Late in July, wild hibiscus decorate our wetlands with explosions of pink.
Midsummer heat brings this gorgeous flower to us, provoking sense of tropical paradise. This shrub was seeded into our new wetlands eight years ago and becomes more prolific with each passing summer. It is also known asSwamp Rose Mallow, and makes a home for itself throughout the tropical and sub-tropical world. Our latitude is fortunately its northern reach. It thrives in moist areas, needing to maintain wet feet.
Polynesian women wear hibiscus flowers behind one ear or another, the way western women wear a ring, signifying availability for courtship. It is brewed for teas in African and Caribbean cultures. One species of hibiscus, known askenaf, is employed for making paper. It is the national flower of Haiti, Malaysia, and South Korea. And in Mexico, it is dried and consumed as a delicate vegetable.
It is also the designated flower of our farm. In Pike County, we allow this stunning flower to transport us to our dreams. Part of our dream is to know the stillness of a wild place, like these very wetlands that harbor them, keeping us centered and grounded. Another part of our dream is to engage in the great vigor of raising animals in the healthiest way possible, to bring their food to you; you, who value the authenticity of their nutrient-dense meats and are a critical partner in the welfare of these animals, being their last caretaker.
The Swamp Rose Mallow can be inspiration for each of us. Every person has dreams residing within, asking to be expressed and waiting to be supported. It takes courage to part from the convention at hand, to listen to the unique song that tells your tale, and to follow it, so you may be the person of your heart and soul. May the hibiscus flower give you such courage.
The picture below of the sun upon the horses back has been trying to make its way to you since it was taken in May. The scene is full of justice in its own way. The draft horse has completed a day of faithful labor, and eagerly thrusts his head deep into grass, while the setting sun drenches his back in exquisite, evening light, with gratitude for his noble deeds...
We have received nearly an inch of rain per week since mid-April, which is as ideal as it comes. This week, however, we received closer to three inches, and the ground and creeks are full. But it is far better to have too much rain than not enough. Pastures are thick and growing, which should set the stage well for winter feed.
No farm animals loves water more than hogs. This group is is about 7 months old and is nearly ready for harvest.
Our sheep are doing well, and Brendan faithfully moves them, their nets, and guard dogs every three days, requiring more of his time than any of the other livestock. This constant movement, contained by nets, with long rest periods for the pasture, enable us not to administer any deworming medicines. Sheep and goats are very susceptible to worms, which is dealt with by 98% of producers by administering chemical drenches. We do not administer such, and the result is a 100% grassfed meat, without any chemicals, that is delicate and delicious to the palate.
This is a recent dinner of smoked leg-of-lamb, sweet corn, and a casserole of zuchinni, peppers, and tomatoes. The leg of lamb was smoked for 4 hours at 175 degrees. It was fabulous - pink without being raw, and appealing to those favoring more well-done as well as those favoring less well-done. It was excellent, and invited us to consider selling frozen, smoked legs, to be served at room temperature or slightly heated. Would that interest anybody?
If you would like to order a boneless leg of lamb, please consider going to our on-line ordering service:
We want to encourage use of on-line ordering, and are removing standard delivery charges, since we are to be at the location anyway for the farmers market. We are also making ordering available every week, for your convenience. So, there would be no extra cost to you to order on-line and pay in advance. Doing so allows us to prepare your order so we can hand it to you at the market, which expedites the transaction for you and us. Give it a try, by going to:
We will be at the Milford and Hyde Park Markets on Saturday and Sunday respectively for the next two weeks. We will be there faithfully, in anticipation of providing service to you, and hope you will be there, in turn, to provide business for us. We can not succeed without your active and intentional support, which we are doing everything we can to earn.
May the beautiful hibiscus invite your dreams to the fore during these midsummer days.
Drausin & Susan