Saturday, June 27, 2009

Brief Update

Update: Commenter Jim D. suggested I put some more info on my pigs for sale up here, so here it goes: These guys were born on 4/24/09. They are Hampshire-Yorkshire crosses (both sire and dame were prize-winners at last year's SC State Fair.) Right now I have 3 Barrows (cut males) and 3 gilts (females) for sale. They are pushing 45-50 pounds. Pictured are a sampling. These are $35 now, but as they bigger they will get more expensive. (Figure about 1 more week at this price.)

We have two litters due in July (ready for sale in late August/early September.) One litter is also a Hamp-York cross. The other is a Hamp-Duroc-York cross.

If you are interested in any, send me an email (link on the right sidebar.) We are in Bethune (Kershaw County) SC.

Sold two piglets yesterday .... several more to go. Moved some pigs today, trying to keep them on fresh ground and some greenery, and have to get the farrowing pen refreshed. We have two litters coming in July.

Dusted my peanuts with gypsum on Thursday. It's been pretty hot out here for outside work, but we did get the garden back in some sort of shape this morning.

Been getting about 4.5 gallons a day from our Jersey. The calf gets some; we make butter; we drink about 2-3 gallons a day. The extra goes to the pigs.

Have been reluctant to comment on Mark Sanford. I was sorely disappointed in him, but I should be old enough to know by now that you can't put too high hopes in mere mortals-especially politicians. Still Mr. Sanford seemed different. Not popular among Dems nor among many Republicans, he seemed to be principled no matter what the cost-I guess only on some things. The family needs prayers. (Boy this society takes it toll on families.)

Back to work...thanks for stopping by.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

From an interview with Bob Waldrop yesterday on CatholicExchange :

Waldrop:I get a lot of plastic grocery bags left at my office door at church with four cans of green beans in them. And I am grateful for each can of green beans that someone gives. But I often wish that they would expand their horizons a bit and give something that they themselves would like to eat, OR at least something highly nutritious and often scarce at food pantries like powdered or canned milk, canned meats, and peanut butter. One of the things on my list of things to do is to organize home bread bakers who would bake bread for the poor. Another thing that we rarely if ever get is fresh vegetables. Home gardeners can plant an extra row or bed or two or three for the poor, and that’s a great gift.

If we wanted to think really radical, parishes and dioceses could actually buy farms and ranches, and operate them for the purpose of raising and producing food for the poor. We could have our own canneries and produce a line of canned goods for the poor — “St. Joseph’s”. The Mormons do this, internationally, and I always think that if the Mormons could figure this out, so could us Catholics. The Mormons know that the value of something like this goes far beyond the actual production of the food item. It might actually be cheaper for them to just go into the regular wholesale trade and buy all that food, but actually producing it themselves promotes solidarity.

hmmmm. (Read the rest here )

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In our last post-it seems eons ago, I paraphrased a point in The Way by Saint Josemaria Escriva on successes and failures. I received correspondence from a dear friend pointing out that my paraphrase isn't exactly true. Of course I can't lay my hands on my copy of The Way this morning (I had last week), but I did find a website with all his writings. Perhaps this is what I was thinking of:

Make this firm and determined resolution: to recall, when you receive honours and praise, all that brings a blush of shame to your cheek.The shame is yours; the praise and glory, God's. - The Way #252

In any event, my correspondent pointed out that God is with us in our failures and that sometimes a failure is not what it seems. Further we can only succeed if we cooperate with God's grace. (I AM paraphrasing the correspondent.)

All true. I guess was looking at it in another context: Some people will take credit for the rain, but blame God when they flunk a test they didn't study for.

Of course, point #252 really isn't about either. It is about giving God his due.


Finally, I have been meaning to write about this for a couple weeks. I walk around with shirts having a dirty left shoulder, from milking-that is I lean on Mabel (our Jersey) with my left shoulder. If I milk in the same shirt multiple times, the stain becomes permanent. Another aspect of life I never contemplated before.....

And, I didn't want to let yesterday's feast of my favorite saint, Thomas More, go by unnoticed. I have often wondered at the fact he didn't remove his hair shirt until a day or two before his execution, and then only because he didn't want it found on him, preferring this penance to remain anonymous; this after more than a year in prison. That's a man!

