Friday, October 3, 2014
Helloooooooooo! Anybody home?
Yeah I hear you. Where has she gotten off to this time? Is she not aware anther month, another ridiculous season, has passed since she last posted? If this continues we'll just move on to better and bigger farmwife pastures.
I would not blame you. I might even tag along.
But you are here now so you might as well stay. Lets recap. No, the farm is not yet sold, yes I have made it though the first 5 weeks of school, no, we have not started building on the Poor Farm, yes, we believe this blog is constantly being monitored by IDPH because they have nothing better to do, no, I still cannot speak Italian well and yes, we will have more bacon in the farm store in just a few days.
Farm sale. Still pending. It is not easy in our section of the woods for young (or not) beginning farmers to get loans for farm businesses that are not...dare I say it?...of course I will... created from the almighty corn and soybean mindset. It appears many loans in our county and our state have been nicely floated to those who follow the rules, who remain conventional, who refuse to step outside the box. But if you dare to try something new like manage an organic farm, one that raises a variety of livestock not just the same overused , overbred robostock that no longer even sees real grass, you can expect very little help from local banks and farm agencies. But the young couple we are still working with have a strong entrepreneur strength and we continue to have high hopes that this farm will become their farm.
Good things come to those who wait, who work, who pray, who perservere despite prejudicial treatment.
In the mean time, Keith has been logging longer farm hours as his wife gallivants within the academic world; a world that I will admit, has made me giddy with happiness! Oh sure, it's no cake walk, although it is but a brief walk from the English building to my new favorite restaurant on campus The Red Herring. It's so fun and old- age- new- age there. Great Indie-Rock folk music I can dig, (from Dylan to Sarah Jarosz) groovy atmosphere for study (they serve "old-hippie" tea in real mugs) and farm fresh food. FARM FRESH from small local farms I tell ya. Sure, its vegetarian but they let me in anyway. Shhhhh, please don't tell them I also eat pork, beef, eggs, chicken, milk and the occasional lamb. I'm kinda a big deal there and don't want to lose my seat under the 8 foot long live plant that drapes itself over my favorite table.
Nearly at the midterm point at UIUC, this semi-senior is getting such a kick of being referred to as a Junior which means I'll graduate with my BA in Fine Arts, Creative Writing in May 2016. I have four intense reading and writing classes plus one kick butt Italian class. Truly I cannot remember caca for that class. (See ? I just used the Spanish word for excrement instead of the Italian word. Geez! The word I want is puah. Now repeat after me..Puu-wah, Benissimo!) Every week I am reading massive amounts of short stories/poetry/essays and then writing about them. I either support them, analyze them, annotate them or argue against them--yeah I LOVE that. Oh that crazy Poe, I adore him so. I returned school to improve my writing and man, am I writing. What I am not doing is getting much sleep in between homework, class time and travel time since I commute 2.5 hours each day. But since lack of sleep causes wrinkles and I am already in that deep boat I fret not. I am also not making soap, not cleaning house, not cooking, not calling friends, not returning calls to friends, and OK I'll admit it, I am not keeping my eyebrows plucked. Why bother? When they are overgrown and bushy disappearing into my untrimmed bangs, my fellow students don't see me raise them as they make totally off the wall unsupported left-winged propagandist statements.
I do represent the establishment you know :)
And THEY do an excellent job of not scoffing out loud when I say something deeply meaningful, insightful and oh so wisdom-- based like "Hey! Who stuck their disgusting gum to the underside of my desk ?!?!" Truth be told I have met some amazingly brilliant young folk on campus and I am learning from them every single day. Every single day. And because of their enthusiasm and desire to excel they have motivated me to push my own envelope. For example I only use the rail to go up and down the stairs about half the time. The other half I risk all and brave the steps, now get this, unassisted.
The farm itself is motoring along nicely. Our livestock did a great job of procreating this summer and we've had many extra piglets to sell as feeders, breeders and eaters. Our waiting list for all those continues to grow. It's exciting to see more and more small farmers wanting to raise the Red Wattle hog. In fact we had another fine litter of these beauties just the other day and as soon as the rain lets up I'll be snapping some photos. All our carcass meat is spoken for through February and soon I'll be taking names for these new feeder pigs. No, I don't want you to name them, I will be putting your names on a list to eat them.
Clarity in sentence structure.
Just one of the many weaknesses I offer.
One of our hogs was featured at Spence Farm's Harvest Feast a couple of weeks ago and that is always a big thrill for us when amazing chefs get their hands on one of our piggies. So, I'll leave you now with a raw milk update and take a few moments to catch up on all your blogs. I really have missed you guys.
RAW MILK UPDATE
When last we spoke raw milk issues were kicking up speed here in Illinois. That train is still rushing full speed ahead and I really do not know where it will end up. We are encouraging everyone and anyone who cares about the right to consume and produce and sell and give away the raw milk from your farm animals to contact JCAR (Joint Commision of Administrative Rules) These big guns will be making the decision on whether or bot these rules will stand. We have just another week or so to get our opinions in writing to them. (email or snail mail) Please go HERE for that contact information.