Early spring at the Ranch

Early spring at the Ranch

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

Glorious… just glorious! No red bud yet… not much greening, but spring is on the way and after our hard winter, we’ll take all we can get. We just hosted the opening camp of our 21st year here at the Fur Peace Ranch and Jack Casady and I were the instructors. We’ve lived here i Southeast Ohio for 28 years now and it is an awesome place to live and an awesome place to raise kids. It’s a pretty darn nice location for just about anything. With 126 acres of hills, hollers, rivers an bottom land, it’s like having a state park in your back yard.

More of the same...

More of the same...

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

Our pal Justin Guip came down from Red Hook to play drums for us and we had a rockin’ good time Saturday night at the Fur Peace Station.

Justin, Jack and myself... gettin' it done!

Justin, Jack and myself... gettin' it done!

Foto by Lee Cantor

Hot Tuna 9, 2016
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Justin Guip
The Fur Peace Station
Darwin, Ohio
21st Year @ The Fur Peace Ranch
Saturday, March 24, 2018

First Set:
1. True Religion
2. Living Just For You
3. Ode To Billy Dean
4. Talkin’ Bout You
5. Wolves & Lambs
6. In The Kingdom
7. 99 year Blues
8. Sea Child
9. Bowlegged Woman
Second Set:
1. Hesitation Blues
2. Serpent Of Dreams
3. Can’t Get Satisfied
4. Rock Me Baby
5. Roads and Roads &
6. Sleep Song
7. Trial By Fire
8. Good Shepherd
9. Funky # 7
10. Encore: Come Back Baby

There's a dance in the old dame yet...

There's a dance in the old dame yet...

Foto by Lee Cantor

The weather warmed up a little bit and in between pickin’ and grinnin’ there was some time to put the drones up in the air.

Sneakin' up on Michael's Phantom III

Sneakin' up on Michael's Phantom III

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

Before the student performance on Sunday, we got a nice shot of the guys and gals on our opening weekend.

First class of '18

First class of '18

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Fellowship, peerless… food awesome… music… perfect! What’s not to like?

Michael and Jorma... quadcopter brothers...

Michael and Jorma... quadcopter brothers...

The guitar guys from the Double Dose Class

The guitar guys from the Double Dose Class

Foto by John Hurlbut

I sure am fond of being from Southeast Ohio… check it out sometime!

Jack and I have a little duo run coming up and then back to the Ranch for some more workshops!

Good times!


  1. Comment made on March 31, 2018 by Richard

    Dear Jorma, I would like to say I am sorry for my recent post. My father used to have a plaque that said “Put brain into gear before putting mouth into motion”..I did not listen to that advice and you will never hear anymore negative banter from me,only positive thoughts. I have a deep respect for you and your blog.

  2. Comment made on March 30, 2018 by Joey Hudoklin

    I am truly sorry to be a participant in such childish banter.
    You’re right, of course Jorma.
    I will amend my ways.
    Nuff’ said indeed

  3. Comment made on March 30, 2018 by Joey Hudoklin

    And I’m not talkin’bout cows.

    • Comment made on March 30, 2018 by Jorma

      Joey… and others on this subject. if you don’t want to have a conversational relationship with someone… don’t talk to them. I am really starting to find all these conversations… regardless of who instigates them, more than tiring. People want me to block this person… block that person. No one gets to tell me that. I tolerate a lot nonsense on this site and that’s OK. I have given everyone a chance to have their voice heard regardless of whether I care about the subject or not. You all don’t need to play to me. I can see that I am not your audience and that’s truly OK. I demand civility. This is not a place for us to behave like our current politicians of both parties do. Everyone needs to behave like a grownup. If this doesn’t happen, I definitely going to make some changes. In the beginning of my blog years ago I had no comments sections for these very reasons. I was talked into this format by a friend whose opinion I respect. My eleven year old daughter doesn’t complain as much about real things in her life as I’ve been hearing from my web friends here over the last couple of years. I’m not here to tell people what to think or how to act in their world. One of my mottos is, ‘Focus on the things you love, listen with your heart… and the music will speak for itself.’ None of us have control over people, places and things… not to mention life itself. I do have some control over this little website.

      Nuff said!

  4. Comment made on March 30, 2018 by Joey Hudoklin

    Some are sicker than others

  5. Comment made on March 30, 2018 by Joey Hudoklin

    I try to not read her stuff anymore. She would probably call that a lack of intellectualism (my way of putting it nicely), her term would probably be “idiot”.
    Yes, she disrupts everything here, and uses gaslighting to make it worse.
    Reminds me of….well, I’ll leave that to anyone’s imagination.

