Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall at the Farm

This was my second Fall Open House at the Farm since I've been there.  It's been a good two years for me.  I've milked dozens of goats, birthed dozens of goat kids and two calves, and experienced so many peak moments of both joy and grief in life's inevitable dramas that reading about it (via John Dewey, on "Esthetic Experience") seems dry to me.
There's nothing like farm life to put you in the moment.
Remember Be Here Now?  I do.
I have lived intensely, these two years. 
I'm grateful for that.
For the calf that took her first breath from me, through my lips, fresh born into my lap.
For the goat kid that was born alive after her twin's still birth, and the mother that survived it all; her pain was my pain, as I held her unborn kid's legs in my hands and later held her head during a hard delivery, and then, joyfully, her live, perfect baby shortly after.
For the two kids born two days after their older sister, and their mother that miraculously held her colostrum for them after giving a day's portion to her first baby
Miracles.  Every day.
For the prayers that are answered on faith,
and for the many caring, giving people I've met at the farm.
On our Open House days, we celebrate!  We celebrate life.
We celebrate:

Teenagers who volunteer for camp, and (this weekend) pony rides!
Volunteers who brought pumpkins, and tended the horses and other livestock.

The new friends who visited today, and who helped support our vision of agricultural education.
Miss Kathy, whose insights and determination are the heart of Flint Hill.

The fruits of our labors; Eric and Kathy's cheese, our hens'eggs, our bees' honey, and the artisans who keep us in their plans.

The Godfrey Daniels musicians, who generously contribute their talents and time to our fundraising events.

And to everyone who contributes in one way or another to make this dream a reality.
I've been contemplating my future lately.  Studying the philosophy of art education (and art, my life apart from the farm), and facing my own aging process and the challenges it brings makes me realize how immediate and vital this sort of experience is for all of us.
I'm so grateful.
I'm so blessed.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Big Mushrooms, Big Goats, Big Week

It's been a week of epic proportions.
It's "Date Week" at the farm; George and Herve are enjoying the company of their many gorgeous goaty girlfriends, and doing their best to provide us with an exciting and prolific April. In typical buck manner, there's been a lot of posturing, prancing and blubbering going on.  Herve seems to think that sticking his tongue out makes him particularly attractive to the ladies; that, and peeing on his beard, of course. What a guy.
The Girls Love Me.
Unfortunately, the boys are also a little extra frisky this week.  Poor George somehow knocked off one of his horns, and had to be seen by the vet yesterday evening, as he was bleeding profusely.  He didn't let it keep him from his ladies, though!  He's much better today.

Hey, Come Back!
I have a few more "intimate" pictures, but Herve told me that some things just needed to remain private. He's a happy boy this week. I suspect he'll need a long nap tonight; he's been busy.

Our girl Faith has been visiting her beau back at the farm where she was born.  We're aiming for a registered nubian kid from her this year; I can't wait to see it (or them)!  But I really miss her each night at Flint Hill!  She hopped right into the back crew seat of the pickup truck for the ride over.  I wasn't able to get pictures, but I will when she comes home.
On the home front, it's apparently "mushroom week". I've been encountering all sorts of BIG specimens this week.

This Whopper was the Largest: a Giant Puffball, Nearly 12"Across.
The secret to this one was to tear it into thicker chunks, then saute it before freezing.  It's so soft it condenses considerably...but oh so good!  All of the puffballs can be used like tofu; they take on the flavor of the seasonings you use.  So far, my favorite has been a combination of sesame oil and soy sauce. though the pieces I added to our shrimp bisque yesterday were pretty darn good, too.
Chicken of the Woods: Big and Nasty
This Chicken of The Woods was a nice surprise, though we didn't eat it.  It was hard and quite buggy.  But it was good to identify it!  It's been an interesting autumn so far; school is in full swing, my grad course is exciting, and I'm learning about new and easily identifiable mushrooms.  Life's good!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Giant Puffball-icious

Oh my...a new mushroom to hunt!  ******NOTE: never eat a mushroom you're not familiar with!  More info. to follow.
This was the smaller one!

They look like angel food cake inside.  NO gills or stems.

Light and delicious! I'll be mushroom hunting this weekend!