The Value of Manure: Then and Now

We spend a good part of the spring hauling manure, and our kids are quick to clarify that it is in fact “cow poop”, which is apparently a lot more fun to say for 2 and 4 year old boys. For my purposes here, though, I’m going to stick with “manure”. Manure is kind of a funny thing. It’s something that has to be carefully managed. It has to be stored properly to not run off into waterways, but also stored away from livestock for their health and safety. It has to be hauled on fields at the right time and in the right quantities to safely provide nutrients for crops, and it has to be worked into the ground to prevent excessive runoff, but when it’s well managed manure also has immense benefits to the soil and the crops planted in that soil, and it’s a very valuable resource.

Simple Instant Pot Italian Beef

My favorite thing about this recipe is that it’s 4 ingredients that I almost always have on hand and it takes less than 5 minutes to get it started as long as I remember to do it a couple of hours before dinner (even if I forget to thaw the roast). Then while the Instant Pot does all the work I can run an errand, get some work done, or hang out with my kiddos. Of course, it’s also very allergy friendly for my oldest son (milk, egg, tree nut, peanut free).

Farm To Table: Then and Now

The nostalgic farm to table concept is often used today in marketing. It conjurs the idea of fresh, wholesome, directly sourced food. The phrase harkens to a simpler time, when family farms were diverse and provided mostly for the family with a small surplus for the neighbors or local community. As usual, the marketing picture may not match the reality.

The Women Who Made Me

Women in my family, on both sides, have a history of living long, full lives. They were educated, they worked, they raised families, and they were (and are) independent and opinionated. I can only hope to continue that legacy. Thank you to all the women who made me – my great-grandmas, grandmas, and my mom – for doing hard things so that I could grow up and never feel less-than because I’m a woman.

Four Things

Thinking back I marvel at how naive we were, and how amazing it was welcoming that sweet boy into the world. We were completely unprepared for the all-consuming transition to parenthood, and I don’t think we’ve looked at anything in our lives the same since that day. A child changes your priorities and your focus in a way that is simply indescribable. As I reflected, I thought of these things I’ve learned the past four years. I don’t know if these are things I wish I’d known, or things I never quite believed, or things new parents need to hear, but regardless, here are my four things: