Getting plowed: Kristin Kimball’s captivating “Dirty Life”

The first time I heard of Essex Farm, I was working a kitchen/garden internship at the Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Vermont. The school sent me to the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s 2009 conference, where I carefully chose workshops I thought would help me plan and plant a garden that would...

Just in time for the census: 2 more farmers

Four years ago, I was a single vegetarian pursuing a communications career. Now, I am a married omnivore beginning farmer. Eggs were my gateway food. I began buying them from the farmers market when I moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan to be closer to my husband-to-be. My favorite dozens came from a two-woman...

Learning by killing: Rainy-day musings on straw-bale coldframes

Vermont is finally getting a good dose of rain today, so I took the opportunity to come inside from the garden I'm responsible for as the kitchen/garden intern at Yestermorrow Design/Build School. It's time to get caught up on all of the things I've been neglecting since March. Entering the scribbles from...

Happy Easter! Celebrate spring with an apple-and-onion tart

Easter is a big deal where I grew up in the Midwest, at least in the circles my family traveled in. Sunday church service, where we sang "The Old Rugged Cross," Easter dresses and hats, pastel ties, egg hunts, and plastic grass were all part of the revelry. Perhaps the most memorable part of all of it was...

The Compost Follies: Playing with garbage entails a steep learning curve

During dinner a couple weeks ago, a few of my fellow Yestermorrow interns and I started discussing emotions that stimulated learning. One person offered that he thinks frustration is useful for learning. I emphatically disagreed, saying that excitement was much more motivating than frustration. Either way,...

Winter, Shminter: Not Everything Sleeps when the Ground Freezes

I usually take a giant chill pill the months of January and February (ok, and maybe March too). I have never lived in a place without blizzards and tear-inducing wind chills. While that might be sad to folks who prefer equatorial breezes, I’ve generally enjoyed the cold times of the year as a season of rest...

Saving for college, one potato at a time

Countless parents are deeply anxious — and rightfully so — about how their children will be able to afford college, even if they diligently contribute to education savings funds for them. To help, many teenagers find jobs as soon as they are legally old enough, which usually takes time away from their...

In pursuit of a dream: Starting work at Yestermorrow

In 2008, as my husband and I traveled around the country and talked with friends about our dreams for the future, a couple people mentioned to us that we should really check out this school called Yestermorrow in Warren, Vermont. We stopped by and learned more about the internship programs in late August,...

Making Thyme combines fast with food — but real food, not foodlike substances

Editor's note: Please welcome our newest addition to the Ethicurean "team," Stephanie Pierce, who's written for us quite a lot as a guest contributor. A native of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Stephanie will soon be moving from Grand Rapids, MI, to begin a yearlong kitchen/garden internship at the...

Not too cool for gruel: Wyoming, MI schoolkids interested in showers, oatmeal

By Stephanie Pierce I guess I have always known I was weird, but I didn't realize that I fit the profile for a bona-fide social deviant until a few weeks ago, when my good friend and housemate Catye asked my husband and me to come and speak to her high-school sociology classes about our lives as "productive...

The economical ethicurean: Eating real food on a real budget doesn’t have to be really hard

Caption: The first meal we made on our trip, at the childhood home of Laura Ingalls Wilder. By Stephanie Pierce In my most recent guest post I wrote about how my husband and I managed to find honest-to-goodness real food on the road across 31 states this past summer. Our journey was partly about adventure...

Finding real food on the road — all the way across America

By Stephanie Pierce My husband and I recently finished a summer-long adventure in which we toured the northern half of the United States. Even though we were living out of our 1998 minivan — sleeping on a futon we'd equipped with leg-risers to fit in the back — we were determined that one part of our...

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