Our farm is almost 100 acres. To some it is large, to others, small. When I walk around the perimeter, it is large. When someone wants to hunt on it,it is too small. We have a road in front, a road on one side with houses and animals in every field.
We have a "do no harm" policy here. There are no sprays or insecticides on the fruit or veggies. The animals eat natural food and we mow and burn rather than spray the weeds.
The down side is it is nearly impossible to keep up with it and still have any kind of life. We had to make our mark in the sand and declare sustainable or pristine. Unless one works 24-7, it will not be weed free and mowed all at the same time.
Our apples and pears are some of the sweetest you have ever tasted. Because we have to fight every bug and bird for two hundred miles, they are small and have blemishes. When I was selling them at the Farmer's Market several years ago I used the slogan "Beauty is only skin deep, healthy goes clear to the core."
It worked. I sold everything worth eating.. We make cider, applesauce, applebutter and dried apples with the rest.
The only sad parts of the farm are the cows and sheep. We don't want to eat meat from the grocery store. I don't want antibiotics, hormones or extra fat in my meat. I am a true believer that you are what you eat eats.
Cows are cute. They are not the smartest creatures on earth but they become like pets. The sad part is we can't keep them all. The boys get sold as either bulls for another farm or they go to market for meat.We sell them off the farm and deliver them to the butcher for our customer also. It is decidedly more humane than a feed lot. Farm fresh meat tastes like nothing you eat in a restaurant.
The sheep are even harder to part with. We lamb in the spring unless a ram gets feisty and goes to visit the girls without permission. It happened last week and we may be having lambs in January. Oh joy. I love lamb and again, I don't eat meat away from the farm. You will never see me order chicken or lamb or a burger out. I have become an expert on Caesar salad. I am going to a dinner Friday night and there are no choices other than meat or seafood. I will choose the shrimp and try not to think about it.
There is not a feeling in the world like walking out on a brisk morning and watching the horses run. They love the cool weather. The sound of horses hooves pounding on the cold hard ground is refreshing.
My second favorite sound is cows and horses chewing hay or grass. Sometimes it is the only sound I hear in the early morning.
I can be in the worst mood ever and turn it around by taking a walk around the farm. I love that the tip of every tree branch reaches to the sky. I love it that the squirrels run and play when I am within three feet of them because they are used to me.
Every sunset is spectacular and every sunrise promises a fresh start to a new day and infinite possibilities. Do yourself a favor and spend part of each day in nature, if you do nothing more than to sit quietly on your back porch.
I sometimes play a game where I close my eyes and listen. What do I hear close to me? Then I expand my awareness and listen for things far away. Try it. You will be surprised how relaxed you are in only a minute or two.
People ask why I live so far out and make the drive to Springfield when I want to go somewhere like church or see a movie. It is because there is no substitute for my nature fix every day.
Life is Good and it just keeps getting better.