The (former) White House

Thanksgiving just passed and we’re in week seven of a four-week construction project.  You can read that again, but you got it right the first time.  We’re probably looking at three more weeks before the farmhouse exterior is done.  In some ways I’m cool with that.  Please, after all of this, I just want to be sure we end up with a job well done.  And, yes, I am afraid to get the final bill. 

With the construction project in full swing, our Airbnb rentals at the farm remain closed on weekdays.  Managing the rentals is my full-time gig, so…what to do, what to do?  I’m an avid reader of magazines and there’s been a stack of them collecting on the fainting couch since summer.  With the Airbnb lull, I’ve been tearing through them at a rapid clip, getting design ideas and copying new recipes.  One mag that I’m not so sure I’ll renew next year is “Old House.”  There’s some shaming going on in there…a shit ton of it, actually.  The arguments for renovation vs. restoration of old homes like ours (circa early 1800s, we think) are few.  Basically, you’ve tortured any historic home if there’s even a whiff of vinyl.  I’ll tell you what…we kicked it old school here for the past decade and I’ve come to believe that, in an environment where every bug in the surrounding forest eats wood for survival, vinyl can be a girl’s best friend.

If you’re following us on social media at Griff Run, you may have seen that we no longer live in an iconic white farmhouse with a small front porch.  In fact, there are no steps at all leading to our fancy new front door (hoping that will be resolved in 2022).  This house has seen more metamorphosis than the entire Kardashian clan combined; house lifted to dig a basement, new foundation and floor joists, a beautifully finished basement, three layers of asphalt shingles removed for new roofing, all new windows save the leaded glass beauty out front; new plumbing, new electrical, all levels wired for sound, now we’re stripping two layers of siding, blowing insulation into every wall cavity and adding new siding, soffits and fascia.  Whew!  Don’t get us started talking about the other eight buildings on the farm.

While we’d likely be listed as a ‘before’ and ‘after’ DON’T in “Old House” magazine, these modernizations work for us in reality and especially as we look ten years into our future, at retirement.  No more climbing ladders to add or remove huge, glass storm windows, no more towels jammed under the front and back doors to stop the -40F degree wind gusts from coming inside in February (yep, you read that temp right the first time, too).   We’re salvaging as much farm charm as possible (hell, look across the road at that beauty of a red dairy barn), see those original 1800s sunbursts at the roof peaks; we even head across state lines to salvage vintage farmhouse sinks.  Restoration is also on the table when feasible…we’ve replaced 1960s hollow core doors with solid-core and glass-paned beauties, and 3” window and door trim with a more respectable six.  Mixing vintage charm with modern conveniences is our jam.

There was a time when we were younger, knowing that our first house or second house would not be our last; when we would renovate and even choose paint colors with the next owner in mind.  What a blessing to finally feel at home in a place where we can renovate and restore and decorate with only ourselves in mind.  It’d be remiss of me not to mention the folks who inspire every project at Griff Run: to my Gram who always dreamed of owning her own little white house but never did (I hope she’s OK with a big, blue one); to Uncle Bob who knew the fam should always have a place to go in case ‘shit goes down’; to Griffin who would likely have built his own treehouse in the giant maple out back by now and be renting it on Airbnb for money; to Nick who predicted nine years ago that, when we finally finish this place, it will be awesome. 

Carry on,



The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the term ‘wingman’ is the beloved Goose from the movie Top Gun.  Two scenes from that movie really stick out to me…the one where Goose dies (tragic) and the volleyball scene (fabulous)…which I watched over and over with my BFF Darlene…with our eyes laser focused on Slider, in particular.  

Not sure how the young’uns define ‘wingman’ these days…surely not as we ‘boomers’ do – but I’ve seen evidence of them all around southwest Wisconsin.  The Amish may not be aware that I would consider their children their ‘wingmen’ – English farmers’ children as well.  And the situation is not isolated to farming…if you have kids who are all in and getting more and more involved in your household or in your family business(es), you are blessed with a wingman (or two or ten). 

Doing business with our Amish neighbors is when I first noticed what happens when the wingmen (usually females) move into adulthood and start to blaze their own trail.  The number of services they offered from their homestead seemed infinite: crop sales, organic egg production, meat production, butchering (or, ‘dispatching’ if that makes you feel better about it), cabinet making, bakery sales and the list goes on.  Then the daughters – the wingmen – began to fly the coop; first bakery sales ceased, then strawberry production, then butchering became limited. 

