Friday, October 31, 2008


Tradition on this Blog has it that all Photos come from this Little Farm. I shall make this Entry an Exception, although the substance of it relates to why we are here and what we do on this Little Farm.

Melanie, Rachel and I headed to Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama's presentation in Columbia last evening. We joined 40,000 others, so I read in the Columbia newspaper web site. That's a lot of people. The crowd was so big and so vast we didn't see anyone that we knew. Yet, just perhaps, we knew them all.

For the most part, the Evening was peaceful, gentle, serene. People from all Colors, many Cultural Traditions, and across a Spectrum of Ages joined in what I would call a Historic Marker of our Time. Melanie and Rachel noted that many were Moved to Tears.

As I look at the U.S. Elections of 2008, I see a clash of Paradigms. The Old Paradigm, which is falling away, kept Politics and Decisionmaking in the Hands of the Privileged and All Powerful Elite. For a very long time, it has been held exclusively by Males and in ways that elevated certain aspects of Male Mind and Male Thought. This ideology had its roots in Euro-centric thought, which just happened to be the domain of Whites.

As was typical of this Patriarchal Tradition, decisions were handled in a "Power Over" and never a "Power Through" approach. Domination and Force were viewed as legitimate ways to resolve disputes. The Winning Side took all. Those who did not win, were cast aside, their voices silenced and their access to the plate diminished. Selfishness, Grabbing for Power, and Greed became Banners proudly lifted high.

The fallout of such an Ideology lies in increasing shambles and ruins all around us. One can see this in the Faltering Economy but worse yet in the Fractured Webs of our Human Communities, large and small. We Humans with our Superior Brains and our Heightened Senses of our Self Importance are entrenched in fortifications of fear. Surely Humans have been meant to attain far more.

Things are changing in 2008. What I saw last night was a Presidential Candidate who brings Lights of Hope back to the People, to each of us. This approach brings a much needed shift in Paradigms and something for which we all deeply yearn. We each hold the Promise of World Change in the actions we take on our Daily Walks, through our Caring For and Honoring Ourselves and Each Other.

Those simple underpinnings are indeed the very foundation for our work on this Farm. Looking across this Nation and around the World, many others are choosing Simple Lifeways which bring Integrity, Power of Being, and Peace back to home.

Thinking back upon this night, we initially did not see Barack Obama. Of course, the Big Screen suspended from a Boom gave us a glimpse. We wanted more. However, we initially could not even figure out where he was from our position somewhere midway in the Back of the Crowd.

At that point, Our Beloved Rachel allowed Melanie to sit upon her Strong Shoulders. With that gracious and spontaneous sharing, Rachel and Melanie headed off into the throng of People to catch a glimpse. Rachel's simple act of sharing somehow enabled the 3 of us to see. In that moment when Melanie could see, she looked back and just smiled. Melanie did see Barack, but he was a little bit more than a Speck. The Picture she took showed a Flood of Spotlights and Camera Flashes bringing the Light back, at long last, to Each of Us. In that Sea of Humanity on that night, we were all Specks. As we move toward the Greater Good, we become a Sea of Much Needed Change.

Whatever your Political Persuasion, get out and Vote. See you at the Polls on Tuesday.

Regardless of Outcomes, Let Us Dedicate Our Lives and Sacred Breath Toward Becoming, at Long Last, All We Humans Are Meant To Be.

Notes on Egg Laying

The Hennies have been slow about Egg Laying for a while. Right now we are getting about a Dozen Eggs a day from 34 Layers, if we are lucky. 16 of those are Pullets and not all of them are laying.

We are pondering:
  • Most of the Hennies from the Class of 2007 are molting. We know that Molting takes considerable Energy and Time (2 months). Perhaps, for Hennies, it is Nature's way of shifting the Energy from Egg Laying into making New Feathers as protection for the Health and Vitality of the Creature.
  • The Common Recommendation in Contemporary Culture is that Layers are fed a 16% Protein Feed. Is that so that they lay Eggs according to Human Expectations or is that what they actually need? We do know that in our Society we tend to burn out Resources.
  • We are currently supplementing our Chickens' diets with extra Protein to support their special needs at this time. That includes: Yogurt, Clabbered and Sweet Whole Milk, occasional Meat Scraps (no Fowl).
  • Hennies need at least 14 Hours of Daylight for Egg Production. With the change of seasons, we certainly do not have that. Richard notes that Daylight goes from 7am to 6pm. Certainly that will continue to decrease, although slowly, until the Winter Solstice.
  • We did use a Heat Lamp last Winter. Their Egg Production was at higher levels.
  • According to a more Natural Calendar of Expectations, what would be the average and optimal quantity of Eggs by Hennies? I wonder what amount of Eggs did generations before (like Richard's Mother) observe?

Melanie asks: Does anyone out there have ideas about this?

An Art

October 28:

Homemade Bread is a Art which comes from years of Practice. One just keeps making it and learning a lot. I made Homemade Whole Wheat Bread for Dinner this Evening. While I have been making Bread since the 1960s, I had taken a bit of a break from it the last few years.

Making Bread today came with some distractions. I was not completely focused. We were busy inside and out. Plus, I changed the Recipe a bit to accommodate changes in tastes and preferences in recent years.

In short, this was not one of my better Breads. It was Good, but not the Best. Lest you think that we 3 C's are on a path to achieving perfection, we are not. We are simply committed to learn and grow.

In this case, the Loaf was pretty good, especially the next day. I had left it in the Pan which is not recommended; the Bread stayed moist. The Rolls were just OK, a little dry and hard on the outside. While I was shaping the rolls, they just didn't feel right.

I pondered the results and thought about possible causes: the Bread could have had too much flour; they could have been overkneaded; they could have been overbaked; I used Molasses rather than Sugar which could have altered the structure; I used very little Salt but Salt seems to have a very important function in making Bread.

Scratching our heads, we thought the Rolls would make a great base for Stuffing. I do want to keep working with this, but will make smaller batches in the future to test the Recipe to the standard we like.

In the meantime, the Homemade Apple Pie, which also shared that same oven, is almost done. Over the course of my Adult Years, I have never let my Pie Making lapse and have taught many others how to make Pie. The secret is in that Crust.

The Apple Pie just came out. Think about it: Warm Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream somewhat melting over the sides. Melanie suggests topping the whole works with a spoonful of her Homemade Apple Cider Syrup. If you were here, we'd have a piece to share.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


to the Joy and Pain
of Fellow Beings
Lives Alone,
Breathes Alone,
Feeds Alone,
Needs Alone.
A Culture
of Human Beings
to the Joy and Pain
of Fellow Beings
is capable
of a Path of Destruction
that knows
Only End.
That Path
forces outward;
Torrential Waves
back in.
The Master
a Canvas of Creation,
breathing Life Spirit
into all Beings.
Why would
one practice
to that?
Glinda Crawford, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chicken Spotlight: Button

This Blog Entry spotlights Button. Button is a White Plymouth Rock Hennie. She joined us on the Farm in that 1st little box of Baby Chicks in June 2007. I suppose you could call those Baby Peeps our Class of 2007 here at the Farm.

