Friday, June 25, 2010

"The Animal is the Product of the Soil"

Published on behalf of Debbie via the Farm newsletter. To subscribe to the letter, please contact us! It's a great way to stay up to date on farm news and product information.
Well, the heat is on. Temperatures are soaring and things just seem to naturally slow down on the farm. Chickens stop laying eggs, we need more breaks, and the pace of life mimics the pace of nature and becomes slower and quieter.

I sometimes wonder about our running around and hurrying from one emergency to the next. Chaos seems to find a crack in the door and pries and pulls until it finally enters into our lives, fully and with force, almost without our knowledge. And then come the storms or the heat or the snow and life takes on a whole new look. We remember that things can be set aside and the truly important always get done if we look through the eyes of peace.

And that is where we find ourselves this week. We are sitting more, talking more, reading more and allowing ourselves more rest once all the needs of the animals are tended to. I have picked up a book I read years and years ago by Andre Voisin called Soil, Grass and Cancer that fascinated me 13 years ago and continues to do so each time I slow down enough for a reread.

Andre begins by reminding us that the famous quote “Man, remember that you are dust and that you will return to dust” is not just a religious or philosophic statement but that it should be engraved above the door to every faculty of medicine. I would add that every farmer should have it engraved above the barn door to remind us of the direct link between the “dust” that grows the grass consumed by our animals and the “dust” that makes us what we are. The fact that our farming ancestors understood this connection is obvious when you read old farming manuals that repeat the mantra “the animal is the product of the soil”.It would do us well to remember this also. There was a time when serious detective work could be done to determine where a problem was stemming from since most of the food and water consumed came from a small circle around the home. Now, with our foods coming from all parts of the world it is much more difficult to pinpoint insufficient “dirt” in order to fix a problem due to missing nutrients.

Carlo Petrini of Slow Food coined the phrase “co-producers” to explain the relationship between farmers and consumers. Indeed we could not do what we do without your support. Thank you for your patience as we learn the ways of this “dirt” beneath our feet and as we continue to understand the relationship between, soil, animals and man.

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