Firm, Farm and Family Update
Katja, my wife of seventeen years, our four children and I have been tending First Light Farm on Abbot Hill in Wilton for seven years now – “forty acres of brush and trouble,” as Greg Brown once put it! No mule – we did have a HUGE Belgian mare but she ate more than she produced. Now we farm by hand and occasionally with a borrowed Kubota.
We farm to have a shared enterprise that provides a center of gravity for our family, anchoring us against all of the pulls of office, school, and the kids’ other activities. We farm to give our children meaningful work to do, to draw part of our living from the land in a less harmful way, and to build a place where whoever comes after us can do the same.
Davina has been milking her two Alpine/Nubian goats since March. We get a gallon and a half a day! If you would like to support us by buying some of our free-range pork or unpasteurized goat’s milk, please check out our NEW online store at http://shop.firstlightneighborhood.com. (No longer available)
A couple of weeks ago an investment advisor colleague, Joe O’Keefe of Ameriprise in Bedford, New Hampshire, took me and friends David Baker, Paul Morin, Tricia Newhall-Grahame, and Tricia’s daughter Lexi fishing off the New Hampshire coast. Despite the rain, we had a good outing – Tricia and her 34″ striped bass are pictured below, and in addition to a couple of other nice stripers, we caught thirty or forty mackerel. I brought a dozen of them home, and my friend (and local celebrity chef) Mike Ziele smoked them – the taste was amazing! I have long wanted to fill our freezer and smokehouse with bushels of summer-caught fish, but have been concerned about the sustainability and carbon footprint of going out in a big diesel-powered motorboat.
So, this summer we skipped the family trip and instead sent Katja and Elias to the WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, Maine for a week’s course building the smallest, cheapest sailing/rowing vessel we could fit our whole family on for a day’s outing on the lakes or in the sea. This seventeen-foot stitch-and-glue Northeaster Dory is a kit from Chesapeake Light Craft. We’ll spend the winter finishing it in the garage. Stay tuned next spring for pictures of her maiden voyage!