February 20, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
How does one reply to: "Who are you?" That is a confronting inquiry, which we are each forced to answer by one means or another during the course of a lifetime. How do we define ourselves? Is it the family we grew up in, the family we are creating, the culture we live in, the language we speak, the company we keep, the footsteps we take, the work we create, the words we use, the values we espouse, the issues we vote for, the sacrifices we make, the money we accrue, or the food we eat...? Which of these is most defining? Perhaps no one dominates, and it is the interplay among them that creates individuality. If I had to choose, it would be footsteps and words that show the colors of person or organization. What you say and how you act portray the picture. In the end, saying is acting, so it boils down to how you act or where you let your feet take you. May they always take you to your true self, which often requires time to emerge.
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February 7, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
Comfort food is reassuring. Bolognese sauce on pasta reassured us, as we felt a dark curtain fall on our democracy mid-week. It made us feel better to savor the rich flavor of the Bolgonese and to enjoy encompassing moments of simply tasting it. It transported us from worry to celebration, from dark to light, from power to place. It became a meditation to connect with each bite and receive transport offered to a safe and comforting realm. And it was anchoring to picture the grass-finsihed beef and lamb at the heart of this sophisticated sauce being raised on our land from our soil. It is just delicious on its own, and is especially wondrous as a comfort food.
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January 31, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
Winter's light illuminates promise. We have been busy over the past weeks warding off darkness. Activity is the best tonic against long nights, so what have we been up to?
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January 17, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
Our primary partners are the animals. These 30 ewes came with the ram we purchased at a liquidation sale late this fall. The ram proved to be unproductive, we fear, but the ewes were all bred, and started dropping lambs at the end of December, whereas we start lambing in May. Fortunately, we have experienced mild weather the past three weeks, and the lambs are doing fine. These conditions are not preferable for lactating ewes because of lack of good feed, but there is some green below the yellow tops of grass. So far, so good. We are going to save 2 or 3 of the ram lambs for breeding, since they are of a different bloodline than ours. Those bucks should be ready for service by December. We feel these new ewes are proving to be worthy partners.
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January 10, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
Sixty-nine bundles of native wetland seeds have been drying in these sheets over the past three months. These seeds were skillfully collected by Kathy, Paula, and Jacob this fall. This was done by hand, with great patience and reverence. The source of seeds is our current wetland bank, which we anticipate expanding over the next few years and for which we will need such seeds.
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December 19, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
Coppicing is an ancient form of forestry practiced in England. Trees are cut to the ground, with the intent of harvesting stems that emerge from the stump every seven to eight years. The stems grow up to three feet per year and are harvested at about six inches in diameter for firewood, furniture, planking, masts, fencing, and baskets, among other. The stump keeps growing because live shoots keep feeding it. The result is some stumps of coppiced trees are known to be 15 feet in diameter and centuries old.
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December 6, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
The soil is truth and the cows power, each modulating the other to succeed in the journey ahead.
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November 14, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
The last of green and the advent of brown remind us how fleeting each moment is. Bo and I sojourned to our wetlands last week and came upon this scene of rich colors, which by the end of the week was covered in white. We know the only constant is change, but late fall is particularly full of transitions.
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November 1, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
We are ready to ship product to you, out the drive and onto highways and byways. We have resisted this effort, but finally realized we were resisting the inevitable. So, instead of choosing obsolence, we choose enhanced service, which we are very pleased, finally, to provide to you. You can now order most of our products on-line and we can ship them anywhere east of the Mississippi! It has taken time to find the right software with which to do so, but we believe we are in good hands for this effort. That being said, we are new to the endeavor, and there will be a few wrinkles to iron out. With supportive customers providing feedback, we will climb this learning curve quickly. We are very fortunate to have Paula Harshbarger offering both the leadership and back-up for this service. She keeps the devil out of the details, and we are most grateful for her skillfulness.
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October 25, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
You and we have written a book! A Farmer's Almanac is finally ready to go, a year later than envisioned, but slow publishing seems to come with slow food. This book offers a nearly random assortment of our newsletters -- 71 of the 300 or so that have been written. You, our customers, are the protagonists, for without you these would not have been penned. Without you, none of the considerable effort undertaken on our land would be underway -- we would be lost in a sea of commodities. But you are blessedly present, supporting and encouraging us. This book represents some of the tale of the journey you and we have been on together.
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October 18, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
Turkeys are readying themselves for you! We are peased to be raising two different breeds of turkeys for you this year - Broad Breasted, as featured above, and Bourbon Red, as below. The Broad Breasted is what most of us are familiar with, except these are raised on grass, rather than in a feedlot, which adds both flavor and nutrition. They love clover, so Mike moves them daily to new grass. They take 4 - 5 months to mature, and will typically range in size from 15 - 25 lbs. Ours will be at the low end of that range.
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October 11, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
These woodlot hogs enjoy their environment. We strive to provide the best environment possible for our livestock. These hogs love the shade and nuts provided by walnuts, hickories, and oaks in this wooded glen. We keep the hogs moving so they don't do undue damage to soil and plants, generally giving a group of 15 about two weeks in two acres.
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