The massive shift in my neighbor’s businesses and lives helped me to realize that, due to COVID-19, I was blessed with another year with my wingman, yet her ‘off to college’ experience will never be what we had hoped.  In that ‘bonus’ year we went full throttle…I was laid off by my employer (thank you, UW System, for one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given – to love you and to leave you – sincerely)…both kids were home and we were sheltering a third.  It was game on…campsites went live, buildings were painted, roofing replaced, a mural was painted on one barn and another was transformed into a vintage shop and bakery.

Just before Labor Day, Holland, my wingman, reluctantly left the empire she helped to build to become a resident of Madison and an on-campus student of UW-Madison.  So many changes for her having grown up in a place so beautifully isolated with the nearest town 15 minutes away by car, having attended a K-12 school with a graduating class of 26 students!   With that, the awkward silence in the house…no more Holland coming to greet me in the pasture in the mornings while I’m doing chores…no more spectacular baked goods in the house or in the vintage shop…no more co-host of our multiple Airbnb rentals…no more runner to the farmer on the ridge for eggs when we run low.   Well, no more for now…but we look forward to May 2022 and her return, to her hugs, and to hear her singing as she goes about her day.  We also realize that the summer of 2022 could very well be her last at the farm.  So, we adjust on this end and do everything we can to help her thrive in another amazing place and the one after that and the one after that.  

Today our wingman comes back to the farm for the first time in two whole weeks…to hang with the boomers, get lots of hugs, get some loving from the dogs, Marco and Polo, and from Chips the alpaca, but mostly because we put out an S.O.S. to help us stack this winter’s  firewood that is still in a heap on the lawn.  Because some parts of country life can’t be put on pause when the wingman departs.   



The Value of Things

You probably know that we’ve opened a vintage shop at Griff Run but many folks still wonder where do we get all of the things? The answer is: it varies…but an experience we had yesterday at an area homestead was exceptional.

I was in Red Barn at Griff Run (‘the shop’) when my cell phone rang. The call was local – from a neighbor named Jim, Jim from Gillingham, who heard that there were some ladies in the area who might be able to help his family. Jim and his wife are retired but need to leave their homestead where the family has spent generations, in order to get their adult, autistic son closer to regular medical care in Marshfield, WI. They had anticipated and dreaded this move for several years, but now the need was more urgent. Would Red Barn be interested in their family heirlooms? I said we’d take a look. Jim followed up with another call a day later reminding us to bring lots of blankets…to ensure the items get to the Barn safely.

When we pulled the dually into their driveway yesterday afternoon, all of the items were carefully placed along the sidewalk to their front door; antique mirrors, sewing machine table, bird’s eye maple child’s table and chairs, a stained glass lamp, a library table from the now closed area teacher’s college, a copper boiler, and boxes full of housewares. It was important to the family that we knew the story behind each item; the full-length mirror belonged to her grandmother, the maple dresser and mirror is one they bought at an estate sale when newlyweds with barely two nickels to scrape together, the child’s rocker was bought for Jim’s wife when she was a child.

We spent quite awhile talking with these neighbors we’d never previously met. Talking about their past, future and their family heirlooms now on the sidewalk. We carefully covered and placed the items in our vehicles. Tears were shed at the loss but also at the opportunity for these items to be truly desired and cared for by someone else. We invited the family to come and sit with us at Red Barn sometime soon before they move north.

Yesterday’s experience was intense and I suspect there will be more just like it because word travels fast in these parts. Word has spread that there are these three ladies in Viola who agree that family treasures which have stood the test of time have value – especially in a throw-away society. Word is also spreading that this is not a shop where dealers are welcome to pick up treasures for next to nothing, cart them across state lines and take the revenue out of Wisconsin. We will meet out-of-state dealers at our area auctions and outbid them…then we will share these family heirlooms with our customers both in-person and online at prices that are fair and also reflect the item’s value to be found anywhere outside of this quiet, unassuming place we call Driftless Wisconsin. We may live in one of the poorest areas in the country…but we are rich…and by keeping the value of these items in Wisconsin we support our neighbors, our schools, our sick, our craftsmen, our local businesses.

It will take us a couple of weeks to get Jim’s family heirlooms onto the display floor at Red Barn. I’m certain you’ll see posts on Facebook and Insta as we do. We’ll also be certain to share the history of these items when you visit or as you have interest because that is probably the most important part about what we do; we are storytellers bearing gifts from the families who settled Wisconsin and the Midwest. When the weather turns in October and our brick and mortar shop in Red Barn closes until spring…we’ll go online through and continue to share these treasures with you…because even in winter, the opportunity to tell and share these stories never ends.