Button named herself last Winter. Melanie would sit in the Chicken Coop and Button would try to grab with her persistent little Beak the Magical Buttons on Melanie's jacket. Chickens don't have such Buttons, which of course you might already know.

If Button hears the Shed opening, she is the 1st Hennie to run as fast as her little Chicken legs can carry her. We are not sure what she likes in there, but she is all excited. Maybe she is excited because of all the Magical Things stored in there. Or maybe she is excited because of all the Magical Places they take her.

From this Magical Place, Richard brings out the Shovel or the Tiller for the Adventure of the Day. Button just loves it. Whatever he is up to, wherever that Shovel or Tiller go, she is right there. She loves the yummy Worms and Grubs and Bugs. She chows them right down. Button helped Richard plant most of the Fruit Trees in the Fall 2007. She just plain loves digging in the Dirt.

Button is also a pretty good Big Sister with the Littles. That gave the Humans considerable comfort as they watched the dynamics of the New Chicken Community emerge when the Chicken Class of 2007 met the Chicken Class of 2008. Button is one of the more patient Big Sisters, but she does have her moments.

So what about her Eggs? Compared to the Eggs of her Sisters, Button has a very small Egg, slightly bigger than a Pullet Egg. It is light brown and, unlike some of the other Chicken Eggs, it has no spots. Melanie did hear Button cooing in the Nest Box this morning. Humans could make all kinds of meanings of that one.

At Nighttime, Button tends to sleep in the same spot. She likes to be on the Rungs of the Ladder toward the top. If we were to visit the Chicken House this evening, that is probably where we would find her.

This is a little bit of the story of the Chickens behind those Eggs from Butterfly Hill Farm. It is told with a bit of bias as it is based on the observation of the Humans. Button would probably have her own story to tell, as would the other Chickens of their Sister.

The most gifted observer of her Chicken Flock, Melanie reminds us that all of our Chickens have distinct personalities. Unfortunately, we Humans in our Human-Centered World just do not even consider such things.

I could ask you to tell me the stories of the Chickens behind the Eggs you choose to eat. We surely would be curious to know. These lovely Feathered Creatures provide us Food as nourishment for Life and are our Loyal Companions on this Earthly Walk. I took the above pictures today when we let the Chickens go into the Garden for Fall Clean-Up. They have been eager to find their way into the Garden and have surely looked forward to this moment all year long. Richard was turning the Soil with a Spade and, as per usual, Button was right there.
I took the picture below when Button joined Richard for the Planting of Trees in the Fall 2007. She was so excited she appeared to be dancing. We 3 C's just smiled.Glinda's Note: Melanie was Principal Author on this one. I added a little comment here and there, but mostly I just clattered away on the Keys.

Walk in Nature

October 26:

I have found that a Walk in Nature is a Walk with the Divine. One merges into the intimacy with that exquisite Creation of which we are all a part.

Nature Notes

On this day, Richard went Duck Hunting with his brother Hollis and nephew Hollis Dale. Before Daybreak and just North of Macon, Hollis Dale slowed the Car for a Snowy Owl who was running/flying after a Mouse.

Richard remembers seeing a Snowy Owl here as a Kid but sightings are fairly uncommon. They were surely common when we were living in North Dakota.

The Old Timers always looked for "Signs". I wonder what the sighting of a Snowy Owl in the area means: Are we going to have a Hard Winter? Is the Food better and more abundant here? Is there an abundance of Snowy Owls to the North?

At the very least, it means the 3 Hunters saw a Snowy Owl. (She grins with amusement as she writes.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Goodbye, Garden

We knew it was coming. The next 2 Nights will bring Freezes which will effectively say Goodbye to our beautiful Gardens. Most of those Glorious Flowers and Charming Veggies that we have enjoyed so much will be brown and crusty tomorrow. If they are not tomorrow, they surely will be the next morning with temperatures projected at 22 Degrees.

Oh, how we have enjoyed You this Season. Yes, the Season has presented some challenges. Even the Old Timers in this Region say they have never seen anything like it.

Regardless, Dear Garden, You have given us plenty. You have cared for your Human Family well. Saying Goodbye to You is a Sad Time, like saying Goodbye to an Old Friend. Yet it is also a Joyous Time. We will be thinking often of You over the coming Winter Months as we pull yet another Gift from You from the Family Food Store.

I can imagine You will enjoy your Slumber Time over the Winter Season as will your Human Friends. Goodbye, Dear Garden. Thanks so much for providing for us.

Yes, we plan to be back next year with more Seeds, more Plans, and more Lessons to learn. And, I can garuntee You that we will be paying more attention to caring for Your Precious Soil. We will be listening ever so carefully to your Quiet Voice for the Lessons that You offer to your Human Family. Listening to your Quiet Voice is something People of Our Culture are not prone to do. It will mean stilling our Human Voices for the Quiet Spaces of You inbetween. We have so much to learn.

I can imagine that You are likely smiling as I write these humble words.

Wild Winds

Wild Winds blew in on Sunday with Gusts from 25 to 45 Miles Per Hour. A Freeze warning is in effect for the early morning hours on Monday. Low expected is 29 Degrees. The low expected for Monday night is 22.

We are in high gear to finish tucking the Garden to Bed. Rachel brings Friends to the Farm to help. Rachel, Kirk, and Jen are very busy Medical Students who hardly have a moment's time to spare. Hopefully the quick trip to the Farm, the wonderful air, some exercise, and good company will give some Fresh Air and Nourishment for those cram-packed Moments ahead. We are grateful that they chose to share some time with us today.

The Northwesterly Winds must have made their traveling here quick and efficient. Those Winds also presented some challenges. We each needed a Rock to hold us down, and of course, we have plenty of them. Nature carries incredible Power. We Humans with our sometimes overrated Sense of Power are really small in the Big Scheme of Things. The Wind served to wipe away that overrated sense and any other World around us other than harvesting the Garden on this Day.

With Rachel, Jen and Owen, and Kirk's help, we got a lot done in a short time: moving the Sweet Potatoes and White Potatoes from the Garage and Shed into the Basement, gathering Seeds (Cosmos in 3 varieties, Coxcomb, Zinnias, Marigolds), digging the remaining Dahlias, gathering Dill, gathering Nasturtium Seeds (Melanie has found a new recipe), gathering Holy Basil for Tea, planting Daffodils around the drip line of the Wilson Apricot and the Gala Apple.
Afterwards, we enjoy some quiet time with Hot Tea/Cocoa and Molasses Cake. Conversation was aplenty.

As they prepared to leave, Owen wanted to visit the Garden one more time. On their way there, he and Melanie head out to gather Eggs. Melanie goes inside the Hen House. Owen, who is 4, has a special place from outside the Coop to watch her work. He volunteers to carry the Eggs back to the House. He does so enthusiastically and carefully.

