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April 17, 2014

If you don’t read the New York Times cover to cover each day, you might have missed the fact that my chickens are now famous. A recent piece on what to do in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens covered life at the oldest Dutch colonial farmhouse in New York City,...

December 24, 2013

Part of OnEarth's Answers from the Past month, in which our contributors explore how contemporary thinking on sustainability has been influenced by wisdom handed down to us from previous generations. Read more here.

The walk from the subway to my house in an...

October 24, 2013

“What’s that noise?” The cat. “There it is again! Coming from over there now!” Its the other cat. Its always a cat. Go back to sleep.

Sure, I was a little jumpy the first few weeks I spent living in the attic of New York City’s oldest Dutch Colonial farmhouse. It's three centuries old. It looks old. It feels old. It sounds and smells old. Since Hendrick Barents Smidt...

October 3, 2013

The eighteen-wheelers begin barreling down Flushing Avenue at four in the morning. Asleep inside a 300-year-old farmhouse in New York City, I hear the trucks as they back into the warehouse loading docks nearby. Beep beep beep beep beep. The sounds rouse me well before the quack quack quack of my iPhone alarm clock. Sometimes I pretend the rumblings of passing trucks are ocean waves, but eventually, I give up on sleep and start my morning chores—the first of which...

August 22, 2013

When you become the caretakers of a 400-year-old farm in New York City, your friends have a lot of questions, the first of which is: when can I come over? And when you live in a city for more than a decade, accumulating acquaintances from jobs, bars, sports, and grad school, you end up with lot of friends. So, why not invite them over all at once? My boyfriend Keith and I have...

July 15, 2013

Once upon a time, between 90,000 and 20,000 years ago, an ice sheet dislodges an eight-foot-long rock from somewhere in North America and carries it south. It’s pretty slow going—even for the Pleistocene epoch. Thousands of years pass as the rock rides the glacial wave. The air warms. The rock sinks into the slush. As the glacier slips back into Canada, its stony stowaway is left behind, resting on a newly formed hillside.

The landscape is much different after the ice sheet...