I hope you are all well and staying vigilant in this crisis. I wish I had some original insight to provide regarding the COVID-19 disease, but many others have already said it better than I: Practice good hygiene, avoid unnecessary interpersonal contact, prioritize care and resources for people with compromised immune systems, and don’t let fear guide you. As the quarantines begin to put a halt to many of our jobs and daily activities, many people are making the difficult choice to do their part in containing the virus – by staying home.
It feels wrong in a way, as a crisis usually calls for action, rather than the opposite. However, as far as communicable diseases are concerned, preventing yourself from getting infected and transmitting it to others goes a long way toward saving lives. I, for one, have been doing a stellar job of quarantining myself on the farm for the past two weeks – something for which I’ve been practicing the whole year. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the farm for days on end, not seeing another soul besides my housemates, Victoria, Mark, Esperanza (the dog) and Mapquest (the rabbit). Under usual circumstances, it can be isolating, but at the moment, it is quite the privilege. Very few people have access to wide open, outdoor spaces with no humans and plenty of interesting animals to keep them company. I do not take it for granted. Even so, under any circumstances, privilege or no, the act of social distance requires effort, and my hope for resuming regular social interaction requires patience.
Farming is often an exercise in patience. Three weeks ago, it became clear that one of our ewes, Theodora, was pregnant. Her udder characteristically dropped and swelled, and her belly grew along with it. We did not intend any pregnancies this year, keeping our rams and ewes totally isolated from each other. So, either this was an immaculate conception, or we left a gate open at one point along the way. We can’t know for sure. Either way, we began anticipating with joy the birth of at least one little jumping lamb this spring.
And three weeks later still we anticipate. Theodora seemed quite far along when we found out she was pregnant, and ever since then we’ve been saying, “Any day now. Be on the lookout.” But she just grows bigger, and continues to plod along and eat her cud. I envy her patience. Or perhaps it is the lamb who is patient. Maybe it was ready long ago, but it is waiting for the world to calm down before it breathes the air outside and joins the rest of the herd.
I would call it a smart lamb, to stay cocooned like that for now. Much as we may look forward to rejoining our human herd, for right now we’d better just learn the joys of anticipation, and the virtues of patience.
WHAT’S NEW THIS WEEK
For any of you who thought you might just do a normal shopping this week, only to find that people assume they will be cut off from food and have cleaned our region’s supermarkets out of chicken, meats, canned tuna, vegetables, and bottled water, among other things, it’s time to get resourceful. As predicted last week, small family farms may now be able to fill the food gap caused by supply dislocations in the pandemic. You can at least fill your protein needs with our frozen chicken, lamb and pork. We welcome your orders for these items, and for fresh dug horseradish, and for eggs, which continue to abound.
WHAT’S AVAILABLE THIS WEEK
Tiny hot matchbox peppers, $5.00 a string, dried and quite decorative.
Fresh dug horseradish root, $3/lb.
EGGS: $5/doz, $3/doz (fun size)
MEATS: We keep some on hand, but it helps to order ahead in case we need to retrieve from our stash in the big commercial freezer. See below.
GEESE: One remaining, about 8.5 lbs. $10/lb.
ROASTING CHICKENS – Nice fat Freedom Rangers, frozen, largish (4 to 7 lbs, a few smaller), $6/lb.
LAMB: Riblets $8/lb, small and larger leg roasts $14/lb, Ground lamb $7/lb, small loin chops, $14/lb.
PORK: Loin pork chops, $12/lb (2 to a pack, btwn 1 and 1.5 lbs),
Spare ribs and country ribs $7/lb
baby back ribs $8/lb
fresh ham roasts (2 to 3 lbs), $12/lb
smoked bacon, $12/lb
Email us your order at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let us know when you’d like to pick up your order. It will be put out for you on the side screened porch of the farmhouse (110 Lasher Ave., Germantown) in a bag. You can leave cash or a check in the now famous pineapple on the porch table. Regular pickup times are Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., other days by arrangement. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call at 518-537-3815 or email.