Monday, April 6, 2009

Snow Day

A Happy Belated Birthday to my aunt (who I’m not sure reads this, but happy birthday anyway) and welcome to the most recent snowstorm. We got hit by about six inches of snow last night and Dad can’t figure out why none of the ewes lambed. Usually, with low pressure systems, anything in immediate danger of calving/lambing/(I assume)foaling goes. But either the ewes didn’t feel like it or they’re crossing their little wooly legs. I’m just glad we don’t have twenty pregnant cows. Spring calving for our operation, in our facilities, and in our neck of the woods is absurdly overrated.

Anyway, I was really rundown and half sick last week so that’s my the-dog-ate-my-homework excuse for not getting a whole helluva lot accomplished. I did spend a day doing research and farm planning, so at least that was business related. Did you know that grassfed meats, lamb, beef, chicken, etc is higher in Omega 3 fatty acids (the healthy fats), higher in vitamin E and beta carotene, and has a fat and cholesterol content comparable to wild game? And ounce per ounce grassfed beef is lower in calories and cholesterol than grain-fed commercially raised chicken? For more fun facts like that, go to Grazing can also extend the lifespan of dairy cattle from 4 productive years in the industrial dairy setting to 10 or 12 years when grass-fed and milked according to a cow’s natural cycles. We’ve gotten away from slow food as a culture and, granted, it’s not feasible in a lot of situations, but equally unfeasible is for a small farmer to invest in 200 head of any species, or 500, or a 1,000, and make a sustainable profit. It’s a complex and weird situation, but I’ve been feeling my way through it, and seriously looking at how a traditional farm model can work in the modern world.

On Saturday, I attended A Rally of Writers at LCC West Campus, which was both informative, idea-sparking, and fun. The West Campus is a beautiful location and the people who put the writer’s conference together did a great job. The speakers were great and, as a first-time attendee, it was a great place to get in touch with the local writing scene. Their website is

So, I’m getting back my ability to string two thoughts together this week (weird side-effect of their funky illness) and tentatively working on a new story. It’s been difficult finding my way in, but its coming. Usually I write beginning to end, but with this one I know the end better than the beginning, so I’ve started there. New experience for me so we’ll see how it goes. I’ll try to be a better blogger this week, but no promises since we’re double-booked for travel and sheep-shearing on Wednesday and farrier on Thursday. At least being busy keeps us out of trouble. :-)