This firepit was made by Jocko, whom the gods recently claimed for their own.
Jocko worked with steel and was able to impart to it an uncommon lightness of being. That fire pit weighs close to 100 lbs, but it looks like it weighs no more than five. What grace and perfection it displays, as it dances in the air. Jocko had an eye for aesthetic and practical possibilities within basic elements. He could turn logs, stones, and sheets of metal into sensual artifacts of beauty. In that sense, he saw himself within the world of nature, where he found his inspiration. His most commercially known product was his mailbox, of which we have four at our farm. It is perhaps the perfect mailbox - simple, strong, balanced, and beautiful... And we have two of his fire pits.
Jocko was a big man, who claimed life in a large way. His hands were thick and rough, his smile broad, his mind curious, his sense of irreverence in tact, his heart open, and his impulses strong. He called out the story as it was, not adhering to many protocols. He was a colorful and strong character, who shaped life at his margin by being true to an inner voice. He resisted common inertia, and thus actively contributed a creative hand at improving the lot of life.
I share these reflections because his spirit is part of our farm. His mailboxes and firepits have brought us daily greetings and restorative glowing embers for decades. He has always been a quiet member of our community. We feel his parting thoroughly, and send deepest condolences to his wife, Jenny - a woman of infinite grace.
What is "chicken feed" for some is darn good eating for others. Our hens keep moving forward onto lush blocks of clover and grass, rendering orange yolks.
This striking locust tree is one I pass multiple times a day every day every year, but I saw it for the first time only yesterday. We have many trees on our farm, but this might best represent the tree of life. It must be six feet around at the base, and once sported towering pillars of locust trunk. Those pillars succumbed to the ravages of time and now lie decomposing at its base. New branches have emerged in their place, and in full symmetry, to generate ongoing promise for this ancient tree. It stands as the perfect metaphor for cycles of life and death, always unfolding on a farm.
Our experiment with lamb bacon seems to be a success. We sold out of it last week, and will make more next time we harvest lambs, which will be in several weeks. Another new product we are trying is "Beef Sticks", a variation on beef jerky, only more moist and easier on the jaw. If you are interested in trying some, let us know and we will give you a sample gratis to gain feedback and gauge interest in the product.
This was last Sunday's dinner. Susan rendered a smoked capon into chicken salad, by mixing the meat with her French mayonnaise. It was rich and delicious, with a slightly exotic accent, due to the smoked flavor. Also in the picture are Mancino greenbeans, Jim's tomatoes, Eduardo's cheese, Mac's corn, and our devilled eggs. What an outstanding summer meal.
We look forward to seeing you this weekend at Findlay Market on Saturday and Sunday, Hyde Park on Sunday, and Blue Ash on Wednesday.
May daily greetings and glowing embers bless us all,
Drausin & Susan