The color of hope surfaces in all new life, but particularly in the Dogwood tree.

Intense white can represent hopes of spring. The Dogwood is uplifting and peaceful, quieting the great potency inherent in this time of year. It serves as a mediator of sorts, offering solace through pristine boughs that calm disruptive currents.

It was just a year ago that a family of eight was murdered in the dark of night not 20 miles from our doorstep, in Pike County. It was deeply unsettling to be close to such violence and to ponder its implications. The path I finally found out of the paralyzing grip of the tragedy was to stare deeply into redeeming vastness of a white Dogwood tree, and thereby slowly see despair transformed into hope... 

But all colors offer the hope of spring, as they emerge eagerly after a winter of slumber.

As green grass now emerges to grow inches every day, we have started grazing at a fast rate to complete a "round" on the farm, before grass goes to seed. We thus also unfurled the "shade mobile" to try it out. It has offered a shaky start. First, the wench came loose because screws were over-tighten and had broken off. New screw-holes and larger screws solved that problem. Next, it pulled the trailer-hitch loose from under my truck, due to rotted steel. The "mobile" weighs about 3,000 lbs, so puts up some resistance, when towing. The cows like standing in its shade, even on an overcast or cool day. We place it above a patch of weeds to be trampled or bare ground to be fertilized. It is a rather surgical tool for refined pasture renovation, while providing shade for livestock. We will learn more and keep you apprised.

New laying hens arrived yesterday from eastern Pennsylvania. They are a cross between Rhode Island Reds and White Leghorns. They are pullets with untrimmed beaks so they can forage in grass, though at this juncture know nothing about grass and mobile coops. We are teaching and they are learning and vice versa. Guard-dog, Coquie, took the winter off, since the coop sat stationery in the barn, and is now thankfully back on-duty. 

The morels showed up! A glorious plate-full, some from under the pine tree behind the kitchen and others from deep in the woods. The recent cool damp weather has provided perfect conditions for them. Susan sautees them in butter and adds a little cream and wine, but nothing more. They offer such a rich, quiet, deep flavor. One truly feels they are a food of the gods, when partaking of their essence. What privilege the gods share with us periodically.

Our Farm Tour is just a few weeks away, on Saturday May 13. Sign up, and bring your mother for an outing, so she can witness the beautiful verdant valley from which your grassfed foods come.

Beth & Bob will be at Findlay Market on Saturday and Sunday this weekend. Susan & I will be at Hyde Park on Sunday.

May the colors of hope arise in our eyes,

Drausin & Susan