Friday, September 6, 2013

The Hummingbird, the Hatchet, and the Harvest

The other day Julia watched a beautiful little hummingbird fly in our front door and get his beak stuck in a window screen as he tried to escape back out. As he was releasing himself Julia snatched him up. We got an opportunity to see the creature up close before he flew off. What a treat. What a wonderfully made creature. This episode reminded me again of back in Bible College. One day when I was hanging out with Julia a bird flew into one of the conference rooms. It was panicked and flying into all the windows and without hesitation Julia pursued the poor soul scooping him up. As she released the bird, I thought, “Wow. This girl is amazing. I gotta marry this one.” I still feel that way.

As the summer season comes to its close we are putting by the year’s harvest. Julia has been processing greens, elderberries, apples, and amazing peaches from our wonderful tree next to the greenhouse. We’ve been loving our new bread oven too.

Work in the studio has been moving along regularly. It has been a challenge to balance all of the summer needs. This lifestyle is so incredibly seasonal… not only the gardening but this rural furniture conservation practice. A large number of the houses around here are occupied only during the summer months. That means when people are here… there are here. I’ve gotta be available. Repair to this corner that got smashed and weaving a new rush seat are examples of what has been taking up time in the studio.

Our meat birds are two weeks old now. They are no longer cute fluff balls. Now they’re odd looking eating machines. Yes, these are the Cornish Cross Frankenchickens. These birds have been successfully bred for meat production… almost too successful. These guys have had all the common sense bred out of them: you actually need to moderate their food or they will harm themselves with overeating. It is sad but as long as you act their common sense and take care of them they can live a good life.

Went to the famous Blue Hill Fair this weekend. We went for two things: the Monster Truck show and the Ferris wheel. The monsters trucks got rained out but Eden enjoyed the ferris wheel, driving the cars, and the carousel.

Since I have been working on our firewood, Eden felt he needed an axe too. I decided to make him a wooden hatchet. The head is maple dyed black and the handle is ash. He’s been loving it. It’s perfect for splitting cedar shingles for kindling. It’s pretty much good for nothing else except making Eden look manly.

Thursday morning we went to the rally in Bangor for Alorah Gellerson. DHHS has behaved disgracefully threatening to take her child because she fed her baby a homemade goat milk formula. Not on our peninsula. Never. I am so blessed to be a citizen of one of the Maine cities that has declared Food Sovereignty reaffirming our right to “produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of [our] choosing."

Here’s an article about Alorah’s situation: Penobscot Press article.

And if you aren’t already passionate about it learn about the Food Sovereignty Movement here: Documentary "You wanted to be a Farmer"


  1. I grew up on a farm, we ate our own beef, we ate our own chickens, we ate our own grain, I drank milk from the goat too. As a father and a farm kid I guarantee that goat milk formula has none of the processed garbage in it that premade packaged formula has. If her child is heathly then it cant be wrong. I quess that my opinion is just a drop in the bucket, but I stand behind it. Ryan

  2. Amen, Ryan. More people in the world drink raw goat's milk than people who drink pasteurized sterilized neutralized cow milk from MEGA-"farms". Staying small, local, and pure is key for sure!

  3. Wow! That up close hummingbird encounter is fantastic - and you married a bird whisperer. Glad to see your harvest is bountiful.

    I am right there with Ryan about farm life and child rearing. We milk our own, grow our own, cut our own, slaughter our own, bake our own, educate our own. Wish there was more time, we'd do more. It is good to know that we with experience and common sense, trust and faith are not alone.

    I heard a slogan the other day - "Legalize Milk". That quickly expresses my sentiments without getting me too worked up. I try to avoid the pessimism and suspicion that I used to feel about the health department, USDA, FDA, people who feel differently than I. Stories like Alorah's make that a challenge, but it is good to know what is going on. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I'm with you, Jason. It's encouraging to see you doing these things ahead of me. I am surrounded by a ton of people that have gone before me living this homesteading life. Our area is sort of unique in that respect.

    I like that "legalize milk" slogan. It's like the excellent Libertarian slogan "legalize freedom". Both great.

    I am optimistic about this situation. When pushed too hard people push back. This was seen in Alorah's case. The entire community was outraged. DHHS dropped the investigation and backed off. May we see more of this kind of success!