These bulls rest at ease, after completing 45 days of service to 65 cows.
They look rather exhausted, and are finding repose upon the remains of a bale of hay. Wouldn't it be the life only to work 45 days a year, with room-service provided the balance of the time?!
This brings up the question of "rest". How important is it and what happens when it is withdrawn or ignored. In nature, rest is integral to health of the ecosystem. All perennials have a dormant season, during which order is restored before chaos of growth returns. Dormancy in northern climates is when pathogens are arrested by cold temperatures. And as individuals, we know we need periodic weekends off, vacations, and naps. When we don't allow ourselves enough rest, we break down. Adrenalin keeps the restless person going, until on vacation, when great fatigue washes in. One acre of our pasture is grazed 3 - 4 days per year, which affords significant rest to those plants. Overgrazed plants have shallow root systems, and can't withstand stress or competition. So, the conclusion might be, instead of striving to be an entrepreneur who works non-stop, one might strive in the next lifetime to be a bull or an-acre-of-pasture. Doesn't all that rest sound inviting?
The steady rain this month has made for a lot of mud. We just pulled the bulls out of the cow herd and moved the cows to a drier pasture, thick with grass. They are grateful.
Despite the rush, I have managed to read several noteworthy books of late. One is Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance. This is a stunning and beautifully written account of how a family from Jackson, Kentucky migrated to Middletown, Ohio for employment, while retaining the culture and customs of Appalachia. The young author recounts struggles of his rural family to integrate and reconfigure itself in an urban setting. This compelling story reflects a sociological phenomenon, taking place in our own backyards, that is creating an underclass of white Appalachians in our cities and rural regions.
This seems relevant to the issue of food, because as technology displaces the working person evermore, one opportunity for employment that does offer hope is growing local food. Food lies at the heart of so many forces and issues.
The picture below is of a "spatchcocked" chicken. Cooked in this position at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, the chicken cooks more evenly and faster than in the upright position. This is just one of many variations on how to prepare a chicken. This was served with rice, cooked in chicken stock, plus a salad. These chickens taste of soil and minerals, imparting exceptional flavor and nutrients. One of the most exquisite flavors of all comes from drippings in the pan after a chicken has been roasted. Not diluted with water, flour, or wine, but straight-up, offering several spoonfuls of beautiful nectar.
Beth & Bob will be attending at Hyde Park on Sunday, while Susan & I seek a moment of rest. If you would like to place an order for this weekend, please do so by Friday afternoon. Otherwise place one for the following Sunday, the 5th.