if i had to pick a time to be injured it would be now. the girls are dry and require less attention. they spend their days telling stories around the hay feeder or lounging in the sun mesmerized by the beauty that is. my injury, a torn mensicus, was a result of shemaya the goat, our local movie star, running into my knee. this happened about six weeks ago and the pain never dissipated. after a few visits with the doctor he diagnosed my problem as a torn meniscus in my right knee. The menisci of the knee joint are two pads of cartilaginous tissue which serve to disperse friction in the knee joint between the lower leg (tibia) and the thigh (femur). (wikipedia). so now i sit in my living room healing from arthroscopic surgery i had on friday.
picture is of the round bale feeder on loan to us from our dear friends rachel gall and jay wolf and their new bundle of sunshine, darwin anna wolf.
i've been torn over the need to find omer a new home. omer was the first goat i saw birthed. i had my hand on his head as he exited his mother sunshine. we've watched omer develop and push the boundaries. approaching the age of 3, omer has made choices that aren't compatible with a dairy.
this is not the first time i had to say goodbye to a goat and probably not the last. sending them off to a new home isn't getting any easier.
these moments of tension allow us the opportunity to ask the bigger questions. what is a pet and what is livestock? to what length do we go to take care of our animals? occasionally im asked why i dont raise goats purely for meat? "its so much easier", folks say. but is it? what about the emotional cost that doesn't show up in a yearly budget?
omer must move. (above was written last week)
the move happened yesterday morning. Ike Gejdenson from Bozrah, CT came to pick him up and bring him home to his farm. Omer will join four other wethers in clearing fields of multiflora rose. this will be a good life for omer. plenty of room to roam and plenty to eat.
gam zeh l'tovah. also this is for good. as hard as sending omer away it was the right decision. with the does expecting to kid in two months having omer around was a liability we couldn't afford.
omer enjoy the shefa.
you have taught us much, todah.
shabbat morning one of our dear does passed away.
dosinia was a sweetheart, a lover of life, and a very special part of the herd. she joined us in the fall/winter of 2006. she had a caring nature - always surrounded by the baby kids if their moms weren't available. from the beginning she kept to herself and never made solid bonds with any other goat. dosinia preferred to stand in her special spot in the barn, chew her cud, and contemplate on her surroundings. to any human she was more than ready to connect, and we definitely received a deep love from her. she will be missed deeply. may her memory be a blessing.
The Hazon Food Conference was held at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, CA, on December 25th - 28th. It brought together over 550 people to discuss contemporary jewish food issues. How do we grow our food, how do prepare our food, how do we buy our food, and how do we eat our food?
The momentum is growing, food issues are taking a place at the table of what we are as jews. Being that these issues aren't solely jewish it is encouraging that we as a people are doing our best to be a light in this movement.
One of my focuses in coming to the conference was to introduce ADVA Dairy to folks who haven't heard of us. This was successful. I received a tremendous amount of positive feedback on what we are doing and offers of help to continue growing. I also came to share the realization I have had as a dairy farmer. This insight is that dairy produces meat. As we breed our does every season to replenish the milk supply we are too gifted many new goats. Of these new goats many tend to be male and the need for male goats on a dairy farm is low. These male goats are raised on pasture till the fall/winter at which time they are transformed into meat. I feel it is my responsibility to raise this awareness so consumers are allowed to make educated decisions on how they feed themselves.
The sessions that spoke most to me revolved around meat. Who grows it, how do they grow it, how do they transform it into meat, and what is kosher? To have the opportunity to hear Rav Mandel of the OU (head mashgiach in national slaughterhouses) sitting at the table with Rabbi Morris Allen from Magen T'zedek speak honestly to the issues of workers' right and ethical meat was extremely powerful.
The picture on the left is of me embracing two of my mentors. Rabbi Jacob Fine (Left) and The Housatonicer Rebbe, Shamu Sadeh. Both are pioneers, teachers, farmers, and mentches. The second picture is of me taking notes of questions asked by participants during my panel, Beyond the Supermarket: Alternative Meat Production. Deep gratitude to Sabrina "queen bee" Malach for the photos.
billy's time visiting the ladies came to a close. we hope that he has blessed us with healthy and strong kids to arrive five months from now. i've returned billy yosef bob ben billy bob to his home at coldstream farm in kent, ct.. stay tuned from the next drop in the pail.
i am honored to share with you what is transforming within ADVA dairy. we began as a drop in the pond two years ago with the purchase of the first goats and now we are a small yet mighty herd of 10. in the last two years much has transpired. as it stands we have moved down the hill, and we now share our home with the ADAMAH goats on the east side of lake miriam (http://www.isabellafreedman.org/).
ill be juggling posts of what was and what is.
we all are given opportunities to leave our surroundings better than we found them. some of us make a big splash as we jump into the pool of life as others tread lightly. nonetheless each ripple of our actions extend beyond our horizon.
for this we must be grateful.