The past few weeks, The Farmer has been milking cows for another farmer each weekday morning. The dairy farmer is dealing with a bad back, and can't do it himself. There are at least three other guys helping out, too, covering nights and weekends. It's hard to think about the sole proprietor being laid up in any line of work, but dairy farming is one of the most relentless jobs out there. We feel for our friend, who planned to work five or so more years before retiring. Now what? He waits for the results of tests...
The other day I read a New York Times op-ed piece titled "Don't Let Your Children Grow Up To Be Farmers," quite obviously a play on the country music song, "Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys." The author got my attention early in the article when he said: "The dirty secret of the food movement is that the much-celebrated small-scale farmer isn't making a living." And then he went on to share statistics fro…
I've been dreadfully neglectful of blogging this summer/fall. Something about being so busy doing that I don't have time to document (with a little writer's block sprinkled in, if I'm honest).
If you ride through our corner of the world, you'll find quite a bit of corn still in the fields. In fact, off to the left in this photo, you see another farmer's corn still standing. We know how it is to leave corn in the field for the winter, as we did it just last year. It's not good at all. You lose a bit to gravity, and you lose a lot to wildlife.
We finished harvesting our corn on October 31 this year. None too soon, either, as it was about two weeks later that we got our first snow. Many of the farmers are poised to start combining again as soon as the weather permits, but they will be battling either snow or mud.
There were more photos of the combining process, but all were blurry. Something about the vibration of the huge machine... and perhaps the dirt on th…
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."
Mo has done his work for two years now, and it's time for him to move on. He is a purebred Belted Galloway, but without registration papers. If you know of someone who would like a fine bull, please have them contact us at shadysidefarmmichigan at gmail dot com. It seems a shame to just sell him at a local auction sale.
This is a photo from 2008, one of the early years. I actually think we started selling at the Kerstmarkt in 2007. It's funny to me to see how some things have changed, and some remain about the same. Same racks, same window, same cloth on the booth front.
Kerstmarkt starts tomorrow, and after a week of being blasted with wintery snow, the weather people are predicting freezing rain. As is often the case, I hope they're wrong. Kerstmarkt is at the Eighth Street Marketplace in Holland, Michigan, and is patterned after the European open-air Christmas markets. You can find the dates and times here.
We'd love to see you there--make sure you let us know when you stop that you heard about it on the blog.