There are plenty of things to be happy about on our farm these days.
For example, Holly had this pretty kid last night.
And we’re continuing to get an abundance of late spring greens from the gardens.
But a hawk continues to kill our pullets. Deer continue to eat up our seedlings. We continue to have intestinal parasites in some of our goats. I haven’t written a word on my thesis in months.
I’ve been working as late as possible for the last three days to get our hay ready. And yesterday morning while I was picking the CSA shares, it starting raining–an unforecast shower that was not enough to do much good for the gardens but enough to wet cut hay waiting to be raked and baled. It dried out enough (I hope) for to start raking anyway, but looking out the window this morning, it looks like rain again. Ay yi yi.
It’s always like that around here. There’s good and bad, encouraging and frustrating.
On balance the good always greatly outweighs the bad. It just doesn’t always feel like that.
Saturday afternoon Wendy delivered these cute triplets–all female.
Esmeralda looks to be due any time now.
Here’s Johnny, father of 204, enjoying Father’s Day.
We’ve had lots of goodies at the farmer’s market the past two weeks. I didn’t remember to get a picture yesterday, but here’s Cherie helping set up our booth last week.
She didn’t have on her signature apron, because she was heading out to another civic event and couldn’t stay for the market.
It’s encouraging to find more and more folks who are choosing locally and organically grown food.
It’s after 9:30 as I sit down to write this, and I have to be up before five to pick the things we’re taking to the farmer’s market tomorrow. Even during these long days, there just aren’t enough daylight hours to keep up.
I was finally able to start cutting our hay, nearly a month later than I would have preferred. It’s just been too wet. We need a minimum of five dry days to get it done. I’m gambling that it won’t rain for a while. But at this point I don’t feel I have a lot to lose. If it spoils, I’ll just try to do better this fall.
There were plenty of great photo opportunities today, but alas, I forgot to take my phone (which is also my camera).
I rousted two fawns, and innumerable rabbits and mice. The fawns had been hidden in the tall grass by their mothers and only ran when the mower was dangerously close. Fawns are very pretty, but I’m not happy with our resident deer these days. A couple of them walked through my cantaloupe garden, eating the tops out of many of the plants. Having spent many long hours working that garden, and being fond of the melons, that greatly annoyed me. Then this morning I discovered they’d done the same thing in my okra patch. I can’t recall ever having deer eat okra and cantaloupe plants. It’s not as if there isn’t anything else to eat these days.
After the farmer’s market it’s back to cutting hay. Then in a couple of days (hopefully) I’ll start raking and baling it. It will be nice to have it behind us.
I read a comment from a farmer recently who said a good fish pond is like a garden you don’t have to plant or till; you only have to harvest it.
We have a good fish pond, but I don’t spend enough time harvesting it. With so many other tasks piled up this time of year (my to-do list has 106 items on it), going fishing seems something of a time-wasting luxury.
But yesterday I decided to spend an hour, during the heat of midday, at the pond.
For the first 55 minutes, though I had some strong bites, I had nothing else to show for my effort.
But just as I was about to call it quits I snagged this one.
That’s a couple of fine suppers right there.
Over the course of the past 30 years, the prevalence of childhood obesity has nearly tripled. Nearly one in three American children and adolescents today are overweight or obese…. Nearly a third of our nation’s young people are at risk for preventable diseases like type-2 diabetes and heart disease. Preventable diseases have serious consequences – which is why health experts tell us that our current generation of children may well have a shorter lifespan than their parents.
USDA press release, May 1, 2013.
The subject of the press release was some new school-lunch program. One might read this and reasonably conclude that the USDA is helping to prevent childhood obesity.
But the reality is that the USDA is complicit in the causes of the epidemic. It promotes and implements an industrial food system designed to generate cheap, fattening, nutrient-free processed food. The things that are fattening and killing our children (such as candy-coated breakfast cereals, soft drinks, fast foods and processed snack/junk foods) are made primarily from government-subsidized commodity crops. Because so much of the cost of those items is prepaid by taxpayers, they appear cheap in comparison to whole natural foods, whose producers are not receiving government handouts.
I overheard someone talking about the prevalence of obese kids these days. He said something like, “Remember when there was usually just one fat kid in the class or in the school?” It made me think of Fat Albert, a cartoon from my childhood. In those days, childhood obesity was a rare thing (and more likely to be caused by geneticsthan exclusively by diet). Today, with 1/3 or more of all American children obese, it’s becoming the norm.
We are feeding our children a diet that fattens and ultimately prematurely kills them. That diet, combined with lack of exercise, is producing a nation whose children are as fat as its adults.
And even as the USDA might be saying the right things, it’s handing kids “happy meals” and bags of cheetos while saying them.