Following up on a few of my recent posts–

We didn’t win the Bon Appetit grant contest. One of the Maryland college project finalists rallied the student body and carried the day in a landslide.  The other winner was a North Carolina seafood company, selected by the staff based on its years of good service to the company.  All the projects were worthwhile and we’re happy for the winners.  We got a lot of positive publicity for our farm and advanced our relationship with our local university, so it was good for us too.

Ginny is almost fully recovered now, which is a great relief.  We seriously worried that she wasn’t going to make it. Had we followed through with all the veterinarian’s recommendations (including surgery) she’d probably be dead by now.  Instead Cherie gave her herbal and homeopathic remedies and changed her diet.  Now she’s eating peas, sweet potatoes, eggplant, green beans and venison (all from the farm).  She’s eating better than the vast majority of the people in our country.  I expect lots of sick people would benefit from such a diet, as she has.

On a less positive note, after a series of health issues in the family our friends the Harkonens were put on a medical furlough.  They have temporarily left the Congo and gone to Finland, to stay with Timo’s family while they recover. Janey’s condition did not improve and she ultimately was hospitalized for a week.  She’s returned home now but is on pain medication and her problem still hasn’t been diagnosed.  Their experience is a good reminder for us of the hardships and risks that so many people are taking in the world today in order to help care for those most in need.  I know the Harkonen family would appreciate your prayers.  The best way to follow them is to friend them (Laura Harkonen and Timo Harkonen) on facebook.

Lastly, autumn is upon us in its full glory.  We’re enjoying it–watching the gardens grow.


14 comments on “Updates

  1. shoreacres says:

    First, that’s a glorious photo. And I’m so glad to hear about Ginny. It takes a lot of close observation and dedication to work with an ill animal when the problem isn’t obvious, like a broken leg. Kudos to you and Cheri for being so dedicated to Ginny.

    I’m sorry to hear about the Harkonens. I hope all goes well during their furlough. I don’t know a thing about the Congo, but one of the first lessons I learned about West Africa is just how many ways you can become ill there. Lesson #2? Always choose malaria over the snakes, leeches and worms. 😉


    • Bill says:

      Today’s report is that Janey is much better now but they’re still not sure what caused her problem. As you know, going into a new environment like that puts a body into contact with lots of illnesses it’s not accustomed to dealing with. We have friends in Haiti who’ve experienced the same thing. Hopefully that toughest part is behind them now.


  2. Zambian Lady says:

    Sorry that you did not win the grant. It’s good though that the process has given more exposure to your farm.

    I wish the Harkonens good health and strength to forge on with their good work.


  3. Buffy says:

    Your fall garden looks glorious!


  4. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, nursing animals back to health is always an uncertain thing. My Dad and Uncle always seemed to know what to do when animals became sick. They used Vets when they had to but the homestead remedies seemed to work the best. Toward the end of my family farm experience Dad was more into culling the herd or flock then nursing back to health but then again, he was only a hobby homesteader. My Uncle on the other hand was the go to guy for the neighboring farmers when animal issues came up. Dad’s gone now and my Uncle has mind issues which makes my early life memories all the more precious.

    I’m so honored to pray for those that have been called to go to far away dangerous places to do God’s work. My church supports over 40 missionaries in all parts of the world. Members of the church send support to many more that are outside of the church support. I’m not sure how many short term mission groups have been sent out by the church this year but the number is usually about 40 to 60 teams. Everything from teaching about marriage to physical help with building churches or painting individuals houses are goals of the teams. Some times, it’s just a support showing because missionary work is far away from home and can be a lonely place. Health issues and spiritual issues are always a concern especially in the dark places like the Congo. My prayers do go out to the Harkonen’s family for physical recovery to health, for spiritual strengthening, for emotional recovery, and for mental safety.

    Have a great fall garden day.


    • Bill says:

      Thanks Dave. They seem to really like the Congo. From what they’ve shared the people there are wonderful, but poor. Our bodies don’t like such dramatic change in location, so they’re having to deal with all the tropical illnesses that they have no antibodies for. Hopefully after they shake off this bout of problems they’ll be fine.


  5. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Glad Ginny’s getting better. My uncle, the mechanic, says to always start with the simplest solution to a problem first (so Kudos to you logical thinkers; ) and Prayers for your friends. Just a thought, but do you happen to know if they’ve applied the same approach to Janey’s illness as you’ve done for Ginny? And I echo ShoreAcres comment about foreign illnesses – it took MONTHS (of pain, anguish and extreme weight loss) for an acquaintance of mine to get a diagnosis for the intestinal parasites she’d picked up while abroad.
    And, last but certainly not least, your photograph… Wow, such wonderful saturation of colour! GREAT photo: moody skies, but with such hopeful light; well done! Autumn’s promise of resurrection come Spring…
    And, speaking of colour, what’s your soil composition like there; is that iron I’m seeing?


    • Bill says:

      I’m not sure how the doctors in Finland have been treating Janey. I know that they gave her antibiotics and ran lots of tests to try to determine what was causing the problem. We’ve had friends in Haiti who had similar experiences with tropical diseases. I’m hoping that the worst in now past for the family.

      I liked the picture too. The garden looks good but the fall colors on the trees and the stormy-looking sky made for a nice combo I thought. Good observation on the soil! Our soil is red thanks to a high iron content.


  6. farmerkhaiti says:

    What an amazing photo and garden! And way to go on the Bon Appetit contest, even if you don’t win, I think it’s always a good idea to try no matter what, and get your name out there- plus you just never know!


    • Bill says:

      Thanks. Cherie did all the work on the grant, figuring we had nothing to lose. We were surprised and pleased to have been selected as a finalist. The process brought us a lot of good exposure even if we didn’t get a free greenhouse out of it. 🙂


  7. Leslie McConachie Miami, Fl says:

    The Harkonens story really touched me. They can count on my prayers.


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