December 11, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
Bringing the tribe together is a rewarding and complicated process, that leaves one enriched by personalities, exhausted by endless efforts, relieved by termination, and hopeful for the next round. As we gather during this season of celebration, we present ourselves with much to navigate. One phenomenon is the clan is always changing, yet it is constant as a whole. Our children, parents, and selves keep naturally evolving and moving outward. They and we also marry or bring partners to the fore, who thankfully instill new vigor and shift old patterns. The group feels homogeneous from the outside, but is percolating with unruly life on the inside, forging strength for the future.
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December 5, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
One of the hardest things in life is knowing when to wait and when to advance. For those eager to engage, waiting can be very difficult. But timing often is the difference between success and failure, so the most expeditious way forward can be standing still. This is an intense activity in itself, as witnessed in these border collies, which is not to be confused with lethargy or passivity.
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November 28, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
The well-pump at the dairy wouldn't stop running, so we assumed a leak had sprung in the underground waterline somewhere. Even with 18,000 feet of waterline to trace, a leak usually announces itself through a large wet spot in the ground. We have always found leaks in the past, but this one was proving totally elusive.
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November 19, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
This may be one of the few examples where the rear is as beautiful as the head! These horses love to work, and it shows.
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November 15, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
He is a neighbor, who dropped off this harvest from his hives, in anticipation that a deer he would be tracking might come onto our property... Such was his explanation, but to us this felt like an expression of his pure goodness; he wanted to give. It was a deep privilege to receive the offering. He was so earnest and his gesture so beautiful, it almost felt sacred.
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November 8, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
These verdant pastures will provide welcome nutrition to lactating cows well into the winter, despite lack of rain in August and September. I had been aiming to graze into February, but lack of timely moisture probably means grass will expire by early January. We will keep you posted.
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October 31, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
This is a place of worship on our farm. Services here are conducted in strange cadence by invisible figures. Services are both endless and brief, structured and formless, liturgical and irreverent, comprehensible and unfathomable... The cathedral offers windows that transport to the heavens. In this sphere, awe, humility, and peace blend to inspire the beholden. This corner of our land helps us raise our food and bring it to you and and it helps you find us. Through places like this, we are united.
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October 24, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
This is one of the cows Susan bought at the auction, who gave birth to a bull-calf within a week of arrival.
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October 17, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
This stunning scene from the Alps of Switzerland depicts fall migration from alpine meadows to valley barnyards. The careful movement of ten cows (with great bells around their necks!) is being tended to by three very alert shepherds, despite that this path has been traveled for hundreds of years. Slippery slopes and precipitous cliffs await the unaware. The father upfront appears to be calling back to the daughter in the middle, whose hand rests upon her favorite cow, while the hired man faithfully brings up the rear. The cows seem to feel safe, and a sense of trust emanates from this picture of man and beast and precarious path, such that we feel certain they will arrive into the valley below.
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October 16, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
Here Ulysses awaits his daily greeting. And beyond stand ewes and lambs, whose bottoms are clean and bellies full, due to constant and controlled movement. The flock only returns to the same spot in 90 days or more, thus outlasting fledgling parasites. The careful discipline of daily feeding and long rotation of pastures is critical to generating supportive cycles that produce clean food.
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October 2, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
This past weekend, Susan and I attended the annual meeting of the Red Devon Association, held in Winchester, Kentucky over two days. We looked at cows and learned how to evaluate body confirmation, including: udder size and shape, hair swirls in the coat, movement and shape of legs and feet, and proportions of body parts to each other. It was fascinating. The goal is to select cows that produce plentiful amounts of butterfat. Calves that receive such carry more intramuscular fat when they mature, producing tender, flavorful meat and fertile bulls and cows.
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September 26, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
Endemic to Appalachia. It is highly nutritious, tasting like a sweet banana, and was such a preferred staple for pioneers and settlers, that towns and festivals all over the Appalachian region bear its name. The fruit ripens in early fall, and this picture was taken on our farm several days ago. The trees are slight and graceful in stature and typically stand in the under-story of large hardwoods. They are inspiring to behold, reminding observers of the natural bounty of land well-tended.
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