"The child in each of us knows paradise. Paradise is home. Home as it was or home as it should have been. Paradise is one's own place, One's own people, One's own world, knowing and known, perhaps even loving and loved. Yet every child is cast from paradise- into growth and new community, into vast, ongoing change."
Octavia has also said, or written in her "Parable" novels, "God is change." A lot of us fear change as it can take us out of our comfort level, our every day habits. But change is necessary in life, and it can happen instantaneously. One way to help shift our perspective, to see comfort in this, is knowing that change will happen with or without us. Then, once we understand that, we can learn to accept change, perhaps even strive for as much change as possible! That inner child doesn't need to feel fear. They can live in wonderment and awe, joy or sorrow, with each new experience, and grow for the better resonating with the world around them.
All of this is to say that this will be my, Jono's, last newsletter to you, the good people who make up Rising Locust's outstretched (and changing!) community. I will be moving to Minnesota's north woods' lake country with my partner Laila next month, leaving Rising Locust Farm after four wonderful years. It is bittersweet for me and I am so much looking forward to my next adventure and chapter in life. The mushroom yard will continue here though, and shiitake's will continue to be part of what RLF has to offer. I am currently mentoring Frank (RLF community member, co-founder, and all around swell guy) in the ways of the fungi. He has shown an eagerness to fill in my boots as he transitions into retirement in the next couple years, and he has the discerning eye to make a great mycophile.
As I move on I know that the farm will continue to grow and change with or without me. I'm humbled to have been accepted here, one of the first non-family members to move onto the farm having been invited by the Rhodes' who were looking to expand and grow their community (A big scary leap that must've been for them!). As I wander about the property these days there's so much that I reflect on that I've had the opportunity to help imagine and transform into existence. As a direct result of those collaborative manifestations a plethora of diverse life has begun to make their way home. I leave here knowing that I've done as good as I could've in making a positive impact in this little patch of Earth.
~Take care, T.R. Jono Droege
Sayonara, adieu, auf wiedersehen, ciao, so long! Cheers!
I think we finally convinced our neighbors we aren't all there. Our neighbor asked us the other day what we were doing on the side of the road with all of that brush and I said we were "making tree hay" and he laughed and stood there for a second before asking again. I said again we were making tree hay and he looked at us bewildered and exclaimed "I thought you were joking" but I just smiled and said "Tree Hay has higher nutrition than grass hay and peasants have been making it for thousands of years around the globe." And that was when he finally accepted that we were in fact rather odd.
So what is Tree Hay?
"The collection of tree leaves for feeding stock, usually from pollards, is now generally confined to poorer and least inhabited areas where subsistence farming and traditional herding still exists, but is believed to have been widespread across Europe until recent times. There is evidence that the practice pre-dates the making of hay from herb rich meadows and has been a farming practice for at least three millennia. The leaf fodder or “tree hay” was stored for feeding to stock during the winter, especially in mountain areas, but was also a vital source of animal feed in periods of drought especially in free draining soils. It was also an insurance against failure of the hay crop due to cold, wet summers. Trees with deeper root systems and mycorrhizal fungal associations can access moisture and nutrients and produce green leaves when other plants have dried up. The leaves may also be richer in nutrients because of this. Some tree leaves are known to have medicinal benefits and stock will self-medicate where they have the opportunity. As such there is a recent resurgence of interest in tree fodder, a valuable and untapped resource." - From Tree Hay: A Forgotten Fodder at https://www.agricology.co.uk/field/blog/tree-hay-forgotten-fodder
So, despite the labor and odd practice of cutting limbs in the summer from trees to feed to animals in the winter, we are very excited to start this process of learning how to make tree hay on our farm. It will add a great deal of climate resiliency, flexibility in drought, and nutrition to our animals, by feeding mulberry, willow, poplar, locust, and other types of tree leaves in the winter.
Our intern Alicia cheesing with fresh cut tree hay!
FALL CSA AND WHOLE LAMB ORDERS!
We are now taking orders for the Fall Meat CSA as well as orders for whole and half lambs. Whole and half lambs will be ready in late October. The Fall CSA will be 3 pickups beginning in the middle of November and ending in January (pickup every 4 weeks). Pickup locations will be here at the farm, in Lancaster, at the Horn Farm Center near York, and Camp Hill. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 717-967-2012 to order or ask any questions you may have. Thanks!
FULL PORK SHARE $130 - ~ 5 lbs a month of roasts, bacon, chops, sausage, and other cuts
HALF PORK SHARE $80 ~ 3 lbs a month of roasts, bacon, chops, sausage, and other cuts
SAUSAGE SHARE $45 - 2 lbs a month of sausage
PORK ODDS AND ENDS $20 - 1-2 extras each week of the more unusual parts of a pig
PORK FAT $15 - 5 lbs of pork fat and 1 lb of leaf lard (unrendered)
FULL LAMB $175 ~ 5 lbs of roasts, rack, chops, shanks, ground and stew meat
HALF LAMB $100 ~ 3 lbs of roasts, rack, chops, shanks, ground, and stew meat
We now have a YouTube channel and have released the first of our video series documented by Laila Davis. The first short video is Jono taking you on a virtual tour of our mushroom yard. Watch it here!
Outdoor Drumming "Playshop" at the Farm - Oct. 17 - 2-4pm
Join Jack and Tammy Bray for an afternoon of musical fun and relaxation for adults at the Farm. And there will be a farm tour after the event for whoever would like to stay. Registration is required so please send us an email (email@example.com) if you are planning on attending! Here is there description:
We were going to call it a workshop but it has nothing to do with work and a whole lot to do with PLAY!! We'll be PLAYING the drums and making music! We'll be PLAYING some fun rhythm games. We'll be finding "the groove" and doin' some movin'. We'll be smiling and laughing and simply relaxing outdoors in the beautiful setting of the natural Rising Locust Farm. Sounds good doesn't it! It gets better because there is no drumming or musical experience necessary. We hope you'll join us for this afternoon of music and fun for adults. Bring your good "vibes", a chair, something to drink and a snack for yourself. Social distancing will be observed. Masks are optional. Plenty of parking available.
Your exchange for the afternoon is $30 per person.
Registration is required so register now at: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please let us know if you have a drum.)
For more information contact Jack or Tammy Bray at email@example.com or call 717-699-4965.