Afterwards, the Crew heads back home against those marvelous Winds for busy schedules ahead. Thank you, Rachel, Owen and Jen, and Kirk for all the help and for the special shared time.


In Fall's Harvest, the Plan of Nature is never more evident. Colors take on their Fall Celebrations of Life Itself: Greens, Vibrant Yellows-Oranges-Reds, Soft Browns. The Painter's Palette seemingly has no beginning and no end in its varied celebration of the Gift of Life and Life's Beauty of which we are a part.

One might overlook the essence that is at hand. The Growing Seasons of the Plants from Spring to Summer to Fall produce robust Seeds which reach their Loving Hands into the Future. Nature has a Plan and that Plan is to continue. May We Humans and All of Our Actions be a humble part of that Glorious Plan.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Day of Rest

October 19:

We had our 1st Frost on October 15 in isolated areas on the Farm. The Days of Fall are numbered as we know Winter will settle in soon. Sometimes, the Air has a decided nip to it. Where are my Winter Clothes? Where are those Flannel Sheets?

These days we are really busy with Harvest and tucking the Garden to bed. We try to take Sunday as a Day of Rest. It's hard to do because of the Urgency of the Season, but essential. On this Day, we took a lovely Walk in the Woods.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

I am amused by how similar Humans are with their Companions in Nature. Our Friends the Squirrels are busy putting away their Stores of Food and doing last minute preparations of their Homes for Winter. Their urgency is sometimes whimsical for Humans to watch. But rather, they are serious about it, as their survival depends upon it.

So what are the 2 Leggeds up to on Butterfly Hill Farm? We are urgently doing the same. Somehow the Squirrels just seem to know about the Weather Changes. We kind of sense that too, but rely on Weather Underground, which by the way, tells us that temperatures will have lows about 30 early in the week. Yikes. We've got stuff to do.

If you would have visited us these past few days, this is what you would have found:
  • We harvested Peppers, Peppers and More Peppers. Melanie has an assortment in the Freezers on all the Flat Cookie Sheets that we have. They are separated into Hot and not so Hot as they await Upcoming Winter Culinary Adventures. Several are set aside in the Refrigerator for me to make Stuffed Peppers, a Winter Favorite. Others are set aside for Roasting. Some are hung to dry.
  • Melanie dried more Calendula, Chamomile, and Lemon Balm for the Family Pharmacy.
  • Richard dug Sweet Potatoes. Our 62 Plants yielded 50 Producers and some were quite heavy. We love Sweet Taters. They are an amazing Winter Food. We are excited to share them with Family Members who didn't have much Luck with Sweet Tators this year and others who don't have space or time to grow them. On the last day that we harvested them (October 20), we found a Tiger Salamander tucked alongside. He was about 7 inches long, black with tan spots, smooth skin, and just absolutely gorgeous. You should have seen his little Feet. I bet he was looking up at us and saying: "Look at those GIGANTIC Hands!" I do not know who was more surprised: him or us? Richard and Melanie also dug out a Toad and a Family of Mice. The Toad didn't move so they re-buried it. Did those Mice ever scatter! Can you even imagine what it would be like to look up from your pleasant little home and find 2 Giants peering down at you?
  • We harvested my Gourds. The picture below is of the Bushel Gourds. They will take the Winter to dry out in the Garage. Then they will become Canvases for Craft Projects. I am so excited.
  • We harvested and dried herbs: Rosemary, Basil, Parsley. Some went into the dehydrator. Others are hanging in various spots about the House.
  • Mother gave me some beautiful Flowers (Mums, Columbine) for our Garden yesterday. We tucked them into their places in the Grandmother's Flower Garden with that Wonderful C0w Compost from Rolf. I cannot believe how bare some of this Soil is and is that Clay ever hard. We are making progress with amendments, but that will take a long time. Probably a Several Life Times.
  • Richard built a Compost Site off the Grandmother's Flower Garden. I have been looking forward to this. Gee, did we fill it in just a couple of hours! We are going to be moving our Compost Sites around and using them as a basis for future Garden Beds or Trees. This simple practice should help restore the Soil and encourage nourishing Homes for our Plants.
  • We dumped the Flower Pots from the Front Porch. On one of the Warm Upcoming Days, we will clean the pots and put them away in the Garage.
  • I pulled out the Red Geraniums from their Pots, shook off the Soil, and hung them upside down in a dark area of the basement. The Old Timer Gardeners used to do this. The Geraniums will overwinter there and hopefully be ready for another Growing Season.
  • I pulled all the Horticulture Beans. Today Richard and I shelled the Beans. Tomorrow I will can them. They are a perfect base for Refried Beans.
  • We made a Very Big Pot of Chili from Garden Produce, Onions and Garlic from the Farmers' Market, Ground Beef from a Local Farmer, Ground Buffalo from a Farm about 70 miles away, Dried Beans we bought in Bulk at the Amish Store west of LaPlata. We will have that for Supper this Evening. It is almost done and is perfect for a Cold Fall Day. Can't you just smell it? We will then freeze up portions for Upcoming Meals for the 3 C's on Butterfly Hill Farm and for Mother in Town.
  • We dug up Carrots, Parsnips, Fennel, Green Tomatoes, Celery, and washed them up in preparation for storage and processing.
  • Melanie picked the rest of the Red Tomatoes, baked, and froze them.
  • Richard and Melanie headed to Hollis and Deleta's and made more Cider. On returning home, Melanie froze our stash.
  • Melanie keeps checking her Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar. It is almost there. We all 3 had tastes today and it is great. We will likely keep it for Medicinal Use rather than Culinary Use.
  • Melanie froze Eggplant, Mustard Greens, and Chipotle Chiles.
  • Melanie collected Pepper Seeds for future years. We all need to focus on completing Seed Collection for this.
  • Melanie and Richard covered Peanuts in preparation for the 1st Frost. This is obviously a long season crop as the Plants are not quite ready yet.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Recipe: German Apple Pancake

Beat 6 Farm Fresh Eggs (from your own Free Range Chickens, of course). Add 1 Cup Whole Milk (from a Local Dairy) and beat until well blended. Add 1 Cup Flour. Beat until well blended. Set aside.

Peel, core and slice 5 Large Apples. We used Golden Delicious Apples off our Tree, but any of your Favorites will do. In a 10 inch Cast Iron Skillet, melt 3 Tablespoons of Butter or or your Favorite Buttery Spread. Add Apples and 3/4 Cup Raisins. Stir until well coated. Cook until Apples begin to show transparency on the edges but are not cooked through. Stir often. Add more Butter if necessary. This will take about 6-8 Minutes.

Pour Egg/Milk/Flour mixture on Top. Place the Whole Works into Oven heated to 375 Degrees. Bake for about 30 minutes or until knife, when inserted in the middle, comes out clean.

While baking, mix 1 Tablespoon Sugar and 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon. When the Apple Pancake is done, put mixture on top, somewhat evenly but not perfect.

Serve with your favorite toppings. We used Homemade Apple Cider Syrup, Black Raspberry Syrup, and Maple Syrup. Sometimes we throw on some toasted Pecans too. Each of us comes up with our own Culinary Concoction uniquely suited to our tastebuds and expression of art.


