October 31, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
This is a place of worship on our farm. Services here are conducted in strange cadence by invisible figures. Services are both endless and brief, structured and formless, liturgical and irreverent, comprehensible and unfathomable... The cathedral offers windows that transport to the heavens. In this sphere, awe, humility, and peace blend to inspire the beholden. This corner of our land helps us raise our food and bring it to you and and it helps you find us. Through places like this, we are united.
Read more...
October 24, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
This is one of the cows Susan bought at the auction, who gave birth to a bull-calf within a week of arrival.
Read more...
October 17, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
This stunning scene from the Alps of Switzerland depicts fall migration from alpine meadows to valley barnyards. The careful movement of ten cows (with great bells around their necks!) is being tended to by three very alert shepherds, despite that this path has been traveled for hundreds of years. Slippery slopes and precipitous cliffs await the unaware. The father upfront appears to be calling back to the daughter in the middle, whose hand rests upon her favorite cow, while the hired man faithfully brings up the rear. The cows seem to feel safe, and a sense of trust emanates from this picture of man and beast and precarious path, such that we feel certain they will arrive into the valley below.
Read more...
October 16, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
Here Ulysses awaits his daily greeting. And beyond stand ewes and lambs, whose bottoms are clean and bellies full, due to constant and controlled movement. The flock only returns to the same spot in 90 days or more, thus outlasting fledgling parasites. The careful discipline of daily feeding and long rotation of pastures is critical to generating supportive cycles that produce clean food.
Read more...
October 2, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
This past weekend, Susan and I attended the annual meeting of the Red Devon Association, held in Winchester, Kentucky over two days. We looked at cows and learned how to evaluate body confirmation, including: udder size and shape, hair swirls in the coat, movement and shape of legs and feet, and proportions of body parts to each other. It was fascinating. The goal is to select cows that produce plentiful amounts of butterfat. Calves that receive such carry more intramuscular fat when they mature, producing tender, flavorful meat and fertile bulls and cows.
Read more...
September 26, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
Endemic to Appalachia. It is highly nutritious, tasting like a sweet banana, and was such a preferred staple for pioneers and settlers, that towns and festivals all over the Appalachian region bear its name. The fruit ripens in early fall, and this picture was taken on our farm several days ago. The trees are slight and graceful in stature and typically stand in the under-story of large hardwoods. They are inspiring to behold, reminding observers of the natural bounty of land well-tended.
Read more...
September 19, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
If only we knew how to make haste slowly, like this noble being. On the farm, we typically deal with 1200 lb cows and 100 lb ewes, who are in such contrast to this tiny wonder. He is just as significant in the grand scheme. He is a reminder that we are all connected, we each travel at our own pace, and we had better not forget those who are invisible.
Read more...
September 11, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
Calving has begun on the farm, and the magnificent power of motherly love is being demonstrated yet again. The birthing and rearing of young by maternal force has been underway since the advent of time. It symbolizes belief in the future, as does the rearing of our own children and grandchildren. It will not be denied, which is one reason life is good.
Read more...
September 4, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
We spend a lot of time managing fields of dreams and of grass, but this one, in our wetlands, we don't have to manage at all. It takes care of itself, and in so doing, takes care of us, for which phenomenon we are increasingly grateful.
Read more...
August 29, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
Perhaps the most significant aspect of the summer for us is that it brought us laying hens and meat chickens. The last time the farm saw poultry of any sort was probably 50 years ago, so this venture represents a new learning curve.
Read more...
August 22, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
We moved cows down the road, up the laneway, and through the head-gate Tuesday morning, so we could wean yearling calves, and prepare for birthing to arrive in September. It was so foggy we could hardly see. The car in the background had previously run through our tape to direct livestock off the road. Once discovered, we had to sprint around the herd to resurrect the tape, so they wouldn't end up on the highway... All part of life with livestock and inattentive drivers on foggy mornings.
Read more...
August 16, 2014 • 0 comment(s)
This picture is a vestige from last week, showing tracks of the lime truck in Field 7.
Read more...