As fall has arrived on the farm yet again I have been finding myelf anxious in this between seasons time. As fun as summer has been with haying, beach time, adventures, etc. My home is calling me, and I am ready to settle down to organizing, homeschool, baking, projects. But it is a false call as there is more farm work to be done. Farmer’ markets don’t end for four more weeks, there is wood to be stacked, food to be put by, meat to be cut and wrapped, customers to be helped… As a farmer girlfriend said at market last week, the season is not over and it’s like I’m fighting it. I am tired, I miss my farmer, he is tired, we are ready for a change in rythm. I will stop fighting it and finish the last of my canning, plan our community harvest celebration and potluck, and follow the busy rythm of farm life for a few more weeks and dearly look forward to a seasonal shift.
All that being said, the richness of this time of year is so dear to me. The colors, the temperatures, the decreasing daylight, the morning fog, the smell of woodsmoke. I look forward to this all year long. Even the produce seems more vibrant. The carrots and spinach are sweeter, the apples are crisp, the last of the tomatoes and peppers until next year seem so precious. Ahhhh such blessings. <3
My farmer, planting his cover crop of Winter Rye
Our heirloom feed corn, Early Riser, drying before it goes into the corn crib.
Crazy busy week.
Haying. Back to back farmers markets. Kids. Laundry. Veggies. Sunshine.
You know, the usual.
Here are a few pictures of two of our awesome gals and my little Rita unloading a few wagons. I snapped a few pics then hopped on to help. My father-in-law came to help too. No snaps of him, he was waaaaaay up in the field. I was not. Tomorrow we have another 600 bales worth to bale, unload and stack with just the farmer and I. Oy.
A little workout? ( Trust me when I say, I could use one!)I keep thinking we should charge folks for this!
We have an awesome crew around here. We truly couldn’t do what we do without them. I’d love to tell you about them someday. Maybe someday when I don’t have high tech communication systems to write about.
Here is a board for communication between staff:
You probably didn’t want to know about emptying the outhouse—it’s a little personal I know. But this is the day I HAD to take a picture because who can resist a joke about acid wash jeans (hehehe)
And about the outhouse. It’s a composting one (cool right?!) So we do have to empty the well bedded , quite dry at this point, matter somewhere far away from all things (good thing our farm is so big) for oh, about a million years! And it never gets used on the farm, just so you know. It just returns to earth…….
Here is part of the communication board between staff and CSA members:
It makes me smile every time I see it!
Go forth and communicate!
~ this farm wife
We like to keep our pigs on pasture and rotate them. It really is the best way to raise them. They are happy and healthy, we rotate them through the vegetables as we are done with them and the meat is super good! (I love the word super by the way, and souper too!)
Last summer our pigs got out. It was bad. A stranger passing through stopped by at the house at 6 am to tell us our pigs were down at the corner by the church. YIKES! So of course we had to do a pig rodeo roundup. We finally got them in and by the end my husband was telling me that tomorrow was pig slaughter day (turned out it wasn’t. Imagine that.) Well later that day we got a call from our neighbor…the one in the other direction. Our pigs had dug up a few spots in his wife’s amazing, beautiful, work of art, pristine yard. My farmer and I ran over to survey the damage. Thankfully it was mostly sod and not flowers. Whew! We fixed it.
Well we recently found out that those same neighbors are having their daughter swedding this weekend in their amazing, beautiful, work of art, pristine yard. And our pigs hadn’t got out once this year. So my farmer and I joked that this would be the week.
Well last night as I was setting the table for dinner, out of the corner of my eye….was a pig running down the road! Exactly 4 days before the big wedding!!! So the whole family went out for a little pig rodeo.
The problem is, once an animal gets out, it has learned something. It has learned that going through the electric fence wasn’t “that” bad.
As you can see, this pig is NOT in the electric fence. In fact, this pig is in our freshly seeded fall carrots. Thanks Pig.
This is my farmer, showing his pig rodeo prowess. I promise I really did help. I just happened to be too far away at this exact point, and well, I happened to have my camera
There. The pigs are closed in their hut for the night. Now we won’t have wedding nightmares. We will dream up a way to better train pigs on electric fence. These farmkids can really rock a rodeo. Notice their states of evening routine-“ Ready for bed”, “Just out of the bath” and “Haven’t started yet”
~this farm wife
Eating well is a lot like having faith.
Someone once told me faith has a short shelf life. Meaning if you don’t practice it every day it’s easy to let it slip, particularly the passion or fire in your belly. I was driving the other day and I realized that eating well is similar. We have a diversified organic farm and we direct market everything we grow. So I spend quite a bit of time mulling over people’s eating habits, value, price, nutritional value, ease of getting (and keeping) quality local food etc… Really, as you can see I spend a lot of time thinking about this stuff.
So back to my mind during my drive. I was thinking about how when you are pumped spiritually, particularly because you have had a spiritual experience whether it be an event (church, sermon or maybe a yoga retreat….whatever your thing is) or when you’ve just met or talked with someone who inspires you or when you’ve read something that really touches your heart, or maybe you just had a little internal awakening, you know, a still small voice or feeling of comfort. You are just so pumped and you are in wonder and awe of this spiritual gift you have just experienced ( do you know what I’ m taking about or am I really a weird as I have always felt?)
Well I don’t want to belittle spirituality (as you can see I spend plenty of time thinking of those things too!) but I was thinking the other day about local food the same way. I know so so many people who will say they are “into” or value local food. And how important local farms are etc. And I don’t doubt for a minute that they truly believe that. Heck I truly believe that. Really. Truly. And so we buy local food “when we can/ in-season” or that’s what I do anyway. And it really is such a good thing. But here’s what I was thinking…..we are farmers, honest to goodness full time farmers working our hardest to feed those in our community. We do it every day and sometimes it’s gratifying, some days it’s amazing and some days it kinda sucks. But as I was driving I had a moment (not unlike a spiritual one!) where I realized, I mean I really realized, how ABSOLUTELY COOL it is that we grow food! And people eat it! That we produce this food from the earth and nourish ourselves and our community and I was just amazed. I was so proud of my husband and just thought WOW !!!! There are really few things in our lives as important as eating! And growing food is not easy! And I just thought how many times do we, myself included get hit with the importance, and gratitude and awesomeness of those who grow our food! (maybe it’s even ourselves!) Since I’m getting a little preachy here, can I get an AMEN!!!
So I know we are all busy and we all eat every day, but every once in a while when you bite into some nourishing food. Particularly if it is local and you know the farmer who grew that lettuce or pork chop enjoy the wonder of it! Imagine if there were no farmers! Imagine all the steps that get that food to you, from the seed, earth, plant, sun, water, animal, processing, transport, sale it goes on and on. And imagine all the obstacles that could have got in the way…..weeds, weather, pollution, exhaustion……then just for one minute. Be in awe of the food before you. And the farmer who made it happen.
Okay that’s my sermon for the day. I hope you’ve had a “spiritual” experience about your food!
It was a hot and muggy day today. I had given one of our interns a ride up the hill to the barn space they stay in and of course my kids had to climb out the of the van to visit with some of their favorite friends, whose mom just happens to be one of my favorite friends who happens to rent the upper house on our farm so we just happened to get chatting as we ALWAYS do! The tradition after that is for my kids to run home ( about 1/3 of a mile, it’s a farm road, dead end) Gracie was quick, Sam asked for the pace car to pick him up half way down and Rita likes to stay just ahead of me the whole time.
~this farm wife