Rough & Smooth
Emboldened by each rising sun, we continue pursuing projects and visions.
Our most unusual project of late has been fashioning the previously mentioned stone fountain. It is constructed of red sand stone, for which our landowning entity is named, Red Stone Farm. These red stones were quarried from the neighboring hillside, and provided the foundation for an old house on the property, now taken down. But the stones remain, and we have been harvesting them for special use throughout the farm, over the decades, with this fountain being the most celebratory.
Randy is the master mason on this job, who, with Jeff's help, invested two long days over the past weekend to create this artistic structure. It finally became clear to this unobservant eye that these stones are smooth on one side and rough on the other. That makes sense because these were quarried for foundations, the backside of which was simply dirt or earth that nobody would see. But given this fountain is a circle, one observes both faces of the stone, the front and back, the rough and smooth.
Isn't that appropriate, as life is a mix of both? The smooth is only beautiful in contrast to the rough, and vice versa. The rough speaks of intrigue and variability within the journey and of the whole. The smooth speaks of arrival and finish. Homogenized building materials carry no spirit. These stones are full of life, from the past and the present, for being both rough and smooth.
One can't help wondering how the shapes of these stones were fashioned. How much was by hammer and chisel and how much by saw. But what kind of saw would have been available 150 years ago? These stones carry a sense of marvel in them.The pile in the middle is where the water will bubble forth, driven by a sump pump. Randy has applied two coats of water sealer to the mortor, and will apply two more tomorrow. The structure should be ready for testing, with water, tomorrow afternoon.
We have also recently dug and buried another 1,000 feet of waterline. For some reason, I always find this a rewarding endeavor. Delivering water more extensively and conveniently to livestock and people feels significant. Plumbing is also a satisfying skill, as it has to be exact, or leaks quickly present themselves. The brass fittings employed to connect hoses are also quite beautiful and well-made.
This waterline was installed to connect two halves of our farm. This will enable county water to be delivered to the far end of the farm, in the event of power failure. Electric pumps at the bottom of wells and springs don't function during power outages. This connector provides insurance against people and livestock being without water, which helps marriages, among else, at critical moments.
We are also preparing to hang our red wooden swing in a new location. The previous location was perfect, but the branch from which it hung is becoming rotten, creating issues of safety. This oak beam is going to serve as a substitute. It probably weighs 70 lbs., so I had to draft the front-end loader to do the hoisting. Now that it is in place, I think one end is an inch too low. It is diffcult to make sense of a "level" placed on an undulating beam, but the eye has taken note and is insisting on adjustment. Hopefully, by tomorrow that will be resolved and the swing will be back in motion.
In the meantime, the hogs continue to thrive in Hog Heaven. We are scheduled to begin harvesting the first group in early November. I think we will be ready with 300 lb. animals by then. One reason they are doing so well is we have a new herdswoman. She can be a little sassy, but the hogs love her, and they have last say.
We have your orders for turkeys, for which we are most grateful. We will begin financially processing the orders, and an automated email will tell you to pick them up next weekend. Ignore that directive, as we will hold them for you until you are ready. Just communicate with us as to when and where you would like to receive your turkey - Madtree, Montgomery, Farm, or home delivery.
The turkeys did very well on pasture under Mike's guidance, and we harvested them this past Tuesday. We pick them up on Monday, and then can begin delivering to you.
Susan is going to prepare some turkey stock for those interested. We will put it on the website, and this may save you a few steps on Thanksgiving day.
We also have a farm tour coming up on Saturday the 9th. I will send directions and further communication to those signed up later in the week.
Bob will be at Montgomery on Saturday and I at Madtree on Sunday, from 10 - 12.
Below are eggs poached in an Indian-spiced dish featuring ground lamb, called Keema Mater. Those proved to be some of the best poached eggs and ground lamb one could imagine.
May the rough and smooth always be with us.
Drausin & Susan