Life’s Treadmill
June 17, 2022, 7:35 am
Filed under: June 2022 | Tags: , , , , ,

June 17, 2022

I built this little amusement ride for our hens. This flock of young pullets sit on it and even take it for a spin now and then. Our old flock were afraid of the strange contraption made from a bicycle wheel. The new gals however see it as a challenge and something to do.

Once in a while, we all find ourselves on life’s treadmill, just grinding away each day as if stuck in a rut. This is when we need to stop, take a look around us and just be thankful. When we pause, if only for a few minutes, things become clearer. Our focus will shift away from ourselves and the mundane. We can reflect on others and their problems and accomplishments.

This is graduation open house season. We are offered a chance to congratulate a young person and offer suggestion and guidance. They are about to embark on their life’s journey. Some young folks will have a plan all worked out. Others will have no idea where they are headed, they just know they are headed away from the status quo. Away from mom and dad and childhood responsibilities, where life offers freedom. All of us fit into one of those categories.

I remember having big plans. I remember running towards freedom with those big plans, hopes and dreams. I remember too getting smacked in the face with bigger responsibilities and reality. I floundered for a bit. I dug myself out. I hurt a few people along the way. I finally discovered what I had probably always known, life for me, needs to be simple.

By simple, I mean without glitz and glamour. I don’t need, nor do I want, late nights in the big city, people pushing and shoving me literally or figuratively. I thrive on peace, contentment and perhaps the mundane. I enjoy this life of farming, being surrounded by nature and all of its wonder. There is beauty everywhere that I look. We need to remember that when we pause, God speaks to our hearts. Our hearts will let us know if we are doing the right things, hanging out with the right people or following the right dream.

The Bible tells us that “Man plans his way, but God directs his steps.” It took me a while to understand this and even longer to go with what my heart told me. I was stubborn and willful thinking that I was in charge of my destiny. I plunged into what I thought were great plans. I pushed myself hard, right up against the brick wall of life, but then thankfully, I paused. It all became crystal clear.

As I rest in the barn listening to the animals chew, or sit on the seat of the plow and listen to birds singing I realize that this is what I was born to do. I was made to steward the land, care for animals and share my experiences with others. I help them learn. I offer suggestion based upon my experiences. I nurture, I care and I am filled with peace.

As you talk with the young men and women over a piece of graduation cake, listen to them and share with them. Listen to the excitement in their voices and share what you know. Planting seeds of encouragement will go a long way. You never know just how far your kind words may take someone. Like a ripple on a pond, the little wave eventually reaches the other shore. Be the ripple in someone’s pond. Who knows, you may help them find the way off of life’s treadmill and on to the path of their true destiny.

Sod Waterway works even in Winter


December 30, 2016

The other evening while doing chores, I got to admire one of my farming practices. This little intermittent stream winds its way through my recently planted speltz field. I was careful when planting and doing the field preparation to keep this sensitive area intact. The grass, even this late in the year, filters any topsoil that might otherwise wash into the nearby watershed. This is good farm stewardship and I am proud to do it.

It is by paying attention to small details that makes good economic sense. My soil stays where in belongs. The nutrients also stay with the newly planted crop instead of washing into the stream that makes up the eastern border of our farm. It is also pretty to look at any time of year. The bright green of the fresh grass against the newly fallen snow, brightens our landscape. So we reap the benefits of good crops, a great view and that of being a good steward.

I suggest putting environmental concerns at the top of your list as a small farmer, land owner or caretaker. The rewards will last long after you are gone from this Earth. The effects of good stewardship benefit people unknown to you , as well as, your closest neighbors. Best of all, your farm and your bottom line will reflect your efforts.

November 6, 2015, 9:23 pm
Filed under: November 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,

Protecting a stream bed

Protecting a stream bed

November 6, 2015

In my off farm job, I provide a buffer from upper management to the workforce. I have been in that job for a very long time. It is an important function to be the one who keeps communication flowing up, as well as down. It is a rough spot sometimes when each side gets frustrated with the other. I really feel the squeeze now and then. Lucky for me I have this farm to relieve my stress, heal my mind and settle my soul. In fact, I think it’s good for all of us  😮

When I think about buffering, I think more about how to reduce the impact of farming on the environment. My farming is small compared to some, but my farming practices are just as important. I want to be a good steward to my animals, but also to the land and especially the water. Erosion, even in a small way, is a problem that needs ample consideration…if you don’t think so, read about the dust bowl of the 1930’s.

I also want my dollars to stay on the fields where I put them, instead of running off into a nearby stream. I don’t buy much fertilizer, but I still want it to feed the crop and not the algae in the water! I also don’t want to fill my farm ponds in with mud and silt. I want the woodland streams that traverse my farm to be clean and healthy. I feel it is my job to protect what I have been given to use. Let’s be real, it is only mine for a short time. I will pass, but hopefully, my ideals will live on, in the minds and practices of my children and grandchildren.

If each of us does just a little part to protect the land, the water and each other. Our world will continue to be a pretty darn good place to live. Ask yourself, “What can I do better?” It may be simple like holding a door, picking up some trash or offering a sad person a smile. I guarantee you will feel better. In the end, isn’t that what life is about? Feeling good, doing good and setting an example for those in line behind us, is a way of buffering our impact upon this world….it’s the little things that matter.