News from Blue Rock Station:
The snow is piled high against the house and it seems hard to believe that in just a few days it will be March. The worst of winter will surely be over. We shouldn’t complain, however, as there’s been an abundance of sunshine this winter season. The sunshine does make extra work for us, since we feel duty bound to keep the solar array clear of snow.
And if the end of February approaching isn’t exciting enough, there’s the release of Jay’s new book ASSEMBLING A SOLAR GENERATOR. That might not sound like best seller material (true, Steven King is probably not too worried), but we are pretty thrilled with the idea that one small book has the power to help lots of folks create a solar collector in a box they can haul around their house when the electricity is out. Or when they need power outdoors, or they just want to challenge themselves to use less… all that and odorless, quiet and dependable. Check it out at our website, www.bluerockstation.com
A reporter from the FARM AND DAIRY JOURNAL braved the snow and joined us for an afternoon a few days ago. Apparently they had held an editorial meeting and created a list of the most influential women in Ohio agricultural and I ended up on the short list. For the life of me I can’t imagine how that happened since I can think of at least a half a dozen women who should have knocked me down a peg or two on their list. Now I’m anxious to see what they write, since I’m sure I’m their new poster child for “liberal” women farm producers.
All of the discussion of women in agriculture got me to thinking that what we really need to do is to bring women farm producers together to see what we look like. There are more then 3,600 women farm producers in Ohio and yet we are apparently quite invisible. Shawn Fiegelist (City Folk’s Farm Shop) listened to my rant on this subject and now we’re going to put together a little summer farm tour to showcase women’s hard work in farming and homesteading. Perhaps something good is coming out of that afternoon with the FARM & DAIRY reporter after all.
Upcoming Workshops from Blue Rock Station:
The complete schedule for 2015 is, as always, posted at www.bluerockstation.com. To register for the courses at City Folks Farm Shop, visit their site at www.cityfolksfarmshop.com.
- February 28th-March 1st (and the next two weekends): Solar Installation Certification Class (Columbus OH) co-sponsored by Simply Living and City Folks Farm Shop. This is the same 5-day solar certification course, but broken into 3 weekend sessions for those who can’t take an entire week off. (SOLD OUT)
- March 7th: Cheese Making – Columbus at City Folks Farm Shop (just a couple of slots left)
- March 7th & 8th: (Columbus OH) Second Weekend Solar Installation certification class co-sponsored by Simply Living and City Folks Farm Shop
- March 14th: Goat College: Goats Hands-on Experience – Columbus at City Folks Farm Shop (sold out last month and only a couple of slots left)
- March 14th &15th: Third (final) weekend Solar Installation certification class co-sponsored by Simply Living and City Folks Farm Shop
- March 17th: Recycling in the Garden – Columbus at City Folks Farm Shop
- March 28th: Earthship and Sustainable Farm Tour (Spring Equinox)
- March 29th: Goat College at Blue Rock Station – a full day of goat school, lunch and a little cheese making
There’s a heaven for goats and Eleonore Rigby is eating everything in sight. And no doubt she has pushed the pearly gates open to check out the grass on the other side.
On Saturday I left the OEFFA conference early because I felt like I just had to get home. When we arrived, Eleonore was waiting by the barn wall beckoning me to hurry to do chores. I led her into the barn with her feed, and she fell to her knees. As she ate, I managed to get a heavy vest on her to help her stay warm. But when I cam back with some water, it was clear she had decided she was ready to leave Blue Rock Station Green Living Center.
I settled her on the hay and covered her with more vests and got some water into her. She closed her eyes and rested. For a while I laid down with her as the bitter wind blew outside of the stall, and I kissed her nose each time she opened her eyes to look at me. Her children and grandchildren came to say goodbye and give me courage with their nudges, and then she left me.
At the beginning of the winter I told her that if she was going to die this year, could she please do it by going to sleep and not waking up, rather than by getting sick (she was 13 years old , which is ancient for a goat). I am glad she honored my request. I am also grateful for all of the years she taught me about goats.
Just last week she snuck into the milk room to see me, nudging me, then licking her lips to tell me in her own regal way that she wanted to eat. I kissed her on the nose that day and thanked her for teaching me so many things in this life. Just a reminder, which goats are good at, that it’s never good to miss an opportunity to be grateful, no matter what the situation. She may be gone, but she is still with me …she will always be with me. True friends are forever.
Words that Guided:
Just for today, I will remember to be grateful for the smallest moments…thank you Eleonore Rigby for reminding me .
Kindest Regards, Annie