Monthly Archives: April 2012

Global Weirdness and the Annual Wildflower Hike

There are snow flurries today. Last week my friend Jane and I went on one of our annual wildflower hikes on our North Carolina property.  After five minutes on the steep mountain trail, we shed all but one layer of clothing; it was warm. As we sighted poofy Lady Slippers (actually Pink Mocassin Flowers) and [...]

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The Zen of Milking

                                                                                  “My idea of prayer is to milk my goat and just be there with every bit of myself engaged for fifteen to twenty minutes of squeezing her teats and listening to the sound of streams of raw milk squirted rhythmically into a stainless steel bucket; and then to give as much mindfulness to chilling [...]

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How we got into raising goats

                                                                    ”Goat Bells” The six bells were a casual purchase in a hardware store in Switzerland. “I want six goats,” said Chuck, who was charmed by herds of Alpine goats jingling across country roads, their bells echoing into the Alps as they stopped traffic. “That sounds nice,” I said, without much thought. I knew that the [...]

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Our Brief Career as Cattle Farmers

April 2, 2012   “Our Brief Career as Cattle Farmers” We had about four acres of vacant pasture when Phil, a neighbor, suggested that we go in together on four baby steers he could buy from the Happy Cow Dairy for $100 each. He would take them for the first couple of months, since it was [...]

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Becoming a Real Farm

March 2012   “Becoming a Real Farm” We call ourselves a small farm.  Indeed, we are small, and indeed we are a farm…a real farm, where we raise French Alpine dairy goats. But we didn’t start out as a real farm. For several years we were really a toy farm…you know, growing some hay and giving [...]

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A Goose Egg for Easter

                                                                                                                                                A rickety old dock stretches out into our pond from the shore. Virtually condemned for human use, it is a favorite perch for Mallards, Great Blue Herons, and Canadian Geese.  Last Wednesday, as I passed the dock, I noticed it: a goose egg sitting out at the very end. No geese. No nest. Just [...]

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Thoughts for Good Friday

Eli Eli lema sabachthani.   –Matthew 27:46 “My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me?” Jesus cried out these words in his own language, Aramaic. This is one of only a few places in the gospels where Jesus’ own language is preserved. Strong words. Memorable words. Jesus was alone. Judas had betrayed him; the disciples [...]

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What is spirituality, anyway?

“Spirituality is gratitude, reverence, and compassion, nurtured in the service of love, justice and hope.” I wrote that statement some time in the 90′s. Last week a friend sent me the reading below, credited to Sara Moores Campbell (the name I had until I decided to take the family name of my maternal grandmother). “Is this yours?” [...]

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Midwife to a Miracle

  You’d think I was having the babies myself for all the anticipation and anxiety I spent in the week leading up to the birthings. For several days, I camped out near the barn with a baby monitor to alert me if a goat started into labor in the middle of the night. After three years [...]

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