Landis Weaver and I worked side-by-side to construct this sorting corral.
It took several afternoons to do so, and then we tested it out. A number of remarkable aspects to the experience surfaced. First, the metal panels employed (made by Priefert, out of Texas) come with chains, high and low, at one end, which hook to slots, high and low, at the other end of the next panel. Thus, hooking panels together works readily, creating a solid stucture. It is gratifying how quickly one makes progress, chaining one 15-ft. metal panel to another.
Large, sturdy gates, with bowed frames, are then placed between panels, wherever desired, enabling multiple designs and changes in design. This flexibility is so much better than the system we employed before - installed 30 years ago, which incorporated pressure-treated wooden posts, sunk into the ground, and attached together with nailed-in oak planks. Once those posts were sunk, better ideas were not allowed! No changes coould be made to design. Whereas this system is infinitely flexible and malleable, as gates and panels can be moved at any time.
Testing the design went better than anticipated. We brought a group of 30 dairy cows through, who needed new eartags. The flow of people and animals went smoothly. We were able to accomplish the task with minimal impediment, to our surprise.
The best aspect of this process was working with Landis, side-by-side. We did everything together - carried, chained, designed, redesigned, grunted, sweated, swore (me not him), got tired, exclaimed, experimented, handed tools back and forth, anticipated eachother, ... finding wordless flow, that was precious. Susan asked what we talked about... Well, "Which end of the panel to put where." "That was all?", she implored. "Yes, that was all." While, at the same time, we were communicating fully: improvising choreography, so we worked with rather than against; always regarding the other, in generating the next step; moving fluidly, in a dance of two; eyes, hands, bodies, and grunts continually interchanging to convey messages, in ready improvisation, over the course of six hours...
There was a marvel to it all - an Englishman and Mennonite, 30 years apart in age, working seamlessly together. The experience was crowned at the end, when Landis, a man of few words and impassive facial expression, stood back, paused, raised his great, green eyes, cracked a big, beautful smile, and gratefully remarked "This will do..."
Above is a farmer's-market dinner: Elmwood's kale, Eaton's sweet potato, Backyard Orchard's apples, and Grassroots' pork chop... This is some of the best insurance against poor health money can buy.
There is no market tomorrow on Easter Sunday.
On the following Sunday, the 8th, Susan and I will be at a wedding in Texas, while Bob will be on a fishing expedition. So, unfortunately, we won't be present at the market that Sunday either. We can, however, make special deliveries for those inclined, during the week. If that is of interest, please contact me by responding to this email.
Bob has recommenced going to Findlay Market on Saturdays, with the exception of April 7.
We have also migrated to a new website, incorporating shopping into the body of the website. This change has been a major undertaking. It has been like laying a whole new water-system, with an infinite number of new plumbing fixtures and valves. I am having to learn where each is located and how it functions, which is somewhat mind-numbing and anxiety-provoking. But such appears to be all part of the journey in this digital age. You will have to sign up again with a password to make purchases, for which I apologize. During this transition, we will have some challenges, no doubt, on this end, but please bear with us and help by communicating any issues you see. We hope this considerable effort and investment is a step forward. Let us know what you think.
In this powerful moment of the year, which celebrates ancient traditions of liberation and redemption, let us contine to work side-by-side, among customers and farmers, among rural and urban, among neighbors, among religions, among all backgrounds..., so we may stand back and gratefully remark, "This will do..."
Drausin & Susan