Autumn is upon us. The mornings are crisp. The first frost has fallen. The bright yellows and oranges are gracing our landscape. The first shipments of cattle have been brought to the abattoir. And we’re starting to feel the anxiety pangs about getting ourselves winter-ready.
Our other seasonal oranges.
There’s something really unique about being so season-bound (for someone who’s new to it). It’s comforting to feel that your own train de vie follows that of the natural world, rooting your self and your days to its rhythms. To notice energies and outlooks change with the months and the cycles. To give meaning to the sadder parts, the litters of kittens born in the wrong season that won’t make it, the cattle being sorted, the projects that weren’t even started, the garden foliage turning crisp and dark.
A lot of it is quite uncomfortable for the quasi-vegan I’ve been. But discomfort is key to growth, and having seen my partner try to nurse a baby calf back to health for a week, warming milk for bottle feeding and cleaning out infected ears (because of the ear tags that we legally need to put in their ears upon their birth) thrice daily, I figure this can’t be all wrong. It’s been really interesting to talk about death with our preschooler, to explain meat and our farm to him. His understanding and compassion astound me.
Fingers crossed we’ll be tasting our very own Brussels sprouts this year. It’s my third year trying to grow them.
This spring, we planted flowers for the bees and every time I walked past these pots, they were abuzz. And now still blooming.
The abattoir sold its trailer and aren’t picking up our animals this year. After paying someone a fair amount to truck them exactly one kilometre, P. found a trailer for sale and bought it. Another surprise expense, but it’ll amount to savings come next year and the predictability and lessened stress on the animals (from not having a trailer bang about pre-loading), is a positive.
We’re still looking for someone who can combine our thirteen acres of grain. This harvest is key to making the pork enterprise a success, given the astronomical cost of organic pig feed. All the machines around these parts are either too big (and we’re small fry) or, the owners/operators are way too busy and don’t want to chance their old machines in our fields. At this point we don’t even have the time to combine it ourselves if we were to buy our own. What a woe. Maybe that crowd-funding combine campaign will have to see the light of day. Because only unsustainable big AG can « go big » and we don’t want to « go home. » This place is home.
Gourds, beautiful gourds! The soup and muffin-making has commenced.
And this babe is growing and growing. In the midst of all of this busy-ness, having a wee one about is certainly sometimes frustrating (à la « How can I clean out this coop safely and effectively with a baby strapped to me? » or realizing that more pasture walks are key to my own health and wellness but getting the baby carrier straps caught in the electric fencing takes most of the joy out of it). But there’s so much soul and peace and beauty in the routine and rhythm he imposes. I savour the lovely sleepy warmth of him.