Be well,

Shawna (Holland and April)

How do you spell manure?

My great-uncle Albert was the youngest child in his family. Uncle ‘Al’, his parents and siblings (including my maternal grandmother) all lived in the City of Chicago (yes, in the city…we don’t bullshit about that) on Giddings Avenue on the NW side (yes, also Cubs fans). It’s hard to believe that, when Albert was young, his father (my great-grandpa) was a Chicago garbage man…who picked up trash with a wagon…drawn by horses…and that they lived just a block from Lawrence Avenue…which was then a dirt road. As a kid who also grew up on the NW side of Chicago – Mind. Blown.

The Redmanns lived on a double lot, which they needed, because the horses were kept in the carriage house on the property (the carriage house is no longer standing, sadly). One chore for young Albert was to collect the horse manure in a wagon, take it to Lawrence Avenue and sell it to passersby for their gardens. When my gram first told me this story, I could see it…and feel it as though I were Albert (perhaps a glimpse into my distant future). I can picture young, slight Albert trudging with an unwieldy wagon to the ‘busy road’ to set up and sell. He had the backing for his sign and something to write with and hesitated a bit when it came time to spell m-a-n-u-r-e. That’s a tough one… So, he did what many descendants of the Redmanns do so well…he improvised. His sign read “HORSE SHIT FOR SALE.” My gram’s belly would shake with laughter at this story. Needless to say, great-grandpa Redmann didn’t think it funny when word got back that his youngest was peddling horse ‘shit’ on Lawrence Avenue.

As a city kid turned country(ish) myself, I’ve learned a lot of things about shit since moving to Viola, Wisconsin ten years ago. Great-uncle Albert was fortunate to be charged with disposing of horse apples (what people ‘in the know’ call horse manure) – as it’s much less disgusting on the excrement scale. Our area of expertise at Griff Run now includes your run-of-the-mill dog and cat shit; progressing to horse, chicken, bat and alpaca (those last two being superior fertilizers, btw).

This year we embarked upon what seemed impossible; convert the old red dairy barn into a swank vintage shop. We have kept horses and alpacas in this barn and the previous owner managed a cattle operation here for five decades. The barn is in excellent condition structurally, but had never been scoured clean…because, why would it be? So…before our vintage dreams could become reality, and like Albert, we had to move the shit.

The first space we tackled was the hay mow (upstairs, for you city folk); donning masks, gloves, long sleeves and pants, putting up extension ladders and scraping decades of gardener’s gold from the barn framing – AKA, bat guano. After scraping, vacuuming, sweeping, cleaning and fumigating, we moved downstairs to get up close and personal with DECADES old, (prehistoric, haha!) cow manure that blew straight from the source onto the beautiful oak boards that made up the stalls. I still carry plenty of ignorance about farm life and was confused as to why there was gray, hard-as-stone, dried concrete on the oak boards in the alcove under the stairs to the hay mow – but only the boards that were about 3-4 feet from the ground (yes, perfect height for the assplosions). First I thought, well, I can just leave that…but I was also raised by a bunch of German women and that’s not how we clean. So, back to scraping, then sweeping up the scrapings, then breaking out the shop vac, then grabbing two buckets, four rags, a scrub brush, gloves and some soap.

If you ever wondered if cow shit (it wasn’t concrete, after all) could be reconstituted decades later…I can tell you, YES. Each oak board in what used to be the cattle stalls averaged about eight feet long and eight inches tall. Once wet, and scrubbed and wiped (think foamy, light brown sludge resulting), it would take an average of SIX bucket changes (remember, we were using two at a time, so totaling 12 buckets) to clean a single board. I wish we had started counting buckets at the very beginning…because this is a large barn…and the number must be in the hundreds and hundreds. Cleaning of the barn took months…

Upsides? Red Barn at Griff Run is amazing (find us on social to see for yourself). We’ve dropped any/all weight we may have gained during COVID isolation; there are Madonna arms going on here. We now utilize this oft neglected barn and she may just make it another 100 years…shit-free.

