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Featherfoot Farm Journal Winter 06-07

February 13, 2007

Some things I know. Some things I guess. Some things I wish that I could learn to express, like the way that I feel as I stare at the sky and I remember your voice and the sound of goodbye.
--Nancy Griffith, Southbound Train

On The Farm
Our dairy farmer friend Walter Witcomb recently chortled, “When someone asks me, ‘What do you do on a farm in the winter?’ I just roll my eyes.”

There certainly is plenty to do, and the day to day routine becomes like an old friend. There’s a certain groove that occurs on a farm in the winter—less distraction more survival. The numbing cold and dark at 4:30 a.m. quickly brings one’s body and mind together. Wandering thoughts cease quickly; you’ve got jobs to do. Hungry animals are in the barn and the water buckets are frozen solid; get to it! The wood bin is empty and the pre-dawn house is cold; git ‘er done! The kettle is cold and there are hungry mouths to feed; you get the picture. In all of these actions we try to nurture a stillness and find the quietude that exists in the noise and haste, in the hustle and bustle.

A farm in winter is one of the best training grounds for a contemplative lifestyle. The ordered and recurrent rituals that make the patterns of our days serve to deepen our interdependence with all that is around us: the earth, the animals and verily, ourselves.

After much anticipation, more like months of anticipation, our Mustang Mandy foaled a beautiful, strong filly. Just as the cold snap was starting one night in January, Mandy broke her water and in less than thirty minutes the whole thing was done. Almost immediately the filly stood up and started nursing, two signs of a healthy animal. In the coming days the temperature dipped to as low as thirteen below zero but with a blanket, straw and an attentive mother she was no worse for the wear. Now a month old she is bucking and romping in the snowy fields, minus the blanket. The strength and resilience of horses is astounding.

Our goats and Jersey cow are bred as well as our miniature horse Sonardor (that’s Spanish for Dreamer) so we will (hopefully) be graced with more little ones in 2007. Peace, Love and Understanding to you and yours in this New Year!

In the Kitchen Brown Rice Bread
Rice is an unusual ingredient for bread but it makes a delicious loaf that is moist and flavorful. It’s also a great use for last night’s rice.
1 ½ c water, 1 egg, 5 c flour, 1 ¾ c cooked brown rice, 2T dry milk, 2t salt, 1T sugar, 1 ½ T oil, 2t dry yeast. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, kneed, let rise and kneed again. Cook about 40 minutes at 385.



New foal Sienna at one week old


Mandy and Sienna getting some sun


Out west they're called Aspen; in the east Poplar; in Maine Popple


That's a Bald Eagle from our back porch


Panda


A well-oiled machine: Black Clydesdale Lola


Max on Giles Pond


Ruby trying out her new skates

Kid Watch


Haley 10 years 6 months


Laddy 9 years 1 month


Max 6 years 11 months


Ruby 2 years 7 months

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Comments

"Out west they're called Aspen; in the east Poplar; in Maine Popple"

*Dan and Family* I absoluetly love your web site! Is WEB SITE PC?? Smile.. I learned something new today, Popple being named Aspen out west..Interesting.. You folks sure know what is important in life and I just love seeing pictures of the children. Hal and I met your family years ago at the GBSD Deaf Festival. I would love for Sarah and Dan to come with us this year for a visit!

Be well, Peace to you all and enjoy this Beautiful Snow Storm. Suz and Hal

Always good to hear what's going on at the farm. I am certain there are few times when you just can't find anything to do with all the chores, kids, work etc. etc. Looking forward to spring. With this storm sounds like it will be slightly delayed but I really like a good snowstorm. Its crisp, clean, fresh and fun to play in, after shoveling, etc. etc. Imagine you will get plenty in your area.

Hey, good to hear from you all! I know you are very busy with family, animals and the farm but I hope to come up and visit you all soon as I can! Sandy

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