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The Garlic Journal

How long does it take to grow a head of garlic? Today I found out.

Last December, Scott, one of our hunt club members, gave my wife Julia and I 30 heads of garlic. They were amazingly delicious, grown by Scott in his garden. This, I vowed, I would have to try.

Scott’s garlic, well, what’s left of the original 30 heads he gave us. Hanging beside it, one of my favorite sculptures, a mango wood carving given to my… Continue reading

Wren Silhoutte

Morning visitor. A house wren perched on our locust clothes line support. The shadow on the left is our door sill. The vertical strings give something for the pole beans to hang on to.

Welcome to summer. My wife Julia and I are busying ourselves with summer chores on the homestead. Mornings, I’m working on my new book. Afternoons are spent building a new locust fence for the mules, tending the garden and leveling a pad for the new run… Continue reading

The Sound of Locust Splitting

Here’s how that locust log I’m using in my new fence sounded when I split it with my sledge and wedge. Locust is known for being one tough wood. Rot resistant, too. But what’s less known is how it crackles and pops when it’s split. I made you a recording of what it sounds like to split the locust log below.

Click on the audio below for the sound of locust splitting.

The sound of locust splitting
One of the… Continue reading

Pineapples or Pine Apples?

Seemingly non-stop rain these past 2 weeks. The sort that dumps 12 inches of rain on you in almost as many days. The type that holes you up inside so long you want to escape. The type that reminds you western North Carolina flirts with being a temperate rain forest.

This afternoon Julia and I sloshed down the driveway to escape the cabin. Lying in the driveway…..tiny pineapples?

Tiny pineapples?

Turns out they were pollen cones dropped from the white… Continue reading

Locust Fence Part 3: Running out of Posts

Today’s post was going to be about setting the first locust posts in the pasture I’m building for our mules and horse….until I ran out of posts. So, back up the mountain I went in pursuit of locust. I found such a beauty, and was taken by how much life it contained, that I wanted to show you some photos of how a log become posts.

Queen of the Wind Fall Locust Jungle: she showed me how many plants and… Continue reading

Three Little Birds

Bird One

Julia said, “I think something’s wrapped around its leg,” and opened her fingers for me to see. In her hand a phoebe with a piece of string wrapped around its foot.

I clipped of the thread with the scissors on my multi-tool. It flew away. Can’t say it was happy. We were, though.

The phoebe, also known as the eastern flycatcher. Voracious insect eaters, they love building nests in the tractor shed, right above my Tacoma pickup.

Bird… Continue reading

Locust Fence Part I

I’m currently writing my new book about my recent mule ramble from North Carolina to Idaho. Every day, the process goes like this. First I write my thoughts in longhand on sheets of printer paper. Then I scoot over to my computer and transfer that to my manuscript. Sitting in my saddle of course.

Nothing makes writing about a saddle journey as authentic as sitting in a saddle while you’re writing. To raise my keyboard and mouse, I employ a… Continue reading

The Hoof Boot Report: 3 Boots Reviewed After 32 Days on the Trail

Consumer Reports just won’t report on some things. These are the boots we’re reviewing. Here’s how they looked during our month-long mule ramble.

NOTE: This article ran a while back but in response to lots of questions I’m getting about hoof boots, I’m re-posting it. Enjoy! Bernie Harberts

The word “report” brings to mind images of white paper, statistics, lab coats and, yawn, boring facts. This is not that kind of report. Rather, it’s the account of what my… Continue reading

Writing New Book

Mules Cracker and Brick, stars of my upcoming book, relaxing at home.

Sorry I haven’t written lately. I’ve been busy chasing mules, admiring an 8-legged lamb and having lunch with Robert, a 1000 pound, dead man.

Yes, I’m writing a new book.

Draft One of the new book: All the field notes have been transcribed. Now comes the fleshing out.

Mule Ramble Book

My new book is about my recent mule ramble from North Carolina to Idaho with mules Brick… Continue reading

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