Come see us,

Ghosts and Dreams

Before we got fiber optic WiFi at the farm (yes, the angels are singing)…I used to unplug our modem each night (fewer EMFs and all). Until recently, no cell service would work in our valley (most still don’t). We still have a land line; we used to have two. At night…sometimes it is so dark, you can’t see your hand in front of your face. For most of our friends from the city, these things were/are cause for alarm. Until they relent…

Five years ago when we decided to rehab the old summer kitchen adjacent to the farmhouse and rent it on Airbnb, some questioned if anyone would come out here; no cell reception, no TV. We wondered, too. But they did…and they do. Family and friends stay in the farmhouse and it’s not long before you find them cozying up in the big chair next to the woodstove or heading back outside to the sun deck…and we visibly see life’s stress and anxiety leave their body.

People say they sleep well here; they say they dream. We’ve been fortunate to host three college students from the local University of Wisconsin campus over the years. One student from South Korea told me he never understood what people meant when they talked about dreaming. He had led a life of intention during his brief 20 years…had plans to become a neurosurgeon…but he had never had a dream. “At the farm,” he said, “every night I dream.”

Now, we have invested in some pretty amazing Saatva mattresses at the farm…and several folks have bought one for themselves after a sleepover here…but I think there is more to it than that. Our barn cats lay belly up sunning themselves on a rock on the hill or on a lawn chair in front of the Guesthouse. We find our guests snoring with the windows down, taking a nap mid-day in the Starcraft camper with a dozen other people milling about. It feels safe here.

I bought this farm after one of my six-year-old identical twin boys died from the rarest cancer on the planet. This is a healing place and I named the farm for that amazing kid, Griffin, and one of the things he liked to do most: run (he did not get that interest or ability from me). I’m guessing, whether we can admit it or not, many of us who have lost someone we loved dearly believe we hear from them again after they’re gone. Before Griff died, I told him to come back and cause some trouble so Mommy would know he was OK (this is important for you to remember)…and he did…within 24 hours of his passing. I like to think that sometimes Griff visits us here. We know someone does.

The UW student we hosted most recently came to the farm to avoid returning to Milwaukee when COVID-19 hit; COVID was rampant in his city. Thankfully, E knew my kids and they all got along pretty well. We worked really hard at the farm that summer out of necessity and as an escape. The kids also had quality down time and had some pretty deep conversations about life, loss, race, spirituality, religion. I think they talked about ghosts, too, because E mentioned it when he came running to the house from the barn one day.

E had been doing chores in the red barn. It’s a traditional red dairy barn…barn stalls on the first floor with stairs to an expansive hay mow with 25-foot ceilings. The barn has been filling with antiques for years in anticipation of opening our vintage shop. To hear E tell the story, on his walk through the barn that day, he knocked something over and it broke. He came inside the house to tell me about it, grabbed the broom and dustpan and headed to clean up. About ten minutes later he came running out of the barn and across the road yelling my daughter’s name, “Holland! Holland!” He ran into the back door of the house talking fast and out of breath wanting to know where Holland was…wasn’t she just in the barn? Nope. She’s been upstairs in the house for awhile. He flipped.

“I heard her voice clear as DAY! The barn door opened behind me and I heard it close, she said, ‘Hey, Eli’ and then I heard footsteps go upstairs!” Then, when he talked to her and she didn’t respond, he yelled up the stairs to the hay mow, but, no answer. He thought for sure we were fucking with him. We were not. He never went back into the barn…saying ‘Black people don’t fuck with that shit.’ LOL! That is indeed the most vivid encounter in the red barn, but not the first and, hopefully, not the last. Thanks, G, for letting me know you’re still OK.



Ode to the hatchery

An ode is meant to be sung. You don’t want to hear me sing. I will forever, however, bestow praises upon any ethical hatchery currently in business and here’s why…

Before moving to Wisconsin, I was a suburban Denver mom with three kids under the age of two, taking ‘backyard chickens’ classes so I could raise them someday. If given the time and opportunity, I will always be a learner first…then a doer. One thing that class never taught me in that class was how to hatch an egg.

We moved to Griff Run and bought our first clutch of chicks by mail from Murray McMurray hatchery (highly recommend them). I was horrified that these one-day-old babies would be put in a box and sent through the mail in the dead of winter, taking up to three days to reach us, without food and water. My mom brain exploded. I was the person driving 1.5 hours to La Crosse, WI to get to the babies faster…then wrapping the box in my winter scarf and rushing to the heated car to keep them warm. It was February, so that first clutch was raised in the house…where we live. Disgusting. Lesson learned: don’t raise them in the house where you also breathe. On the upside, that clutch was the most friendly, dynamic and healthy we ever raised. One female, Poopshoe, lived to be eight years old, would always let you hold her, loved to help you garden and was sadly killed by a predator just last year. Still looking for that predator through the rifle scope to this day.

