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.
Hogs are the most demanding of our partners, because our facilities are limited for them. But woodlot hogs are rewarding, for the quality of their meat.
I have been wanting to share the above pictures for a while, to show how internal fencing in the sorting shed is different for one set of partners versus another. Hogs do not respect gates, but do respect a hot wire. Sheep don't respect hot a wire, but do gates. We adapt to whichever partner we are dancing with.
Dogs are invaluable partners, of course, in so many ways. Scout is learning the drill from Abie, but has suffered some confusion regarding the role of newborn lambs. He has considered a few of them to be playmates, and we have had to admonish him accordingly. He seems to be learning, however. We went through the same learning-curve with Kentucky, another of our guard dogs.
Our most important partners are you, our customers. You engage and support us through the purchase of our foods, without which support we would not be. Our work addresses a number of issues which our partners value. We produce life-affirming nutrient-dense food, addressing the issue of health. We build organic matter and biomass, thus sequestering carbon, and addressing the issue of climate change. We build soil fertility, thus addressing the issue of world peace, as articulated by Dr. Lal at Ohio State.
The work we do, challenging as it is, provides uncommon access to the feeling of making a difference against these large issues. In supporting farmers like us, you are directly addressing these challenges, which can be difficult to do from other vantage points.
If you would like to do more to address these challenges, we thought we would share some projects we are undertaking, in which you might consider participating. You would not develop ownership or financial return from these projects but just a deeper partnership in our essential journey. You would gain satisfaction at making more of a difference affecting critical issues of life. Here are some of the projects into which we are heading over the next six months and in which you could participate, if inclined.
1) Build 15 more acres of woven-wire fencing for sheep.
2) Add a small flock of goats to follow the sheep, to consume weeds and reduce mowing and consumption of diesel fuel.
3) Build a portable shelter to protect goats from rain, which they don't withstand.
4) Purchase 1,000 laying hens.
5) Build an egg-washing facility.
6) Purchase an egg-washing machine.
7) Build a refrigerated room for storing eggs.
8) Purchase another shade-mobile to enhance pastures in summer and serve our growing herd of yearling beeves.
9) Spread clover on 60 acres.
This all calls for capital, which we dig deeply to provide. If you would like to participate in this effort, we envision increments of engagement between $500 - $10,000, as appropriate. If this is of interest, send an email for details or give me a call at: 740-634-2575. We offer this opportunity without expectation whatsoever.
We are in this complex journey together.
Slow-cooked chicken quarters with tomato sauce, pasta frittata, and kale with white beans provided nurture on a January evening.
We look forward to seeing you this Sunday and to continuing to celebrate our partnership with you in its natural form,
Drausin & Susan