Serves 4.

Cosmos and A Street Named Wall

October 16:

These Smiling Cosmos and a myriad of other Friends in the Garden and in Nature have no clue as to why the Humans in their Shared World are so focused on the doin's on a Street called Wall. In some ways, I am not so sure myself.

In the last few notes of Human and Geologic History which could only be described as Less Than an Eyeblink, we Humans have created an Imaginary World based on something called Currency. We have elevated All Things Human and All Things Contributing to Wealth and to the Material as Supreme. We have built Walls and Castles of Sand. The more we focus on that Human World, the more Out of Touch, Imbalanced, Out of Control, and Disconnected we seem to be. And the more on Tilt we place our Robust yet Delicate World which supports our Being and All Those Who Follow.

I would admit that the events of the last few weeks have sometimes put me on Tilt. Sometimes, I have headed into reading More, More, More. I have found little Sustenance or Balance in such practices. My Trips into Nature and my Tender Adventures with Those I Love have helped me regain my Balance and my Sense of Understanding of the These Things.

Sure, we Humans will have to make some shifts. Some of us will be affected more than others, particularly those of us who have placed the Sum Total of Our Assets into this Illusory Pot.

I suspect, in the order of things, that these days are intended to help us reset our Compass Points. We will be lifting Those Walls to enable us to achieve the True Currency that Matters: Meeting our Needs, Living Humbly and Simply, Weaving a Vibrant Web of Communities Founded in Love and Support, Giving Rather than Always Taking, Bringing Good Will into the World, Fulfilling our Purpose Here, and Celebrating that Sacred Gift of Life in Every Step.

There is a Divine Purpose in All Things. We are finding our Way.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Goodbye, Marshmallow

This has been a tough 24 hours on Butterfly Hill Farm. Last night, Melanie was putting the Chickens to bed in their House and did her usual Roll Call. Or rather, I should call it a Count.

Marshmallow, the White Plymouth Rock, was missing. Melanie quickly headed into the House and let us know the News. Our Steaming Hot Dinner which Richard had carefully prepared was suspended. We grabbed Flashlights and headed outside into the Waning Light.

For an hour, we checked all the places we could think of: Where she might have been trapped, where a Varmint might have gotten her, and more besides. The Chickens are very good at coming into their House and claiming their Roosting Places at an Early Evening Hour. We Humans moved quickly but with Heavy Hearts, hopeful but preparing for the Worst. The Evening became Night.

Richard found Marshmallow up by the Lane just North of the Drive. She had been hit by a Person Driving a Large Vehicle. I could have said, "Hit by a Vehicle". But Vehicles typically do not operate under their own Free Will.

Marshie was still alive but in tough shape. We organized a bit of a Chicken Hospital in the Bathroom. We brought in a Heat Lamp to warm her. Melanie held her gently and lovingly, cleaning her wound.

In the meantime, Richard and I headed to Dinner, which by then was cold. Quite by coincidence, he had fixed a beautiful Roast Chicken with Dressing and other fixin's. The Chicken was one of the Roosters he had butchered earlier in the Fall. The Roast Chicken sat all sprawled out in the Pyrex Baking Dish in the middle of the Round Oak Table. We had some things to ponder.

Melanie sat with Dear Marshmallow most of the Night. The Morning hours brought Fog outside but greater clarity. This precious little Hennie had lost considerable vital energy. It was her time to go.

We said "Goodbye" to Marshmallow. Richard picked her up in the towel that had held her and placed a shovel in his hand. On the way to the Woods, Marshie looked up at him. And then her time had passed.

Later in the Morning, Richard and I headed down the Drive toward the Farmers' Market. To our disbelief, he noted a set of Tire Tracks had veered off the Lane into the Grass leaving Large Wheel Marks next to the 1st pile of Feathers, which was assumed the site where Marshmallow had been hit. While we cannot know if she was hit intentionally, that is a distinct possibility.

You need to know that we 3 C's believe Life in its Myriad of Forms is a Sacred Gift of the Divine. We try to live our Lives to honor that Gift, in every Step, in every Breath. Chickens are not Meat. Chickens are not unfeeling Beings. They are living Companions who just happen to give us a Gift of Life. We have been entrusted by our Creator for their Care. This is a serious matter for us. It is not always easy, it is often filled with Joy, it is our Path, it is how we have made Sense of and Peace during some unfeeling Times.

You may also have read in an earlier Blog that the Chickens have been ranging farther as the Fall edges closer to Winter. We have struggled with this One. We have watched them as much as we can. We often have headed down the Drive to round them up and head them back to the middle of our little Sanctuary, as if you can Round Up a Chicken.

This Little Episode has presented us a mix of feelings. We are grateful for the Gift of Marshmallow in our Lives. She was a Fine Hennie, sometimes known to want to color outside the Lines. She joined our Little Farm a year ago in June. She was one of the Hennies who most cherished her Dustbaths. She loved Most being covered with Dirt and carried it proudly on her White Feathers. We are grateful for the Eggs with which she blessed us. I now wonder which ones were hers. Each of the Eggs seems to have a Signature, as surely they must.

We 3 C's are ultimately responsible for our Chickens, which includes keeping them Safe. As of this writing we will initiate some actions on containing the Chickens. (1) We plan to open up selected portions of the Gardens. They are now fenced. We need to harvest the Remaining Veggies in the Gardens unless we want the Chickens to do that for us. We will fence off Portions which are Off Limits to Chickens (like the Garlic Patch, some of the Herbs, Strawberries, perhaps my Wildflowers). (2) We will likely fence off the West Portion of the Yard with Chicken Wire. That could be a bit tricky because it is expansive, but doable. (3) We will likely keep the Chickens in their Coop until later in the Afternoon. This will give them time to lay their Eggs in the Nest Boxes. They are not the happiest when they are confined to their Coop, but their Yard is large and luxurious, at least from our standpoint. As the Afternoon moves on, the Chickens are usually lower on Energy and are preparing for the Evening Hours. Our speculation is that they will be less inclined to roam so widely.

While we cannot know if Marshmallow's Death was intentional, we do know that Many People in our World have a cavalier attitude toward Animals. They treat them as disposable. They treat them as subject to Human Whim. They are unable to see the Pain and Suffering of Animals and their relationship to it, at least at this Moment in Time. They either do not see or they are quick to lash out at what many assume to be the "Least of These", and others perceive to be "Our Kin".

We tried not to respond with Anger in the Mix of this Day. Richard asked: "What would Gandhi do?" I offered prayers of Healing. Melanie picked up every one of Marshie's feathers and whispered softly: "Peace."

"Goodbye, Marshmallow. You have taught us many lessons and for that, we are grateful. Safe Journey, Dear Animal Friend."
Photo above: Marshmallow, the Hennie

Why Is It?

