Every year, each season, every day brings a unique experience.
2010 was filled with uncontrollable laughter, powerful lessons, precious treasures, and moments of breath taking beauty. It was also sprinkled with doubt, fear, sorrow and the (very) occasional trip to the emergency room. Here are some moments and thoughts that have floated to the surface:
- It’s a fallacy that goats eat everything. A lack of thumbs does give them the propensity to examine things with their mouths but they are somewhat discerning about what they actually swallow. However, it is important to note that if you turn your back on your goat, she will eat your Popsicle.
- Violet jelly is a beautiful color and I was lucky to salvage a jar for my mother when the mob descended on us at the Farmer’s Market. Lesson learned – next year pick twice as many flowers! (Thank you Kristina & Bruce!)
- MMF was in the newspaper several times, interviewed for a University term paper, and was a special guest on a radio show over the course of the year.
- The band Cake knew exactly what they were talking about when they sang “Sheep go to heaven; goats go to hell.”
- I keep Pepto-Bismol in the animal cabinet, not the human medicine cabinet. It sits next to the Blue-Kote, Bag Balm and the elastrator. Despite the fact that I don’t believe in antibiotics, hormones & vaccines, I will treat bloat in goat kids with the pink stuff. It works.
- We’ve had mice, squirrels, moles, voles, chipmunks, chickadees, and one confused kestrel loose in the house. I blame all but the kestrel on the cat.
- What appeared to be the scene of a brutal pillow massacre was actually me, plucking a goose.
- Puck is my second true love, trumped only by my husband. It was easy to fall in love with those big floppy ears as I fed him from a bottle, snuggled close in my lap. He’s grown up to be a powerful young buck with a beard that smells just a little goaty but I love him still…
- I really should stop trying to make dill pickles. They never taste the way I want. However, my bread & butter pickles are killer and they run out long before winter is over.
- We were Crop Mobbed a number of times and it was pretty amazing to see. I’m still overwhelmed by the generosity of both friends and strangers.
- East Friesian = never again. Shame on me for not doing better research.
- Again, Farmer’s Market afforded us the opportunity to make some excellent new friends.
- The Great Chicken Experiment of 2010 was a success – there are definitely more Freedom Rangers in my future.
- We had one lamb that could have benefited from LifeAlert – “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”
- We foraged fantastic crops of violets, blueberries, blackcaps (aka black raspberries), raspberries, blackberries, elderberries, autumn-berries (aka autumn olives), black walnuts, acorns and grapes. Sometimes it made me feel a bit illicit, others merely grateful.
Following is a list of good books I read this year pertaining to food & farming (in no particular order)
“Fifty Acres and a Poodle” by Jeanne Marie Laskas
“Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds” by Claire Hope Cummings
“The Truth about Garden Remedies: What Works, What Doesn’t and Why” by Jeff Gillman
“Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front” by Joel Salatin
“The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food and Love” by Kristin Kimball
“Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food” by Wendell Berry
“Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm” by David M. Masumoto
“The Rural Life” by Verlyn Klinkenborg
“Mrs. Appleyard’s Winter Kitchen” by Louise Andrews Kent & Elizabeth Kent Gay
“Farmer Jane: Women Changing The Way We Eat” by Temra Costa
“The Cheese Chronicals: A Journey Through the Making and Selling of Cheese in America” by Liz Thorpe
“The Farming Game” by Bryan Jones
“Living With Goats: Everything You Need to Know to Raise Your Own Backyard Herd” by Margaret Hathaway
“How to Shovel Manure and Other Life Lessons for the Country Woman” by Gwen Petersen
I hope the New Year brings you much love, joy, exciting adventures and lots of tasty, local foods!