July 4, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
As we celebrate the national day of freedom, this team gives us ours. As tanks stand in the streets of Washington, the meaning of freedom is on the minds of us all. Glaciers melt, sea levels rise, storms intensify, droughts persist, people migrate in desperation, and fears arise throughout the world. What happens to national, local, and personal freedoms, as a result? Freedom is all most of us have ever known, yet we are learning it is susceptible to undue influence and is fragile by nature. These issues are so powerful and complex, they are hard to fathom, but they are upon our heads.
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June 27, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
Lightening rods like this on our barns did not stop damage last week. Powerful, prolonged lightening and thunder flashed and boomed twice in our valley Saturday evening the 15th, as part of a front that brought 5 inches of rain in three days. This elegant lightening rod was taken down from the house we renovated, while those on the barns remain in place. It appears they served modest purpose, for damage from lightening in the barns was signficant.
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June 15, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
This plant needs no introduction, for it is the persistant Ironweed, whom we met a year ago. But the good news is the sheep are eating the lower leaves. We are concentrating the flock at twice the density as last year, which should induce consumption of less palatable grasses and forbs. And it appears that is happening. But they can't reach the top leaves and they ignore many of the Ironweed plants. We thus will mow this pasture at level of 8 inches or so to prevent these weeds from going to seed. Notice the trampling of grasses, creating a mulch for clovers beneath. It would be interesting to witness the effects of doubling concentration again.
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June 8, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
This house stood absolutely empty yesterday for six beautiful hours, for the first time in thirty five years. Having spent the last four months emptying two houses, a few reflections surface from the effort. It is a momuntal task to render a house clean and to clear it of its past. It only happens step by step, box by box, and endless hour after endless hour. It is an exhausting endeavor, especially when done twice in a row. Inflexible timelines force the process forward, which lead to neglected secondary matters like correspondence, bills, and spouses.
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May 18, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
As this pear tree blooms between Pin Oaks, we prepare for opening day at the market. We have upgraded equipment and assembled a new team to bring to you frozen meats, eggs, and grilled sliders. Over the past three summers Susan's children have donated dedicated support to us at the summer market, and are now moving to other pastures. Clark, Mike, Beth, Bob, Susan, and I will be in attendance this Sunday, working toward the same efficiency as in the past. It will be good to be back on the square, and we look forward to seeing those of you whom we did not see this winter at Clark Montessori.
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May 11, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
To What Do We Devote Ourselves? Dahr Jamail provokes this question, when pondering the crisis of climate that is upon our planet. This crisis is forcing our civilization to articulate and claim its essential values.
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April 25, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
This brief perennial embrace between dogwood and redbud celebrates the glory of spring. What an exquisite moment this is when both trees are blooming, to expire within a mere week, but bringing a sense of beauty, grace, and glory to all that follows.
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April 11, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
The past three weeks have been totally consuming, for moving from one house to another. Few tasks are as dreaded as emptying one's house to move to another. The house being moved from was the one in Batavia, supporting Susan's law practise (or vice versa.) But now that she has retired, it became time to move to the farm full-time. We recruited movers to do the heavy lifting and family to help with the moderate, while we executed the rest. The rest included emptying and unpacking endless closets, cabinets, drawers, appliances, basement, and tools. Many, many trips to the truck and many in the truck to the farm. The task seemed relentless and far more tiring than when last performed ten years ago. We had such a good time, however, that we are going to do it again over the next month, emptying our past residence at the farm, Lark Hill, to make way for the arrival of Clark's family in June.
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March 16, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
This set of tack was a pride and joy of Magic Jack. Jack Cadam lives on St. Joseph Island in Ontario. When our family would visit there during summer months, he would take us for rides on his stone-sled, pulled by four beautiful black Percheron draft horses, named Ruby, Pearl, Sapphire, and Jewel. The horses were bedecked in the handsomest tack imaginable -- silver-studded black leather, from head to tail and wither to belly. It was always stunning to witness these magnificent horses in their finery, driven by Jack, bursting with pride.
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March 1, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
The sacred cycle of life and death is vitalizing. Some caring people find it disturbing to harvest animals for human consumption. They turn to harvesting vegetables instead, allowing animals to live on. This point of view feels compassionate, but the case can be made it is the product of urban living, creating disconnection from elemental cycles of life and death so vivid in the countryside.
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February 15, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
The wind brought one and the rain the other. As I left the bank in Hillsboro one day late in November, amidst a downpour of rain, a strapping young man stepped forward to introduce himself. He explained he raises pastured hens and has been selling eggs to restaurants and CSA's in Columbus. He had heard about our farm and wondered if he could come for a visit to learn more about what we are doing. He had seen the truck and trailer pull through town, followed it to the bank, and waited for me in the rain to introduce himself. After giving him my card and driving away, I couldn't help being impressed by the initiative.
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February 2, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
Despite intense polar air of recent, a welcome warm breeze is coming our way from Colorado. It is very difficult to find partners aligned with the realities of living on a beautiful but isolated farm, who can perform the hard work of producing grassfed foods, and have capacity for the challenge of marketing. Three summers ago, a strapping, articulate young man approached me at the Hyde Park Farmers' Market on a busy day, and shared that his greater family owns a farm near Hillsboro, and that he is interested in coming back to the area to participate in the production and marketing of grassfed foods. He mentioned he was working as a soil scientist out West somewhere. By the time I finished helping yet another customer, he had disappeared back into the crowd.
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