violethillfarm


You can’t make this stuff up…
September 25, 2015, 1:26 am
Filed under: farming | Tags: , , , , ,

My “weird sh*t that happens” moments are things that happen daily here. In my “old life” they were mild and few and far between.

Yesterday, I was salting a ram’s ballsac. Yeah, you read that right. If you are going to eat meat, then be as nose to tail as possible, right? So nutsac salting it was. Weird.

Today, my moment was at 12:30am, yesterday barely over…

Woken up by a chef calling (hi Sandy! ;). Hear a crash and the sheep running crazy outside the window.
The dogs barking, I’m thinking predator… oh God, no.
Open the window and listen.
Splash, splash, baaa, splash. 
Dammit.
Throw on clothes, grab a flashlight and run to the back paddock.
Yeahhhh. DAMMIT!
A sheep had fallen into the gray water well.
She’s floating, thankfully, because of all the wool.
Any idea how much wet wool weighs?
I do now.
I flatten myself on my belly, lay the flashlight on the ground and adjust my eyes to the darkness of the hole.
I see her face, she panics a little.
I talk softly, clucking and making kissy noises.
“Mama, come on mama”.
I got hold of her ear with my fingertips and float her toward me.
I grab her chin and tug a little.
She was heavy.
It smelled. Horrible.
My arms were stretched full length and I barely had her.

I tugged hard, let go with one hand and grabbed as much wool as I could in my clutched hand. My fingers hurt instantly. The weight, the burdock, the wool itself made me question my decision.
But I was commited. She stopped struggling. She was trying to help. At least that’s what I was telling myself so I’d continue to dig deep.

I let go with the other hand and grabbed more wool. I grunted and primally screamed into the dark using every bit of strength I could muster and trying not to laugh at the thought of what my neighbors might be thinking of the noise I was making in the pitch dark.

The rest of the flock sat watching, eating grass like this was a dinner show.

I took a deep breath and pulled…
Sheep, me, twisting, pulling.
Up on my knees, grab her front leg, then another.
Then we were stuck.
I was on my knees, I had two sheep legs in my two hands, in the dark.
And she was heavy.
So ridiculously heavy.

I somehow struggled to my feet, my muscles screamed, my fingertips burning, I twisted her halfway around and pulled. “RAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!” Like the final noise made just before birth. I’ve heard that sound from myself five times over and it surprised me to hear it once again.

But she was out.

I fell back on my butt, sheep legs still in my hands and I looked at her. She laid there for a moment, I let go, she stood then ran off, dripping and bahhh-ing her way across the field to the rest of the herd. And started eating grass.

What can you do but laugh?

Shower. You can shower.

So I did. And that was that.

So. So. Weird.

Advertisements


Another year gone…
April 30, 2014, 6:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

39. I’m winding up my 4th decade over the next 365 days. My head spins a little when I look back at what I’ve done and where it’s led me… I am no where I thought I’d be and everywhere I should and growing and changing everyday. I still stumble, I still make mistakes but I can say I’m sorry and admit I am wrong or, at least, that there is the possibility that my “way” isn’t the only way. I know that people have their negative opinions of me but that nothing I can say matters to those who choose to hold those opinions like pitchforks and torches. I am loved. I am doing good in the world. I love my children as the people they are now and who they will become, whatever it is they choose. I know *they* know how much they are loved and that all that matters to me, and them. They are proud of me, and I of them – every single day. I am still passionate and creative and terribly stubborn. I have found a level of love from my partner I didn’t believe could exist, an open-mind I didn’t inherit and a peace and strength in knowing I get back up every.single. time. I am resilient, I know my worth, I am fertile (Good God am I fertile). I have created life, I have created food, I have created a home over and over and over. It has taken me 39 years and countless lessons to create a life where I am still honing my skills at content and happy and fulfilled. And it’s kind of awesome 



All things wild

The best therapy I can get puts money in my pocket.  I discovered foraging a few years ago when my nerd was aroused by a trip with a friend through the forest with my kids.  I take that back. I discovered foraging when I was moved, as a kid, to the top of a mountain in Maine.  No neighbors and no friends left me wandering the fields and forests that were my backyard.  I found blueberries, apples, blackberries, raspberries and even a few cranberries nestled in something a little more than a puddle. I thrived on those outings, gathering edibles to share for breakfast or a boredom snack that, I’m sure, entailed some fantastical tale in my lonely head.
Fast forward… I RE discovered foraging on that walk with the kids on a mushroom hunt. Mushrooms? Crazy talk. They’re poison! Don’t eat wild mushrooms, DANGER, DANGER, DANGER! Mushroom collecting was for hippies or those with a death wish. Then I encountered the science. Family, species, spore prints… my geek salivated. And I sucked it up like a sponge. 

I am lucky enough to have an outlet to share, as I did my childhood blueberry pancakes, in Manhattan each Saturday with our customers and to many NYC restaurants. It feeds me. The quiet of nature while I search; mushrooms, berries, wild edibles happily weigh me down physically and I shed the tonage of stress, worry, sadness. A good trade, I believe. 

So I’ll get my therapy and some of you will get to taste the love that is renewed in each berry, each sprig of chamomile, every bunch of pungent mint or funky fungus we find. And

image

Mother Nature will take care of us both.



Settling
March 24, 2012, 12:19 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sometimes settling is our worst fear; settling for a dull life or an unfulfilling relationship, wondering if the grass is truly greener. Sometimes settling conjures up feelings of contentment, the warm and fuzzies; settling in, settling down.

We, Paul and I, even the animals, are settling in.  We are merging our sugar bowls and linens, the sheep are restless for the grass growing outside their door, the pigs are constructing their new homes wallow, the chickens lend us the neverending Easter egg hunt amongst all the bales of hay and the 17 ducks parade the grounds, clamoring and staking their claim to the new ‘cool’ spots.  And Trevor wakes

image

up from every night and every morning and smiles his giant, toothless grin that stretches to his eyes when he looks from me to Paul and back again.

Are we complete? Nope. Not yet. But that, too, will come.  Have we settled? Not one bit. We have home and happiness.  We are settling in and settling down.