Category: Moses

This talks about Moses the Farm Dog.

Laying an Egg. – Field Notes Volume 3 | Number 1 June 1st, 2015

Field Notes Volume 3 | Number 1 June 1st, 2015

Laying an Egg.

Some times I feel like a mother hen. ItÂ’s as if I was sitting on a big egg, which happens to be the whole farm- worrying and waiting and tending and doing all of the things that I imagine go through a hens little head. Sometimes I envy the simplicity of the hens life- how simple it would be if my needs and the farms needs were as simple as just sitting on an egg and eating my fill. The farm is more complex than that. On the good days I feel like a conductor orchestrating all of the little parts that go into making the symphony of the garden sound sweet. Some days I am a plumber, some days an electrician, some days a carpenter, some days a factory worker, and some days an accountant, and every day a boss 🙁

Chard Gleaming in the sunshine

Chard Gleaming in the sunshine

Some days its great, some days itÂ’s not, some days its both. Every day there is at least a moment when I am thankful for this life, for being able to hear the sweet sound of bird song, for the sunshine, for being able to look over and see my buddy Moses laying in the sun. ThatÂ’s when I know that life is good, when I can look across the field and see everything growing and all of the promise of sharing that joy with you.
That’s what it is all about. Because for every day with sunshine, there is another that is miserably cold or miserably hot. Everything evens out except the joy that we can share with others. That’s the good stuff. That’s the taste of the sweetest corn we have ever had or the juiciest tomato sandwich. It’s the prayer before a meal and leaning back in your chair when it is done. Those are the blessings that make this work worth doing and that is why we farm.
This winter two venerable farmers who have touched my life passed on, and put their mud boots away for one last time: Del Yoder of Owl Creek, and Patricia Keith of Ridgeway Farm. My words would never do their lives nor deeds justice, but I feel the need in mentioning their passing, not to express the immensity of their loss to this world, but for what it means to the farmers who live and carry on after them.
Farming is a struggle- that is why less than one percent of Americans do it and even less try to make a living at it. Its a gamble, and a fight, and a hard road to walk upon. I can’t speak too much about down the road (because I am not there yet), but I imagine that some things get easier and some things get harder the further down the road you get. Many folks quit, or sell the farm, but these folks were not that sort. They are the kind of people that aren’t made any more, who carried on with the determination and perseverance in the face of all challenges, who took them on with open minds and determined hearts. They struggled not

Moses checking on The broilers

Moses checking on The broilers

only to improve their own lots but also the lot of others around them and those that would come after. For that I owe them a great debt, because without folks like that- who are too faithful and foolish to believe that dreams are impossible, but can be made real through sweat and blood, this country would not be so great, this life and this place we call home would be poorer for it. IÂ’m not too sentimental a man, but I think that is worth a bit of sentiment, so there it is. 🙂

For me IÂ’ll sweat while I can and try not to complain too much. Every year is a great gift to us all and I am truly thankful. This season, although it is shaping up to be a challenging one, has started off blessed and we look to be in for good and fruitful harvests. I am lucky and thankful to share this with you. So for me and for you- lets remember to enjoy the sunshine while its still light out.

Enjoy. -Farmer Sky

CSA pick-list
Salad Mix – Enjoy!
Red Kitten Baby Spinach- Enjoy it as a salad green, or try it lightly cooked. It is so light and tender though right now that it would be best raw.
Lacinato Kale – Great sauteed, pan fried, or baked into kale chips.
Rainbow Swiss Chard – Enjoy!
Sugar Snap Peas – Can be eaten whole. Sweetest thing of the season.
Broccoli?! – ItÂ’s just about ready, if we can harvest enough for everyone I will be a happy man. 🙂
French Breakfast Radishes – Spicy, Crunchy, Crispy. Great addition to a salad or on buttered bread.
For Market-Style CSA Customers:
You will receive Salad Mix, Spinach, Snap Peas, and Broccoli with your choice of addtional items.

Mixed lettuce

Mixed lettuce

Facebookmail

Animals in the farmyard?! Part 2 – Volume 2 | Number 11 August 22nd, 2014

Field Notes Volume 2 | Number 11 August 22nd, 2014

Animals in the farmyard?! Part 2

by Sky Harman

Baby animals are cute. There is nothing more to say about that, other than baby animals grow up to be big animals and sometimes they arenÂ’t so cute anymore, or sometimes they stay cute but donÂ’t act nice or play well with others. Sometimes teenagers are like that. I was and IÂ’m guessing some of you were too. In those cases we just have to hope they grow out of it. Some animals never do.

