Sunday, April 10, 2011

Of Scythes and Sheep

So a snath and blade arrived a little over a week ago - together a "scythe." In order to get the hang of it I've mown the back lawn and a swath in the orchard. I have used the fresh cut to feed my rams - they seem happy enough with it as they have now little to forage on in the current enclosure they are in.

Yet another quite cold Spring - very wet with over 7 inches of rain last month alone and we continue to struggle to get even a couple of days in the upper 50s. As a result the grass in the pastures has been slow to come on, alas. I worry that we'll jump from that to an excessively hot summer - putting the grass into heat dormancy before we can get a good 3 months grazing out of it. We'll see.

The scythe is a good tool for the 2 acres or so of productive grass growing land we have. It can reach corners where even my small tractor can't get into, and rather than mulching the mown grass it lays it over into windrows and thus we can make hay rather simply and easily when desired. It requires little strength, is quiet, and needs no gasoline. I suspect you could manage easily 5 or more acres of pastureland/hayland with two good hands experienced with a scythe. With a little better management I could probably put up a fair amount of loose hay for the Fall period and only have to buy winter feed farther into November for the breeding stock, to last until about March 1.

This year I need to manage slaughter and sales so that I can do breeding a little earlier and push lambing into late Feb. This will reduce Fall feed purchasing and impact to the land and get the timing right for the new lambs in Spring for our usual grass production.

Friday, April 08, 2011

For Those Who are Far Off

I was much edified to be able to attend the reading of story of Abba Zosimas and St. Mary of Egypt, together with the service of the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete.

I was reminded of the publican, standing far off, casting his eyes to the ground - and of the words of St. Paul regarding those who were "far off" - the Gentiles - being drawn near to the Presence by the blood of Jesus Christ, and being made one body with those near, through the cross. See Eph. 2.

Tonight the Akathist will be sung in full.

Much is happening in the world - thievery and war; poisoning of earth, sky and water.

But there is only this One Truth.

- Pax