Why is it
buying Organic
often costs more?
Why is it
that doing
the least harm
to God's Creation
and the Mother Earth
costs more?
Why is it
that doing
the least harm
to Future Generations
costs more?
Why is it
that doing
the right thing
often costs more?
Why is it
we spend
buckoos of money
on non-essentials,
stuff we are going to trash?
What kind
of World
are we trying
to create?
~~~~Glinda Crawford

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I absolutely love my Cosmos. They were a favorite Flower of my Grandfather Fred Albert Brenz and many of the old Gardeners in the early 1900s.

Those Cheery Faces began blooming in my Garden late in the Summer, but they go right through the Fall. While other Flowers are spent and drab by now, this robust Flower, which is 4-6 feet tall, has plans to keep blooming until the end.

You can almost hear them sing:

I have a job to do.
I shall decorate this place
with the most beautiful of colors
to see the Gardening Season through.
I shall offer my Seeds
and my lovely backdrop
for those Chickens
which are a source
of Pride and Joy for you.
I have Bees to feed
and offer sanctuary too.

Nature Notes

Richard tells me the Harris' and White Crowned Sparrows are passing through. He smiled because they headed straight for the "Weeds" in the Garden. I never got to those Weeds after the Heavy Rains and Muck of the Summer. I would surely have apologized for them to my Human Friends when they visited.

But those Dear Feathered Friends are now chowing down on the Weed Seeds in our Garden. Weeds are relative, I guess. We all have our place. My Friends, the Sparrows, would say: "No apologies are needed."

We dearly loved these Birds in North Dakota. Their twice a year quick visits in a small window of time while on their Migratory Routes were clear markers of the transitions of Seasons.

I am so glad that we are on their Route here. I wonder if these Birds are the same ones which have passed through Gardens and Yards of our Friends in North Dakota. Perhaps they even visited Katherine, Robert, and Anna at their new Home, which is where we used to live. Wouldn't that be Sweet?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I think having land
and not ruining it
is the most beautiful art
anyone could want to own.
Andy Warhol

Winter Food

October 13:

We 3 C's strike out for the Gardens on a Mission. We are accompanied by 2 Wheelbarrows and 1 Big Red Wagon, each of which are just waiting for a Load. Even in doing Simple Routine Chores, we like to use Tools that are part of our History. They somehow take our work to a Deeper and more Meaningful Place.

The Orange Wheelbarrow, which Richard's Brother Hollis brought to us last year, belonged to the Boys' Mother. She left the Farm in 1987 and passed in 1991. During those years on the Farm, she was quite the Gardener in what I think was an Old Way. Gee, I'd have questions for her now. And somehow, I think she is right beside us on our Gardening Adventures on this Little Farm.

And the Green Wheelbarrow? I used this a lot in our Urban Yard in North Dakota. Richard di too. I loved it. Somehow that light weight but sturdy Garden Companion fit the scale of me. Unfortunately, the Wheel now is a bit off, so this well-traveled Wheelbarrow has a mind of its own. At this stage of my Life, I do too. We are quite a pair. The Big Red Wagon was a Gift to me from Mother. All these wonderful Tools are happily coming in quite handy during Harvest.

Our mission on this Glorious Day is to harvest Winter Food for our Feathered Friends. Our urgency is inspired by the readiness of the Seeds and the expected Rains over the next few Days. We head 1st to the remains of the Sorghum Cane Field, weaving our way through the sprawling Stalks. Melanie is busy cutting Seedheads beyond our view, which is easy considering their height. Richard and I are a team. He cuts. I place the Seedheads in the Wagon.

We then harvest Sunflower Heads in the Big Field. The Heads are smaller than expected. This is no doubt in part because of the Stressful Summer. But we also should have thinned them as Seedlings. We will do that next Summer, when we have more time. Now, isn't it a hoot to think that way?

Richard and Melanie harvest Amaranth in the Big Field and later Elephant Head Amaranth in Melanie's Veggie Patch. The Seeds are hidden in the Feathery Red Flowers. The Seeds are quite small but I bet those Chickens will find them Yummy.

We then gather Sunflower Heads in the Garden. Richard's must have been planted in the perfect spot for the Season because they stood tall and produced large Heads. Many of my Sunflowers did very well, but others struggled. The Winds and Rains pushed many down. After each Storm, I would lament their Horizontal, rather than Vertical contours. But then, those Sunflowers would rise again, reaching for the Sun, while integrating varied directions in their Form. Over the Season, they became quite a tangle.

For me, harvesting my Beloved Sunflowers is a Happy-Sad Moment. I had so looked forward to growing the many varieties I had selected last January. On this day of Harvest, I see the vitality of the Earth through their Lovely Seedheads. I know the Chickens and Wild Birds will love the Sunflower Seeds probably just as much as I enjoyed planting them and dreaming about them. I will love feeding our Feathered Friends over the Winter. But I am Sad because this act of Harvest marks a dismantling of the Garden.

As we harvest the Seeds, I reflect upon them. Seeds are nothing short of amazing. For me, they inspire awe and a glimpse into the Great Mystery. They are Life and they give Life. Plus, I love to look at the patterns of the Seeds on the Large Sunflower Seedheads. I have no idea how they got that way. How did Nature do that? When the Master approached this Canvas, how did He ever come up with this Lovely Design? Seeds remind me there is a Plan and the Plan is Beautiful. I just need to let it be and find My Place in it.

Fall Colors

October 12:

Richard and I head for a walk about the Land. The Day is Warm with Wind. Evidences of Fall abound.

Colors on the Meadow have faded. Few Flowers remain except for scarce touches of White on the dainty Heath Asters, Sunny Yellow on the plumes of Goldenrod, or Regal Purple held high by stately Asters.

Green is giving way to Fall Colors in the Forest. I wonder how the Trees have fared with the intense Rains this Summer. Will we see a typical Missouri Fall with Radiant Colors? When Trees are stressed, Fall Color seems to hide away.

Touches of Fall Color are beginning in our Woods. I am reminded of Tiffany Glass which is lovely and spendy. We have an original here and we don't want to miss a thing.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Little Eyes

It's Dark and just about Bedtime. We have an Easy Drizzle this Evening. The Air feels heavy and close with Rain.

Richard did his usual walkabout to check on the Chickens and to take note of any potential Evening Visitors to the Farm. He used his Big Flashlight to scan the Landscape.

After a few moments outside, he called Melanie and me to come out on the Deck. Something seemed unusual. I couldn't quite see it, so came back in to check Weather Underground.

Richard later came inside and said those Little Eyes Looking Back at Him were actually Raindrops on the Deer Fence surrounding the Garden.

Good Night.

Gratitude In this Moment

I am
Grateful for
the Gift of Life
in this Place and Time.
I am Grateful for
Good Fresh Country Air.
I am Grateful for
the Ability of my Body
to use that Oxygen to nourish my Cells
(and whatever else it might do
of which I am unaware).
I am Grateful for
that Drink of Water which touched my Lips
and keeps that Waterbeing which is Me
Hydrated in the Way Nature Prescribed.
I am Grateful for
the Rain that Filled the Lake.
I am Grateful for
all those actions which brought Water to me
in the Safest Form they knew how.
I am Grateful for
