July 30, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
The irony of perfect moments is they must be surrounded by the imperfect to be recognized. It is the periodic perfect moment that keeps us inspired on the farm. They remind us that chaos can be kept at bay for moments in time. Like good weather, the perfect event is only appreciated in contrast to that which is not, which is plenty!
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July 16, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
What is going on at the farm during these hot and dusty days? Well, the wind is blowing, as it usually does, which helps dispositions. Animals become still, beneath shade, but activity continues at different levels. Notice the uneaten Ironweed in the foreground of this picture. Cattle always eschew it. Whereas in the following picture, sheep have grazed its leaves as far as they can reach. They also defoliate Milkweed and Chicory. Cattle will eat Milkweed but not Chicory. Graziers find these differences interesting, which offer information about the mysterious ecological puzzle we are constantly trying to understand.
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July 9, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
In late June, we process lambs born in May. This yearly event is when we take a close look at how the crop of newborn lambs is faring. In the field, we see them from a distance, but not up close, because they scatter when approached. In the sorting pens, we physically handle them, and see them intimately. This is a rewarding and somewhat arduous task.
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June 25, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
As summer dawns, rivers of cattle flow into seas of grass. We are having trouble keeping up with all the grass. It is growing at maximum rate, and we either slow down to graze it all in one location, leaving other pastures untended, or we speed up to impact them all somewhat. The benefit with slowing down is trampling of weeds. The benefit of speeding up is livestock are on a constant plane of high nutrition and the whole farm is impacted. Many graziers slow down and manage the excess by making hay. We don't have the equipment to do that, so we are speeding up, leaving grass behind and mowing what is left to control weeds.
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June 18, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
Sliders on the Square starts with a nap in the woods. For many years we have been grilling sliders on the Square at Hyde Park on Sundays. For obvious reasons, that is not possible this season. But, you can grill your own this Father's Day and they will be just as good. As mentioned, the first step is to take a good nap, preferably in the shade of the woods. Then take a mud bath, before heading to the kitchen to fraternize with the cooking crew.
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June 12, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
A day that starts with this is inspiring. Frost, for which the nearby road was named, hovers above the land, and spirits which catch our attention, ascend into the above. And then, as the sun rises high, wetlands glisten with brilliance, as if they have been scrubbed and polished. This is the mystery of beauty.
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June 4, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
We are carving pathways in a sea of grass, to ensure the way forward. Electric nets will go up next, accompanied by the shade mobile, and to be followed by water tub and mineral sled. Then the flock of sheep will enter this paddock for two days of high-quality grazing. The route of these pathways is not fixed. They can go in any direction necessary, which is part of their beauty. Much effort goes into preparing these pathways and moves, under Clark's leadership, to achieve food of high nutrition and integrity.
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May 28, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
Five inches of rain fell last week in 48 hours. The creek jumped the banks and our bottom-ground was flooded. Our sheep, cattle, and hogs were on high ground. One of our chicken coops was on low ground and had to be evacuated. Fortunately, it was the one on wheels and relocating proceeded without mishap. We brought the cows back to the feeding pad for two days, to protect pastures, before returning them to the grazing plan. It was an intense few days, that tested the design of the farm and the resolve of its managers.
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May 15, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
The ladies have arrived, and in droves! After an 8-hour drive from eastern Pennsylvania, these ladies are finding a new home. They don't know what green pasture is, but they will learn soon enough. Note their long beaks, left intact so they can hunt and peck in the grass. (In confinement operations, they are debeaked, so as not to cannibalize each other.) Outdoor hens are constantly moving to fresh grass, distracted by lush feed. After a few days of orientation, they will begin their march across pasture, never to sit still again.
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May 7, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
Sunrises like this propel us into the power of the moment. So much is percolating these days it is hard to process all of it. Forces of spring are emerging, lambs are being born, cattle are thriving, generosity is being extended, orders are persisting, teamwork is flowing, and a pandemic is dominating. Assimilating all of this transforms the average into the extraordinary.
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April 23, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
This pondweed species, Potamogeton, has been frosted, but soon enough will be green again. It was startling to see brown plants upon the water the other day on this eve of spring, as it is startling to find ourselves arrested in place at this same time. But the resilient urge to overcome within nature and within us always murmurs restlessly. Example of this are blue bands of hope bordering frosted pondweed and Spring Beauties newly lining the forest floor.
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April 16, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
As we reside at home, to where would the moon transport us? Almost anywhere, with a little help out of the kitchen... Over the past two weeks, we have traveled to Mexico, North Africa, and Italy, free of charge, and without hassles in airports, customs, or taxi cabs. Pretty good deal. How does one do that? By opening a cook book and then casting an eye heavenward. There is an adage: If you can read, you can cook, and if you can cook, you can travel... It is so true. And travel doesn't want to be first-class to be rewarding. Often the most interesting is what comes off the beaten trail. The same is true for cooking.
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