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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October 22, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
As clouds darken our nation's capital, we find light in our own quarter. It is reassuring to rediscover that our well being lies within ourselves. Cynical actions of the powerful can be offset by the spirit of the meek. That spirit is imbued by observing the simple joys and beauty in our lives -- whether that be the face of one's partner, the dignity of one's parent, the goodness of one's child, the laugh of one's grandchild, the tree in one's backyard, or the conversation just relished... This is where we can turn to remind us how good life is.
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October 9, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
We are extending our underground water lines, and the operator of the trencher remarked how soft the soil is. He said it made for easy digging. I hadn't thought much recently about soil being soft, but it makes sense. Soil that is cool, filled with tiny tunnels of air made by worms and microbes, and is moist due to a layer of compost on top would be soft. That describes the soil we are developing and amending. It also helps that most of our farm lies on a former lake-bottom and was just beyond the reach of glaciers that once littered parts of the Midwest with boulders from the Canadian shield.
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September 25, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
"Carry on, love is coming, love is coming to us all..." Crosby, Stills, & Nash offered this hope-filled refrain back in the golden days of music, and it has been visiting me of recent. As some of us feel overwhelmed by dark distortions of power in our culture, the question arises, "How do we carry on?" Well, it is not by looking to power, but by looking, in part, to small matters that inspire us.
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September 17, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
Thanksgiving turkeys are on the way, and we are ready to take orders. Though this picture is from last year, and our current flock is not yet this mature, our turkeys will soon be on pasture and ready to be harvested by late November. Turkey raised on pasture offers a beautiful mineralized flavor, that far surpasses bland industrial fare raised in warehouses. Pastured turkeys have a relentless appetite for clover and quickly strip their lot of its offering, so are moved once a day to fresh grass by Mike.
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September 11, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
At risk of trying your patience, here is another picture of the same view, made distinct by the rising sun reflecting on mist. I had never seen sun reflecting on mist until 7 AM on Wednesday morning. It was thrilling to behold, which made for the beginning of an auspicious day.
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September 4, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
The same view is never the same, posing new questions every day. This penetrating rising sun recently asked what scale we need to become sustainable. As the sun moves to the heart of matters, a ready answer was not forthcoming, which is why the question was posed. So, we have been pondering the response.
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August 21, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
As dawn broke last Wednesday, it had not yet become clear I'd visit with William Shakespeare by the end of morning.
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