my Husband and Daughter who share this Path.
I am Grateful for
the Washer which now is gently contemplating Whites.
I am Grateful for
the Technology of the Front Loading Washer
which uses the Least Water and the Least Power we could get.
Is that not
what Life
in each moment
is meant
to be:
To give
our Thanks
and to be
fully Aware
of Thee?

Gratitude: A Little Background

As I arise this Day, I am feeling a Profound and Serene Sense of Gratitude. But 1st, I must give a little Background.

I come from a Culture which has experienced a disconnect with Gratitude. I am not sure how this happened. Among our Global Neighbors, we have been and are observed as "Takers". The more I ponder this, the more I agree.

The People of my Culture take a lot. A lot. We do not consider the things we take as "Gifts". We do not consider where the things we use come from. We do not consider what it takes for us to be presented with these "Gifts". We do not consider whose lives our actions affect, Historically, Now and in the Future.

Somehow, we simply feel it is our Divine Right to Take. We just Take. And then we Take some More. Nothing seems to quell or satisfy our Appetite for More.

That Taking is leaving a Tattered Trail on this Lovely Planet which Supports Our Being. That Taking is leaving a Tattered Trail on all our Companions on this Journey: Our Fellow Humans, All Beings, Air, Water, Soil, Climate. That Taking is leaving a Tattered Trail for All Those who Follow: Human and Non-Human.

That Taking is leaving a Tattered Trail on our Inner Landscape too. Taking without Gratitude leaves a Dying Space upon the Essence of the Human Soul. This is not the Path I seek to take.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


October 9:

We are gathering Stones for the Stone Wall behind the soon-to-be-installed Wood Stove. We brought a considerable number down from North Dakota when we moved last year from our own collection and that of Toby and Ken Baker. (The Bakers had moved some years ago and had gifted us with Toby's beloved collection.) Plus, this little Home had some landscaped beds carefully rimmed with Stones Wendy's Grandmother had gathered from her travels over the years. Cherished Folks have also contributed for this very special project: Sarah Cummins, Rachel Long, Dorreen Yellow Bird, Bob and Connie Scott, and their families.

Questions remained: How many do we have? Do we have enough? All these Stones were carefully tucked about. Some were in the pile out front straight off the Moving Truck and others were not. Richard suggested we gather them together and lay them out in the area of the space they are going to fill. So he measured off a space on the Front "Veranda" and carefully laid out the Stones. (Someday, that Car Pad will become a Veranda.)

I thought his idea was perfectly brilliant. He carefully laid out the beautiful Stones. To our surprise, we are almost there. But we seek other Stones to make this special Stone Wall and our Little House "Home".

On this day, we headed out and about in the County to gather Stones from places of memory in our lives and the lives of our Ancestors. It was a very moving day. We criss-crossed the southern part of Adair County. Somehow, while we were hunting for Stones, we were also creating simple Paths about coming Home.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Limits on Chickens

October 8:

When Richard or Melanie let the Chickens out of their Coop in the Morning, Our Fine Feathered Friends head out like a Flowing Stream. We smile. They are so eager for the Day.

As the Fall Season goes on, however, they seem to head further and further away. We noted this last year. We wonder if the tasty Insects they like to eat are fewer and farther inbetween.

To our dismay, the Chickens were in the middle of the Lane this Morning, which is the farthest they have been. "Stinker Chickens," as Melanie would say. Such escapades are a no-no, at least according the Rules we Humans have set.

While we have very little traffic on the Lane, we do occasionally have a logging truck headed to the Lumber Mill run by an Amish Family 1/4 mile down. Errant Dogs are rare, but they are possible. We have had a den of Foxes just South of the Property Line. Plus, we have had reports of Neighbors who have lost Chickens to Varmints. Their Varmints are likely to be our Varmints too.

Melanie has proposed a theory this morning. The Hennies and their Rooster Mr. Fredster may need more Protein as they are molting and laying Eggs besides. She decided to give them a treat of fresh Milk from a Local Dairy. They loved it.

In the meantime, we Humans are ever watchful. A short while later, those Charming Chickens are headed back toward the End of the Drive.

Theories are nice. Theories give shape and order to our Lives. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. We are back to the Drawing Board on this one. If we can't figure out an alternative, the Chickens will have to stay in their Coop.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Odds and Ends

Today we are doing Harvest Odds and Ends. Most of our little Tasks will not take much time but they will enrich our Food Store. We shall smile while we are doing them.

So far, we are packaging Dried Pears, freezing and vacuum packing Chopped Jalapenos, roasting Chipotle Peppers (a 2 day process which also includes drying). We are also cutting tops off Sweet Potato Vines. I shall be writing more about this toward the end of the day. I am sure we will have more to report.

I just stuck in the fresh Calendula Flower picture because I thought they were pretty. In the flurry of the Harvest, I am not so sure where the Dried Ones are.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


We have been watching the Migrant Winged Ones lift off from their Summer Homes here. We watch others as they pass through. We know still Others will come to stay, making our Little Farm their Winter Home. The Masterpiece of Nature is continuously changing and unfolding.

These days, I ponder the Journeys of the Winged Ones. We know snippets about them. Since Richard is an Ornithologist and Natural Scientist, we have our own Information Source for a start. We 3 C's have a myriad of questions and continue to seek answers. But we respect there is much we cannot know. We trust there is an Order and Plan which is beyond our Knowing. It simply works.

I continue to ponder the Lives of our Friends, the Monarch Butterflies. We know that in a year, Monarchs' Short but Exuberant Lives go through 4 Generations.
  • In February and March, hibernating Monarchs reawaken in their Winter Homes in Mexico and California. They find Mates, begin northward flights and lay Eggs. Then they die after a Life Span of 4-5 months, which is the longest of the Monarch World.
  • In March and April, that 1st Generation hatches and goes through a complete Life Cycle: Egg, Caterpillar, Chrysalis, Butterfly. As Adults, the Monarchs mate and lay Eggs on Host Plants. Our Milkweeds, which I love, are prime.
  • In May and June, the 2nd Generation is hatched and the Life Cycle begins anew.
  • In July and August, the 3rd Generation is hatched and a new Batch finds its own way in the World.
  • In September and October, the 4th Generation is hatched. This Generation is not hardwired to lay Eggs. It is hardwired to fly. These Beautiful Butterflies on their Bright New Wings will migrate from their Summer Homes to precise locations for their Winter Homes in Mexico and California. These are the Ones we have in recent days watched depart from our Little Farm in Northeast Missouri. These are the Ones we watched in North Dakota do precisely the same. These are the ones my Friend Jean Riendeau saw suspended from Trees in the Highlands of Mexico.
When I ponder these 4th Generation Monarchs who have been our Companions on this Little Farm, I wonder: How do they know where they must go? They are going to a place where their Great Grandparents were, a place where they have never been before. How can they possibly know? And how can they arrive there on those Slender but Vibrant Wings?

