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So Happy to Clam Up

Senia and Lucas went out to the coast to forage. They came back with their limit of clams—40 apiece. They also had the bright-eyed glow of people who have spent the day enjoying the beach. “Look at this!” said Senia. “A sculpin!” Lucas showed off the bag of oysters they had shelled on the beach—it’s illegal to bring the shells home. The best was yet to come. Senia and Lucas generously shared their clams, ambrosia to my sea-starved palate. (Mike and Ori have given us some clams too, but those are still in the freezer awaiting a special occasion. These clams were on the hoof and ready to go.) Garlic butter, popcorn, and a bucket of steamed clams. This inspires me to take a winter clammi

Dead Baby Month

Honey the goat went into labor late morning on Friday. One of the women who gets milk here at the farm stopped in to say hello, and I triumphantly told her to come back next week and see the baby goats. Meanwhile Honey strained to get her kid out. I gave her raspberry leaves. I gave her ivy. I gave her a few coffee beans. None of these labor aids worked as the morning turned to afternoon, then to evening. Finally I put on a glove and reached into her womb, where I could not make heads or tails of the kid or kids in there. Honey was bleating in pain, her brown eyes bugging out with each contraction. Daniel was next to me, wincing empathetically each time Honey threw back her head and g

The Trouble Begins

Last Saturday Senia came in to the kitchen as I took crumbling nettles out of the dehydrator. “I’m a grandmother!” she exclaimed with a beaming grin. I froze with the tongs in mid-air. Since our goat Honey was due to kid any day, I was paralyzed to think that I had missed the birth. “Honey?” I croaked. “No, Hen!” said Senia. Hen is Senia’s rabbit, and in the night she had given birth to 9 pink kits. Incredibly adorable, the kits squirmed in a nest of their mother’s fur. The trouble began when three days later Senia came into the house holding a basket. Tears ran down her face. “They’re all dead!” she wailed. “They were scattered all around the cage, cold!” She pulled back the blanket t

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