A Day in the Life of a (Part-time) Farmer
Picking Out Chicks!
by Laura Parker Roerden 5:30 am (May 8, 2014). I’m awakened by my cell phone ringing and the accompanying chime of a left voicemail message. It’s the post office calling: they have my forty baby chicks. The ones that were not supposed to come for three weeks. (Who knew that the post office opens at […]
For the Love of Work
It’s spring, which means it’s time to incubate and brood baby chicks. But which ones to add to Jo-Erl Farm this year? Normally, we purchase 50-75 new laying hen chicks to diversify and stabilize production. I think of these hens as the workhorses of the farm. Rhode Island Reds and White Leghorns are what my […]
Salt from the Earth and a Karina Dresses #Frockstar: a Home-Grown Partnership
by Laura Parker Roerden Work is love made visible. – Kahil Gibran My father chose to be a farmer. By doing so, he was following in his own father’s footsteps and making good use of 62-acres of established farmland. But it was what some might call a cynical decision. You see, my dad had been […]
10 Things About Cows That Will Amaze You
by Laura Parker Roerden Many of you know that I’ve been a green ambassador for Karina Dresses for some time now—bringing tips for green living to the Karina Nation through their blog. Karina Dresses and Jo-Erl Farm have a lot in common. Founder Karina Cousineau is from Uxbridge, MA, where Jo-Erl Farm has fed five […]
Farm Camp Chronicles: 1/27/14
by Laura Parker Roerden 1. Researchers have discovered that cows tend to face either magnetic north or south when grazing or resting, regardless of the sun’s position or the wind’s direction. Why cows do this remains a mystery. 2. Cows have regional accents. After a group of dairy farmers noticed their cows had different moos, […]
Wild, Wild Horses
By Evan Maietta and Gabby Morrow It was 28 degrees here at Jo-Erl Farm today. It gets pretty cold up here on the hill. We had our full “Farm Camp” crew of eight people, which is pretty unusual since everyone’s schedules are so different. We tried to clear any debris from the lower pasture, but […]
So, You Think You Might Want to Keep Chickens?
by Laura Parker Roerden Wild horses couldn’t drag me away. —the Rolling Stones When I was growing up, our farm (then a dairy) was one of three farms on our hill. The other two were horse farms. The confines of these farms held a large gang of kids, who roamed the combined 200 acres of […]
by Laura Parker Roerden Even though our fifth generation farm was once a poultry farm, I did not come to chicken keeping easily. A famous story in our family is of the littlest grandchild (ME) collecting eggs in our double-decker chicken barn. My father always laughed whenever he told the story of me chucking eggs […]
by Laura Parker Roerden I leave magazines in our bathroom. It’s a slightly subversive act because I tend to stock the ones that my three sons wouldn’t pick up and read on their own: National Geographic, Modern Farmer, Orion, Harvard Magazine. I myself have learned some of the most amazing things about the world in these […]
by Laura Parker Roerden It is with us…
as a little bird hidden in the leaves
who sings quietly and waits, and sings.
-The Hidden Singer by Wendell Berry, farmer and poet I like poetry. I write it. I read it. I particularly like listening to it. When I was younger, I used to feel that […]