Saturday, April 22, 2006

New Agrarian Book

Our good friend Herrick Kimball has Just Announced the release of a new book titled Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian. Best order your copy soon!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Please Pray for Noah

I got a phone call while I was milking this morning from Leah. She was calling from a hospital in Maryland. Little Noah came down with something called croup--??---, I've never heard of it and can't spell words I know very well much less new ones. Anyway the poor feller was having trouble breathing and he is in the hospital, they have him in some sort of tent-like-contraption. They said he would be in there for at least another day(they spent the night there). So....they will be out there longer than we had planned and I'm stuck out here with the herd and can't go see them. Please pray for Noah and Leah. I have to get back to the barn, I'll check in here later and let you all know if anything changes.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Prayer Request

Please keep "Puritan Mamma" in your prayers.

Monday, April 17, 2006

My Wife Left Me, and a Short Story on Being Poor

Boy, things are kind of quite around here this morning. My wife and the boys left at 5 am to go visit kinfolk down in Maryland(you didn't think they LEFT ME like that, did ya). They will be gone untill friday. They got a chance to ride down with Leah's mom, so I said "go and have fun". I'm already bored to tears! When your used to having little ones running all over and doing everything with you, it seems mighty strange when they're gone. Fear not, I won't starve. I like to cook, but I won't have to, one of the perks of a multigenerational farm is no matter how old you get.....mommy will still cook for ya :) So, Leah, John and Noah, if your reading this.....hurry back I miss you already and its only been two hours!!

Heres a neat story I heard a few years back.

There was a well to do rich man you lived in the suburbs with his wife and an only child. The dad was worried that his son didn't undersyand how good they had it. He made a phone call to his realitives who had a rundown little hill farm a few hours away and arranged a visit. He figured the best way to get through to his son was to show him just how poor some folks were. They pulled in the gravel driveway and were greeted by half a dozen hound dogs and a goose. Next, the children and grown folks came out of barns and fields and lined up to say hello. The city boy spent the whole weekend doing chores and playing with farmers 6 kids. The farmers kids were bare foot and had holes in their pants. The barns were in poor repair, the tractor an old rust bucket and the old farm truck had bald tires and a dent in the drivers side door. The more the father looked around, the more sorry he felt for the poor hillbillies. He knew had done the right thing, his son would know what poverty looked like, it now had a face. The weekend was over and the goodbyes were said. They got a few miles down the road and the father looked over at the boy. "Do you know why I brought you out here?", he asked. Kid shakes his head "no". "I wanted you to see just how poor some people are.", he said. The boy said, "You know dad, I never knew just how poor we were." The father, with a shocked look on his face, replies "What do mean?". "Well dad, that pond was really cool, its so much nicer than our pool...I mean its got fish and frogs and crawdads you can catch. We have those street lights so we can see at night, and those folks have a million stars and the moon to light up their yard. And ya, the yard, wow. Ours is so small and they have a hundred acres with rocks and trees. I like our poodle, but those hound dogs were so fun to play with. They swim and hunt and everything. Did you notice, the mother, she dosen't even make the kids wear shoes! They don't have to go to the playground ethier, they have hay forts and trees to climb, did you see that creek...I think it goes on forever. We have to buy our food at the store, those poeple Grow Their Own! Rows and rows of food in the garden, did you see how they could just go out and pick it themselves! They all get to work together Every Day, the father doesen't have a job. Those kids have lots of brother and sisters too, its like having freinds over to play Every Day. I think that lady even made her own bread, dad. Thanks for taking me out there dad, I'll never forget how good those farmers have it." The father didn't say another word. He looked straight ahead and drove back toward home. He was starting to see "just how poor they were".

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

What We're Doing

On Monday the rep from Organic Valley came to the farm. The meeting went very well and it looks like we are planning to start the transition process by June 1st. I was kind of suprised that my Dad agreed to it, but thrilled never the less. Our land has not had anything bad on it in 12 years or so, which means the land can be certifed now. The cows take a year for certifiction. Being a grass based dairy, the "transition" won't be too difficult or different. I am looking forward to starting a new chapter in our farm's history.

I almost have all the parts and peices I need to start my "eggmobile" project. I've been collecting scraps and junk to build it with. It will be a neat way to control flies.

We have been wanting to start a "market garden" for a while. What we lacked was a good tiller. This year we spent our life savings(a whole $600 :) and bought a new tiller. I've been bustin' sod all over the place! We planted some peas last night and will be spending alot of time in the gardens this summer. This will be our first time doing farmer's markets.

A cow kicked silage in my eye and scratched it pretty bad. Its better now, but man, it was sore for a few days. I had to put a patch on it. The funny thing is this....ever since I was a lad, I can't keep my left eye open if my right eye is closed. So, I got to milk the cows blindfolded! Always wondered if I could, but never felt compelled to try it. I was amazed how well I did. I suppose if you do something ever day, twice a day, all your life, you don't really need the luxury of eye sight.

Our freinds the Marbels are new converts to Christian Agrarianism. Its a blast seeing how exited they are about getting chickens and working in the garden.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Bird Flu....The Untold Story

Few news stories have been full of more nonsence and alarmist insanity than the recent Bird Flu stories. Fear is a mighty fine tool for those who want total control. We have seen the goverment, the multinational "big chicken" factories, the drug companies and the money changers all scrambling to make the most of it. In true Orwellian fashion, the healthy chickens are to blame and the those of the "fecal soup variety" are good. Here is an article that sheds some light on the Bird Flu story.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Even Chickens Praise Our Lord

If you've been a Christian Agrarian for very long, you know that much of what you say about "any old thing" tends to earn you puzzled looks from other folks. American Christians ain't much for rocking the boat. Many people would be fine letting us live like "darn fools" and leave us alone, if it wasn't for the fact that we believe our position on how to live is more biblical than theirs. I often get the 5th degree on sustainable vs industrial agriculture from fellow Christians. You really think its more biblical to let chickens scratch the dirt and see the sunlight? What's wrong with "taking dominion over hogs" by locking them in little crates and keeping them on concrete? Those are good questions! I think the answer depends on how you view the relationship between God and His creation. In the bible we are told that after creating all things God declared them good. God made no mistakes when He made.... the chicken for example. God made chickens to live outdoors and eat bugs and grass. He made them so the would follow herbivores and scratch out the fly larva, thus improving the life of the herbivore. God made hogs to dig and root. The scriptures tell us that He made grass for the cattle to graze. It is important to remember that God created all things for his Gory. That's right, a scratching chicken Glorifies the Lord. In the Psalms we read(and sing...hint hint) that creation itself praises the Lord. Rocks, mountains, birds, rivers and more all praise and glorify God by their very existence. Most people enjoy watching a scratching hen more than they do watching one in a wire cage. We were created in the image of God, which I believe explains why. Call me a nut case, but when I see a group of cows grazing or a momma hen and her brood scratching in the sun, I can't help but think of how these animals and all their wonderful habits praise our Mighty King Jesus. If we spent as much time learning ways to let the habits and gifts of our animals help us than we do fighting against the God given traits of our little servants, life in the countryside wouldn't be half as stressful.