  6. Comment made on March 30, 2018 by Richard

    Cant you know who be blocked from this great forum? I love to read every ones posts and she ruins the good vibe for everyone..Please get rid of this problem

  7. Comment made on March 29, 2018 by Kevin

    How can it not be obvious to all here that her snide comments are the very source of any drama? It’s quiet for months, she shows up and she can’t help herself from stirring the pot.

  8. Comment made on March 29, 2018 by johno

    This woman misconstrues everything. I said the larger farms with 200+ cows are the only farms that survive nowadays.

  9. Comment made on March 29, 2018 by Barbara Jacobs

    I always thought that farm-living would be so easy.
    Nice…playing with animals all day.
    The next chapter, with thanks to Jorma as always:

    The life of real diary farmers, same as it ever was:
    “The winters were always difficult on the farm. My older brothers in their mid-teens were at the age when they had the responsibility of doing outside chores: they learned how to drive tractors and make hay. It’s still as difficult as ever for those working farms today. There’s no current working farm where farmers and their families don’t all
    work the land and tend to their livestock.

    The youngest in our family has died tragically, yet that day the farm chores and activity continued without pause for grief and healing. Our dogs, mostly German Sheps
    useful for their herding and ability to live peacefully beside livestock, were the keepers of our farmland.
    I soon learned that our dogs were the farm’s alarm system: if I heard more than one dog barking– there could be a problem. If all our dogs barked incessantly at once —
    that meant big trouble. Either an interloper or one of our farm-hands were stricken down in the fields. Heart attacks and injuries were not uncommon.

    I was already traumatized by the death of my little sister. In those other emergencies
    every man would run to help. During that commotion, I would run with them. They attended to the man-down while I comforted the dogs. When one of our dogs died, we buried them behind the barn. It was always busy and noisy there — just the way they always liked it.

    I still helped my mother with inside chores: took out the garbage collected in an old round aluminum pan. All of our table-scraps were fed to the chickens or the cows. No waste of food. In 1958 I got a promotion. Every Saturday I would sweep and clean the basement where Dad and the boys came in to remove their cow-shit covered overalls and boots. It was an unpleasant task for a little kid. But — I was paid 50-cents each week: That was enough to buy 10 Dr. Peppers, 10 Babe Ruths or five ice-cream sandwiches.”

    More chapters to follow.
    (Anybody who believes that “a novice farmer” (non-resident, no less) “With 200+ head
    of cattle”… also believes his 9/11 conspiracy theories, as he posted here on this comments section of Jorma’s 9/11 anniversary blog.)
    Real dairy farmers and those who know anything about that business understand.

  10. Comment made on March 29, 2018 by johno

    I moved to my farm last week for the spring and summer, so I know exactly what you’re talking about. All my friends who come up here are amazed at how beautiful and quiet the country is. My county is quite mountainous, it’s actually in the Catskill Park. Because it is quite hilly up here, it is not suited for agriculture. Therefore there are only dairy farms with 200+ head of cattle that survive. All the small farms are gone and only the larger farms remain. Thanks to Breakstones and Chobani which make yogurt in the county, the farmers have a market for their product. In case of an zombie apocalypse I have a 5 year supply of freeze dried food, a well, a generator, a water purifier and several pounds of vegetable seeds. I just love it up here. It’s so quiet and peaceful. I am a novice farmer and am in the process of making a garden near the house. I purchased plenty of seeds of various vegetables just in case. Someday I plan on moving up here in Spring, Summer and Fall and spend Winters in Florida. I am currently looking for a place in Fort Myers Beach. Everybody needs a plan. I realized that in 1997 when Y2K was coming. That turned out to be nothing. But I built a house and realized how much fun and beautiful country living is. At 1100 feet altitude and 200 miles from NYC I’m far enough away from the jungle yet close enough in case I need to go down to visit. It’s only a 3 hour drive away, but a completely different life and lifestyle from LI and NYC. The older I get the more I realize how beautiful country living is. It’s not for everybody but I love the country life also.

  11. Comment made on March 29, 2018 by Barbara Jacobs

    Us city-dwellers don’t always know about the life of farmers. I always thought that it must be so nice to grow up on a farm, until I spoke at length to Russell. Animals were always a big part of his life growing up on a dairy farm, and young kids soon learned that the animals they loved there were also working animals, each with a job to do.
    Working the land or just living close to it is a whole other daily experience.

    If you want to see a fun movie: “Isle Of Dogs”. Stop-motion animation. Dogs. Nuff said.

