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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August 13, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
Traveling in circles creates life and brilliance on the farm. We recall from a college course in literature that Dante Aligheri is best know for writing The Divine Comedy: Paradise, Purgatory, and Inferno. He died in 1321 AD, and describes in Inferno the nine circles of hell. These include: paganism, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery. These circles are traveled at peril, leading to darkness and death. So, when I found myself reflecting on circles, they came to mind from that course long ago.
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July 30, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
The irony of perfect moments is they must be surrounded by the imperfect to be recognized. It is the periodic perfect moment that keeps us inspired on the farm. They remind us that chaos can be kept at bay for moments in time. Like good weather, the perfect event is only appreciated in contrast to that which is not, which is plenty!
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July 16, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
What is going on at the farm during these hot and dusty days? Well, the wind is blowing, as it usually does, which helps dispositions. Animals become still, beneath shade, but activity continues at different levels. Notice the uneaten Ironweed in the foreground of this picture. Cattle always eschew it. Whereas in the following picture, sheep have grazed its leaves as far as they can reach. They also defoliate Milkweed and Chicory. Cattle will eat Milkweed but not Chicory. Graziers find these differences interesting, which offer information about the mysterious ecological puzzle we are constantly trying to understand.
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July 9, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
In late June, we process lambs born in May. This yearly event is when we take a close look at how the crop of newborn lambs is faring. In the field, we see them from a distance, but not up close, because they scatter when approached. In the sorting pens, we physically handle them, and see them intimately. This is a rewarding and somewhat arduous task.
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June 25, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
As summer dawns, rivers of cattle flow into seas of grass. We are having trouble keeping up with all the grass. It is growing at maximum rate, and we either slow down to graze it all in one location, leaving other pastures untended, or we speed up to impact them all somewhat. The benefit with slowing down is trampling of weeds. The benefit of speeding up is livestock are on a constant plane of high nutrition and the whole farm is impacted. Many graziers slow down and manage the excess by making hay. We don't have the equipment to do that, so we are speeding up, leaving grass behind and mowing what is left to control weeds.
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June 18, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
Sliders on the Square starts with a nap in the woods. For many years we have been grilling sliders on the Square at Hyde Park on Sundays. For obvious reasons, that is not possible this season. But, you can grill your own this Father's Day and they will be just as good. As mentioned, the first step is to take a good nap, preferably in the shade of the woods. Then take a mud bath, before heading to the kitchen to fraternize with the cooking crew.
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June 12, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
A day that starts with this is inspiring. Frost, for which the nearby road was named, hovers above the land, and spirits which catch our attention, ascend into the above. And then, as the sun rises high, wetlands glisten with brilliance, as if they have been scrubbed and polished. This is the mystery of beauty.
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June 4, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
We are carving pathways in a sea of grass, to ensure the way forward. Electric nets will go up next, accompanied by the shade mobile, and to be followed by water tub and mineral sled. Then the flock of sheep will enter this paddock for two days of high-quality grazing. The route of these pathways is not fixed. They can go in any direction necessary, which is part of their beauty. Much effort goes into preparing these pathways and moves, under Clark's leadership, to achieve food of high nutrition and integrity.
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May 28, 2020 • 0 comment(s)
Five inches of rain fell last week in 48 hours. The creek jumped the banks and our bottom-ground was flooded. Our sheep, cattle, and hogs were on high ground. One of our chicken coops was on low ground and had to be evacuated. Fortunately, it was the one on wheels and relocating proceeded without mishap. We brought the cows back to the feeding pad for two days, to protect pastures, before returning them to the grazing plan. It was an intense few days, that tested the design of the farm and the resolve of its managers.
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