July 25, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
I spent several days this week transforming this pile of rocks into a memorial for him. The memorial sits on a high point of the farm and looks ten miles down the valley toward Fort Hill, where ancient Native Americans once worshiped on the top of a dramatic bluff.
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July 16, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
Susan and I spent last week on the North Channel, in Ontario, which lies between Lakes Huron and Superior. We were struck by the feats of Nature before us, particularly involving tenacious plants and resilient shelves of granite.
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June 25, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
calling home workers, children, and parents from the beyond. Its post rotted this spring, and we have been contemplating where to place it next. During recent years, it has stood in the partial shade of a maple tree, enabling sculptures of lichen to cover its wetter side.
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June 19, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
Brendan was up at 4 AM, gathering chickens and heating water, and he closed-up around 7:30 that evening. In the meantime, his wife, Sarah, and two daughters - Kellan and Ida, and I joined him to facilitate the processing of 82 birds. We had invested in stainless steel equipment built for on-farm locations, so we were fairly well prepared for the task, and there was enough blood 'n guts to know we engaged in the real deal. Three generations worked carefully handling these animals, creating one of the best meat-eating opportunities of all. At noon we took a break to grill several subjects, enjoying them with Sarah's garden-greens for lunch. By the end of the day, all were tired, but we had harvested, cleaned, packaged, weighed, and frozen our first home-raised batch. Five-pound chickens are now stacked in the freezer, awaiting you.
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June 13, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
Pictures on the right are from our neighbor's farm, Pheryl Zimmeman, whose family is raising 600 birds for us. Those on the left are from our farm, under able leadership of Brendan Prendergast. Pheryl harvested his first batch last week; Brendan will harvest his first this coming week. We now have plenty of frozen product on-hand, gratefully, after running out this past February.
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June 6, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
Included are beef shanks, lamb shoulder, lamb ribs, and beef knuckles. In addition, celery, carrots, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, and onion are roasted and carmelized to add flavor. The process of making bone broth takes most of a day, as it is continually reduced and skimmed. The result is a rich, clear, and deep broth, that nurtures the soul and heals the gut.
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May 28, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
They are being fed non-gmo grain and have access to outdoor living and fodder. We are looking forward to tasting their bounty this fall and sharing it with you.
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May 22, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
Wars have been fought over land since aggression first arose. Land harbors minerals and organic matter that generate wealth on one hand and demise on another. Civilizations have risen and fallen upon the stewardship of their soils. Above all, land produces food and water, and thus is central to well-being of civilizations. Land mismanaged creates misery; land well-managed fills the heart and pocket.
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May 15, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
Bringing this to your backyard, Susan and I have discovered a great pollinator of local food and fine-dining in Julie Francis, of Nectar Restaurant, on Mt. Lookout Square. For the past several months, Julie has been serving a Grassroots Burger, created with our lamb and beef. Her renowned Sunday brunch goes until 2 PM, so after a farmers' markets last month, we stopped in to sample the fare.
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May 13, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
This is a subscription service, like a CSA, which delivers to you a monthly menu of prepared meats, consisting of two meals per person per week, at an average cost of $9 per person per meal. Payment is made in advance, for either a two-month or six-month period of time. All products are hand-made in Susan's Soulful Kitchen with Grassroots meats. The eight items currently on the menu are: Bolognese Sauce, Grassfed Chili, Rio-Grande Beef Barbacoa, Roma Meatballs, Shortrib Burgers, Tar-Heel Pulled Pork, American Sliders, and Ground-Beef Patties. The menu will change incrementally, as new products are developed, such as Chicken Pot Pie.
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May 9, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
We are strengthened by new arrivals at our farm. As our veteran border collies slide into golden years, they seem to be developing a penchant for observation above action. So, several weeks ago we brought new strength to the team in "Bo", hailing from Cynthiana, Kentucky. Bo was trained by Vergil & Annemarie Holland, and is the third dog we have acquired from them. Bo is short-haired with brown coloring, while Nick and Dally are long-haired with black & white coloring. Bo is strong in nature and we are learning how to work with him, so he can work with us.
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May 1, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
... nestled 8,000 seedlings into the soil of the 100-ft. buffer-zone around our wetlands. This picture shows the newly created buffer carved out of pasture-land and seeded into wheat last fall. The planting crew has just begun installing trees into the buffer. The seedlings range in size between 6 inches and 2 ft, and are generally imperceptible at this point. 125 seedlings were planted per 1/4 acre over 17 acres, with 8 ft. spacing between trees. This took 225 man hours, which reflected a team on-the-move, taking less than 2 minutes per tree. Species included: swamp white oak, shummard oak, pin oak, white oak, black walnut, red bud, Kentucky coffee, paw paw, shagbark hickory, and wild plum. We expect a 75% survival rate. Though barely visible today, imagine the forest these 500-trees-per-acre will create over coming decades. It will be protected by a conservation easement and thus will never be disturbed by man.
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