  12. Comment made on March 29, 2018 by carey georgas

    Springtime is about renewal of the life cycle, and I always feel closest to the land this time of year. How nice to have the equivalent of a state park out your back door! I wonder sometimes about the perception of the land between country and city dwellers. “Green areas” in urban landscapes are a nice thought, but how are they “greened”? Does a city dweller see a tree in the same way as a country dweller? There is a lot of available land, but ecological diversity (what I call quality land) is increasingly unavailable. I’m not one of those who thinks “preservation at all cost”, but I do recognize that preservation of diversity is necessary to the health of the planet, and thereby does have a cost. Question is, what is that cost to our society? How is that diversity valued? With that, I gotta plug “A Sand County Almanac” by Aldo Leopold for anyone who is interested in pondering these types of questions. Time is running out for us to decide the cost. If we don’t, it will be done for us. By the Gaia principle. Onward.

    • Comment made on March 29, 2018 by Jorma

      In a county with about 24,000 people in it… country is what you see, and country is what you get. Some are better stewards of the land than others and the Appalachian foothills are not suitable for agribusiness which is OK with me, if not for everybody. The mentality of folks who live this close to the land regardless of whether they are commercial farmers or not is light years away from urban dwellers. Each season has things that must be done… whether it is discing, plowing, seeding or harvesting… it is a never ending cycle. We are not growing any vegetables right now and we have never done animals. My neighbors do though and all our food, meat or vegetables is organic, and although I may not know the animal… I know the field where he lived. I would not look forward to altering my life into a stay at home self sustaining mode… but if the zombie apocalypse came… we could do it. As for the land itself, it is an ongoing blessing for all of us who live in rural surroundings and a source of amazement for those who visit.

  13. Comment made on March 29, 2018 by eaglesteve

    Happy Birthday Nessa…………..and many mo’

  14. Comment made on March 28, 2018 by Mike Anderson

    Congrats on 21 years of hard work blossoming! I’m hoping to someday make the trip there from here in Connecticut, retirement finances can cramp your style. So, I do a lot of my family’s genealogy and have several research subscriptions. The one I get a lot out of is Newspapers.com. I did a search on your name, oh, my goodness, the best hit was before and after photos of you, Dylan, John Philips and one other I just can’t remember. Must be your college or high school pictures next to your JA photo, did not know John Philips went to the Naval Academy.

  15. Comment made on March 28, 2018 by rich l

    “Guess my feet no where they want me to go…
    Walking down a country road” – James Taylor

  16. Comment made on March 27, 2018 by Matt

    It sure looks like a great place. It is good to know there is still so much available land in America. And..there is room to build a fishing pond. Fishing workshops! Peace

  17. Comment made on March 27, 2018 by Barbara Jacobs

    That documentary really is outstanding.

  18. Comment made on March 27, 2018 by Chappy

    Super sets on Saturday night at FPR. Thank you, Jack, and Justin for the musical magic. And, as always, thanks to Vanessa, John, Myron and the entire crew at FPR for the great hospitality. Your words about SE Ohio could not have been said any better. I’ve actually been stranded here since the weekend due car troubles. Hopefully the dealership in Pomeroy can get that brand new 2018 vehicle up and running today. Of course Athens is not a bad place to be stranded! Kudos to the awesome staff at the OU Inn. They always treat me well. Speaking of Athens, I was able to catch the world premier of the new outstanding documentary on the history of Athens at Mem Aud on Sunday afternoon. Check it out when you get the chance…I think you’ll really enjoy it. As an added treat I got to say hello to Mimi Hart. Her vocal group The Local Girls opened up for the film. I first got to hear Mimi sing in Athens back in the 70’s when I visited my older brother at OU. Her guest vocals on the Allman Brothers “Enlighted Rogues” album are incredible! Looking forward to another great FPR season.

  19. Comment made on March 27, 2018 by Tom Fabry

    Lee, very cool electric bit you did with your buddy. T’was a bit thunderous like the night before,…New Yorkers like it that way. Just sayin’. You have a fast and sharp sense of humor and left hand. Pleasure to meet you and your pal. True New Yorkers.
    Thanks for showing me some of Living Just For You. It’s a cry, a rejoicing statement of gratitude… David’s psalms may have come across that way, like, “takes a long time to be free”. Lee, fill your surroundings with the sounds of smiling from the heavens to the ground. See you again.

  20. Comment made on March 27, 2018 by Joey Hudoklin

    Congratulations on 21 years!

  21. Comment made on March 27, 2018 by Joey Hudoklin

    A truly awesome Hot Tuna set list there Jorma.
    I so wish could have been there.
    This set digs deep.

  22. Comment made on March 27, 2018 by lee cantor

    This was an amazing weekend!! FPR is magical!!
    Thanx Captain!!!!!

  23. Comment made on March 26, 2018 by Tom Fabry

    A beautiful spirit at Fur Peace… have a great tour and a blessed Passover Jorma… Keep spreading the good news of hope, faith and mercy. Enjoy the road with Brother Jack and this early Spring time. These are the good old days.

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