Monthly archives "June 2010"

reality farm life

 

 

ducklings being raised for future layers and the boys for harvesting

ducklings being raised for future layers and the boys for harvesting

This season so far, on LTD Farm, has exceeded every dream I was hoping to manifest out here. I have a core of wonderfully  supportive, and involved customers. I care for a whole bunch of amazing animals who are thriving and providing all kinds of goodness. My retail accounts are selling lots of duck eggs and spreading the duck-egg-love all throughout the Twin Cities. And the new farm!!!!! I can’t even explain how exciting this is, beyond my wildest expectations. To have more space for my “kids” will be so wonderful. To have more space to grow the farm sustainably is something I have been aspiring towards, but unable to do with out a really seriously dedicated and sincere partner. I am beyond grateful to have Andrew come into my life, and for us to grow a life together. Not to mention our abilities to strive towards self-sufficiency, which is something I just drool over the concept of!

more beautious ducklings

more beautious ducklings

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turkeys before the storm

turkeys before the storm

my summer turkeys, I love them so...

my summer turkeys, I love them so...

 

they are often referred to as "not so bright" but i find turkeys to be very inquisitive, interactive and intuitive.

they are often referred to as "not so bright" but i find turkeys to be very inquisitive, interactive and intuitive.

 

this is what is growing in the hoophouse, where the pigs were back in April!!! All seeds that sprouted from their leftovers!

this is what is growing in the hoophouse, where the pigs were back in April!!! All seeds that sprouted from their leftovers!

 

the squash plants will not be contained!

the squash plants will not be contained!

 

the "baby" turkeys, so inqusitive. still undercover of the hoophouse til they are a bit bigger and less likely to be carried off by predators.

the "baby" turkeys, so inqusitive. still undercover of the hoophouse til they are a bit bigger and less likely to be carried off by predators.

 

what a regal dude, how I adore turkeys

what a regal dude, how I adore turkeys

 

haha!! hello!

haha!! hello!

 

the pigs, and in the foreground you can see where they tilled up my lawn and I have a wheat patch sprouting up!!!

the pigs, and in the foreground you can see where they tilled up my lawn and I have a wheat patch sprouting up!!!

how the piggles adore eating!

how the piggles adore eating!

 But this has been a very hard, intense year. I won’t lie and say it has all been a piece of cake. There have been some tragedys, some sad partings with animals who had to be put down or died of their own. Very Humbling. I have never worked harder in my life. Being responsible for so many lives is SO insanely heavy. It gets me out of bed early, keeps me up late. This is a way of life, not a way to get rich or just laze about in the sun. There is SO much work to do, always……but it is the best, most rewarding work ever. Having your hands involved with every aspect of farming is ridiculously satisfying. I imagine it is similar for parents of human children. Pure and utter exhaustion, but the rewards are immeasureable, and impossible to put into words.first turkey harvested in 2010, note the lovely shade tree being used as a plucking station! 20 lbs of bird in three months is quite a marvel of nature.first turkey harvested in 2010, note the lovely shade tree being used as a plucking station! 20 lbs of bird in three months is quite a marvel of nature.

 

plucking from above! pictures taken by one of my customer's kids! she was amazing to be a witness and absorber of all that we took part in.

plucking from above! pictures taken by one of my customer's kids! she was amazing to be a witness and absorber of all that we took part in.

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upon evisceration, we admire all the organs that grew the turkey from the inside out. This is the caul fat, which not only holds the intestines together, but has all the veins that bring the nutrients, via the veins, to the body from the intestinal tract. Amazing.

upon evisceration, we admire all the organs that grew the turkey from the inside out. This is the caul fat, which not only holds the intestines together, but has all the veins that bring the nutrients, to the body from the intestinal tract. Amazing.

 

life is so magnificent, we are all blessed to witness it in all forms.

life is so magnificent, we are all blessed to witness it in all it's forms.

 

Kitty skillfully butchering up her turkey, in order to make kebobs, burgers, roasted on the bone breast meat, etc....

Kitty skillfully butchering up her turkey, in order to make kebobs, burgers, roasted on the bone breast meat, etc....

a full day

Today was exceptional. I got so much accomplished and then harvested two drake ducks with Kitty and Barry, wonderfully supportive customers and friends. Yesterday all I could think of was death. Not just the ones looming for today, although I had been invisioning it quite a bit lately -logistics and such- as we had to cancel several times before today came along and was done.

