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Heat of Summer

Greetings from the farm!

We are having a lovely summer here.  The frequent rains, coupled with our rotational grazing, have grown grass that’s thigh high and even higher in some places!  Lacey commented that it’s the first time in her life time that the new growth is taller than the previous year’s dead grass.  We’re happy with this, and I think the cattle are even happier.

We’ve finished calving and nearly done breeding, and have the cover bulls out in the pastures.  Check out walnutcreekok on Instagram if you want to see a picture of the cutest baby ever born here!  When Lacey found him, he was all curled up looking angelic and when she went to look closer, he got up and kicked her square in the shin!  Little fella has some spice!

The sand plums are beautifully ripening, and ready to be picked!  It can be hot and scratchy to pick them, but it’s worth it.  Sand Plum Jelly is my favorite kind.  We’re going to expand our palettes try them in a muffin recipe soon!  Please let us know if you’d like to have some to experiment on your own, we can arrange to get some to you.

We had a customer bring their kids for a visit last week, and I think the kids would have had fun playing in the pastures no matter what!  But it was sure lovely to have them, and have them check us out.  We want to practice what we preach, and opening our gates to our customers is one easy way for us to check in with ourselves and make sure we are aligned where our voices and actions meet.

And I suppose that’s all the news from this neck of the woods!  We’re just trying to rest during the hottest hours and still make things better every day.  The moon was full and orange and glorious last week, and I went out for a spell, just to listen to the frogs.  Simple pleasures make life so vivid.

Love and Light!

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Whirlwind

The farm has been hoppin!  We had some stellar help butchering our chickens & got that project in the freezer.  It's always lovely to have our work load lightened and good food in store.  

And we are surrounded by an embarrassment of riches through all this rain!  Our grasses never looked so good.  All of our heifers are bred & turned out, our garden is growing.  Lacey has an asparagus that's over 7' tall!  Life on the farm is good.

I've (slowly) been reading Letters to a Young Farmer, and one of their contributors spoke briefly about farmers being a minority to the point where the Census Bureau stopped counting us.  Under 2% in the early '90's.  I've been thinking about that a lot, and how within our meager percentage there are even fewer still who operate similarly to the way we do.  That writer sent out encouragement to receive wisdom where you see it, whether your neighbors share your values or not.  For some reason this simple nugget has made me feel much less rigid and much more compassionate about different forms of farming.  We all live by the seasons and get our marching orders from the rain.  

We're all doing our best, by what we know.  Keep it up, you.  

Cheers!

Juli   

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Welcome to the Farm!

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Welcome to the Farm!

The last couple of weeks, things have been changing a lot around our place!  Rearranged some cattle so that we could put our newest additions close to the home place.  Lacey and I got started on our sister adventure by purchasing 54 heifers to breed.  I've been around this stuff my whole life, but I can't hardly contain myself that these are actually OURS.  It feels big!  And different!  And exciting!  We also got our baby chicks coming soon so that we'll be set to butcher just before Memorial day.  

I'm so lucky to have close and cooperative family.  This week while I was out fighting these wild fires, Dad & Lace handled BUSINESS.  I trust them both completely and am so thankful for them, and I'm going to make up for it on my upcoming days off from the town job.  Even my mom, who works full time and commutes, she'll drop what she's doing to help us.  And when big sis comes to town, that's project time!  She and her family might work harder when they visit than their real jobs require!!  No one escapes this labor of love, if you're on the ranch, you're probably helping!!  

That's the beauty of our plan, I think.  We're weaving our dreams of travel and exploration into our ranching plan, so that there will be times of the year when we can cover for each other.  We can take turns seeking adventure afar, and trust each other to manage the land and the cattle well in each others' absence.  When I look at ranchers and farmers around here, they work so hard that they rarely get away.  Which is beautiful, in a way, that they love their work and express it through such devotion.  I hope to do the same, but I don't want to clip my wings to do it.  I have always dreamt of building community around sustainability, and the way things are going, it feels possible.  Love and light!  More soon.    

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And so it begins

Juli here.  This week, we met with an outside consultant to jam out the details of how to get us girls on the ranch full time.  There is so much to ranching, the different areas that one needs to be proficient is a bit overwhelming!  What to buy, and when, and how best to care for them while improving the land, how and when to sell, business start up and goal setting, financials, making sure that we're all in sync with our goals and needs.  I'm excited about our plan, and our first steps will be completed just within a few weeks!  Informally we already know what we want.  But we will soon have a  written holistic goal, including all of our priorities.  To me it seems almost silly to write it all out, when we know what we want and it doesn't change much!  But as our consultant told us, this written goal matters.  It matters because it will be our compass in decision making.  It will be our strength through challenges, internal and external.  Who doesn't need that??  I'll share it when it's ready.  :)  Thanks for reading!  

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