Yeehawing Pigs Down the Mountain

[Editor’s Note: This originally was written on October 28th, 2020, only a couple of weeks into my apprenticeship]

Yeehawing hogs down the mountain is a fun, though sometimes frustrating experience. The hogs – well fattened on a mix of feed, roots, and acorns – can’t conceive of the two mile trek down the mountain road to the barn.

They begin rambunctiously, excited and hungry to move to a new paddock where they hope to get an assortment of new and good things to eat. Ready to move or not though, it takes a push to get them going. After all, even though they don’t want to stay now that they’ve run out of food, they’re momentarily comfortable in their muddy wallows. Continue reading “Yeehawing Pigs Down the Mountain”

New Directions. Also, Hi!

Hey y’all. It’s been a minute.


Believe it or not, I kept a faithful journal of the last two weeks of my Polyface stewardship…and then chose not to post it, because I felt like I needed to end the log of the summer with more than just more lists and descriptions of cool activities. The whole experience meant so much to me that it deserved more, but I was at a loss for what to say.

How could I possibly express how much I would miss my fellow stewards, many of whom were journeying to far corners of the country to begin their own farm enterprises? How could I express my excitement to begin my apprenticeship, and continue to grow as both a farmer and a person? And how, oh how, could I express my immense gratitude to the Salatins and other Polyface staff for the education, experiences, relationships, and memories that I formed from the whirlwind summer?

Answer: I couldn’t. So I didn’t post. And didn’t post. And still didn’t post.

Here is my thought process. You’re welcome. Otherwise known as ‘my brain is weird’

And I started to think about if I wanted to keep a blog. After all, the person I was and the situation I was in when I started this enterprise….well, it didn’t really exist anymore. This was supposed to be a writing experiment where I posted recipes and stuff, and – if an audience developed – tried to make money off of the ads. I was copying the myriads of homesteading blogs, with my nice, nuclear suburban family. Gardening and cooking and babies, oh my!

When that all blew to smithereens, I didn’t know if I would keep a blog going, but I thought I might as well give it a shot. To be more specific, I kept it going out of sheer stubbornness and because I had given up most of my life, but gosh darn it, I could keep the website alive! Albeit barely. My motivation was low, and what was I gonna write about anyway? Plus, full disclosure – I got a (very tiny) amount of money from the ads for a little bit.

As I asked myself the important question of “WHAT THE HECK AM I GONNA DO NOW?!” it occurred to me that a homesteading blog could be useful. If I started a side-farm business, could I use blogging as an additional income stream? I didn’t know, but I wanted to keep it active just-in-case.

When I (shockingly) was accepted to come to Polyface for the summer, I decided that the blog would be a good place to journal my experience…and  to keep the site active for a possible income stream later. After all, my tentative plan was to learn chickens and rabbits at Polyface, then start a side business while going back to teaching, to become a full-time farmer later, if I could, maybe, hopefully. And if I still loved growing stuff after actually doing it all summer, and doing it for 12 hour days.

But now? Now I know that I am fully in love with farming. I don’t want to do anything else. I’m not sure what that will look like long-term – or even short term – but I know that jobs exist in this industry. Someday I want my own farm, that provides a full-time income. A blog may be a useful part of my marketing, but that blog is not this blog. It doesn’t exist yet, and won’t need to exist for awhile. Probably a long while. And that’s okay, because I can be patient.

Then agaaaiiin, I have this site for another year. I might as well use it. However, as much as I like writing, I simply don’t have the free time to write on a weekly basis. And I don’t want this blog constrained to a farm journal or marketable articles about food. I want to share my thoughts on religion, politics, and whether or not the earth is flat (it’s not, by the way).

And I know my poor family would like more info about what I am doing, since I don’t call them as often as I would like. Cell service in the mountains really sucks.


So here’s the plan. I’m gonna keep writing stuff, on a somewhat random basis. It’s gonna touch on my faith. It’ll often be about farming, but probably not always. It’s gonna be very personal.. Don’t understand something? Feel free to ask. I sort of accept the fact that whatever I blast out to the Internet is public, and I’m not a secretive person anyway. There’s a lot of information I don’t necessarily volunteer (yes, really, I know it seems like I spew everything out of my brain, but I don’t. I just have a lot in my brain. My friend Grace calls it ADD brain, and I’m fine with that). But, pretty much anything is fair game to be asked.

And when the site name runs out, I’m gonna move all the articles someplace free, and redesign things. After all, I’m not really a homesteader anymore. I’m a farmer-in-training. And I don’t have a house – I’m basically homeless (yes, I live in provided on-farm housing, not on the street, but it’s not my own home). As for the hardheaded part…yeah, okay, that still applies. But the point is that “hardheaded homesteading house” isn’t a particularly applicable name anymore. That season is over. But I’ll keep using the domain name as long as it’s mine because…eh, why not? I’m changing the name and look of the website though, to better reflect the season of life that I’m in.

I’ll also still use Adsense and stuff (feel free to click on ads! I like money!) but I don’t expect to really make money off of my random musings. And they will be random.

Random, I say!