Thanks you all so much for your wonderful
comments about farm desire, sheep, goats,
you are never too old, it has been my secret
dream and so on.
You have now convinced husband
David that there is a farm conspiracy
afoot and that all women artists with whom
I am in contact are somehow maneuvering
behind the scenes to get us to a farmstead.
Did I mention guard llamas?
Last May we spent the day at the
Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Festival
in Cummington, MA. This festival is
tiny by comparison to others of it’s type,
but it was a dream day for me. Shetlands,
Romney, Lancaster, Icelandic sheep, Angora
goats and llamas.
We spoke with farmers from all over Western
Massachusetts. Some of the nicest, most open
people I ever met, willing to share their experiences
good and bad, extending visits to their farms.
And the wool roving and felt and garments of rainbow
hue, even a yurt made entirely of felt. Sheepdog
trials too. I was blown away.
I fell in love with farms as a kid, both of my
dad’s parents grew up on farms in Canada
and we visited my grandmother’s homestead
farm in New Brunswick a few times before
the land was sold off as my grandmother and her
sister’s aged. My first hayride at four in the back
of a wagon pulled by a lumbering horse in
the field is as vivid today as if I were there.
I still remember how much I also hated the taste
of warm raw milk(but no problem with raw milk cheese).
But seriously, small farms are so much a part of
who we are, our communities,
raising our own food, caring for
the animals who feed us in one way or another
with dignity and respect as fellow travelers
in this life with us. I fear we are losing our
connection to the land by the mechanization
and downright horror that is factory farming.
Okay enough preachy stuff.
If you want to check out a couple of cool
farm sites that provide huge amounts of
information, these are the few I would pick.
Joel Salatin and family’s Polyface Farm,
A true explanation of rotational farming with animals
and how to care for the land and preserve it.
Path to Freedom about the Dervais Family
raising 6,000 lbs of food on 1/4 acre.
And finally, Micro-Eco Farming,
with options for ways to farm in
even the smallest of spaces, a couple
of fascinating books.
Snow wind rain today. Needed some
color and texture too.