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Moving on

This probably isn’t going to come as a shock to most people, though the decision is one that I have been putting off for a while now.

I’m moving on.

The New Farmer started out in January 2010, a day before I turned 33. It reflected, for nearly four years, where I was in my life, the ups and downs of putting in roots, looking for love, and learning what it meant to build a life in a farming community. I grew a lot throughout the course of writing. I found my voice. I found confidence and truth and a belief in myself I’d always hoped for. I fell in love. I had my heart broken. I shared dreams and reality. I succeeded and I failed.

And throughout this journey there has always been really delicious food.

I’ve written rarely over the past year because my life has changed. I’m no longer looking for a place to belong or for who I am, instead my search has turned inward. I am no longer on a journey to figure out where I belong, it’s here in the Mohawk Valley – today my journey is about who I want to be.

I ask you to join me on this new journey. I’m calling it How to Make the Perfect Chocolate Cake and Other Important Life Lessons.

Finally, and most importantly, thank you for your support, interest and acceptance over the last four year. I look forward to sharing my new experiences with you in the future.


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A little thrill, a little love, a little lesson

I am going to let you in on a widely known secret: 90% of the time my brain is occupied with romance. How to recognize it (a skill I woefully lack). How to get it (again, not my strong suit). How to define it (yeah, not great there either). How, how, how. I am, without a doubt, a romance addict. A fifteen year-old giggling girl in a thirty-six year-old woman’s body. The thing is, I wasn’t boy crazy at fifteen – that didn’t kick in till I was nearly thirty.

As a romance addict, my latest drug of choice is the Modern Love blog from the New York Times. The other day I read Albert Stern’s essay on his son’s first crush and the girl who stole his heart. A ten minute episode in the life of a two year-old that spoke to the past, the present, and the future of romantic encounters.

Romance is a constant, like prime numbers or Pi. There is a high, then a low that results in either success or failure. Or, as Stern put it: “First you have a little thrill, then a little fun, then a little disappointment, and then come the brain-eating zombies.” How true, how very true.

The muddy paths and March winds tend to bring romance to my door. My most romantic moments have happened in the month of March. This fact has led some of my family and friends to deem March my hottest month. Thus far, there haven’t been any takers in 2013, but we are only thirteen days in so there’s time.

Should romance knock, I’ll be sure to enjoy the ride while keeping an eye out for the brain-eating zombies.

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This sums up what I’ve experienced and where my beliefs are probably better thank I’ve ever put it myself:
This was my take-away: There is no right way or wrong way to farm — there is the way that each farmer chooses is right for him/her and his/her farm. That’s it. They farm their way. Across the fence, their neighbor farms another. Their goal is to try to work together.

One Hundred Meals

– written by Ellen

The subject of GMOs came up at a friend’s house over the Fourth of July dinner table. I can’t recall the whole of the conversation, it was brief and fleeting. But I do remember the last exchange:

“… there’s a ton of scientific evidence proving that GMOs are really, really bad…” a friend at the table said.

“Actually, no there isn’t, necessarily,” I commented.

And with that, my friend picked up his plate and stormed off.

Now, I get that emotion. I was there once — not too long ago. And I’d frankly find it much easier to be there now. It is, in fact, infinitely easier to just believe what you want to believe and be done with it. To storm off. To ignore the other side. To be convinced that what you think about food is immutably right and if someone doesn’t agree then, well…

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Something old, but still popular and – since it is planting and hay season – still appropriate…

The New Farmer's Blog

I spent my first weekend at the farmer boy’s apartment. He did very well and did the two things I had requested – clean the bathroom and put fresh sheets on the bed – but I knew that the place would look more like a rest-stop than a place to rest and recharge. Case in point, his boots…the man has six pairs of barn boots strewn across the apartment like a maze, he calls it his “security system.”

And so, as I leave to go home for the week, here are a few thoughts on what is in store when you date a farmer:

  1. Be prepared for unexpected compliments like “You remind me of a show cow I once had…”
  2. Always make a meal that tastes just as good reheated in the microwave as it did three hours before when it came out of the oven – when you were

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And for something not farm related…

This weekend I’m off to Rally: The National Land Trust Conference sponsored by the Land Trust Alliance. I’ll be in Hartford for nearly a week working and going to workshops, my life will be land protection 24/7. I’m excited, but I’m also very worried about the state of my car.

This concern brought me to the decision to rent a car from Enterprise. Yesterday morning (9:00 am) I checked the price of an intermmediate sized car (as there will be three of us with luggage and other items). I was extatic to think the price for the week would only be $246, but not ready to commit. At 12:15 the price had jumped up to $275 and in the matter of the next thirty minutes it jumped up to $305 and then back to $275.

Frustrated and annoyed, I got on the phone with Enterprise’s customer service. Here is an unknown reality of renting a car, they may say rates are subject to change but they don’t say that those changes can happen in the matter of mere minutes. The price of a rental goes up as more cars are rented from the particular lot. Thus the price at 9 am was lower than the price at 12 pm because cars had been rented.

I was furious and they just plainly kept telling me too damn bad and that it is best to book a car when you see a good price as  you can always cancel it later. And so went my afternoon. I booked the car from Bennington for $275, but kept thinking about the situation. I then looked at the Amsterdam Enterprise and found the same car cost only $225.

A life lesson learned. An annoying afternoon. And I guess the best possible outcome because I got the car cheaper than I’d initially expected…but I still think their system is illogical and un-ethical, thank goodness I only rent a car every three years or so.

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A video worth watching

I came home from work early today. I didn’t feel well and was just sitting on my couch watching tv on my computer when I came across a video I’ve seen before. It’s long (20 minutes) but I highly recommend sitting down and watching it. I love Mike Rowe. I want to marry Mike Rowe. It’s not the deep voice or the super hairy chest (honestly that could be a deal breaker). See why…

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My alter ego…

Please visit my new weekly serial, Lipniki’s Book of Love here at WordPress. It can be found at or click on the link in my blogroll. A new chapter will be posted every weekend.


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