Fast forward to 2021. We’ve raised one to two clutches of birds per year every year for the past nine years – some are hens for eggs and others are what we call ‘meat birds.’ We have always ordered our chicks locally or through Murray McMurray. We have often thought of allowing the birds to do this for us naturally, but, too often, having a rooster is more of a nodus than a solution (nodus is another word for ‘problem’ or ‘difficulty’ and I credit a former mentor for sharing this word of the day with me – he must have known I could use it). About three years ago we upped the ante and started raising turkeys with our chicks (in the same brooder, same building, same coop without issues despite what you might read online). We noticed two things: organically and ethically raised turkeys raised on our farm were wonderful at Thanksgiving…and turkeys are excellent protectors of chickens.

This year, rather than raise the ‘broad breasted bronze’ turkey which matures in about six months and must be butchered or it will die from overgrowth, we wanted to raise heritage breed, old-school turkeys so at least two of them could live here long-term. Note number two. Number two pretty much sums up what happens for the next 31 days. Shit storm.

Heritage breed turkeys are hard to come by this year for any number of reasons. We could have ordered through Murray, but had to take 15 turkeys. We’d need a whole building for that. Our local supplier could not get heritage breeds due to supply problems. But, I remembered that our neighbors at English Ridge Orchard had been dabbling in raising a variety of heritage breeds so I reached out. Not only did they have fertilized eggs, we could also borrow their incubator. Less than 24 hours later, we were attempting to hatch 12 turkey eggs in an incubator on our dining room table. We cast bets. I had to smile when I saw H’s handwritten note stating how many live birds we each thought would result from the 12 eggs.

On day 28, we noticed at least four of the chicks had broken an air hole through their shells, right on time. The next morning, a single chick had completely broken free…shell wide open and his head firmly lodged in the gap between the wall of the incubator and the floor. PANIC. See, you shouldn’t open the incubator during hatching as humidity is lost and the chicks lose the moisture in their shells necessary to move around and break out of their prison. But we did it…we opened the box and carefully pulled him free. His name is LD…for Little Dude. For the next 36 hours, however, there was fretting. No other egg had hatched although we could see the chicks attempting their escape and even chirping inside of their shells. LD was running around the incubator rooting them on…but he would need to go into the chicken coop brooder in the building out back soon – he would need food and water. He also needs a friend…but no one else was hatching.

I called the local feed shop and asked if they had any extra chicks we could buy (my God we have no more room for chickens here) to keep LD company in the back coop. Yes. So H and I drove to town to grab chicks…any chicks. We picked out two and put them in a box and headed to the counter. Then we’re told that state law requires we buy six chicks…we could take our two today and come back tomorrow when a new shipment arrives and pick another four (here is where the slide toward doom begins). OK. We get home and put the two new chicks in the brooder out back with LD…the brooder that had been prepared a week in advance and had been warming for a full 48 hours before we needed it. LD seemed horrified that there were other chicks with him in the brooder. Little did he know, they would love him lots in just a bit.

We have a bunch of other projects happening at the farm right now, one of which is trenching for power and water lines to the ridge where we are excavating to place Eunice the Airstream. While H and I are frantic about chicks, Farmer Matt is trenching 200 feet from the house to the new camper site. About an hour after I put everyone in the brooder together, I thought I should go check on them. Upon entering the coop I noticed the heat lamp was off and quickly determined the power had been cut. The top of the brooder flew from my hands and I see LD getting all of the love he could have ever asked for from his two new friends who were stacked on top of him like an oreo cookie, all three of them faintly chirping and near death from the cold.

I grabbed them all in a single handful and put them into the box we had just brought back from the feed store…charged out of the building, past the dogs and ran straight up the stairs into the house, through the house with my boots on (gasp!). H is now on high alert that bad things are happening and scrambles to make sense of it all. “What’s happening?!” I, once again, opened the incubator with the eggs still hatching and put all three chicks inside. They were barely responsive. Two minutes later they still look terrible and I pulled an old trick I had tried once before in a similar situation and ran for the blow dryer. Put them all back in the small box and heated them up faster.

