"Carry on, love is coming, love is coming to us all..."
Crosby, Stills, & Nash offered this hope-filled refrain back in the golden days of music, and it has been visiting me of recent. As some of us feel overwhelmed by dark distortions of power in our culture, the question arises, "How do we carry on?" Well, it is not by looking to power, but by looking, in part, to small matters that inspire us.
These cows have no small matter before them in the next few weeks, with lots of love coming on in addition! The birth of their calves is all encompassing for them and for us. When tending to cows and calves, nothing else crosses our minds. We are transported by their journey, and thankfully so.
Watching Bo bring to heal unruly yearlings was fun! Now there is power. Border collies have more sense than politicians, any day.
What really inspired me to carry on this week was spending three hours with Cameron Weaver. Cameron is the son of Landis and Deanne, who run the dairy on our farm; he is four years old, and he consented to help me this past Wednesday morning as I made the rounds. Cameron is his father's son, as he loves to hold a tool, such as the monkey wrench in his left hand. He is also his mother's son, in that he is remarkably verbal, not just in one language but in two! He has questions and observations to offer without stop, and after a while one realizes this young man is going places.
He has spent his four years on this farm and offers rich knowledge already about it. He identified Johnson Grass in the pasture, a Great Blue Heron in the creek, a Preying Mantis on the roof of the truck. He helped spread clover seed under the Shade Haven, and wanted to know how the Shade Have works. He explained that spreading seed was like planting the garden with his mother. He was always wanting to know what we were going to do next, and liked listening to the meeting in the field I had with Mike. And he wanted to study the turkeys. He loved the ride in the tractor, and he helped me take tea to Susan.
He carries on with a sense of wonder and purpose, and accordingly fills my heart with his great promise.
This view of the sheep flock out our kitchen window inspires us forward. We struggled with them over the two previous wet years, but this year they are in full bloom and they are beautiful.
Witnessing one's partner at work, despite greater tides, helps one keep the faith.
And importantly, the journey forward requires a great meal! There is nothing like good food to inspire the body and spirit. Here we have: brined & grilled pork chops, baked apples, corn on the cob, and a bib lettuce salad, with eggplant and tomatoes. After a meal like that, especially one with a view, one can't help feeling the sun will be bright in the morning.
Last week I offered that fresh meat is an affectation of the industrial foods system. I am not sure affectation is quite the right word, but it is close enough. Small farms like ours work with the cycles of nature, producing fruits, vegetables, and meats at times of the year most conducive by climate to do so. Our lambs are born in May, our calves in October, and broilers throughout the summer. This means they are harvested in groups at one time of year, not throughout. As tradition has it, their meat is then stored one way or another as larder, from which supply is drawn until the larder can be replenished. Our larder is preserved in large freezers, and we meter it out weekly. Providing fresh meat throughout the year, like widgets in just-in-time inventory, requires working against the cycles of nature and achieving a massive economy of scale to do so. It comes at a cost which we can not and do not want to incur.
On a different note, market management at Hyde Park is concerned that recycling egg cartons will transmit Covid. That was an assumption made at the outset by the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture that has not proven to be true, as recently articulated by the CDC. However, it is still a regulation, though outdated. So, if you can hold your cartons until after the summer market concludes at the end of October, we will collect them then. Recycling helps us all.
On a related note, their has been a run on pink egg cartons nationwide due to lots of backyard producers starting up, so we have had to resort to dull industrial grey for a while unfortunately. Bear with us, though, pink will return!
Our meat processor is asking us to hold back some of our deliveries, as of several weeks ago. The team there has been working six days a week since March, and is starting to break down. They need some rest, and are backing us off. How do we maintain or grow our business with a bottleneck like this? All small processors are in the same boat. There is no quick solution to this problem.
Last week we shared that we are ready to take orders for turkeys. It turned out the link provided for ordering was broken, for reasons unknown, so we will try again here. If that doesn't work, please go to our website and shop for it under poultry. Or just send me an email, as a number of you have done. But stay with us, as we have a lot of turkeys to sell.
And last but not least, what enables us, in the end, to carry on is you! You provide financial support but you also provide the love that C,S,&N describe in their infamous ballad. While that ballad is about separation, it is in the end about love. We all feel separated at times from that which gives us faith, hope, and security, but what always brings things right is a sense of love. The exchange of nutrition, money, and philosophy which you and we engage in is a trusting and loving form of barter. Your love inspires us to carry on. We thank you deeply and don't take it for granted.
In so doing, Bob will be at Montgomery on Saturday and I at Hyde Park on Sunday.
May we all find inspiration to carry on during these times, despite and because,
Drausin & Susan