I wonder about the Migrants in the Bird World. How do they know? Yet, when I see them at this Season, I see the Intention in their Actions and in their Flight. I see what could be described as a Fierce Fire of Life. Many also are going to Places they have never been before. Somehow they know.

I ponder on my supposedly Advanced Human Culture which has lived outside the Cycles of Nature for a very long time. We know that Sustainability is the place where we must go, but some of us have not a clue as to how to get there.

We hear Whispers of Stories from our Ancestors who struggled with issues of Sustainability. In our Families, my Grandmother Dora, my Father Jack, my Grandfather Fred, Richard's Mother Ethel were Gardeners. We also hear Whispers from All of Nature to guide our Flight.

We 3 C's have come to this Land to grow our own Food and to live as Sustainably as we can manage. In some ways, I think I might know at a deep cellular level the compulsion of the Monarch. I know not how I will get there, but I trust that I will. I will find my way. I think Living as If Nature Mattered, Living so that Other Generations May Also Find their Place, is hardwired into us, just like the Migrants who pass at this Season.

Be well, Companions, on your Amazing Flight.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I gaze in awe at the Swirl of Motion around me. Nature's intensity of Energy is at Crescendo. The Energies are in High Drama, pushing and pulling all about.

Some Energies push up seemingly from the Earth herself. The Harvest is in full swing. The Earth and Garden lift Produce into our Arms at every turn. The Humans we know seem to share their Abundance, like our Neighbors did with their Pears. Seeds are everywhere, ripening, bowing in gratitude, taking excursions on Wind. We have some Seed collecting to do for coming growing Seasons. Richard has already brought in Sorghum Cane Seed for Chicken Treats and for Seed Stash. Daylight is less but the Sun is still warm. The Sun casts greater light through the South face of the Porch and into the South Windows of our Little Home. We continue to preserve Food and our space is filling to overflowing. The Freezers are turning into large and jubilant Puzzles. Do we need another one?

Other Energies are pushing down into the Earth. Somehow, I can almost feel that vibrant energy of the Plants shifting downward for snuggle and rest time. The Foliage on the Trees is changing in color. The lush Greens show brush strokes of Yellows, Oranges, Reds, and Tans. Leaves are replenishing carpets on the Ground. Some Leaves have soft to distinct Rattles to their Sound. I haven't followed the activities of the Squirrels but I can imagine they are storing provisions as busily we are. We are cooking those wonderful foods that mark the Fall. We had Stuffed Peppers, Boiled Potatoes, and Sweet Corn tonight. Soups, Roasts, and Root Vegetables are favorites at this time. They somehow ground us and fill our Bellies with Heat, something needed as the Weather shifts.

Energies are moving strongly to the South. While quite busy on the Ground, we have been engrossed in the Southward Migration of our Feathered Friends. We have watched many Summer Companions depart. The Birds have filled Power Lines and chattered among their Friends. They lifted off on short bursts of spontaneous Flights of Training. And then, overnight, they were gone. The Hummingbirds left in the last few days. The Peak of the Monarch Butterfly Migration has passed, but we still see a few. We are watching a Chrysalis on the Porch as it turns dark. That Monarch will need to have bags packed to join the Southward Migration. The Winter Birds have yet to arrive.

We know the Energy will shift soon to be primarily from the North. We watch the Weather and the North with interest. Rain is expected early this week. Mother tells me that Fall rains often bring cooler weather on the other side. I hunt around for my Warmer Clothes, but not too seriously yet. We are ever vigilant of Frost and have an urgent checklist for those moments before and after in the Garden. Even the Night Sky has changed. Orion is making his presence known. We know the Winter Winds will be coming. A Blanket of White will cover the Land. Quiet will reign where only a few short months ago the Birdsongs of Spring filled the Skies with Sound.

During this Season, we are in a Dance. The Winds of the North are in a Tango with the Winds of the South. Somedays, it seems much like Summer and other days, it does not. That upward motion of Harvest from the Earth is countered by the downward motion into the time of Rest. Each seems to beckon for control. Soon, the Winter will prevail.

The transitions of these Seasons bring distinct Emotions among the Humans. The vibrant Energy of the Earth at Harvest produces much Joy and Celebration. The loss of Summer Companions counters with unexpected moments of Sadness.

When that Energy finally shifts into Winter, we will stay inside more. We will at last get some rest. Nature seems to designate this upcoming Season as times of Rest and Inner Journey. I have some Books that are beckoning. I shall be back to Family History projects. My plan is to edit these Little Epistles and more into a book I've known I am to write.

But for now, we are in the Midst of Autumn. The Peak of Autumn Color will soon arrive. We are Busy, but the Busy-ness has a pattern to it. Overall, we try to go with the Flow of these Wondrous Things. On this day, we are Peaceful and Content.


A journey
of a thousand miles


I have come to know
the Earth
a myriad of lessons
to her Human Children.
All of Creation
reaches out
in Embrace.
I have
to those lessons,
with open Eyes
and an open Heart.
Glinda Crawford


Max the Cat
after the busy-ness
of this Harvest season:
Naps are in order.
Naps are always in order.
Rest is essential.

Molasses Season Complete

Sweet Sorghum Molasses season is complete. We are coming to know that such things are always "iffy". You never know how it will turn out, even on the Normal Years. This one was not. The cool wet beginning to the Summer, added to the deluge of Rains and High Winds left us wondering: Will we have Molasses or not? We Humans are so dependent on the Natural Order of Things.

The Crawford Family and Friends cooked off 4 total Batches at the Crawford Family Farm in Millard each of the last 4 weekends, with 1 Batch completed on a Monday because of Rains. Two Batches were from Sorghum Cane we planted here on Butterfly Hill Farm. Two were from Hollis' planting.

We decided a portrait of our stash was in order. By the way, those are 1/2 Gallon and 1 Gallon Jars. We are ever grateful.


October 2:

We have harvested our Popcorn and Field Corn "Crops". The Popcorn is a Purdue 410 Hybrid (Yellow) and Snow Puff Hybrid (White). The Field Corn varieties are Boone County White Dent Corn and Reid's Yellow Dent Corn. Our Seed Source was Shumway's.

We 3 C's harvested by Hand. You might just scratch your head and think: "My Goodness, there's no limit to the work those Crawfords would take on." Our Harvest took just a few minutes and volumewise, we could carry it in 3 armloads from the Big Field to the Deck.

We had hoped to produce Corn for the Chickens and the Humans. However, that was the Human Plan early in the Season.

The Corn Plants produced fewer ears than we expected. The ears were small and some were not completely filled out. Plus, our Neighbors, the Deer and the Raccoons, had taken what they thought was their Fair Share of the Harvest. We shall be deliberating on that.

All of our Farming Experiences come with a slate of Questions. We wonder about the effects of the deluges of Rains on our Growing Corn this Summer. The Plants were surely stressed. Were the Corn Plants fully pollinated?

