Friday, 26 October 2012

Grace like Rain?

When hopes and dreams come dashing to a halt,
Father, you tell us ‘be the light and be the salt’,
You tell us ‘help the poor, the fatherless and orphan’,
We seek to help but Father, why won’t you let us go?
Our world turned upside down,
 our thoughts seemingly bound
You are the one who heals the broken hearted
You guide our paths and love us while we’re parted
I don’t know why you made the things the way they are
Some days I’m fainting, I just need the strength to stand and breath
Things are so hard
Yet through the sorrow, you show us yourself
Through the sorrow you are more beautiful
We find your face when we’re facing hardship
When our dreams come falling down
You are here, and all around
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did you leave us on our own
Father, grace like rain is coming down.

Dedicated to my beautiful sister, Londa

English Vintner

Monday, 8 October 2012

There is Love

Don’t point the fingers and call out the blame
Learn to love your brother when he’s living in shame
Maybe he’s doing wrong and he’s not in the right
But who are you and I to jump into a fight?
All we can do is hope and pray for God’s mercy and his love
Praying for the blind to see, you are the King above

English Vintner

Thursday, 4 October 2012


My time draws to an end here at the farm. The anticipation to leave wanes the closer it gets. The closer I get to know the people here, and the more I appreciate everything here. My experience here has been one of growing, both in knowledge of farming and in my spiritual life and the whole ‘growing up’. I’m still referred to as a ‘boy’ and I started to get a little annoyed but then thought, isn’t that what I still want to be? Why should I push to become a man, it ‘happens’ soon enough. I don’t want to loose my humor, my wit (did I ever have one?) the stuff I do as a ‘boy’ I still want to do as a ‘man’. I don’t want to become a serious man who now does manly things, but rather a man who still embraces life full on, enjoys life, lives for Christ, and knows how to have a good time and crack jokes. I don’t want to have a dramatic change from boy to man, I believe you can maintain responsibility and humor at the same time. 

I’ve learned a lot here, about myself. A little more who I am, what I want to be, and how I want to be when around others. I’m going to miss this life here. Sure it’s hard work, sure at times you don’t want to do it, but you have to, you don’t have a choice. When you’re working with animals you have chores you do them twice a day or your animals die. That’s life on a farm, you will be tied down it’s a commitment, and you have to be ready to do it. You can’t be gone for more than 12 hours at a time because chickens need feeding, goats need milking, pigs are hungry. But it’s good honest work, you can see the immediate results of what you do. You plants seeds, you see them sprout, you harvest your vegetables and see the result after they’ve been in the kitchen with a chef for an hour. You taste what you grow, life and food have more meaning. I’ve noticed that when I started milking the goats. It meant more to me when I had to milk the goats, I had to milk in order to drink or use the milk. I could see the result of milking. Same with vegetables. You see the progress of a small little transplant and in six weeks it has leaves 16 inches long and you’re harvesting the leaves and eating them. You see the pigs born and raised and eventually taken to the butcher and then you eat the meat. You see life from beginning to end on a farm, it’s not a meaningless box on a shelf that you heat up in a microwave, where you’re so distanced from your food you don’t know what a chicken looks like. You see the immediate results of what you do, that is farming. I like that, it brings more meaning to what you eat. Are you willing to kill the chicken in order to eat? For one to live another must die. I don’t enjoy killing animals, I respect the animals, but I will kill them in order to eat them. This is life here on this side of heaven

I’ve lived here long enough that it is familiar enough to feel like another home. The surrounding area I’ve grown accustomed to and I’ve spent so many hours all around the farm.

Today I saw a hawk try to carry off a chicken unsuccessfully, it was a first. The turkey has finally gotten bold enough to try and attack me more than once. The geese are now annoying enough for me to want them for Christmas, they squawk so loudly you have to yell to be heard when you are within talking distance of someone. The pigs are growing so fast almost a pound a day. The chickens are laying well again (have you ever seen a chicken lay an egg?). The goats, I’ve learned to tame them (have you ever tasted it fresh from the teet?). I can move the cows from paddock to paddock (ever been charged by a cow, or knocked over?). I’ve learned to make the most of what you have on hand, to make do with what you have. Whatever is growing is what’s going to be cooking. 

So here I sit, quarter till 9pm. Eggplant Parmesan in the making, been in the works since this afternoon. It was the first time Jether made it, and he had to make sourdough bread for bread crumbs, and he’s not as fast a cook as me. I have two more days here and then I’m home. I’m ready to be home though, I have plans for a coffee CSC (Consumer Supported Coffee) and a vegetables CSA when I get back. I am ready to work in my own garden and be home, with my family. I’m ready for the normal life though, I feel kind of like Sam at Rivendell, I’ve seen the Elves, I’ve had my adventures, but now I’m ready to go home now. I’m ready to go on, as Sam was, but I’m glad I’m going home and don’t have a journey as hard as Sam’s ahead of me, at least not yet. He was a brave one, Sam, wasn’t he dad? Oh yes he was son, a braver hobbit you’ll never find.

English Vintner

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Early Mornings

I am riding in the car with Jether driving back from Baltimore. 6:45am, we’ve both been up for over 3 hours after going to bed close to 11pm. Last night while we were talking with Greg I asked him how he was getting to the airport because I was curious, he said he was probably getting a taxi because he had to leave at 4am and didn’t think we’d want to take him. I wasn’t that interested but Jether said he was willing to do it. We found out the airport was in Baltimore and Jether called his Aunt Phyllis and asked if they would be up around 5:30 tomorrow for us to pick up beer stuff. She said they usually get up around that time on Tuesdays so that would work out fine. We went to bed after some gazpacho and we’d sampled an organic gluten free beer. 

I woke up at 3:30am less then 5 hours after going to bed. Jether tied the leg of the turkey to the wall so that it could freely move around the pen we’d put it in so we could humanly keep it from eating until butcher time. I respect animals, more so than a lot of people I know. I respectfully understand that we must eat them in order to live and maintain good health, and I don’t take it for granted that we have to kill a living creature in order to eat. We should respect animals, but God gave them to us for eating and I believe it is hard to maintain good health without a healthy diet of animal relating foods; eggs, milk, meat, fat, etc. A strictly vegetarian diet is not very healthy. We will butcher the turkey this morning after picking for CSA. We caught the turkey yesterday (it gave me a nice gash on my wrist when I caught it) and put it underneath the barn in a pen so that it would have about 24 hours without food for the gizzard wouldn’t be so messy.

I toasted some bread and brewed the last of my joe that I had. I only drink my own stuff. I don’t think I could get addicted to coffee because I will only drink fresh roasted, I will not drink Maxswill, or other brands. I just won’t. I am dedicated to the flavor not the caffeine. I brewed it and poured it into my travel mug, a stainless steel one I picked up off the side of the road, much better than plastic. Greg came down at 3:45am and we told him I wanted to go to help with directions. We left at 4am to go the airport, Greg driving. We talked some about my starting a CSA and my potential job in CA, and then about Rocklands Farm. It was good, I’m glad I could go and talk with him one last time and say good bye. He’s a really cool guy. We dropped him off at the airport and headed north about 12 miles to Jether’s Uncle Paul’s house. We arrived at around 5:50am, picked up the equipment. It made me want to make beer when I get back. We left at around 6:15am and headed back. We got a little bit lost with it being Baltimore and changing names and jazz, but with one person with a map to look at and one person driving it made it much easier. Jether was glad I came with him for the sake of directions. 

Just four more days here at the farm. The work load is going to be pretty good and not a whole lot of spare time. Jether’s planning to order seeds to my house and I’ll get a little bit as well. 

English Vintner