now browsing by tag
More in a garden grows than what the gardener sows.~Spanish proverb
Our children like to help us in the garden. Really. When they are about 2-4 years old. That’s the age when they plant corn seeds in the green bean bed, hoe up the fledgling lettuce, and weed out the carrots by the handful. They aren’t exactly helpful, but as they tend my garden I am planting seeds that I plan to cultivate over the seasons. These little starts will bear fruit eventually.
I know this because I see it when I look at their healthy little bodies. I know it when they proudly serve their Dad the carrots or zucchini they helped pick for supper. I know it when they distinguish between cucumbers and pickles. I know it when the older children team up to make sure the green beans get picked and ready to can so we can eat them in the winter.
We’ve found that some of our most enthusiastic visiting helpers are kids. They are curious about life. They are able to really do things and understand that what they are handling–plant or animal–is life, is food, is a part of things. Kids love life. They like to help with the baby animals. They enjoy learning where the food on their plate comes from. They even often like the processing, seeing how an animal is put together, how it works, why it does what it does.
Some of the lessons in Nature’s garden aren’t so enjoyable. Perseverance when you face of a row of weeds. Gentleness when you’re in a hurry to move the chicks. Patience when the calf won’t suck off the bottle right and butts you in the stomach and slobbers all over your back. Courage when the chickens you tended twice a day for two months have to be slaughtered. Compassion when the family dog is old and sick and suffering and needs to be let go. Self-control when the pigs get out for the third time and won’t go back in. These are the hard lessons.
Our children are our future and the investments we make in them by connecting them to their food is beyond measure. Even if it’s just a planter or two, or only for a season, the experience of growing and eating real food plants seeds beyond lettuce and tomatoes. We feel strongly about this and invite kids who are capable to attend Anyone Can Farm classes. We want to grow farmers!
Contact us if you are interested in bringing your children along with you. Help make this available to the next generation by sponsoring someone on this website or through our Indiegogo Challenge. Thank-you in advance for investing in the next generation of food producers!
I was walking the other day: the sun was shining but the wind was blowing cold. I could feel everything starting to move like a sleeping person about to wake up. What was sleeping is ready to spring up and get going! But now, on the 21st of March, it’s still under snow. So it waits, building energy, getting more restless, until we get some warmer weather and it can explode. Spring is coming, no matter what it looks like outside yet!
That makes me think of dirt, garden seeds, compost, cleaning animal areas (to start composting), and seeing familiar faces come up the driveway again to buy chicks or deliver chickens for processing or purchase some rich, biochar laced compost. I’m ready to see the farm bustling. In the last year we’ve met so many more people who are raising their own food for the first time. Folks looking for compost for a garden. Young moms and dads bringing 10 chickens for processing because they wanted to try their hand at healthy meat for their under-5 aged children. It’s exciting. They have “spring energy” about them. They are ready and willing to get up and do something, and often all they need to really run with it is a little help.
If help is what you need: ideas, where to start, how to build something, we are here! In May we have two pastured poultry classes, a biochar class (you get to make a retort), and a soils and permaculture course (you can grow vegetables anywhere). The Courses tab contains descriptions of the classes. The Calendar tab tells you when the class will be and has a button to help you sign up for the class you want. There are “free” classes available as perks on our Indiegogo challenge. Check it out, donate, share it so your friends can come with you, and let us know which class you want.
Spring is coming. Let’s go!
This entry will be a bit long–just an upfront warning. A long time ago I read Teacher Man by Frank McCourt (Scribner, 2005), in which Mr. McCourt describes his experiences as an English teacher in inner New York city in the 50′s and 60′s. One character in particular jumped out at me and I’ve waited all this time to be able to tell this story here. I’m going to quote a couple pages of the book, but it applies to the concept of “anyone can farm.” Grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy:
Charcuterie is the art and science of preserving meat. Pork is especially suited for this purpose. This is your chance to learn how to process a heritage hog from oink to ham with Mark Baker, farmer, and Aaron Butts, Executive Chef of Joseph Decuis restaurant where he has been turning Mangalitsa pigs into fabulous charcutered products. At this hands-on offering on our working farm, you will have the opportunity to learn:
*How to feed and care for a hog for optimal charcuterie processing.
*How to slaughter a hog on-farm, including scalding and scraping.
*How to use seam butchery techniques so you won’t need a huge meat saw.
*How to utilize many of the organ meats.
*How to make your own lard and sausages.
*How to cure your own bacons, hams, and other cuts.
Take home meat and some tools available for sale.
Cost: $250/person for this 2 1/2 day event, with lunches and dinners provided.
Date: November 2-4, 2012
Get more information or RSVP by calling 231-825-0293 or emailing email@example.com
Remember, anyone can farm