March Planting

With March slipping away I became impatient and a few days ago I went ahead and starting planting. I put out our kale and collards transplants.

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I held back the cabbage, broccoli and romaine lettuce and now I’m glad I did.  We’ve been hit by a major cold snap.  Last night the temps dropped into the low 20s.  Whether the plants were seriously damaged remains to be seen.

I’m hoping this is winter’s last gasp.

Ninety percent of our normal spring planting still hasn’t happened.  In a little over a month it will be time to start the summer crops.

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But it does no good to complain about it.  March is unpredictable and it’s gonna do what it’s gonna do.

Eggsplosion

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It may not feel much like spring the last few days, but the chickens certainly know what season it is.

Instead of the few eggs a day we were getting in the winter, the hens are now giving us about 3 dozen per day.  That’s full capacity for our little flock.

Every year when this happens, we have to figure out how to spend our springtime egg jackpot.  Not long ago we had customers practically begging us for eggs.  But nowadays, when everyone who owns chickens suddenly has more eggs than they need, demand goes way down.

But there’s no danger of eggs going to waste.  We have plenty of loyal customers, and we eat our fair share too.  Our dog Ginny gets them in her diet too.

Now is the also the time to freeze eggs.  It’s also a good time to bake and freeze egg-rich goodies, like pound cake.

In a worse case scenario, we can feed them to our pigs.  That’s what the pigs are hoping for, but it isn’t likely to happen.

Meanwhile we’re brooding two dozen chicks who we’re hoping will contribute to next years spring eggsplosion.

It’s a great time of year.

By the way, y’all should go check out Laura’s post on her always entertaining Applewood Farm blog.  Her chickens not only ramp up production this time of year–they also hide their eggs.

Babies

We have lots of new babies on the farm.

Chicks in the brooder coop

Chicks in the brooder coop

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Bianca and her new kids. Note their deer friend in the background.

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New piglets

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Oh yeah!  One of the best things about spring.

Oh yeah! One of the best things about spring.

New life on the farm makes me happy.

Drinking Water

Sunday was World Water Day, a day devoted to bringing awareness to the importance of clean drinking water–a precious commodity, taken for granted by many of us and desperately needed by many others.

Blood:Water Mission is a great organization, which we like to support.  They urged people to drink only water on Sunday, and to contribute their savings to help bring clean water to people who don’t have it.  A very worthy cause.

But that fundraising strategy wouldn’t be very effective if everyone drank the way we do.  Water is always our beverage of choice.  Neither of us drink soft drinks. Cherie doesn’t drink milk and other than a little in my morning coffee, neither do I.  We always drink water, and only water, at our meals.

I do have a cup of coffee in the morning and Cherie has tea.  Sometimes I’ll drink ice tea in the afternoon.  But most days I just drink water.

We host a monthly gathering of people interested in sustainable living and water is the only beverage we serve.  The last time we hosted Thanksgiving for the extended family we made the mistake of letting my mother know that we would be serving water with the meal.  So folks showed up with coolers full of Pepsi, Dr. Pepper and Mt. Dew.  The prospect of a meal without a sugary drink was evidently unbearable.

Water is refreshing, healthy and free.

Here every day is Water Day.

A Guide to the Christian Food Movement

There is now an impressive and ever-growing body of work addressing faith-based environmentalism and the theology of ecology. By comparison, very little has been written about the theology of food and eating.  It is an area ripe for further work and, of course, is a particular interest of mine.

So I was excited to discover recently a resource that will be helpful to advocates, activists, scholars, pastors and anyone else interested in exploring what’s happening in the food and faith world.

Episcopal priest Nurya Love Parish has led the way in creating a “Faith/Farm/Food network” aimed at “cultivating resilient communities through gardening and agriculture,” and at working to “create a more just and sustainable food system which reflects the abundance and grace of God.” She has produced and just released a “Guide to the Christian Food Movement,” which collects and identifies organizations and individuals working the intersection of Christianity and food.  It is an excellent resource and is available as a free download HERE.

It seems to me that our society is becoming increasingly aware of and sensitive to the moral and ethical implications of our food choices. But, strangely, faith communities seem to have been by and large absent from that conversation.

I’m encouraged by the evidence showing that is changing.

Things We Do

Continuing on the Wendell Berry theme, on his blog The Way I See It, Joel has posted a series of quotes taken from Wendell Berry’s collection of essays The Way of Ignorance.

Here is one of them (to which I’ve added another sentence from the essay):

Our attempt to maintain a “growth economy” in an ever diminishing world is playing devil with our traditional (and admirable) moral code, which our most prominent politicians now put to public use mainly to paint over our immoral behavior. We make war, we are told, for the love of peace. We subvert our Bill of Rights and impose our will abroad for the sake of freedom and law. We honor greed and waste with the name of economy. We allow ever greater wealth and power to accumulate in the hands of a privileged few only to provide jobs for working people and charity to the poor. And we sanctify all this as Christian, though the Gospels support none of it by so much as a line or a word.

– Wendell Berry, from “Letter to Daniel Kemmis