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These beautiful dairy cows decided to move out of the sun, into the shade.

That makes sense, when it is hot out. In like manner, when plumbing is leaking, we fix it; when livestock are on the road, we remove them; when a tire is flat, we repair it. These are significant matters calling for practical solutions, typical of life on the farm.  They are no more complicated than matters particular to life in the city. Resolving them calls for measures of common sense.

Sometimes, however, common sense is elusive, and a problem remains unsolved for undue length of time. One such problem we have been struggling with, over the past ten years, is how to maintain fencelines on an organic farm. Conventional farmers spray with roundup, killing all plant life, to keepfences accessible and in good repair. We can't and won't spray roundup. To maintain one-wire fences, we remove the light fiberglass posts, mow beneath the wire, and return posts to their place, which works well. Heavier fencing, however, such as woven-wire or six strands of high-tensile, calls for heavier, immobile line-posts, that can't be removed. We have been mowing on either side of those fences, hoping growth directly underneath would cooperate of its own volition and not grow much. Well, that strategy has proven fully unsuccessful, and our permanent fences are being encroached upon by weeds! The only apparent solution has been weed-eating by hand, which is an endless task that consumes precious labor and goodwill of those performing the labor. Thus we have largely avoided the issue, until recently. We believe we have finally found a practical answer. 

That is to procure a specialized mower that hooks behind a tractor and mows to one side. The floating mowing-deck is placed under the lowest wire (about 8 inches from ground level) and when it approaches a wooden post, it gives way, retracting over a frame, and then, as it passes by, returns immediately to position, with help from a substantial spring. This piece of equipment is promising to be a clever answer to long unsolved problem. (see Wright Fence Mower:  https://www.fencemower.com/). Pictures below tell the tale. 

Common sense solves a lot of problems. It can indeed take time to observe data about a problem and find a practical solution, but once the data is in, it is time to act. If the car-tire is flat and the kids need to go to school, one finds the jack and changes the tire. It is the common-sense thing to do. When the kids need to be dropped off at school in 20 minutes, deliberation of the philosophical merits of flat tires is not constructive.

The same is true of the issue our country faces with automated weapons. The data is in: they are systematically killing innocent citizens on a regular basis. No citizen needs repeating guns, that fire 94 shots per minute. Those are offensive weapons designed for warfare, not self-defense. It is time for our country to act, to summon common-sense, and ban those weapons, for they are harming our communities and our culture. Why would any reasonable person, not owned by the NRA, resist that logic and that action? 

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This registered Red Devon cow (#702) is one Susan bought, with unexpected wave of the hand, at an auction in Kentucky three years ago. (The full story of the amusing event was recounted in this forum on 10/1/14.) The cow has produced four calves since, and #1718 is her third heifer-calf in a row. As you know, females reign supreme on farms.

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We are smoking chickens again this week, so if you would like half or a wholesmoked capon this Sunday, let us know by email. 

We will be at Findlay market both Saturday and Sunday and at Hyde Park on Sunday. The Hyde Park market remains outdoors through October and then goes indoors to Clark Montessori for winter months.

Please let us know, within the next few weeks, if you would like a frozen turkey for Thanksgiving. Our Mennonite neighbors, who raise our broilers, are raising some turkeys for us.

We are also moving into final hours to sign up for the Farm Tour, for Saturday the 14th. We will be serving both Pork and Lamb Ragout, for your delight. These are new products you can be the first to taste. 

May common sense prevail in our lives and in our country.

Drausin & Susan

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