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

So, I am picking our first batch of green beans yesterday. (Last year we pick 4-yes 4-beans). I am reviewing the great zucchini, the moderately successful peas and spinach, spring collards, and everything. And I think to myself, "I finally did it!" But just as quickly, I checked that thought. My past failures were so proximate, I knew that I hadn't really done it. God had done it. He has blessed us with plentiful rain so far. He has blessed me with the land and animals and thus the manure to put on the land. St. Josemaria Escriva wrote in the The Way (somewhere)-paraphrasing: "Your successes are God's. Your failures are your own."


I leave you with another interesting picture of yours truly ....

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

When Mrs. Curley and I were a young couple with a young family we experienced often something I rarely understood. Here and there an older couple (usually having grown children) would sort of 'adopt us'. These were always great people; we enjoyed some wonderful friendships and times, but I never really understood why they adopted us. Yeh, our kids were cute, but ....

This past Sunday I think I sort of figured it out. A young couple were getting their first child baptized at Sunday Mass. They actually aren't parishioners; the young man's parents are, but he is in the service and on leave. They were so clean cut and so young, so much energy, and obviously so much love for that baby. My heart (even though I still have my own at home, but no infants) went out to them like it never has before.

Maybe I am just getting old and sentimental.


Swiss Chard is in. Mrs. Curley cooked it in macaroni, cheese and sausage last night... delicious. The other day I was picking zucchini and I saw what I thought was a huge weed growing out of the garden. I picked it ... a huge radish, pictured here.

Finally, our first litter of piglets go on sale Thursday this week.

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The one who speaks is to deliver God's message. - 1 Peter 10

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Scarcity due to long working hours .... Cut my first piglets yesterday. Not my favorite job, but I got the hang of it after a doing a few. Now to sell some....

Great celebration on Saturday. We had Guinness in the house after a long respite. More importantly some friends from out of town stopped by for a too brief visit on their way through SC (bearing the Guinness). I am sure Bethune was not on the original path, but we are grateful they stopped by to see the sights.

On tap: more fence building (for cows, pigs, and goats); I have to till in the peas and get my butter (lima) beans in this week; new portable pen for the turkeys (still have 12 surviving), and the general odd tasks.

Have another attempt at bacon going on (only one of about 8 batches has turned to my liking). Speaking of bacon, got to earn some.

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

It must seem weird to most folks. Here I exclaim over a pea plant yielding ... peas. I gush over our first zucchini off the vine.

Many, many people have gardens and do these things everyday-I am in awe of them. Everyday I learn something new and there are new challenges-like I am back in school.

Yesterday I went to town and picked up a couple bags of feed. Put them in the bed of my truck. Stopped to run another errand and it started to pour rain. No rain in the forecast, but here we were with cats and dogs coming down.

I transferred the feed to the cab and drove home excitedly. Sure the straw I had spread out would get wet again, but I was thinking of the peanuts we planted in our neighbors field on Friday and the beans we planted on Saturday (as well as the rest of the garden.)

It stopped raining as I got within a quarter mile to home. Not a drop at the homestead.

5 years ago I hated rain. Theoretically I knew we needed the periodic rain, but I had no use for it. Drought? It only bothered me if they rationed my water or limited open fires at campgrounds. Now I experience personally the greater purpose.

Was reading The Yeoman Farmer the other day, and he was writing about mistakes made when they first moved to the farm. (Boy just check out the archives here and you can read some whoopers!) One involved originally getting a milk cow, but later realizing that for them, goat's milk was a better choice. Funny how it is opposite for us. We bought a herd of goats to milk and it just never really worked. And us with only 2 acres, buy a milk cow, it looks pretty good.

Finally, I have a new nephew born in May: Boethius. (I read Boethius' 'Consolation of Philosophy' some years ago at the recommendation of the my nephew's father. I do also recommend it.)

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, June 01, 2009

It came to me as I watered the garden.

I am sure this is in no way original (in fact, it almost seems I posted something similar a few years back. But it struck me again this morning.)

Faith is believing that seeds mature into plants that give fruit.

Hope is the expectation, based on your faith, that the seed you plant will mature into plants that give fruit.

But this hope will be fruitless unless the seeds and plants are tended with love.

Farmer's philosopy?

Oremus pro invicem!