Dogwood Farms will be transitioning to a smaller location early next year.  We will continue with our laying hens, but will not be raising pigs and turkeys.  We have a long list of pursuits in mind at our new location that includes vegetables, herbs, fruit trees, and ducks.  The new Dogwood Farms will be a much smaller version of our original dream, but the farm will continue, and the projects will happen over many years.  Our commitment to eating local, humanely raised meat continues.  Thank goodness there are local farms that can provide that for us, especially Cozi Farms in Saxapahaw, which is truly committed to sustainable farming.

In this time of change, we are winding down at home and enjoying the fruits of our labors.  The kids and I are preparing the menu for our holiday dinner, itsturkey toms centerpiece one of our heritage Narragansett turkeys.   I started preparing this dinner in April when I set up a brooder for my turkey poults in the greenhouse.   Many months of feeding, heating, housing, and even chasing these turkeys puts my dinner prep at about 210 hours.   The cost for this dinner is a multiple that I don’t wish to repeat, but one can imagine considering organic feed costs, a new turkey shelter, and electric fencing.  Compare that with driving 10 minutes to the market to purchase a turkey for comparatively almost nothing and one would say I was insane.   Yet, looking back over the last year, I can’t think of any other project that taught me so much.

When I started farming I knew there would be a widening of awareness in raising and growing our own food, but I didn’t realize to what extent.  There was a connection with the animals that made me search deep for my intentions about what I eat, why and how.  There was a realization of what it takes to eat truly clean, nutritious food  that provides a fair living for many people along the way, from soil to table.  Farming, even on this small scale, demanded of me spontaneous creativity, patience, and overcoming squeamishness.  May that continue in our new location and throughout our lives, albeit, on a smaller scale and a slower pace.

Happy 2014!

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