Thursday, January 18, 2007

Organic Rocks!

We're an organic farm - the veggies, chickens, sheep, goats - the whole lot. When we're asked "Why?", I can sometimes come up with a coherent and (somewhat) concise answer, but I have to share a bit from an article I read which does such a nice job of capturing the essence of the need to go organic...

In the Fall 2006 issue of Spin-off magazine, Judith MacKenzie McCuin wrote an article about the "why" of organics. She writes, "every single acre that we can free from unnecessary chemical use, whether it is from fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides, is one more small victory." Sure, the USDA and mega-industrial agriculture are making it harder and harder for individual farmers to get the official "organic" label, but we remain true to the ideals, even without the official stamp. Our customers know us and know our ethics.

The value, she writes, has to do more with good to the greater whole, than good to specific individuals. But each of our small, organic farms represent ever-widening circles that spread like ripples on a pond, hopefully connecting to other "ripples".

"Not every choice can be organic and not every organic choice can address all the issues that come up in discussions about textiles and the environment. But as consumers and producers we have the ability to make a choice about how we want the world to change."

She reaches out specifically in her article to fiber artists: spinners, knitters, weavers. Here on our farm, we are extending that partnership to our CSA customers (some of whom are fiber friends as well!) Remember...when we purchase, we are making informed choices, and in a small way are making the world move in a direction we want...

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lessons from 2006

Well, like the blog title says...It's harder than it looks. Farming, that is. I realize the importance of not downplaying or discounting the important, vital, and sometimes challenging (albeit satisfying) work. But I'd like to share with everyone the lessons I learned this year.

1) Never farm with your mouth open. Flies fly right in - they may be protein, but they don't taste nice. Sheep sneeze - you're going for the cuddle, they're suddenly allergic to attention. Chickens housed up high to protect them from predators wait until you have your mouth open to scratch their cage floor and droppings. You get the idea...

2) Don't put eggs in your pocket. No matter how gentle you swear to be, or how padded you think your pocket is, there's always the goat that jumps up, or something on the ground that needs you to bend over to attend to, or the child that wants a hug. End result = pocket omelets.

3) Fencing is a competitive sport. (see May 2006 post) It doesn't matter whether you look at them to keep something in, or keep something out - the bottom line is "are you successful?". I would say for 2006, it was a draw.