I used to write a blog about food and family, sharing recipes and stories. It was aimless, sometimes funny, sometimes moving, mostly just a blog. Then I started reading books like The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball and Animal Vegetable Mineral by Barbara Kingsolver. (Psssst . . . The Dirty Life is better.) Connections between garden and kitchen began to excite me. I began to imagine the big grassy back yard transformed into a productive and beautiful garden. A quaint chicken coop with happy odorless chickens preened in their run by the hollies. Berry bushes grew instead of rhodedendrons in the front by the wall, and the side fence was covered with hardy kiwi vines. The windowboxes on the shed grew herbs and nasturtiums, and I spent my days happily making cheese, jam, pickles, and even my own soap!

Time passed. I awoke one day to the realization that I owned five homesteading books, a food dehydrator that I had never used, a nice herb garden, four tomato plants that were not quite earning their keep, two spirited little persimmons, two promising pawpaws, an eggplantless eggplant plant, some just okay compost, finicky unprolific redworms, and no chickens.

Something had to change. It was time to step away from the daydreams and into the dirt.

Full blog entries will be posted every Tuesday morning, and shorter entries and tweets whenever. No iPad giveaways, no corporate sponsors, just us chickens.

Welcome to fork + spade.



  1. Can't wait to see the results (but I hope you don't hurt your beautiful rhodies!).

  2. Lauren, couldn't find you on FB but wanted to wish you a happy birthday. Hope you get this message! :-)