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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April 19, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
And wildflowers emerge from beneath,
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April 10, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
We employ both on our farm, with preference for the latter. Dairy cows and calves, however, have to be under roof at this time of year, because cows are lactating heavily and calves are newborns. Exposure to wet, cold mud creates significant problems for both. So, for several months, they are sheltered and kept off pastures. The trade-off is a lot of bedding has to be spread in the barn, eventually collected, and then spread back on fields, which is a cost.
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March 28, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
The leg is a favorite for Easter.
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March 19, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
We had been intending to replace this aged fence this winter, but frozen ground prevented the work. With the recent thaw, however, we spent Tuesday pulling 60 - 70 posts, leaving me plenty fatigued. Despite essential help from equipment and partner, Brenden, the posts had to be manually handled several times. They are deceptively heavy, with some weighing in excess of 100 lbs. The in-ground portion is usually saturated with water, providing weighty reluctance to clearing old in favor of new.
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March 5, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
The past few days of highly variable weather have presented extra challenge for humans delivering feed and water, but the livestock always seem comfortable, as long as we do our job.
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February 23, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
Fat on the backs of these cows insulates them from inclement weather. It offers a form of protection, enabling livestock to reside in fresh air and full sun at all times, despite freezing temperatures. We are selecting cows who store enough back-fat to make it through the winter without pampering, while nursing calves at the same time. Fat provides shelter.
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February 7, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
Decent housing is central to decent living. It comprises one of the three basic needs, the other two being food and love. During the last half of 2014, we renovated this 100-year-old farmhouse, so Landis Weaver could move into it in January. The house was transformed from being dark and tired to upright and happy. For the past three years, Landis has been working from dawn to dusk to build the organic dairy on our farm, and is thus deserving. He is also courting a young lady from a Mennonite community in Maryland, and is thus awaiting. So, he and we are prepared! Good housing attracts good people, as does good food and good loving.
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January 30, 2015 • 0 comment(s)
as Dante relied on Vergil to steer him through Purgatory. For without such, one resides on the sawed-off stump of technological bewilderment, as I nearly have the past three weeks. But my dear nephew kindly delved for me into the depths of: coding, programming, downloading, installing, uninstalling, re-installing, browsing, snipping, cookies, crackers, updating, searching, and outsourcing to rescue me from the purgatory of technological helplessness.
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