 

me and my mom, a month before she passed away

me and my mom, a month before she passed away

 

Yesterday was just magnificent, delivering my CSA shares and hanging out with the animals. Having time to be around them, enjoying and “farmer gazing” at them – not just doing chores for them, is priceless. But for some reason I was thinking of my Mom, and her death in relation to intentional deaths with my animals. I was remembering when she died, and being there, and seeing a spirit leave a body. There is something SO humbling in remembering we will all pass in some way. Then I got home and opened my Rumi Book of Love, right to the chapter on “Die before you Die.” Some very intense thoughts, and some very intense realizations.

“There is a way of passing away from the personal, a dying that makes one plural.”

” I slide like an empty boat pulled over the water. In the slaughterhouse of love they kill only the best, none of the weak or deformed. Don’t run away from this dying. Whoever’s not killed for love is dead meat.”

On my farm, I always want death to be noble. For the creatures I raise and harvest, and for my self as well. Seeing my Mom lingering in a hospital, and us not being prepared for what was going to happen, was heart wrenching. She was a noble woman, and her death was noble, but I think it was not as respectful as it could have been, since we didn’t know how quickly it would happen. We weren’t informed until right before, what was actually happening to her. I wish the hospital would have been better equipped to help us know what to do and expect.

I have this feeling that I want to die without knowing when; I could see a gypsy crystal ball lady to find out the date. But I want to live fullest as possible, and then die when it is going to happen. Death is a part of living, no doubt about it.

Death and respect. What I heard about recently about conventional concentrated agriculture situations. In a typical egg factory, when the hens are done being productive with egg laying, after less than one year, they are all GASSED and ground up for fertilizer. This shows little respect for life, just a use of it, an abuse if I can say that. Today we harvested two of my one year old drake ducks who have spread their seed into new generations. They had a great life here, actually being ducks outdoors, mating and courting the girls. Now they live on as delicious meals, as their roles have been filled. For hatching out subsequent generations of Khaki Campbells, I need new blood to come into the flock.

Another shocking truth from conventional ag-  in a typical hog house, if the electricity goes out, the pigs are so compacted indoors that they have about one hour before they die from SUFFOCATION. This disgusts me to no end, but I am happy to be raising a coupe of very happy outdoors pigs for my customers. Dying from suffocation because they are SO CRAMMED in there??? How terrible, how wrong on all levels. I love my healthy, happy, lovely pigs so much.

 

Hope you have time today to ruminate on death, life and living. Do it to the max, cuz what other option do you have??

june news

So excited to report I have found the new home of LTD Farm, in Clayton, WI. If it all goes through ok, my tiny farm will be moving this fall, to 39 acres of gorgeous rural land, rolling hills, woodland and an established meadow of native plants. I am becoming we, as my boyfriend and I join forces to farm for you. We’re extremely excited to increase the types of workshop offerings, raise more “compassionate carnivore” animals for meat, connect people with their food, and continue blazing the trail into duck egg wonderland. Fueled by Duck Eggs of course!

duck eggs with wild ramp bulb slices

duck eggs with wild ramp bulb slices- a hot, oiled cast iron pan is the ultimate cooking surface

crispy pink potato hash with slices of sweet red pepper, and a duck egg cracked on top at the last minute

crispy pink potato hash with slices of sweet red pepper, and a duck egg cracked on top at the last minute

Andrew specializes in Permaculture, which is a beautiful system of thought for farming, planting and planning lanscapes around natural concepts. Following nature’s methods, habits and ways.

That doesn’t mean I am not sad to leave the birthplace of LTD Farm, my cozy home and the wonderful area of the St.Croix River Valley. But it isn’t that far away where we’re moving…I’ll still be delivering to town once a week. The concept of being able to rotate my animals through paddocks more frequently and grow more of the feed for them is so exciting to me! This means my little farm in Osceola will be for sale in a couple months. It is ideally set up for someone looking to homestead to the max, grow alot of the food they eat, without being too far away from the Twin Cities.

baby Roxy

baby Roxy

the current mass of the pigness!

the current mass of the pigness!

monsters! lovely monsters, who love their tummies rubbed....still!

monsters! lovely monsters, who love their tummies rubbed....still!