7.25.2012

still here


somebody asked me the other day through email if i was quitting my blog again. i suppose the rather scattered posts would lead one to believe that the case. it isn't. i have been remiss in my blogging duties only because the farm has taken over. as she does, every summer.

ben hewitt writes in one of his latest posts that he is in a place where the physical is taking precedence over the intellectual. (you should really read his writings by the way. when he isn't consumed by summer he writes beautifully of rural vermont life).

we allow the physical to overtake. and we relish it. hence the quiet.

but i interrupt the physical to give you a bit of what is happening today

today we are consumed with fox/chicken management. the irony is not lost on us that in the same summer that we adopt a wild fox is the same summer in which we lose unprecedented numbers in chicken to lucky's red tailed brethren.

our neighbor says it is the mama fox seeking revenge. or maybe its lucky's playful ghost. we always wondered how we would have introduced lucky to the chickens.  i envisioned photos of lucky and one of the chickens sleeping side by side and then moments later the viewfinder filled with an explosion of feathers. no kill, lucky.


regardless.

we have a fox/chicken issue right now. both of our mama hens were killed in the last week. that left 13 baby chicks motherless. they were such good mamas. mama sister and speckles. we relied so heavily on the mothering by those sweet hens. we think we have now lost 2 more babies and 1 more adult hen. we have been proud to always give our hens complete free range of the farm but it comes at a cost. and we decided today we can't justify that cost any longer. we love these hens. we love the gift of bright orange eggs they give us every day. so we are investing in some fencing. it breaks me to take away their freedom. we will make their pen as expansive and diverse as we are able. we will move it often.

one day on the Future Farm we will have the large animal pens and pastures set up in a way to provide a natural barrier between fox and hen. but we are a ways off from there. we don't want to see our hens go the way of our neighbors'. one started with 30, now they have 2 and buy eggs from us. another started with 60, now they are down to 12.

so bear with my scattered posts as i deal with farm clich├ęs like the Hen and the Fox.

i am not fully abandoning the blog. i am just in the throes of the season.  autumn is nearly here. i can smell it in the morning's crisp. i can feel it in the afternoon's hot mint tea. in the post pond shiver. in the pile of blankets on our bed. soon we will be pushed back indoors. reduced to these four walls. soon the Outdoors will be limited to breaking waters and throwing hay and my attention will once again turn inward to this space.

10 comments:

  1. Geez I love your blog. And I love that it's real and living. Thanks for finding some time though, just to let us know about the summer. Because for most of us, work is done at 5pm.

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  2. Whoever asked if you were quitting, must not normally read farmer's blogs, or else they'd remember that blogging dies down in summer and fall as the harvest is worked and brought in. Silly humans.

    Relatively new lurker here, so enjoying whatever snippets you can give us. I was born in CT, so your images bring me back to New England and are such a treat. Thanks for all you do!

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  3. Love getting to catch up with you! Hope you are able to take care of the hen and fox issue without any more loss of life! Take care and enjoy the rest of your summer!

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  4. I've been abandoning mine, too, for some time... I always do enjoy the peek into your farm life though.

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  5. I love that photo, so quiet and sunny. Autumn is also rapidly approaching here on the Oregon coast. When I tell most people that they say, "really?! It's only July!." But here, instead of snow and ice, the Fall and Winter bring rain and more rain - then the temperatures dwindle back to the 40's from the lovely 60 degree Summer days.

    Poor chicks - here's to hoping those babies thrive.

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  6. LGDs. Yes, for chickens. We've not yet gone this route but I have a friend who has, and swears by his dogs. He says they're much better than fences.

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  7. You've given us 3 posts in just over a week. I think that's pretty good blogging. Some bloggers go weeks (!) without posting, and of course, we understand that this is the height of summer work. I love reading about your farm and your experiences, thanks again for sharing.

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  8. I had chickens growing up. We kept them in an enclosed coop over night and let them free range during the day. Had some issues with hawks, but otherwise it seemed to keep everyone happy (humans and chickens) :)

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  9. Hey Kate,

    Thanks for the link and the nod. I confess to a minimum of blog reading, but yours is one of the few I keep up with. Hope to meet in person someday.

    take care,
    Ben

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  10. It is impressive how much the season takes over. I am with you, and personally cannot until fall leaves and cool days return.
    :)
    Angela Kelly

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