Tag Archives: farm life

The New, The Nearly Complete and Wild Turkeys

3 Mar

It has been a little while since I blog-diddy-blogged and I think I have a lot to say.

Springtime on the farm almost.  We’ve had a lot of rain.  All over town the forsythias are boldly blooming, while the apples and lilacs are just barely leafing. I swear I fall in love a thousand times a day as winter releases into this potent blooming of everything alive!  Daffodils, baby cows, violets, leafing trees, the first farmer’s market of the season…  Oh, you’re right there with me?  Awesome!

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Birth.  Emergence.  The Push.

To illustrate the life of a farmer in almost spring one could draw a pair of eyes taking in the entire horizon and connecting that image via dotted lines to a brain full of words that scroll like the words at the beginnig of Star Wars. But instead of an epic saga, its an epic To-Do List.  And that is how it is here with us.

Except that this spring I am in the process of building a brick and mortar, I’m actively fundraising via Kickstarter and I’m moving out of Jacksonville.

Before farm and store and fundraising and moving,  I’m mom. So I’ve got to say here that our silly little child turned 5 last week!  Five is big and doesn’t she know it!?!

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On the birthday we went up to the mountains for some sledding.  It was a beautiful outside and we had an awesome time. It was a wonderful break from the construction and hustle that is and has been the focus of my days.

Last week was all about launching the Kickstarter campaign and getting the plumbing into the shop and so many things were out of my hands.  I filled up my nervous idle time with the zen of painting the furniture for our store. Bright colors, physical labor and obvious results were just what I needed!

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And BE had fun too.

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Today we went to the J’ville house to get the “kitchen”.  The stove, counters, shelves and our beloved bicycle spice grinder.  It was a successful mission.

On our way there, BE and I encountered the biggest flock of turkeys we’ve ever seen. There were easily 50 birds, all crossing the road and headed into the hills.

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The encounter was especially auspicious because in folklore turkeys represent abundance and we had just come from the auto parts place where we were trying to get parts to fix the brake lights on our borrowed trailer but instead we got this rhinestone studded Money keychain for the new shop’s keys.

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“I got my mind on my money and my money on my mind!”

This brings us to Kickstarter’s genius mode of organizing crowd sourced funding and the incredible opportunity they offer to people like me. Using their platform, I’ve created a project and now I’m asking my friends, family, peers and fellow citizens of the world to back it.  Collectively we are making this thing real. Follow this link to learn more and get involved.  I sure hope it inspires you to!

A successfully funded campaign builds this kitchen and storefront.  Then I’ll take this potent lil’ brick and mortar and ROCK it like a hurricane.

Bling diddy Bling! 

While Kickstarter makes designing the campaign very easy, still it is one of the most challenging and deeply personal experiences of my life. To communicate my intentions clearly, to take a very public, very flying leap out of hibernation and to ask for help from friends and strangers are all uber humbling endeavours.  I am doing my best to muster sustained trust.  Yet,  I’m feeling a bit like these two turkeys…. one moving toward the goal with focus while the other meandering back the way she came.

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As I step out and create this brand new thing, I am mining the gems from my previous life.  Some are physical tools and stuff.  But most are rememberings distilled into clear hindsight and rich life lessons.

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Lessons that empower the launch of the new and stuff that enhances our now.  Like this plastic toy that entertained BE on our way outta J’ville today.

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And the five jugs of Mate Fire that I found in a box today!   A most thirst quentching reunion ensued!  Just. Yum.  (Don’t be jealous.)

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My longing for Mate Fire, for Habanero Honey Brew and for Heartsong Chai is the ultimate fire of this gigantic project I’ve created.  It was a true joy to down a good portion of this jug today (6 years in a bottle yet so revitalizing and delicious)!

And so today the kitchen moved from J’ville to GP and our trusty bicycle grinder is one step closer to her next spice grinding mission! And this week the plumber and the electrician will work their magic and bring us even closer.

