August 19, 2016 • 0 comment(s)
Midsummer heat brings this gorgeous flower to us, provoking sense of tropical paradise. This shrub was seeded into our new wetlands eight years ago and becomes more prolific with each passing summer. It is also known asSwamp Rose Mallow, and makes a home for itself throughout the tropical and sub-tropical world. Our latitude is fortunately its northern reach. It thrives in moist areas, needing to maintain wet feet.
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August 4, 2016 • 0 comment(s)
If you have always wondered how to stack a pile of brush, it is easier said than done. The doing is in flipping the branch or sapling, which you have just dragged to the pile, so the trunk ends up at your feet and the splayed branches just beyond, upon a relatively contained and growing vertical pile. One needs head-room for these acrobatics and the branch needs to be light enough to flip, which is a matter of cutting it to size. If you just drag the branch forward and drop it in open space, the pile quickly becomes dispersed horizontally, creating more of a loose, meandering hedge-row than pile. This takes up much more space, makes eventual burning more difficult, and looks somewhat chaotic, with inaccessible weeds that will grow up between branches. Even when you create a pile, the pile never looks terribly organized, but it certainly feels a lot better than branches strewn all over the area.
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July 28, 2016 • 0 comment(s)
Goddesses inspire the unusual, provoke new directions, expand horizons, pick up their collaborators, see around corners, are tireless in the quest, provide endless support, are fertile with ideas, and can be totally entertaining. At times, they can be ever-so aggravating, for they are usually right in concept and not always subtle in delivery. They often operate in their own dimension, creating protocol as they proceed, rather than adhering to the company line. Their inherent fearlessness can alternate with high caution, for reasons unexplained. They are thoroughbreds, who win races. If you have big arms, a goddess is a powerful ally on the team. You may wonder what you wished for at moments and you will need to hold onto your hat during the journey. They are not to be tamed, which is why they are goddesses!
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July 15, 2016 • 0 comment(s)
This pasture was three feet tall just before grazing. Half was grazed and half trampled onto the ground, creating a mulch that enhances the carbon cycle. The carbon cycle is the movement of carbon from the atmosphere to soil (and oceans) and then back to atmosphere. This cycle, when unimpeded, is at the heart of healthy ecosystems. It keeps our soils rich with biological activity and the food therefrom dense in nutrients. It has been refined by Mother Nature over the millenium. Humans are about 18% carbon, and all animal life is dependent on the movement of carbon through their systems. When this elegant cycle is interrupted, problems arise.
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June 10, 2016 • 0 comment(s)
Two years ago, we poured a cement slab next to our dairy, located on a rise of land beside a stream. Two months ago, I learned the operator of the Bobcat, when excavating the slab, found a "stone tomahawk" in the dirt, which he put into his truck and drove away with at the end of the day. Two weeks ago, I told his supervisor the "tomahawk" belonged to the property from which it came. Two days ago, the supervisor recovered it and returned the artifact. As he laid it into my hand, I felt dumbstruck to be holding something so ancient and powerful...
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May 27, 2016 • 0 comment(s)
On our farm, we are constantly managing water, so it may provide life for our animals, people, microbes, reptiles, amphibians, grasses, and trees. All of these combine to create a resilient ecosystem, in which to raise grassfed foods for delivery to you.
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May 5, 2016 • 0 comment(s)
The intent today was to introduce to you our new subscription program for prepared foods, called Simple Gifts. Susan immediately pointed out, however, that one can't introduce anything when Mercury is retrograde, unless one wants to go backwards! That is what "retro" means, afterall... Well, of course. One should know better. And since we have already experienced more backward movement on our farm than desired, it became clear it would be best not to tempt fate any further. So, in deference to astrological and marital forces, we instead pivot to an overdue update on life-at-the-farm, where much has been transpiring.
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April 27, 2016 • 0 comment(s)
We have all heard some of the particulars, as the event made national news. This was an act so violent that it shakes the center of those nearby, either geographically or emotionally. To say the least, the event was extremely unsettling to anybody who cares about the flow of life.
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April 14, 2016 • 0 comment(s)
Cows leave behind grazing of expensive stored hay on hillsides for grazing of abundant growing grass in the bottoms. Everybody celebrates, and if there were enough of us, we'd even have a parade. Actually, when livestock move any distance, they do so in a line, and the parade is formidable. Last year, Opening Day was May 1; this year April 10.
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April 8, 2016 • 0 comment(s)
During April, the stage is being set for the growing season ahead. Once warm weather settles in, grass growth explodes, and then the race is on. So, preparations are underway at the farm in anticipation.
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April 1, 2016 • 0 comment(s)
They play an essential role in life on the farm, informing the eye as to when animals are ready to be processed. Weights are important, because if an animal is harvested too soon, when too light, not enough fat resides in the meat, so it doesn't cook right, which results in a dissatisfied customer. An animal being too heavy is less of an issue in direct marketing, except for the extra carrying cost. The weights of sheep are hard to "eyeball", for some reason, so a scale is invaluable.
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March 26, 2016 • 0 comment(s)
Nature is always in motion, sometimes imperceptibly, but it is constantly moving forward. On our farm, we strive to mimic such, as livestock travel in groups, across the landscape, throughout the year. This motion creates a proximity to wildlife and to wild meat that is reflected in ours. As with animals, so do people seek to move across the landscape. The following is a pictorial account of this person's movement on the Vernal Equinox.
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