We are only as good as the people with whom we work and live.
Cole Hidy and Kathy Kipp bring strength and depth to our team. Kathy has served many roles for us over recent years, primarily as a good neighbor. She has also performed extensive work with Jacob Bartley in our wetlands, being quite a naturalist herself. This past winter, she provided invaluable assistance feeding animals and chasing down water-leaks. She is also handy with equipment and mechanical problems. There is not much she can't do.
Cole started with us on June 1 on a full-time basis. He brings extensive experience with border collies, sheep, and hogs, which is hard to find. He also knows beef cattle and is adept at plumbing repairs and equipment maintenance. Most of all, he is a great communicator and a hard worker, as is Kathy.
So, we are a group of silver foxes, creating a tag-team, so no one is overly burdened by physical demands. Our backs may not be as strong as those of coveted 30-year-olds, but, like the turtle, we win races through strategy rather than dash.
It is a privilege to have both Cole and Kathy buttressing the production side of our business. Beth and Bob do the same for processing and marketing. Susan and I feel fortunate to work with people of such high quality. They are gold and diamonds to the farm - its human treasury, without whom we can not deliver excellent product to customers. Human treasury represents the greatest wealth of all, for it is relationships that matter most, in the end.
Cole, Kathy, and I spent a hot Tuesday morning processing lambs - inserting eartags and "banding" the boys. It was satisfying both to work together so closely and to witness ewes and lambs at arm's length. With a few exceptions, the sheep are in great condition. The lamb-crop came in at 150% of mother ewes, which is good for pasture-lambing. Barn-lambing generates 180 - 190% yield, but comes with a higher cost of labor and feed. We aim for the low-cost system, and so have stayed with pasture-lambing.
In this era, when language is contracted, deconstructed, abbreviated, expedited, and driven from tradition by vernacular and technology, it is still noteworthy how one mere letter can change a word's content. In last week's newsletter, reference was made to "carmelized" onions. A gracious statement surfaced in response that one in fact "caramelizes" onions (with an "a"), to bring out sweetness, similar to the candy. "Carmelizing", in contrast, might render one a citizen of Carmel, an ancient city in Judea. Quite a difference, for which I was grateful to take note!
This is yet another reminder of the power of language, words, and spelling to deliver meaning. Once delivered, words can not be reclaimed, so it is prudent they be composed with integrity. If not, a chef wanting to cook onions in his kitchen may find himself, instead, bound to Israel on an airplane...
Omelettes make for a great weekly meal, as does "spatchcocked" chicken. Both poultry products are in their prime now, fed by fresh clover and green grass.
We will see you in the week ahead on Saturday at Findlay Market, on Sunday at Findlay and Hyde Park, and on Wednesday at Blue Ash.
May human treasury in our lives swell with abundance,
Drausin & Susan