Friday, November 29, 2013

Farm Friday

The holidays are upon us.  It seems as if this year has zipped by at the speed of light.  Hanukkah started Wednesday night and Thanksgiving was yesterday.  It was an historic occurrence.  Hanukkah won't precede Thanksgiving again for 78,000 years!  Of course Christmas less than a month away and then there's the new year - 2014!

On the farm, we're wrapping up our CSA.  We made our last Monday deliveries and tomorrow will be our final Saturday ones.  We would be done with Thursday deliveries but for the holiday.  As long as the gardens hold out, we will still be making deliveries of special orders a couple of days a week.  Monday night, after our deliveries, we purchased 22 more chickens.  It seems that a predator (probably a hawk) has been slowing picking off our younger chickens so we needed to replace them to keep up with the demand for our eggs.  They're too young to lay eggs but, come springtime they'll start producing.
Photo: We have 22 new pullets (young hens) on the farm now, including this one.  Her friends are too camera shy to allow us good pictures yet.
Photo courtesy of awesome husband
Saturday was a hectic day for me.  First I  had a craft show to work, from 8-2.  After several years of poor sales, I was very pleased with the turnout and the sales.  This year I only sold aprons and my "therapy pillows" that you can use hot or cold.  Here's a blurry photo of my booth (wish I had taken more than one photo but I was in a hurry and had to deal with crowds coming between the camera and the booth):
It was a fun show and I got to catch up on the lives of family, friends, and acquaintances who stopped by to see me.  I also made some new friends - woman at the booth next to mine and the couple and their friend who were across from me.

After the show, I raced home to get ready for our second meeting of Piedmont Sustainable Living, which started at 5 (no nap for me!).  We had a smaller turnout due to scheduling conflicts for a lot of people but we also had some new attendees.  Several of us ended up talking until about 9 that night.  

I also decided to take a week off.  I believe this is the first time in four years of working for Danita's Children (either as a volunteer or as a staff member) that I have officially take time off.  I've been enjoying just relaxing and not thinking about the details of running the missions program.  I'm thinking I'll do the same thing Christmas week.

On Wednesday I went up to our farmhouse to get the juicer that I thrifted a number of years ago but never got around to using.  While it's not the proper type for juicing greens (it's a centrifugal juicer rather than a masticating one, the latter being much more expensive and harder to thrift), I managed to make it work for me and made my first green juice:

Given all the nutritious and chemical-free greens that we have on  the farm, I'm going to be doing more of this over the coming weeks.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, despite the fact that this is the first Thanksgiving that our children were not home.  Overall, it was a smaller crowd than usual since some family members have moved away and others had to work today.  But it was a delicious feast and we were grateful to be together.  This year we held Thanksgiving and Bill's grandfather's house (he's deceased but a family member now owns the home) which, until his grandmother passed away, was the traditional location for Thanksgiving for one branch of the family.  Here's a sampling of the homemade food:

Sadly, today is "Black Friday,"  the day when Americans, having spent a pleasant day being grateful for what we have, go on a shopping rampage.  I wonder what people from other countries and cultures must think of us.  Especially when there are advertisements like this:

And ugly scenes like this:
Seriously, this is what we do to honor the birth of Christ?  Guns and mob scenes?!  Here in the Bible buckle I constantly hear about how we're a Christian nation and how our faith and our observance of religious holidays are being "threatened."  However, given that the Pew Forum found that almost 80% of Americans identified as Christian, it seems that the threat comes from within.  What would happen if we all said "no," all 80% of us, and just stayed home today? And tomorrow?  And next week?  What if we opted out of the entire commercialization of the holiday and, instead, extended the gratitude that we expressed yesterday?  It would be revolutionary - and would not prevent us from observing the holiday. Somehow we - the Christians, not those other  people who "threaten our way of life" - have lost sight of what the season means.  Our words and our actions don't match.  If even half of the people who profess to be Christians stayed home, that would mean other families could also stay home with their loved ones.  And avoid a lot of the stress (and associated health problems) that commercialization has created.  If not us, then who?  Instead of fighting over "Happy Holidays" versus "Merry Christmas," maybe we should adopt the phrase, "Just Say No."

Today begins my new challenge.  For 120 days - until the Spring Equinox - I will not be buying anything new.  Although I've made a few exceptions (toiletries, underwear, shoes, etc.), I have decided to look to thrift and consignment shops when I need something.  By shopping this way, I avoid supporting systems that go against my beliefs. I won't support slave labor, contribute to environmental degradation, or participate in the runaway capitalism and materialism that has become our culture.  Besides, why should I jump into the madness when much of what people are buying (and fighting for) in the next few weeks will be found deeply discounted at the thrift shops immediately after Christmas?  That's how I got my juicer, and my bread machine, and...and...and...

Have a great weekend!

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