Eating on the Wild Side

Written by Lydia Benedict.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Sadly, there are many industrial foods today that are far from medicinal. Processed foods in particular are full of additives that are just plain toxic. Moreover, buying food that has medicinal properties may seem impossible.

FOOD DO’S…AND DON’TS

Written by Lydia Benedict.

This weekend I’m speaking at a small health and nutrition seminar; my topic is healthy eating habits for children. By and large, children will eat only as healthy as their parents. I’m reminded of the film Field of Dreams starring Kevin Costner: “If you build it, they will come.” When it comes to children and food, a similar motto holds true: If you buy it, they will eat it.

The River

Written by Lydia Benedict.

Last weekend Jez Butterworth’s play The River, starring Hugh Jackman, closed on Broadway. On Saturday I took my 18-year-old son Tennyson to see it. That marked my third time seeing the show.

TURNING 45

Written by Lydia Benedict.

Last week I celebrated my 45th birthday by attending a Monday night football game. That morning dawned sunny and mild on the farm. As we loaded overnight bags in the car, the goats bleated at us from their nearby pasture and the roosters crowed. If it weren’t for the leaf-littered ground beneath mostly bare trees—the bright green grass looked deceptively like spring. I kissed the kids (not the goats) goodbye. (They were in great hands with their new tutor.) Then we headed north.

Procrastination

Written by Lydia Benedict.

I never used to be a procrastinator. I got my school assignments done as soon as possible. I studied for tests weeks in advance. And my Christmas cards went out the day after Thanksgiving. Then I had children and moved to a farm. Now I am the caretaker of 20 acres in the Shenandoah Valley. When we bought it, the property was unkempt; no one had lived there in about ten years. Brush had overtaken much of the landscape. The bushes around the house were so big that it hid parts of the house. And poison ivy was growing up the house. Add to this work animals and gardens and the conviction to home school, and now instead of getting things done as soon as possible, I get them done as late as possible. Sometimes I don't get it done at all. I no longer consider procrastination substandard, but instead—necessary. Procrastination is a survival skill.

Farm Life (and Death)

Written by Lydia Benedict.

I had always dreamed of living in a big, white farmhouse with a veranda at the end of a long, tree-lined driveway. I pictured green meadows and rolling hills dotted with maples and oaks and perhaps an old red barn and a few farm animals. Perhaps that’s what attracted me to our home at the end of a half-mile dirt road—an ideal. Farm life is idyllic, or so it seems.

However, farm life is not for the faint-hearted. The work is dirty, back-breaking, exhausting, and never-ending. Kristin Kimball said it best in her book: The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love.

Anne of Green Gables

Written by Lydia Benedict.

“Which would you rather be if you had the choice—divinely beautiful or dazzling clever or angelically good?”  Anne Shirley asks in the classic story, Anne of Green Gables.
 
If you’ve ever wanted to visit Avonlea and meet author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s characters, you’re in luck.  For the next three days at Camelot (although fitting—I’m not talking about Lord Tennyson’s Camelot), a group of mostly young boys and girls are putting on a production of Anne of Green Gables.  Directed and produced by Sarah Floyd, this production stars Ariana Jones as the red-headed orphan who comes to live at Green Gables on Prince Edward Island.
 

Ice Cream!

Written by Lydia Benedict.

I have started an ice cream business.  Here is the story….
 
For several years, I have been a local distributor for a dairy in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.  It’s called Trickling Springs Creamery out of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.  I have personally visited one of the farms that supplies milk to the creamery, The Family Cow, run by Edwin Shank and his family.  I’ve seen a few dairies and I’ve never seen a cleaner milking parlor or a better managed herd.   Moreover, all the farms that supply Trickling Springs Creamery have grass-fed cows. 

Diamonds

Written by Lydia Benedict.

 

At my age, I don’t usually tell Jeff what I want for a present. But this year, I put in my request for Mother’s Day. Hugh Jackman was hosting the Tony Awards and I wanted to attend. I emailed Jeff, “You know people in the media. Now would be a great time to call in a favor.”

Barefoot in the Strawberries

Written by Lydia Benedict.

No more pencils, no more books
No more students’ dirty looks!

My children are not the only ones celebrating the end of the school year. I’m breathing a sigh of relief that I’ve survived another school year—though not without the help of my tutors. This year I had only two: Jamie Pinkston as math tutor and Georgi Smith as my life-saver.

New Kids on the Block

Written by Lydia Benedict.

 
Photos by Clancy Benedict
 
News bulletin from Rockspring Farm: We have adopted some kids!  Eleven—to be exact.  That is, we’ve become the caretakers of eleven young goats.
    
The longer I live here on our twenty acres, the more convinced I become that animals are necessary.  In an effort to keep predators at a distance and tick populations under control, we are forever clearing brush, mowing grass, and even using the weed-eater to keep the overgrowth at bay.  But it’s too much: too much fuel, too much wear-n-tear on equipment, and way too much labor.

Label Lies

Written by Lydia Benedict.

 

When I think of natural foods, I don’t think of items like Cheetos and Capri Sun juice pouches. Ironically, these foods and many others are often labeled as “natural.” So what exactly does the term natural mean? Not much, as it turns out.