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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Work, Work, Work...and rain...

This week has been full of lovely and in the low 60's F each and every day, rain, overcast, drizzly... Did I mention we've had lots of lovely rain? Cool, refreshing, gentle, rain that is glorious in its comfort and healing.
"The richness of the rain made me feel safe and protected; I have always considered the rain to be healing -- a blanket -- the comfort of a friend. Without at least some rain in any given day, or at least a cloud or two on the horizon, I feel overwhelmed by the information of sunlight and yearn for the vital, muffling gift of falling water." 

Roger Miller said, "Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet." Ain't it the truth!
Do you walk in the rain? Long strolls, sans umbrella, perhaps wearing a hat because it keeps your glasses from being streaked but smelling the rain as it washes the earth of dust, looking for the rainbow because, as Dolly Parton said, "If you want the rainbow, you've got to put up with a little rain."
One more poem before I talk about my calves.
"At night I dream that you and I are two plants
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain."
~ Pablo Neruda, Regalo De Un Poeta/Gift of a Poet ~
I am healing but, but... but.
I'm putting in 12 to 14 hour days; beginning at dawn with I need those!... then heading to the pastures to chop thistle and, in the heat of the day, paperwork dealing with the estate and other matters. All that to say, once my day has "ended", I'm too exhausted to get on the computer; thus, no visiting around Blogland nor updating my own. Ah, winter...time to do only what's absolutely necessary and then back to the warmth of the farm house!
Today, it rained this afternoon, after we worked the calves in the morning. For the first time since Dave and I established Thistle Cove Farm, I'm raising calves. Eight black Angus and two red Angus with the eight, eventually, going to market and the two being raised for folks who want clean meat. 
The calves have been on pasture since 13 March and have put on about two pounds a day. That's pretty amazing for grass fed calves! I'm going to finish the two red Angus on pasture and grain and will sell them by the quarter, keeping one quarter for my own freezer and, hopefully, having a couple of rugs to sell. This is a new venture for me but as I've learned more and more about food, iow meat, production I can't say I'm excited about buying my meat at any grocery store. Food, Inc. is the movie that changed the way a lot of people look at food production and while I've never seen it, I have been in a few poultry houses and seen, first hand, those conditions. Fast Food Nation is another movie that's bound to scare the socks off you and, possibly, change the way you eat.
I was raised on clean food...Daddy has had a garden since the mid 1960's, he would cure his own hams, Mom and I would spend days canning and freezing in the summer so we'd have food in the winter. It took me a long time to figure out what all the fuss was about... folks talking about buying local, etc. Heck, for us "local" was walking outside and pulling corn off the stalk, taking the salt shaker to the garden, rubbing the dirt off the tomato and eating it warm and slightly...okay, very salty...while juice dripped off my chin. When I found out everyone didn't eat like that, I was amazed! 
If you're interested in buying a quarter and are within driving distance...I'll drive three hundred miles to deliver...let me know. I'm taking orders now and already have one calf, tentatively, sold. Apparently, clean food is important to a lot of people. Is it to you?

Blessings ~ rain ~ poetry ~ calves ~ clean food ~ work ~ 


  1. Yes, it's important! I just commented yesterday that I ate "locally" - as in backyard local. Fresh grapes from the vine and heirloom tomatoes for lunch. Does it get any better? I think not. Bless you for those long hours. i am certain it will pay off. I've missed checking in here. Hugs, Tammy

  2. It's important to me, too. I think the devil is doing his darnedest to destroy the human race, and uses any means available to do it -- including food!

    Got the book back on Friday, just to let you know.

  3. I'm glad the weather has cooled a bit, Sandra!
    I hope you resting enough.

  4. Good job! I totally agree with you on the food front. The kids (4 legged) are almost weaned and for the first time in over 6 years I will be raising a couple of Jersey calves on the extra milk. We used to raise either calves or pigs on the extra milk but when we moved to the last place prior to 42 acres of Paradise, we couldn't do it. We were lucky to get through with our little herd in tack. Sometimes neighbors can be less than neighborly.

    So I am checking out a blog or two and then on to read Joel Salatin's newest book Folks This Ain't Normal.

  5. What a wonderful enterprise Sandra! Long days but so productive. I wonder if you'll take a road trip then & where you'll end up going? Joel Salatin's philosophies (& practices) are just marvelous! Clean, good food & relationship with the grower is precisely why we head to our Farmer's Market every week. We spent ages chatting with all our "friends" this morning. They are such lovely generous, good people! I quite like the newly coined term "locavore"..someone who buys food locally. Much love Catherine x0x0x

  6. I'd rather endure a cool and rainy weather than the scorching heat of the sun. I can do a lot of work when its cool. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Glad to hear you are getting some relief, weather-wise. Long days of work when relentless heat sucks the energy right out of the bone make everything seem twice as hard to me.

    Good luck on the calf venture - seems like a fine and timely idea! Years ago I raised enough pork for the freezer, but now I don't eat enough meat to make it worthwhile. A lot of folks around here are adding home-raised beef and pork to their roadside farmstand offerings and weekly farmers' markets. It's a luxury for me, both in terms of convenience and price, and I'm very glad to have the option. I'll bet your customers will be glad to have the option, too!

  8. No rain here, Sandra, though much is needful. Makes for a poor garden this year, for sure.

    Clean meat....yes. Oh, how I wish we lived closer. And had extra money. I have had to go back to supermarket meat of late, and I am not happy about it. I do what i can do, and that's all I can do. Perhaps we will get a couple of deer this fall! I would love, love, love to fill my freezer with the good stuff. Food, INC. really changed the way we think. Now we need our wallets to come alongside our thinking! Whoever gets your meat will be blessed, of that I am sure.
    Keep pressing on, hand to the plow. You know what I mean...

    In Christ alone,

  9. If the posts are this lovely, I'll take them anytime you can type them! I adore the rain. When I was a teen I used to go out in thunderstorms and stand under the downspouts and let it pour on me. I got caught in the rain yesterday on my bike - wonderful! It's life, and dryness is death, I think.

    I'm interested in some grass-fed beef (I'm one who's watched those documentaries - eek!!!), but I know I"m over 300 miles from you now. But maybe I could drive to meet you? It would depend on how much you're asking per pound. But I hate buying meat at the grocery, I do.

    In my very limited opinion, I think you're healing well. Keeping busy is a very good thing.

  10. I am a tad outside your delivery parameters! I agree about the clean food issues - my concession seems to be going organic as much as possible. Good to hear you are raising some meat for sale - from news reports - prices are going to skyrocket due to corn crop failures.

  11. I love the rain too. I wish we'd get some soon! I'm starting to do more clean living. I have my garden and plan meals around the veggies I'm gathering. I'd like to expand and do more each year with this property!

  12. Good for you on the clean beef. We actually have a family friend who raises grass-fed black angus and we have access to his beef. Along with fresh-water fish, venison and my own eggs we're doing better. I'm trying to decide about raising my own chickens...

    I know what you mean about the rain - I can do alot more in the rain that the relentless heat and humidity. We've been blessed with some scattered showers - usually we don't get the "scattered" part, but lately we have. Keeps the temps cooler - it's been great! Wish it could continue on through August!

  13. I would like to buy clean food from you, so we could meet again!!! :o) Oh, it would be soooo great! But...we live too far...maybe one day...:o)))
    I am glad you had rain! We got some rain this weekend and the weather got cooler! It's so good to feel the cool...I don't like too hot summers...:o)
    You have beautiful calves!


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