Sheriff Moses guarding a chick

Sheriff Moses guarding a chick

Around the farm there are a lot of cute animals, some babies, so big and not so cute. At Ridgeway the Cheat Lake site, there are a pair baby fawns just losing their spots these days, who look up with innocent eyes when we drive up to the farm. Their mother and the rest of the herd of anywhere between 10 and 30 deer look up the same way, and over the years they have lost their fear of people, and even expect people to feed them. One of the first times I was ever in the field there, I spotted some deer and tried to scare them away, by throwing rocks in their direction, but they just thoughtfully looked at me and walked my way hope that the rock was something to eat.

Maybe at first they thought the garden was such a place. When we began the season there, we planted things that I wouldnÂ’t have thought deer would eat, especially when there was so much green growth around- Tomatoes, Peppers- Hot and sweet, and Squash. Things seemed fine for a while, then one day 2 plants had been topped, then 2 more, then all of them- 300 tomato plants and 500 pepper plants. Out at Owl Creek, since I thought I knew the deer, I wasnÂ’t as concerned, but less than a week after they had struck at Ridgeway, they jumped the electric fence out at Owl Creek and ate 200 pepper plants with almost ripe peppers hanging below. Needless to say deer have been an issue this season. At Ridgeway, we completed an 8 foot fence a week after the deer struck. It has still been a work in progress (with the occasional deer running headlong through the fence), but the deer stooped doing damage after they ate all of the peppers and tomatoes. Just the peppers and tomatoes. Luckily most of the plants have bounced back and pepper season is about to commence. 🙂

Sheriff Moses guarding the corn.

Sheriff Moses guarding the corn.

Deer are cute to some people. They might look cute to me too when the light shines on them just right, but inside them I see a menace. Maybe thats just me, but around here we have a problem with the deer. There are too many walking around hungry, without much to fatten them up and plenty to sample in peoples yards and gardens. Combine that with the fact that it is more or less illegal to hunt them by normal means in many of these areas and we find ourselves with a problem.

IÂ’ve been speaking with the DNR about our problem, but they donÂ’t seem as concerned as I am (maybe because the deer pay their paychecks and not myself).

Moses loves deer. He loves to chase them and I am pretty sure he would love to eat them too. Sometimes he gets awfully close. Whenever I see the fawns around I make sure to give them a long head start before he goes after them, because even if they are baby vegetable eating machines I would feel awfully bad if he caught one. Now when the deer see Sheriff Moses come around they start running, because they know that if they donÂ’t move fast enough he might just catch them.

Moses is rather fond of chickens. We have 25 baby chicks at the house, and theyÂ’ll be out on pasture up at Rdgeway in the next couple of weeks. More details on this to follow.

As it is now, the deer are still around and hopefully the fences and sheriff Moses will keep them at bay until the DNR gets it together and we start to manage the herd.

Cheers- Farmer Sky

CSA pick-list

Tomatoes – Heirlooms, red slicers.
Cherry Tomatoes- Pink- Sun Peach, Orange – Sungold, Yellow- White Cherry, Red – Nectar, Bunched Red – MattÂ’s Wild, Red/Black – Black Cherry. Enjoy!
Green Onions- Enjoy!
Kale- Enjoy!
Parsley- Try freezing, for tasty herbs in winter
Basil- Just a bit, Enjoy!
Hot Peppers- Just a few for starters. Enjoy!

Baby goat at Ridgeway Farm, Daniel Richter - herdsman.

Baby goat at Ridgeway Farm, Daniel Richter – herdsman.

Facebookmail

Working like a dog – Volume 2 | Number 5 July 11th, 2014

Volume 2 | Number 5 July 11th, 2014

Working like a dog

For those that donÂ’t know Moses is my dog, assistant manager, customer service representative, vegetable guard dog, pest control, and Frisbee catcher.

HeÂ’s a good dog.

