Passion usually accompanies success.

It takes a lot of heart to live passionately, for passion can be an unruly companion. Mistakes are made and energy expended prematurely, but living with a fully engaged heart is self-renewing in many ways. It enables one to persist through the unreasonable, adverse, and unexpected. A full heart is the source of courage, which is called upon to achieve any degree of success in so many ventures in life. 

It is central to long journeys, like: marriage, child rearing, elder care, entrepreneuring, pursuing a unique vision, or enduring physical or mental illness. Those long-distance runners we witness certainly possess finesse, but even more they possess heart. How do they continually push themselves through grueling thresholds of pain? By reaching into the only bottomless well they have - their endless desire to go forward, coming from deep within.

Life on the farm requires depth of heart. We are always wrestling with adverse weather and systems coming undone. Once the water system is secured in one area, it leaks in another. Once the fence is hot for the hogs, it becomes cold for the sheep. Once the weather cooperates, it changes. Healthy animals injure themselves and some die, despite heroic efforts. Machinery acts fickle. Marketing of products is a constant mystery, as consumer demand is unpredictable, resulting in way too much product on-hand at one time and way too little at others. Whether it is 105 degrees or minus 50 degrees, animals must be attended to; there is no forgiveness. The soil evolves at too slow a pace. The song in our heads is ever changing. Resources are always thin, all of one's money is called upon, days are long, weeks are short, fatigue is an issue, and vacation is more concept rather than reality...

It takes courage to step into all of this, to persist, not to give up, to have faith in the long run, to love it despite and because of the challenge. One's heart launches this journey and mysteriously expands to maintain precious momentum. That is the marvel - the ever-expanding heart, for it carries us forward like wings of the dove. It is one of the strands of life upon which we depend.

Our newest member of the farm is Coquie. She is a Great Pyrennee guard dog, who is 3 months old, and is being trained to bond with chickens. We have begun losing fowl to coyotes, despite electric fencing. So, now we add another layer of protection, as we do with sheep. Our other guard dogs, however, are not eligible, as they are not bonded to poultry, and would see them more as feed than friend. Her name is derived from Coque au Vin, as discerned by our resident chef.

Speaking of the resident chef, Susan has on-hand for you exalted, grassfed, Bolognese Sauce, as displayed on the left. It has been said that such is one of the Roman Empire's greatest contributions to western civilization! And indeed it is - so smooth and elegant, accompanied with rice, noodles, or lasagna.

Grassfed chili is on the right - a rich and deep meal in itself, dense with vitalizing ingredients of beans, tomatoes, garlic, and hominy.

We will have both in tow this Sunday, 1/10, at Clark Montessori (3030 Erie Ave, 10-1), and look forward to seeing you then.

On-line ordering for delivery to East Hyde Park on Wednesday Jan. 20 is available at:

With full heart,

Drausin & Susan