The power line that had been cut by the trencher was repaired and the brooder warmed up again. Went back to town for the other four chicks and they are all together (anyone need six organically raised bantams and easter eggers?!). I slept on the couch in the room adjacent to the incubator for two nights just in case the incubator alerted to a temperature drop or the cat decided to investigate the chicks chirping from inside of their shells. Only one other chick from the three that were hatching has survived to today – and only because we broke it out of its shell ourselves. We’re hopeful that it survives and can be a lifelong friend to LD.

Much like we learned nine years ago that we should never raise chicks in our home where we breathe…we learned this year to never take for granted mama chickens, mama turkeys and ethical hatcheries. I am exhausted and I sing your praises.


First Friday

Is this a bad time to talk about taking time off? No job? New job? ‘Lucky to have a job?’ You may be here to learn about all of the insane things we do each day at the farm…and all we can think about is time off. We don’t covet the jobs that our farmer neighbors have…because time off is not a thing. We can’t imagine it.

CNBC reported in December of 2019 that “only 23% of employees take all of the time they are entitled to — and 9% take no paid time off at all…(in 2018) American workers left a record 768 million days of vacation on the table, up nearly 10% from the year before, according to research from the U.S. Travel Association. Of the unused days, 236 million were forfeited completely, the equivalent to $65.5 billion in lost benefits. For each worker, that’s like giving back $571 in untapped paid time.

Enter what we call, ‘First Friday.’ The First Friday of every month is about adult time (insert inappropriate comments here); no kids, no work, no chores, no responsibilities except to enjoy the day – whatever that looks like to you, twelve times a year. Whatever the month, whatever the weather, circle the wagons around that shit and make it happen.

First Friday was a couple of days ago and it coincided with great weather for the first time in forever. So, while chores were screaming from all directions, we bailed. Farmer Matt and I hiked at Kickapoo Valley Reserve, stopped at Rockton Bar for lunch and a cocktail for lunch, finally found the infamous ‘Amish Walmart’ junk shop (closed for Good Friday), hit a couple of stores in Viroqua then picked up fish fry at Old Oak Inn in Soldier’s Grove. Great day.

Is it February (not going outside!) and the kids are home doing their virtual learning or you’re just plain sick of staring at the same walls since March of 2020? Rent the coolest, closest Airbnb to your home. One night, two nights…hell, rent something by the hour. Let nothing stop you! The anticipation of First Friday is almost more cathartic than the day itself. Something to look forward to….it’s the best medicine.

Already we look forward to Friday, May 7. Guests will check in for their escape at our farm and we’ll check out. They always understand. Hoping the people in your life will, too.


Where do I start?

That was supposed to be the title of my first book…’Where do I start?’ I’ll settle for a blog post at this point. If you follow us on Facebook or Insta @GriffRun you know where I’m coming from…if not, it won’t take you long to get up to speed.

My former colleagues, back when I had a ‘real’ job, will just be thrilled that I started this blog at all. Apparently, my daily farm stories told in the big city of Madison seemed otherwordly. Well, I was the only staffer bringing fresh, organic eggs by the dozen to sell to my co-workers on Lake Street. Even I had to laugh when I would get off of the elevator and turn the corner to my office to see empty egg cartons hanging on my door – an enviro-friendly co-worker looking to recycle their carton back to me.

The day job was a solid challenge for certain…about 25 years working in media, marketing and communications for everyone from road builders to organic food cooperatives to University of Wisconsin. I was probably the only communications professional working for the State of Wisconsin with a burner phone from Walmart. I was also the one on the leadership team showing up to the boardroom with my home-brewed iced tea…in a Ball jar. I loved the work…but it was always going to be the paycheck that enabled us to live here and bleed out financially to save an old organic farm in the middle of nowhere (aka: Viola).

It’s been ten years since we moved here and we just might be figuring this hobby farm thing out…or not. Mother Nature and nine falling down buildings try to hand us our asses just about daily. A common statement at Griff Run is: “just another day blown up at the farm.” It’s a shit show and I’m the ringmaster…I have that written on a pair of socks to prove it.

Stick around and you’ll undoubtedly hear more about dogs running away to dig up and roll around in a dead horse, husbands sneaking out to buy $30K tractors, kids deciding that electrical transformers look like great target practice, me deciding to nearly kill myself eating foraged mushrooms, and those infamous ‘Kids, Dogs & Nudity Ahead…Please Slow Down” signs I put roadside to keep speeders from running anyone over on the road that bisects our farm. Just had lookie-loos stop at our hand-painted sign today for a photo opp. Signs have been up for nearly eight years, now? This shit never gets old.