence to any other group of readers- you know I am still here with you.

And knowing that all this will change with the natural seasonal changes, in that I fully intend to be back on a daily routine once the meat chickens are in the freezer and the hogs are sold and the milking is done – never mind the bread. Once winter with all its horribleness comes; I will blend everything back together with my new flourmill work – back into a daily doable routine taking you back on the farm with me.

Knowing all this – you – the Fellowship of the Farmy, instead of feeling left out, simply go on chatting to each other, and me, in the Lounge of Comments. Sometimes for days after a post. We have all been together for so many years that you take it all in stride, pull up a chair and have a coffee and chat. Whether I am in or not.

I love that.

It is like coming home to find your two best friends in the kitchen with the fire stoked and the kettle on, feet up – chatting until I get home.

You know the rhythm of my days.

You know the rhythm of my seasons.

I love that.

Love, love



More rain.

And I am told that some areas close by have received up to 6 inches of rain.

And this is nothing on the poor flooded streets of my sweet Galveston.

We expect another inch today. I have shifted the three pigs. Their whole field is a mire. I am also considering bringing the last two fat hogs from down the back, into the barn. So far their houses are still dry but I am not sure how long that will last. The waters are rising.

You will remember that this land is very low geographically and until the ancestors drained it they were surrounded in deep swamp. I think that this land will be returned to swamp in the next half century.

The fields are tilled but this rain will hold up the wheat planting. And after this past spring’s lesson; there are no guarantees that a crop will even get in let alone grow healthy and get harvested.

But my small scale farming proceeds quite nicely.

We all try to leave a place better off than when we found it. And so far I am pleased with the sustainable improvements we have achieved here. Who ever lives here after I am gone has a sensible infrastructure and sustainable systems in place, to grow their own food and make a living from the land. The next generation is now learning how to farm the land he will inherit; organically.

It is not my land – all John’s family land – but still it is important to me that he and his sons have the tools and information to manage the land properly, cleanly and simply, naturally and sustainably in our challenging modern world with its challenging changing climate.

I am working towards a plan with my own children to begin teaching my own young family in New Zealand the same lessons I am learning here. How to grow your own food. Just as soon as we find a patch of land. I hope I have enough time to do all this.

Food farming on two different continents! That is a pretty big plan on a very small scale.

A lot of the answers for living in this changing climate will come from the young designers. Architects. Scientists. Inventors. We need to adapt as peoples move from the burnt out landscapes to the wetter ones in search of food. We need to stop moaning and marching and get building and drawing the plans. And while we are at it better start designing farm boots for wide flat web feet! There is plenty of room out here as long as you don’t mind mud.

I have a plan. And a list. Objectives. Dreams and reality.

What is your plan?



In the last 24 hours we have had hours of heavy rain accompanied by the roar of black thunder so loud and continuous that it became a white noise. Read More


Even Sheila gets to have a bad photo day. Read More


Early in the morning I drive to work. Now that my co- worker is back on board I can be at my paid work by 7am. Though I am aiming for earlier – I do my best work in the morning.

Here is the road I drive to work on in the morning. So long and straight. I drink my coffee and let my mind drift away from mud and trouble and prickly relationships. I feel enormous relief when all the animals are fed and I am on the road.

I love working. Certainly at The Mill but all my life I have been lucky or picky or maybe easy-going enough to always have work I enjoy.

I am going to give the chickens an extra week. They are much slower growing than previously – I have created their diet myself this time: milk, corn from the mill, bread and sprouts. The grass is not as good as usual either – I did not get them as far as the hay field. I was going to send the men out to do one more cut but at this time of year it will need longer to dry and I cannot find a break in the rain.

If we get stuck I can always fence it and put the cows out there. I will only have five cows this winter but they still eat a lot. A ton a winter really.

If this went out last night by mistake I do apologize. I actually have no idea how that happened. But now you have seen the unfinished and then the finished product the only difference being words – more of them – you are the first people I talk to in the morning you know.

And now I must get to work. There is bread to be baked then the pigs then off into the world! My little world.



It is raining again.

Read More


The meat chickens are growing fast on their free diet of fresh milk from the cow mixed with expired cracked rye and cornmeal from the mill and good greens. Read More