Turkeys Are Coming

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.

A Wednesday Morning

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.

Searching for Scale

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.

Circles of Life

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.

Perfect Moment

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!

Summer's Day

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.

Sorting Sheep

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.

Dawning Summer

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.

Sliders on the Square

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.

Mysteries of the Day

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.

Carving Pathways

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.