Celebrating What Our Farm (and We) Stand For

The last few months have been eye opening, on pretty much every level possible.  You might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. I know that I am.  It feels important to acknowledge this.  I read lots of emails from success coaches and trainers and business builders and farmer types and various others.  Many have just kept sending emails as if things weren’t challenging and unprecedented out there. As if we could ignore the world and just keep moving forward.

We can’t ignore the world. We shouldn’t. I hope that you are taking the time to pause and accept that this is a tough moment in time for us all.  People are hurting, and people are scared. People are marching and people are dying.  The world is changing—has changed—and it’s important to take the time to stop and notice. Whew. Let’s take a breath together. Again.  Whew.

We can choose to act out of love or fear. We choose LOVE. Love is what we stand for.

At Howling Wolf Farm, we will keep moving forward, together, to build and celebrate the world we want to see.  In May, we saw more than 30 of you as you came to buy out all the pork we had available.  Your generosity allowed us to send a whole pig (in sausage form) to the Randolph Food Shelf to feed others in our community. What an expression of LOVE! Those pigs were processed and packaged at a locally-owned plant in our town that has blessedly been able to stay open and doing its work at a time when parts of the food supply chain have been interrupted all over the country.

So what did we do after our whole year’s worth of pigs were sold?  We bought more, so we could feed you our Farm Family, with love,  this winter. These are piglets from the conventional pork world, which we are honored to give a loving, outside life, and a happy home before they fill our collective freezers.

Somehow it’s suddenly summer and as soon as the pork shipped out, the lambs arrived! Our experiment to shift lambing later seems to be working very nicely, with about half of the lambs born out on pasture. Many started tasting pasture plants next to their moms on their first or second day, and all are strong and healthy and growing fast.  If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that a big part of *how* we protect the White River Watershed is through our land management with the sheep.  I’m so excited to see all the red clover and grasses coming in—like a colorful illustration of the land’s love for what we are doing.

Speaking of what love can create together—the yurt is now raised and weather tight!  We’ve got lots more to do to get it set up for guests (such as putting in the windows, getting the toilet and stove installed, and getting it furnished, but getting it out of the boxes and up on the platform was SUCH a huge step!  A thousand thank yous to the friends who helped put it up (Nathaniel, Jon, Bruce, Todd, Emily, and my own Chris)! Thank you all so much for the words of encouragement and the faith in us. This could NOT have happened without you!

In Farm Meats news, we are just a couple of weeks away from having bacon and lamb back in stock (while supplies last!).  If you are interested in reserving some bacon or lamb, OR putting a deposit down on a whole/half pig or a whole sheep, please email me sooner than later.  I am coming to find that selling out of product is easier these days than it has been in the past.  No complaints on my side, but I do encourage you to jump sooner than later!

And finally, it has felt like our expressions of love for others needed to GROW, not shrink, in these times. 

We are planning to send another sausage-pig to the Randolph Food Shelf (a donation in any amount through our Crowdfund-A-Pig campaign will go toward the purchase, feed and processing costs of the pig—I waive my time, overhead costs and profit). The Food Shelf folks wrote just the nicest note about the generosity (of YOU!), and they were very, very grateful.  Let’s do it again!

In response to the national wave of awareness and action in support of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, we (Chris and I) have become monthly Patreon supporters of the Northeast Farmers of Color (NEFOC) Land Trust. This organization helps BIPOC farmers access land, which has been challenging and often impossible through the public and private lending and farm support systems, and a long history interfering with BIPOC land ownership.  Knowing how much of a challenge it was for us to get here to our patch of the beautiful world, we want to do whatever we can to help other farmers overcome these obstacles.  We need more farmers in this world, not less.  If this issue resonates with you, I encourage you to become Patreon supporters, as well.

The truth is that COVID knocked me back a bit. I won’t deny it.  Maybe you’re feeling the same way. And the way forward to create the world we want seems extra hard with all the things going on.  But maybe it’s not as hard as we think.

Maybe we just need to keep taking the next step forward, one after the other and finding moments, tiny and large, to find Joy and Love wherever we can.

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