Late summer and fall have been nearly impossible at work.
And then This. Week.
I’m happy to share a lovely post from Ron.
It is late fall at White Pine Farm, and the woods have lost most of their leaves. The sky becomes a much more prominent part of the vista here on the farm. The view to the south opens up this time of year and rolling, forested hills of the Allegheny plateau are revealed.
All is well on our little patch of field and forest, and the land certainly takes no notice of our nation’s unseemly turn towards hatefulness and irrationality. Yes, we are still White Pine Farm, named for Pinus strobus (eastern white pine), that grows and provides shelter and food for our sheep. I have been half way joking about changing the name to Multicolor Democratic Socialist Farm, but we will stick with the homage to a native tree species.
The latest chick raising attempt was a successful and pleasurable experience after the “chickatrosphe” of June. Caroline raised six Australorp chicks that are closing in on 4 months old. Three of them are hens that will join our laying flock, and three are roosters with a more questionable fate. So far these increasingly beautiful little roosters are not exhibiting any of the obnoxious behaviors that led Scruffy the rooster to the stew pot, but we shall see what true maturity brings. Sara did see some puffy feathers and chest thumping from a couple this morning. Regardless, we cannot have three roosters, so chicken stew is in someone’s future.
The garden, after a trying summer of drought, has been a pleasure this fall. Abundant Brussel sprouts that we can pick at will, kale and chard, carrots and parsnips, parsley and kohlrabi, are all available until the first really hard frost.
The sheep are delightful as always, and are busily doing the final mowing around the property. We will need to start feeding them hay as soon as the snow falls. We have four adult ewes that are ready to be wooed by a suitable ram, and we are trying to find a likely suitor. This is not easy because Navajo Churro are a somewhat uncommon, heritage breed, and the ram at the farm where they were born is their grandfather. Hence we are trying to get Shemp here, a somewhat oddly colored Navajo Churro ram who lives about 20 miles south of our farm. If all goes as planned, we could have 4-8 little lambs running around here next May.
So, this is what we do here. Trying to use our small property in a sustainable fashion, treat the creatures under our care with kindness (even if we eat one every once in a while), and limit our participation in the destructive, consumerist aspects of the culture that surrounds us. Many of our cohorts here in the Ithaca area, and around the world, do the same, and will continue to do so. It matters!