Perfect Imperfection

By Jennifer Welch My heifer has a penis. If you remember, it wasn’t too long ago that I was waiting for my dairy cow to calve. And I called heifer. So you can imagine my surprise when my heifer was born … with a penis. Damn. I guess it’s true that we can’t always get […]

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The Crowded Acre: Maybe

By Jennifer Welch Maybe being a farmer is akin to being a glutton for punishment. As farmers, we take on nearly insurmountable tasks against the worst odds and try to make a living out of it. We watch animals die and crops fail and weather reign supreme over our best fought intentions. Collectively, we’ve seen […]

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What Do You Want?

By Jennifer Welch Summer never starts off with these words, “What do you want?” It begins on a much softer note. “Hi, what can I help you with today? What can I get for you? Is that all you would like?” Everyone in the service industry has the lines memorized by heart and, at least […]

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The Crowded Acre: Soccer Mom

By Jennifer Welch I’m not entirely sure how the thing happened. I was there, of course, when it happened. I even took part in the happening of the thing. But I still can’t be sure of the how part. And, you know, life goes on – blah, blah, blah, we will all survive – yada, […]

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The Crowded Acre: The Dude

By Jennifer Welch It’s no secret to most that I am part woman, part wild animal. I walk a paper thin line between human reasoning and animal instinct, between empathy for our man-made problems and disdain for the four walls surrounding me. I find it difficult to relate to most people, especially the ones that […]

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The Crowded Acre: Butter and Waffles

I think I’m gaining ground. In the early days, my request for a house pig would have simply been ignored. Along with my ideas of owning goats and cows and chickens and ponies, it might have even been scoffed at. I think the initial resistance was due to the fact that my husband didn’t really […]

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The Crowded Acre – What A Long, Strange Trip

By Jennifer Welch Y’all … what a long, strange trip it’s been. I am a pig farmer, a cook, and the owner of a 1984 65-passenger Bluebird school bus. The amount of stuff I don’t know could fill that school bus ten times over. But there are a few things I have learned along the […]

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The Crowded Acre – The Grass is Always Greener …

By Jennifer Welch I never did fall in love with the idea of grazing our livestock on leased property 10 miles from the farm. The idea never sat well with me for a variety of reasons, the loftiest of which has been protection from predators. Our poultry are protected round-the-clock by a 140-pound livestock guard dog […]

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The Bearded Lady

By Jennifer Welch – The Crowded Acre “The wheels on the bus go round and round …” It was mid-summer when we purchased the 1984 65-passenger Bluebird school bus. At that time, it had been almost a full year since I had broken the news to my husband – I wanted to go back into […]

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The Crowded Acre – Perceptions

by Jennifer Welch It wasn’t so long ago that we decided to move The Crowded Acre to a larger parcel of land – just over five years ago, to be exact. It’s strange to think, in hindsight, of what our “ideal” farmland was and how much we expected it to cost. Initially we wanted to […]

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Revolution

 By Jennifer Welch – The Crowded Acre “The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.” – Paul Cezanne How many times has a single head of lettuce changed your life? I received a call saying that my tank was ready for pickup – the one that I take to […]

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The Crowded Acre – Revolution

by Jennifer Welch “The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.” – Paul Cezanne How many times has a single head of lettuce changed your life? I received a call saying that my tank was ready for pickup – the one that I take to the local goat […]

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The Crowded Acre: Drinking Leads to “Porking”

By Jennifer Welch I’m hitting my stride. I’ve always known that I was a whiskey girl. Whiskey. Bourbon. Single-malt Scotch. Maybe a blend if you force my hand. Neat. Always neat. This I know. But my stride has nothing to do with that. No, my stride has more to do with curly tails and round […]

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The Crowded Acre: Technology on the Farm

By Jennifer Welch Although sometimes I hate to admit it, I belong to Gen Y, the Millennials, Generation Next. I do not have a college degree, despite the years I spent in college. I spent a period of time cohabitating prior to getting married. I have had access to the Internet since I was in […]

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The Crowded Acre – All I Ask

by Jennifer Welch As a farmer, I don’t ask to be celebrated. I don’t ask to be idolized or commemorated; I don’t even ask to be remembered. As a farmer, I don’t ask for high wages or safe working conditions, nor do I ask for promotions or bonuses at the end of each year. As […]

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