We’re not in control. What we are in control of is our relationship to the earth. Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
If you haven’t read this book yet, please do yourself a favor and do so. It is so rich, so wise, so powerful. Written by an Indigenous elder, it reaffirms our place in this world. Especially for those of us struggling to strengthen our relationship with Mother Nature in this consumer-driven society. The book is so timely, given the current Coronavirus pandemic that has us all gripped and the constant reminders all around us that we live in a time of great human-caused climate change.
The pandemic has us locked down. We’re sheltering in place. Except that we’ve isolated ourselves on the farm! Pandemic or not, it’s a grand place to be in the springtime. That means we’re continuing to grow food. Amazing food. Nutrient-dense food. And we’re trying to do good things for the earth: composting, building soil, tending to the garden, practicing regenerative agriculture, raising livestock humanely and using renewable energy. The farm work doesn’t change, in spite of all our challenges. We’re excited about the growing season ahead, but we’d be lying if we didn’t tell you we also have our anxieties.
This pandemic has us thinking, and drawing an analogy to plants. Plants and trees are very susceptible to droughts, insect infestations and invasive weeds. This susceptibility is exposed when there’s an imbalance in the entire system, or farm organism. It may be that the imbalance is created by a stressor: too many chemicals, not enough organic fertility, over-crowdedness, or no natural defenders to control or out-compete these invaders. These invasive insects and weeds, in particular, are very opportunistic. They will exploit whatever weakness they might encounter and try to throw the system off-balance. Usually quite successfully! Eventually, after a painful process in which forests may be wiped out, or crops ruined, the system is restored and equilibrium maintained.
Is this what’s going on with this particular virus and it’s deadly global impact? Is it nature’s way of telling us something’s wrong? That our way of life on this planet is not sustainable and that a virus, against which we have no immune system, is opportunistically changing the order of things? That’s something worth pondering.
Nevertheless, life goes on here at the farm.
If you’d like to join our CSA this season, please click here.
For bulk meat orders and to reserve your holiday turkey, please click here for the Meat Order Form.
We’re all healthy and already working hard, with some joyous diversions, for sure, which we wanted to share with you.
First off, we have two new residents on the farm! These Great Pyrennes/Anatolian Shepherd mix breed puppies were 10 weeks old when they arrived. Closest to the camera is Bee Girl and her brother is named Lukin (Pearl Jam fans will figure this one out!) They will be livestock guardian dogs when fully grown after about a year.
Barclay showing Bee Girl some love and comfort.
Brother and sister frolicking together.
They’re so cute together!
Bee roughhousing with Vedder.
Jonah flying his new kite. What fun! A perfect toy for the upcoming spring wind season.
Some of our flock of layer hens using shade from the solar panel arrays, waiting for the grass to green up.
Eggs, beautiful nutritious eggs are in abundance. Right now, anyway!
Anne was able to keep a hoophouse of greens going all winter. We’re all so grateful for the food available to us.
We’ve flipped some of our compost piles. The pile in the foreground will be this year’s soil amendment, the culmination of two years of composting offal, blood and feathers from the processing plant, wood shavings from the brooder, manure from the barn, straw, garden wastes, charcoal, kitchen scraps and other compostables. Regenerative ag, which we practice, incorporates livestock into an integrated wholistic farm system.
The Wilson Range (l) and the Dolores Range (r) in all their splendor on a bluebird day, with the farmhouse on the right.
Anne and the boys preparing to take Gurdi out for a spin. She’s been training our mare all winter long, in hopes of using her as a workhorse, which is her breed.
The view from behind.
Just another ho-hum Wrights Mesa sunset (shhh … don’t tell anyone!)
Our turn to be antibody tested. San Miguel County was chosen as a test site for countywide antibody testing. Numerous national articles have been written on the subject. Test results came back negative, meaning we haven’t been exposed to the Coronavirus. We’ll be tested again in two weeks.
Stay healthy, y’all. We’ll get through this.