Welcome to our new blog!
Jenn and I had intentions of starting things off at the beginning of the new year, but as is often the case, life, the universe, and everything got in our way. So here we are now at the end of March with winter slowly releasing its bitter grasp on us. We’ve got sheep who look like they’re ready to explode and I just ordered meat for barbecue season. Maybe it’s the sense of spring, but we’re finally ready to start Food, Family and Farm – our new blog.
I wrote the introduction below just after New Year’s Eve. I considered revising it, but I like it and I still feel as though it starts us off right. I hope you enjoy it, look forward to more from Jenn and I in the next few weeks. It is, after all, lambing season.
Thanks for reading,
(Originally written 1/1/15)
How to begin?
Less than a week ago, the ball dropped in New York City, marking the end of 2014. As the sun rises on 2015, it seems the right time to start new things. And so, I start this blog -Food, Family and Farm.
I’ll begin with a confession. Up until the ball dropped, I wasn’t going to do the blog.
The “why” of it relates to this blog’s humble name. Food, family and farm. I created the slogan (with input from my wife, Jennifer, and my best friends) to go on the back of T- shirts for my competition barbecue team, Howling Hog Barbecue (I’ll talk more about them in future posts, but if you want the Cliff’s notes, head over to Howling Hog Barbecue). A phrase like Food, Family and Farm is an uncommon slogan for a barbecue team. Many of them are clever double entendres involving pigs and naughty acts (think “we like to rub our butts” or “there’s heat in our meat.”
For us, the slogan just fit. My wife Jennifer is the operator of Howling Wolf Farm (this humble little blog lives on the farm’s web site). We have raised pastured livestock including pigs, chicken, sheep and even a cow. We love food. We love to cook it. We love to eat it. We love food enough that during many of our summer weekends, we camp out in a field with 20-30 other foodees and try to see who can cook the best barbecue! And we love our family and in particular, we love getting together with our family and celebrating our joy and love with food.
After living with our slogan for over a year, It occurred to me that it would also make a good title for a blog. I am married to a farmer, but I’m not a farmer myself, so I have a unique perspective on being part of the farm. I love to cook, and I particularly love to cook the meat that Jenn raises. I love to talk about food. And most importantly, I love my wife and my teenage son, and all of our extended family deeply. It seemed as though all of these deep and strong perspectives would lend themselves well to a blog. But a year ago, we sold our house of 15 years, moving away from our land and into a small rental on the edge of a bustling little Vermont village. We still have sheep, but to me, it didn’t seem as though I could draw the connections between food, family and farm that I wanted. So I decided I would put the idea up on the shelf until we finally found the right property and really got our farm going.
Last year marked a lot of endings. Our last year in our house. We lost one of our dogs to a heart attack. The transition from a two-story cape with 40 acres to a rental with 4 acres was a shock. It was a rough year. But the truth is that we were really due for the change. Our house was very old and had reached the point that it needed major investment or we needed to move. The land was never well-suited for farming, so we let it go. Bo, one of our two dogs, was twelve years old and pretty big – she was at the end of her lifespan.
Since the new year started, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to new beginnings. I have dubbed this the “year of cooking” (more on that, too), because I want to broaden my skills as a cook. And more and more it has come clear to me that I want to write about food. So, as we rang in the new year with our friends, we decided that we are going to move forward with this blog, regardless of where we live. As I write this Jenn has just come in from feeding the sheep. She and our son Connor dug into a hearty dinner that I cooked. It looks to me like the food, family and farm are all here.
So, my lovely wife and I start Food, Family and Farm. Here we’ll offer our perspectives on the connection between food, family and farm. This will be a new endeavor for us, so we’ll ask your patience as we try to figure out exactly what this part of the internet is supposed to be. We hope you’ll come with us on this trip. Until our next post, be well, eat well and love your family!