Moses resting after a long day, working like a dog

Moses working like a dog

HeÂ’s a five-year-old Australian Shepherd/ Blue heeler mix. He goes almost everywhere with me (and if he doesnÂ’t go, he looks at me sadly and wonders why not). I got him when he was 8 weeks old, from the Wapato Indian Reservation in Washington State out in sheep country. To be honest, Moses is the reason why IÂ’m farming today. When he was young, he was so full of energy that I knew that I would need to find him an occupation to keep him in control. We started out on a farm in Virginia, where the farmer had raised and trained border collies for years, and where we tried to train Moses. Long story short- sheep werenÂ’t for Moses (heÂ’d rather eat their poop than herd them), but farm life is definitely for us.
The other day someone said they were working like a dog, and after thinking about this for less than a minute I wondered how hard a dog’s life really is. Most American dogs have it pretty good. They have food and shelter, a warm place to sleep, and folks that love them. We ask little from them in return, mostly that they don’t go to the bathroom in the house and don’t destroy our things. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Moses resting after a long day, working like a dog

Moses resting after a long day, working like a dog

I like to say that if IÂ’m really really good in this life, maybe I can come back as Moses in the next one.

News from the farm:

Things are going well at the farms.

Everything that needs to be in the ground is in, and more is continously being planted.

WeÂ’ve been busy trying to keep up with the weeds, and clear new ground for more plantings.

The summer crops look great! Tons of tomatoes are on the vine, and the first should be ready for harvest very soon! The spring crops a taking their final bows and exiting stage left, while the fall crops will soon begin to make their debuts inside where it is nice and cool and they can get a good start.

Cheers, Farmer Sky

CSA pick-list

Carrots! – Enjoy!
Broccoli- Enjoy! A little long in the tooth from sitting out in the heat, but just as tasty.
Head Lettuce- Enjoy!
Green Beans- Enjoy!
Scallions- Enjoy!
Zucchini- Enjoy!
Cucumber- Enjoy!
Basil- Pesto Variety

Moses ignoring a carrot.

Moses ignoring a carrot.

Facebookmail

The Life of a Farm Dog for Me. – Field Notes Volume 1 | Number 3 | June 20th, 2013

Field Notes
Volume 1 | Number 3 | June 20th, 2013

Harmony Farm at owl Creek Farm

Some of you have met Moses, the resident farm dog, some of you havenÂ’t. Meet Moses:

Moses dressed for another day at work.

Moses dressed for another day at work.

Moses is a mutt. He is part Australian Shepard, part Blue Heeler, and part Rez dog (What a friend of mine who spent a great deal of time on Indian Reservations, lovingly termed him).

Moses was born on the Wapato Reservation in Washington State over 3 years ago. At the time I was living out there, working as a maintenance man at a summer camp. Then Moses came into my life.
Since that time, we have traveled across the country together and he has led me into a life of farming and for that I am thankful. At first it started with the intention of training him as a sheep dog, but after that didnÂ’t pan out (he is more interested in eating sheep poo than herding sheep) we both settled on vegetables. Moses doesnÂ’t think much of vegetables. He doesnÂ’t mind them, but he wonÂ’t eat them or herd them.
He is a pretty good vegetable guard dog though. If there is a ground hog around heÂ’ll take care of it, if there are deer or geese near heÂ’ll run them off, he would even chase away song birds if I asked him to, but mostly he just lays around and watches me work. I had the notion to train him to pull a cart, which would be of some use around the farm but it turns out that dogs can only pull about a third of their weight, which means he could only pull about 17 pounds (or 4 pac choi). So Moses mostly just lays around. His biggest dilemma is whether to lay in the sun or the shade, which isnÂ’t such a bad set of options. He follows me around, being mindful of not walking in the fields and finds a new place to lay when I have settled into a task. Mostly he is just my pal, and the yang to my yin.
?

Moses ignoring a carrot.

Moses ignoring a carrot.

I think we all envy our pets in a way, but at the same time we glory in their lives. It is as much that we get to enjoy their easy life as it is that they are fun to be around. Moses is fun. Sometimes its hard to realize, as I am so busy in work, but them I look up for a moment and he is rolling on his back in shear bliss. If I could trade places with him I surely would, but then IÂ’m not sure anyone would get any vegetables, since Moses doesnÂ’t really care for them all that much.
Enjoy the veggies! Farmer Sky

CSA pick-list
Broccoli! – Pretend it is a little tree
Lacinato Kale – Lovely pan fried, cut into thin ribbons
Chinese Cabbage – Great in stir fry, chopped into a salad, or raw as a refreshing snack.
Rainbow Chard- Saute, or use as an addition to a dish
Radishes – One of my favorite vegetables, great in salads or as a snack. Spicy!
Turnips- Great addition to soups, to salad, or roasted.
Loose Leaf Lettuce- Enjoy!

Lacinato Kale enjoying the early morning.

Lacinato Kale enjoying the early morning.

Facebookmail