March 25, 2021 • 0 comment(s)
Activities of the past few days have revealed life below the surface. We have been installing five more water points in the grazing zone of the farm, which has taken me four feet down in search of 2-inch waterlines, installed 30 years ago. It is quite an experience to spend time down below. One witnesses all sorts of phenomenon: how unchanged the PVC pipe is after 30 years, how much water it carries, how wet one becomes when drilling into the pipe even with water pressure off, how much dirt needs to be excavated in order to work that far down, how much water the trench holds when it rains or if a leak runs all night before the trench is refilled, how exact plumbing-installion needs to be to thwart leaks, how slippery it is to climb out of a wet trench that deep, how much mud one can accumulate on oneself from the waste down when working in such predicament, and other similar important observations.
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March 12, 2021 • 0 comment(s)
This sun was stuck behind the ridge for a few days, until we released it with large spud bars. And in so doing, we have begun to feel the change of seasons. With the advent of spring, comes growth of grass -- our manna and yours. Migrating livestock follow soon thereafter, so we are preparing facilities to launch them and pastures to receive them.
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February 25, 2021 • 0 comment(s)
Snow invites us to ponder where we have been and where we are going. It reveals steps we take for granted but rarely observe in such a stark form as bold prints on a white landscape. These beautiful and delicate footprints were left behind probably by a red fox, making his way from the past to the future. The tracks seem so certain, yet mysterious. How can a being maintain such clarity in the face of duress? Where had the fox been, and where was he going, with his intent? How can a fox know so much, when we feel we know so little in the midst of a snow storm?
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February 11, 2021 • 0 comment(s)
Winter weather invites us to consider the birds. Famed New England poet Emily Dickinson offers (in #314): "Hope" is the thing with feathers - That perches in the soul - And sings the tune without the words - And never stops - at all -
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February 5, 2021 • 0 comment(s)
Where do the heavens want to send us during these winter months? It is difficult to travel in these times, except "otherwise". Viruses, ice, distance, and apprehension keep us bound to our homesteads this winter. But we do have the means to transport ourselves via celestial avenues. And the primary access to such travel is through good food!
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January 23, 2021 • 0 comment(s)
Here is our compost machine at work. There is little as potent as the capacity to create soil. The rise and fall of civilizations is attributed to treatment of soil. When it becomes depleted, food becomes scarce, and attentions suddenly turn to filling the belly, in rapid cascade down Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Conventional agriculture accepts depleting soil by applying substitutes like anhydrous ammonia from the fossil fuel industry in place of basic stewardship. Substituting chemicals for biologic activity is a hope and prayer that does not hold up to scrutiny over time.
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January 7, 2021 • 0 comment(s)
Honor is too the left; Dignity to the right. Yesterday morning at 3 AM, Landis Weaver departed from this farm, after 12 years hereon, to start a new chapter of his life in Smyma Mills, Maine, 20 miles from the Canadian border. Landis is the epitome of honor and dignity, and these are two of his four draft horses the day before departure.
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December 17, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
The eastern sky brings to us, from the sands of Kuwait, Chris & Yurie Whitmer and their winning children. Chris arrives to us after serving three tours of duty with the Army in Afghanistan and subsequently being employed by Boeing Aircraft in Kuwait. In the Army, he developed essential expertise at managing and maintaining helicopters, which permits little tolerance for error.
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December 4, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
The wheel of change is always spinning, and it does so especially rapidly with laying hens. A few weeks ago our egg production suddenly crashed. After a good bit of second guessing, we finally concluded that the path of the hens had crossed their own previous path too soon. Their rich manure had not yet been fully absorbed, and was thus somewhat adverse to them, as they dwelled upon the same spot. Hens express themselves quickly, both in distress and in healing. We have adjusted management to move them more often and provide longer rest periods before returning to the same spot. Egg production is accordingly returning.
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November 20, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
Querencia is a Spanish term. It was introduced to us by a friend who spent an afternoon with us on the porch this fall over food, conversation, and wine. In turn, she sent to us this term to ponder. If we understand it correctly, it is: The place one's strength is drawn from; where one feels most at home; the place where one can be one's authentic self.
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November 6, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
This is the present, replete with beauty and challenges. It is tempting to be satisfied with this tranquil scene, luring one toward a sense of equilibrium. This is the status of the creek, 4 miles long, that runs through the middle of our farm. Do we accept this status or seek to modify it to sustain seven generations into the future? Each choice comes with tradeoffs.
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October 29, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
This morning we woke up to find ourselves in the bridge-building business. Calves born over the past six weeks have to cross this stream to join their mothers, who have moved on to the next green pasture. Yesterday the stream was a trickle and most of the group navigated its way across this ribbon of silver. But seven of them found it too confounding, and are still on the far side.
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