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YOU can help us too! By liking this blog, sharing it with friends, visiting the Kickstarter campaign, becoming a backer, telling all your friends to back it too and by taking a moment to picture it all coming together with grace and ease!

There’s more painting to do too, if’n you are needing some zen in your life. As always, thanks for reading and witnessing the words of my world.

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Bully to Bullion

9 Jan

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This is Rammy’s heart.  It is outside his body now.  In the freezer, to be exact.  His mean streak escalated to the point that he began charging us and there is just no turning that habit around.

Of course his incredible destructiveness also contributed to his demise.  There’s this:

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and this:

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and this entire fence line:

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Rammy repairs have begun, these green T posts are the beginning of a new fence line. The barnyard creatures are establishing their new pecking order.  And most of the labor of processing his body is complete.  The hide is skinned, pinned and salted.  The meat is cut and frozen.  The bone broth finally came off the heat today.  It turned out beautifully.

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Here it is in the cookpot.  And here it is in the jar.

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We’re jerking all the back and neck meat with a Bresaola recipe from The River Cottage Meat Book.  Its one day into a five day brine right now.  I tried another, quicker recipe from said book, Spiced Hot Smoked Liver, improvising a bit on the spice blend.

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I rubbed the spice blend into the liver and it sat for 4 hours.

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Then I wiped it off and smoked it with maple wood for an hour.  I must admit I’m not a fan of liver but I do know it is a healthful medicine, so I wanted to try this but I wasn’t exactly thrilled to eat it.  I did try it tonight and besides tasting like liver, the spicing turned out really nice.  If you live local to me and you love liver, be sure to leave a comment and I’ll gladly bring you some slices of this latest work of art.

I can’t get my man to eat organ meat with me (yet).  But I have been reading a ton about it and experimenting a little.  Partially because I don’t want to waste any thing from these gorgeous creatures who died so that we may be nourished.  And partially because I believe the organs are incredible sources of power.  Last month when my child was sick and my man was really, really sick, I ate a lamb’s heart to strengthen my body’s fight to be well.  I think it was the strength I needed, I did not get sick.

And while we’re talking about organ meat, I am well aware that the source of Rammy’s destructive behavior was his nut sack.  Raging testosterone is what fueled his hours upon hours of head banging every object that stood between him and his girls.  It is what kept him at the top of the barnyard pecking order and it is what eventually turned him mean.  So I harvested them, yes.  But they have yet to hit the fry pan….. we’ll see. Here they are anyway, one straight out of the sack and one skinned.

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Rammy was one of the first sheep we got, he was three months old and we named him Gendry because we love the Game of Thrones book series.  We watched him grow into his manhood and become a force to be reckoned with.  We could jovially tell you all of his courting rituals and many a hilarious story about his manhood.  We had him just over two years and we have loved him beyond reason (obviously!  what real farmer would allow so much property destruction?)  When the day of his death came, he knew.  He’d been chained up like a junkyard dog for two days, giving everyone on the farm a much needed break from his dominion.  The day was perfect!  A chilly morning that gave way to a glorious winter day.  Here is a silly shot of our livestock guardian dogs that morning.

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From my facebook page: “Some things cannot be counted in a straight line. Like going from one kid to two kids, its an exponential growth and not easily calculated. Turns out butchering a ram rather than a lamb is similar. We got started at 9 am yesterday and I was still cutting meat at midnight! Today we are sore and spun, but satisfied. I keep thinking about it and the word that sticks is Beautiful. That might seem odd, but its my truth. We spent lots of time with him in the morning, brushing him and thanking him and recollecting, it was deeply sweet. His death was resigned and easy. D cuts the throat, no guns involved. We held him and loved him as he passed. I love him still. Raising animals like this is a labor of love and requires great stamina… heart, mind and body.”

I am so grateful for the opportunity to raise animals, harvest them intentionally and turn them into medicine for people.  I am touched by each animal born here and each life we take.  And I am forever improved for having raised, known and slaughtered our Rammy.  RIP and thanks for the snacks!