The last of green and the advent of brown remind us how fleeting each moment is.
Bo and I sojourned to our wetlands last week and came upon this scene of rich colors, which by the end of the week was covered in white. We know the only constant is change, but late fall is particularly full of transitions.
Our beautiful cows are still grazing, and the last calf was born this week in 40 degree weather. In contrast, the first calf arrived 6 weeks ago in 90 degree weather. We worry about flies affecting calves in the heat and 6 weeks later we worry about the cold. The change in conditions is rapid.
We have had a number of new arrivals this week. The most important is an Anatolian guard dog. Clark & Paula drove to Bowling Green, Kentucky on Sunday to pick him up from the breeder. He was supposed to be a she, and was named in advance for Scout Finch, the narrator and protagonist of the greatest American novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. Well, she turned out to be a he, but Scout seems like a fitting name for a guard dog, so he has been awarded it accordingly.
His companions are three whethers, just out of site in this picture. The four of them are getting along fine, and he is learning to become bonded with ovines. He is very friendly, and is a ready barker already, which is a good sign. We will keep you posted on his evolution.
We raised two guard dog puppies before but didn't know as much as we do now about their peculiarities. One dog we acquired hadn't been touched by a human, and was thus hard to manage at times. Some believe human interaction breaks the bond with the designated livestock, but we haven't found that to be the case. If we need to move a dog to a differnt field or treat it medically, it is important to be able to do so, without protest.
Anatolians originated in Turkey and grow to be quite large, over 100 lbs. Most of our dogs have been Maremma, steming from Italy. Maremmas have a calm disposition, but are long-haired, which is a challenge around cockleburs. Anatolians are short-haired and a little more aggresive, apparently. We will see. We look forward to ten years or so with Scout.
Our other arrival consists of: one brown Katahdin ram and 30 Katahdin ewes. They arrived in the dark last night, and greeted us this morning with clean coats and full bodies. Their former shepherd is disbursing his herd of 400 ewes to pursue the better life, working for Amazon in northern Kentucky. These ewes will join flock-mates in the background, after several days of quarantine. They are transitioning from the previous farm to ours, and we are transitioning to having them unexpectedly upon the farm. I called looking for a ram, and ended up with a ram and 30 ewes... The wind is always blowing.
This roast chicken served us beautifully one evening and then was transformed into delicious chicken salad. Moroccan mayonnaise, apricot bits, and diced celery add accent to hunks of chicken to render irresistible fare for lunch, on Blue Oven sesame bread.
Our new book, A Farmer's Almanac, has begun to flood the air waves. Signed copies will be available at the market in Hyde Park on Sunday and it is also available through our website. We are discovering that a book, like food, has to be marketed, requiring an effort of its own. We wouldn't know what to do if it were easy. Another learniing curve; another transition.
Remember we are now shipping products to the eastern half of the country. If you know of anybody who needs special grassfed foods, living far afield, we can now make a difference in their lives.
We also have room for a few more orders for turkeys - either Broadbreasted or Heritage. Place orders here. The ordering window closes on Sunday the 17th, as we will harvest birds to be frozen on Monday the 18th and birds to be delivered fresh the following Tuesday morning.
We will be serving warm chili at the market on Sunday.
In tribute to this time of year which heralds transitions.
Drausin & Susan
These hearty yearlings await transition to their next break of grass.