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Life on the Farm

Original Foragers

Beehives produce more than just honey, says homesteader Lauren Vitagliano, which is why the LOTF columnist and Rob Williams, the other half of the Pine Barrens Post, also harvest the bee pollen hunted and gathered by their buzzy neighbors.

Of Plants and Projects

Sprouting seedlings are a call to the garden every spring. TPW’s backyard farmer Alessia Eramo explains how she uses winter to prepare for this moment and why she’s expanding her growing ’scape. Be educated and inspired.

Cracking the Code to Raising Hens

Eggs are top of mind even more than usual these days. In a special Life on the Farm column that anticipates high Easter demand, Abby Sickler talks truth about raising healthy hens Mother Nature’s way.

Making Bacon

Chefs, be they masters of pit barbecue or maestros in fancy restaurant kitchens, are giving pork increasing respect these days. However, the care and feeding of hogs raised at industrial warehouses versus hogs raised family-style in woodlands and pastures can be canyons apart. LOTF columnist Abigail Sickler offers a boots-on-the-ground perspective.

Gold Miners

Pine Barrens homesteader and LOTF columnist Lauren Vitagliano is a pioneer whose spirit extends deep into the winter. That’s when she and Rob Williams, the other half of the Pine Barrens Post, tap into local trees to harvest sap, then boil that “maple water” into the syrup that becomes much more than a topper for pancakes.

Winter Citrus

Sunny colored fruits warm cold-weather months and while having them shipped in is an understandable option, so is shopping from growers such as Bhumi in Bordentown and Well-Sweep in Warren County. Kate Munning taps both and extends limited sunshine by making marmalade.

Growing, in the Dead of Winter

TPW’s backyard farmer Alessia Eramo sows now so she can be snowed under with produce come the height of the 2023 season.

A Tough Nut to Crack

Pine Barrens homesteader and LOTF columnist Lauren Vitagliano loves a challenge in the kitchen. So when she decided to ring in the holiday season by tackling a 26-pound harvest of chestnuts from a nearby farm, she figured marron glacés would be très magnifique. Read on to learn what happened.

Stop and Smell the Garlic

An anonymous someone once said, “Shallots are for babies, onions are for men, garlic is for heroes.” LOTF columnist Kate Munning pays homage to that clever gastronome with a planting late every fall so she can reap its rewards the following summer.

Birds from Paradise

One visit to a mindfully run animal farm can make it quite evident that all turkeys are not raised equally. In her first Life on the Farm column for TPW, Abigail Sickler takes us from a Butterball upbringing to her farm in Cumberland County, where the grasses on which her turkeys graze aren’t just greener, they’re a veritable salad bar.

Herbal Essences

Pine Barrens homesteader and LOTF columnist Lauren Vitagliano made a couple of new BFFs in her garden this growing season. Now that it’s harvest time, she’s experimenting with ways to keep their essences alive – including the use of an alembic still.

Delicious Autumn

Our backyard farmer’s ’scape is less flush with ripe produce these days. But Alessia Eramo still dines on the riches of her late-season vegetables and fruits and watches how, even in fall, her garden feeds nature. Dig in for tips to set the home-growing stage for 2023.


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