About Ben

ben-headshot1

I was born and raised in northern Vermont, in a two-room cabin situated on the 160-acre homestead my father purchased in the late 60’s. At 16, the legal age of “school leaving” in my home state, I dropped out of high school to pursue a self-designed study program in excessively loud heavy metal music and extreme partying. I began writing for magazines in my early 20’s; within two years, freelance magazine writing became my sole means of supporting myself and later, my family.

In 1997, my then-girlfriend (now wife) Penny and I purchased 40 acres in the town of Cabot, Vermont, where we now run a small-scale, diversified hill farm with our two sons, Finlay and Rye. We live in a self-built home that is powered by a windmill and solar photovoltaic panels, and tend a menagerie of animals, including cows, pigs, sheep, and chickens. We also have copious gardens, a small orchard, and a pick-your-own blueberry patch. Our focus is producing nutrient dense foods from vibrant, mineralized soils for ourselves and the immediate community.

Both of our sons are educated at home in the context of a life-learning process known colloquially as unschooling. It is our belief that contemporary, institutionalized American educational expectations create “childhood deficit disorder” and do not allow for full maturity of mind and spirit. For both our boys and ourselves, we place a strong emphasis on connection to and appreciation of nature, and allow for as much unstructured time as possible. We do not own a television.

I have written three books, am currently working on a fourth, and I still write the occasional magazine story. I am tremendously grateful to be so privileged. Thank you for your support.

kids and cow

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