Giving In
April 28, 2008, 6:23 pm
Filed under: Garden, Intro., Strawbale House

Several people suggested that I start a blog last year when I started apprenticing on my first farm, Apple Pond Farm, in February. I resisted because I had a feeling I wouldn’t have much time, especially online time, and I was right. This year, though, Matt is coming with me, I have two full days off a week, I’m generally feeling more comfortable with the world of farming and I would love to get back into writing more regularly, so I’m giving it a shot.

Matt and I are starting the move up to a new farm in Berkshire, NY, 20-30 min. SE of Ithaca (home of Cornell University, Ecovillage, the Ithaca HOUR, etc.) this Thursday. We’ll be living in a little one-room strawbale house that’s a bit more of a prototype of an affordable, sustainable housing unit than a place anyone intended to call home for more than a few years max, but it’ll be nice with some work. It’s off-grid and runs off three solar panels, with water heated either by a handmade solar water heater or waste heat from the woodstove that heats the house in winter, a propane stove for cooking and a composting toilet.

The Strawbale House

It has an extensive raised bed garden inside the fences and a more conventional row system outside.

Raised Beds

Behind the House

Pasture Beds

The pictures are from a visit we made at the end of March. I started to learn how to drive a draft pony and managed to do some light logging with their experienced Fjord pony Mira.


They have two baby Fjords in the wings, Daeg and Dagna (no idea how to spell those Welsh names), a team of two Halflingers, Friday and English, and a big black gelding named Leo. Also meat (Highland) and dairy cows, pigs (Tamworths), chickens (layers & some broilers), ducks and turkeys; one male peacock whose girlfriend is a loner duck; an acre or two of veggies; a bunch of herbs; and foraged mushrooms. I’m sure there will be lots of pictures of all those things as the season progresses. Matt has threatened to walk behind me while I’m trying to drive a horse and take pictures the entire time.

Friends and family, you should come visit this summer! It’s going to be a beautiful one up there, and if the accommodations aren’t five-star, they’re at least sylvan, eco-friendly and adventurous. Try a little agritourism on for size.


2 Comments so far
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It sounds like an amazing adventure for you both! Thanks for the photos of your new house and the animals, too. It will be fun for us to keep up to date on all you learn about the work on the farm and about yourselves as individuals and as a couple. God bless you both! This is so exciting!
with love and hugs,
Teresa and Bob

Comment by Teresa

Dearest Bekah!!!
I wish you and Matt all the best!!! Keep in touch and I cannot wait to read your blog!!!!!!! You know, I’ve always enjoyed your writing, so give details and tell us everything that’s going on in your life!
Thank you!

Comment by Zhanna Kozar

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