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Ruby Throated Hummingbirds have been buzzing about the 2 Feeders around the House the last few weeks. We often have Dinner on the Deck, while they are having their own Dinner at the Feeder. They dart about at high speeds, often pushing others away from the Feeder with high drama, and occasionally buzzing right between our gaping heads as we sit at the Table. We are in awe.

A little research tells us those tiny wing beats of Ruby Throats average 53 beats per second. I found this video clip of some Little Ones in flight. The clip slows their wings down so you can see the motion up close. Richard tells me their Heart Rates are about 600 beats per minute. They are such exquisitely tuned Little Packages of Life.

Over the years, we have noted that when Birds seem highly energized around Migration Times, they are soon to depart. Today, we have no Hummingbirds at the Feeders. Apparently, the normal date for departure in the St. Louis area is about October 15, at least according to

Richard tells me that Ruby Throats are headed for their Winter Homes in Mexico and Central America. Some fly directly over the Gulf of Mexico, non-stop.

Have a Safe Flight, Little Ones. We anticipate your return in the Spring. First sightings in 2008 for our area according to were April 19. I wonder when they will return. I wonder if they will be the same ones that have made their homes here in 2008.

The more I watch, the more I wonder. The more I know, the more I want to know. These are our Precious Companions on this Earthly Walk.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wanted: Native Field Stones

As we settle into our Little Farm, we 3 C's are embarking on improvements inside and out. For our House, we plan to put a Wood Stove in the Family Room as a back-up heat source. Winters are far milder here in Northeast Missouri than in the Dakotas. But we still do have Winter and sometimes the Power goes out. Being prepared seems a smart thing to do.

A little more background: My Father passed 2 short months after we moved here. Papa was a Master Bricklayer well known in these parts for large and small projects of which he was a part. He planned to build us a Fireplace out of Native Field Stone for our new Home. He had built a Fireplace for our Home in North Dakota. His building one here was simply not meant to be.

As a Daughter and as Family Members of a Bricklayer of the Old Craft, we still want Stone Work in our House. This Little House wouldn't quite be Home without a touch of Stone. This time, we will install the Wood Stove with a Lovely Wall of Field Stones behind. The Stones will hold and release the Heat for those Cold Winter Days ahead.

After a search, the Mason has been identified. Kevin Burns learned the trade along side his Dad, who worked beside my Father. How cool is that? The Stove is Ordered and should be here any Day. A local firm, Peters Heating and Air Conditioning, will install the Pipe. All the pieces are in place, except for 1.

We brought Field Stones in our Treasures when we moved from North Dakota. Many were from the collection and gift of Ken and Toby. They graced our Garden in North Dakota for a number of years. More recently, People along the way have contributed Stones to our Cache for this very special purpose (like Dorreen, Sarah, Rachel, the Scotts). Just thinking about the Land from which these Stones come and the People who have offered them to us fills our Hearts with Song and our Home with Love.

But our pile is Short. We are looking for Field Stones especially from Adair County. We would like to have Stones from places where we have Family History. That would include the Family Farm in Millard, the Old Stukey Homestead site, perhaps Hart Country up in the Wilmathsville area, our little patch of Timber in the Southwestern part of the County. Who knows where else?

That may or may not be possible as Eastern Adair County has fewer Stones than Western Adair County. Perhaps we are talking about a Stone or 2 from such Cherished Places where our Ancestors once walked.

So we are looking for more Stones, hopefully from Adair County. We do not want the Land to be further Ravaged, so we don't want them pulled out of a Creek Bed, especially if those Rocks have been home there for quite a while. But if Folks have a Stone or 2, or a Pile of Stones that are ready to be passed on, give us a call. We have just the project. A Ton or 2 should do. We need to have the Pile complete by October 18, Richard's Mother's Birthday.

You could call it a Little House Warming.

A Lot Is At Stake

On this day,
I ponder
in Foods
in 1955 and 2006.
In 1955, I was 7
and in 2006, I was 58.
In numbers alone,
I'd find 3,000 Foods
sold in Stores in 1955.
I'd be hard pressed
to find that
in Freeman Grocery,
a Mom and Pop store
on Harrison Street
where I bought Penny Gum or Candy
with that Copper Penny
clutched in my little hand
on my way
to Washington School.
I might find
that in Riley's 7 to 9,
a couple of blocks over.
But I doubt
such a vast array
would be found
in my Little Rural Town
off the Beaten Path.
In 2006, I'd find
45,000 Foods
sold in Stores.
As I cruise the aisles
of Stores that profess
to sell "Food" in 2008,
I must say
I do not recognize
most as Foods.
The Grandmas
of the 1950s
would cringe
at the "Foods" served up
to their Great Great Grandchildren.
This day, I ponder
some more besides.
I wonder about
the number
of additives
in Foods
between those 2 dates.
Who knows?
I ponder
the quality of Soils
in which our Food was grown
in those 2 dates spanning
just 6 decades
of my Life.
I wonder
the Chemicals
in Foods
between those 2 dates.
Whatever is
in those Foods
comes inside
the digestive tube
of the Hungry One
that is Me.
I wonder
the Diseases
arising these days
and their Connections
to our Food.
Some Connections we know,
others we have yet to ask.
We Modern Humans
a Chemical Experiment
of Vast and Unknown Proportions.
Those Grandma would say:
"There are
other ways,
Dear Family.
Keep it simple.
A lot is at stake."
Data Source for 1955 and 2006:
Organic Gardening, Late Summer 2008, page 16.

A Country Dinner

September 30:

I spent the Afternoon with Mother in town today. When I arrived home, a Country Dinner awaited me. The aroma greeted me when I walked in the door. Richard had fixed Baked Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, and Greens.

As a brief introduction to the discussion of these wonderful Culinary Delights, we 3 C's on Butterfly Hill Farm are meeting our goal of eating mostly "Local Foods". That includes Foods we grow or those that are grown by Local Farmers. This is surely witnessed in this Feast.

The Baked Ham was processed at a local Meat Market. At the table, it was served up with sides of Apple Syrup and Peach Jam, both of which we had made. The Scalloped Potatoes included Veggies from our Garden (Potatoes, Leeks, Thyme, Parsley) and area Farmers (Leeks, Garlic, Onions). The Lemon Grass was from Kristina and her Family from their Family Farm. The Sauce included Organic Cheddar Cheese and Whole Milk from a Local Dairy. Richard used Flour to thicken the Sauce.

I love those Greens. This year, we had difficulty growing Greens. We just didn't get them planted because of the slow season and just too much to do. And then we looked around. Lamb's Quarter was prolific. This robust Plant is a Common Weed many People speak of with disdain. At the same time, it is a wonderful cooked Green. So we took the easy way out. We put away our Spinach Seeds, and harvested and froze Lamb's Quarter. Nature provided it. How easy was that?

Having a Meal especially prepared by those who love us is such a Gift. Eating in a Restaurant is not the same. In my book, such Food doesn't measure up. To top that off, the Meal was pure Country with mostly Local Whole Foods, no chemicals, and just the way Nature intended. It just doesn't get better than that.

Thanks, Richard!