Archive for April, 2012

The secret ingredient of Nettle Soup is…

a good helper wearing mismatched snow mittens.

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Pasture reclamation

Three…

two…

one… blast off!

The purging power of fire has reduced a mountain of junk wood to ash.  Never fear – I didn’t want to waste a single useful piece either.  I spent hours one day sorting out the useful bits from the soft, punky, crumbling-in-place bits and set those aside before the flames hit.  What I wouldn’t give for a pack of worker bees to swoop in and clear out the ash, top with mulch, and sow some pasture seeds! Barring that option, we turn our attention briefly to other tasks while our muscles regroup.  Meanwhile, the sheep grow nervous while the pasture is eaten faster than the rains replenish it.

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Sorry to have left you munsoned.

Hello friends.  I’ve missed you.  I’ve missed this space, missed the shining window of time that I used to take to ruminate on whatever was top-most on my mind.  I hope to take that back very soon.  You see, I’ve met my limits.  Face on.  And had them blow up all over the place, leaving me as a deer in the headlights, shaken and not knowing where to begin to start digging out of the mess.

Trying to take on too many things at once is predominantly a Spring disease, I think.  Gosh – I hope it’s limited to Spring.  Starting seeds, getting and raising chicks, lambing, business management, tilling and planting the new-and-improved-garden, building a website from scratch, returning phone calls and emails, brushing hair and teeth…it all becomes quite overwhelming if attempted at the same time.  For me, at least.  I know you understand how this blog, any blog, can only represent a miniscule sliver of the whole of the life it describes.  I know you understand that when I post about some domestic achievement, you can’t necessarily see the pile of dirty laundry, frozen pizzas, hot school lunches that lift up that achievement and make it possible.  I know, too, that you understand that I work hard to not only portray the happy-shiny aspects of this day-to-day, but that I try hard to keep it real and also highlight areas where I haven’t gotten it quite right.  My goal, however, is balance.  All of the posts I’ve mentally written in the last, oh, 17 days have been about the particular challenges that have been bogging me down.  It seemed like all of that brash honesty would have taken this blog down a weighty negative path.  For this reason, and for the sheer fact that I’ve been in a tailspin, not knowing which end was up, I decided to shut up.

But I do miss you, I miss the community we’ve created here and the insights we’ve shared.  So I’m popping my head in for a brief moment to say so and also to introduce you to the newest member of the Acres.  His story is a sad one, folks, as he is an orphan.  His mom was sweet Violet – a brave, lovely little ewe who went through pure hell to birth him and in the days after his arrival.  We lost her to complications of lambing.  Despite his unfortunate start, he’s a bright strong ram lamb – a bottle lamb now, splitting his time between the house, where he fits in like another pug, and the pasture, where he’s desperately trying to find his place in the complicated social hierarchy.  His name, I concede officially, is Munson, a reference from the movie Kingpin.  Captain Daddio penned the name, of course, and it was swiftly adopted by coercion.  It is fitting, of course, but still I have reservations and concede only because I’m grossly outnumbered.  Such is farm democracy, no?  That he is a ram lamb even getting a name should speak to his fate.

Without further ado, I present Munson.

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The Vicarious Farmer: Salad Fever

It’s looking to be quite the farmy week, folks.  Join me vicariously, won’t you?

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Welcome back to The Vicarious Farmer.  It’s a bite-size serving of farmdom, featuring a fresh photo from the Acres and a pocket full of words to ruminate on.

The Vicarious Farmer is you.  Imagine yourself perched on my shoulder for a snapshot of the day-to-day goings-on of this little farmette –  the idyllic and the banal.

About this time of year, the lifeless bales of hay begin to take on the same tedious feel as the last bunch of root vegetables in the people-larder.  After a winter of eating nothing but pale, dried grass (or an endless parade of squash) any blade of green poking through the mat of last year’s growth is nibbled up in a heartbeat.  If you’re an ungulate, right about now is when you’ve reached your limit of boring dried hay, and right about now, any new grass peeking through is inhaled much faster than it’s able to grow.  Enough.  You’ll do anything to get at that lush greenery just outside of your confined area.  Now’s a good time to find a breach in the fence and bust outta there.  The yahoo shepherdess in charge will likely reward you with some dried corn, too, just to lure you back in.  Seems like the perfect way to spend the better part of a Sunday.  And Sunday night.  And Monday morning.

Maybe you vicarious farmers will more quickly see the urgency of moving the flock to fresh greens, and thus save yourself the hassle of rounding up the marauding flock again and again. It’s the route I’d recommend.

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