Spring had sprung, summer had come, and now we're past the longest day of the year. It's pretty amazing how our farm has transformed from Spring crops to Summer crops in a slow, gradual turning over of beds. We've gone from greens and roots to beans and shoots in a matter of weeks. Our tomatoes are finally ripening and we'll soon be spending hours harvesting those delicious red/orange/yellow orbs. Our beans are just coming on, our Okra is podding, and our squash is out of control. Hot peppers are taking over what used to be a barren clay hilltop and our melons are slowly wandering down the hillside. While the heat of the day is so intense that it causes the leaves of our plants to wilt, it provides for some of the most abundant life I've ever experienced as a grower. Our Lima plants are upwards of eight feet tall and still haven't flowered!
Every morning I awake to the harmonious choir of animal voices. Our pastured chickens are growing what feels like a pound a day and our Buff Orpington Rooster has finally found his voice. He can be heard coaxing the sun from its sleepy hiding place and just as it descends slowly into the West. That has not always been the case for our little, Rooster friend. His name is Spring, he was intended to be a Hen, and it wasn't until he began beating up his roommates and making some of the most awful sounds you could imagine a chicken making that we discovered his hidden identity. When he was learning to crow, I would wake up to what sounded like a monster in the pasture. I found, however; that puberty isn't easy on anybody and now we have a beautiful Rooster who will surely be a beautiful meal for Elliot and I.
Our Jacob Sheep are gorgeous and stoic and are finally feeling at home. Valiant, the ram, has reached the age that he must be separated from the ewes and spends his days with his wether pal, Brewer. Their fleeces are a beautiful mix of black and white and I cannot wait to shear them in the coming spring. I will be spinning their wool and hopefully in addition to our vegetables and fruits I will be selling skeins of yarn and felted wonders.
My babies, the Nubian Goats I raised from bottles, are growing up too. They no longer endlessly search for milk or suckle at unsuspecting fingers. Elliot has the hardest time dealing with the goats. Any time he attempts to feed, clean, or change water, they are jumping on him, climbing on him, and nibbling his clothes, hair, and arms. When asked how he feels about incorporating livestock onto the farm, his response is, "I really like sheep."
But all parts of our farm are important and cherished by both of us (even the goats.) Biodiversity creates balance in nature and we treasure our opportunities to work symbiotically with plants and animals. The sheep and goats provide manure, clothing, milk, meat, cheese, soaps, and lotions. They are to be moved in a rotational grazing system together where their diversity will allow them to feed on different plants in the same pasture space for a more balanced mow down and renewal.
We are busy and tired, but lucky. Our physical exhaustion is met with a mental and spiritual inner peace. Our life is our farm and we hope that you join us at a market or visit us in Douglasville to try our beautiful creations. We are doing this because it is what we love to do and nothing tastes better or is better for you than love.