MUSINGS ON THE ROLE OF THE FARM
This morning was an excellent reminder of the way the work of farming balances the energy needed for the Cider House. Each morning, I start with animal chores- visiting cows, horses, geese, dogs, and soon, back to turkeys. This morning was a chaotic and distracted start and when I got to the boy band of bull/steers, I was flying. The cows move each morning to fresh pasture, from which they are only separated by a single strand electric fence. Today I dropped the line off the charger, let it down to the ground and lazily started rolling it up. Any anxious cow could easily hop this dropped line, and in the process learn a new and destructive trick. My bad, entirely. I was, however, offered forgiveness by the cows themselves, in the form of Jed the bull. Jed followed me up and down the dropped, dead line, all the while staying on his side. When I made a very small corridor free of fence line he gently walked up to it, waited for me to move, and cheerfully moosey-ed onto the new grass. It wasn't dramatic, just patient, but it created a moment of stillness and peace, and things seemed more clear afterwards. These moments are somewhat unpredictable, but in some ways, are more so every day. They are created by choosing good genetics, fully providing for the animals and maintaining constant contact. As my role in the Cider House changes, I find that morning chores are an essential grounding in the truth and vision of what we're nurturing at this place, in this time.