Upcoming Events
No events found.
<< Back to main

Fires, Tsunamis, and Helping Hands

Posted 3/16/2011 1:42pm by Julie Hurst / Roy Brubaker.

This week feels particularly heavy.  I don't think it is the farm that has sobered my mood -- the animals are actually seeming pretty manageable at the moment, lambing and calving is still a couple weeks away -- rather it is news of devastation near and far that reminds me how fragile life as we know it is.   Just south of us in Perry county a farm family is facing the loss of seven children in a fast moving house fire.  Seven children.  One doesn't have to be a parent to feel the weight of such a loss.  And then there is Japan.  Need I say more?  Only a catastrophe on such a scale could turn our attention from the atrocities of the madman in Libya against his own people.  There are times it takes some effort to feel like the world is not simply unraveling before our eyes.  Thich Nhat Hanh responds to the events in Japan with these words,  "...An event such as this reminds us of the impermanent nature of our lives. It helps us remember that what's most important is to love each other, to be there for each other, and to treasure each moment we have that we are alive. This is the best that we can do for those who have died: we can live in such a way that they continue, beautifully, in us."  

Last Friday Pete came to shear the sheep.  Thanks to help from Dave and Adam, Village Acres' CSA manager and crop manager respectively, we were able to get the sheep in the barn before the rain came and soaked their wool.  Dave and Adam finished the back-breaking task of cleaning out the sheep pen of three-years worth of hay and manure, making it much easier to work the sheep through the chute.  Roy worked several evenings till 11 pm and I picked away at it several mornings, but without the help of the guys, we'd have never completed the task before the rain.  I was especially impressed with their enthusiasm for moving the sheep into the barn.  Honestly, I was a little frightened.  I had been called out on a substitute teaching job and wasn't really sure they were up to the challenge.  (You might remember I've had my own ordeals with escaped sheep.)  But at 2pm I got a call from Dave that all was well -- the sheep were in the barn, dry and cozy, and shortly after it began to rain.   Perfect. 

Shearing went smoothly too.  Dave and Steve were on hand to help us keep wooly sheep in front of Pete and collect and bag the wool afterward. 

And Saturday I had a great market day in D.C. while Frances and Riley had a very memorable day in Hershey with Roy's sister Deb, her friend Hannah and her kids.

And I left the weaned piglets out into the chicken run on Monday and they've been rooting, running, and just entertaining me ever since.

Small joys in the face of large sadness.  Look around, perhaps you'll see some too.