Saturday, June 7, 2008

Always Have Bread on Hand

We have lived in the City a long time. In fact, I had lived in the City all my life, up until a year ago May. All told, that was 58 years. My City Rules don't seem to work here. I am not so sure that those City Rules work so well there either.

We should have a collection of Rules we have learned from our Farm experience. The Farm and all the Beings here have a lot to teach us. We are trying to be open to the lessons. We learned an important lesson today. But first, a little background:

Richard and I were in the midst of preparations for dinner. We were making a Carrot Salad (Grated Carrots+a little Chopped Celery+Raisins+just enough Mayonaise to hold it together). Mom used to make this when I was growing up and I loved it. This time I added Peanuts. Plus, I was going to add some Parsley and Chopped Green Onion from the Garden. I was also putting chopped "Scapes" (those curly things that look like old time phones that emerge from the tops of Garlic) as garnish on top of the Liver and Onions. Yum!

Out to the Garden I go with dark blue graniteware colander in hand. As this was one of our 1st episodes of collecting from the Garden, you can almost see me dance down the steps of the deck.

Stop... The Garden Gate is open. The Garden is full of exuberant Chickens. Yikes! Chickens can do a lot of damage to a Garden and in no short order. I hollered at Richard. He came running. We both went into the Garden, not having a clue about what we should do.

Our 1st attempt was to try to push the Chickens out. Have you ever tried herding Cats? Multiply that times however many Chickens you have in the Garden and you have a sense of the complexity of the task. It isn't exactly like those classical images of herding cattle on that 1950s-60s television program "Rawhide". You can also get a sense as to how helpless we Humans with our Superior Brains and advanced degrees looked in the face of some once gleeful and now confused Chickens.

Flash... Some Farmer memories pop up out of the memory banks. I remember hearing tales of Matt Klawitter bringing an errant big Pig back to pen by simply carrying a feed bucket. I remember hearing tales of leading the 37 visiting Cows through our property earlier this year with a white feed bucket and calls of "Tea Time, Calves, Tea Time". In both instances, that simple trick worked.

So I quickly headed into the house and emerged with, you guessed it, slices of bread. Once the Chickens figured out what I had (which took a split second), they came running.

In musing on these things, I conclude that frustration, flayling your arms about, getting mad, herding the Chickens of Butterfly Hill Farm just doesn't work. I think these little insights may have some meanings in other places in the world as well.

Today's Farm Rule: "Always have bread on hand." (And figure out how to more securely lock that Garden Gate.)

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