Sunday, March 26, 2017

Be still and know.............

It is in the stillness of nature, without the tending of ANYTHING - not picking a berry, milking a goat, doing anything..... I know more fully God's Nature.
Pending approval of original art, subject to change
 

A dear friend gave me a small office plaque that says “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)   She understood how my life even decades ago, felt a whirlwhind of never ending tasks that left so little time for spiritual rest and soul renewal and yes even physical rest  My caregiving cup overfloweth with frail parents and others who needed me and then there was a very full time paid job and the household who at that time had no one but me to run it.   That though I got all the paid and household and parenting and caregiving essential tasks done, I see pictures from that time and though I smiled, I saw a very tired overworked person who needed Her Joy back. I had a fatigue that mixed with my genes and made me vulnerable to repetitive health diseases that also wrecked my body in several ways.  The repetitive pneumonias of many kinds narrowed and etched and obstructed the lungs and gave me some other issues as well. I know that we all have changes as we age, but I went down with the same vengence in which I lived life - full flat out either operating at over drive or almost no drive at all.  But I know that a spirit of determination and a large dose of Faith counts for all of us.  We have to do our part in the healing as well!... So one of my challenges is to balance effort, with wisdom and push myself to the limits and then rest enough to restore.

Recently I know I was past due for a respite time from anything at all.  I knew my body was tired, but I didn't realize how much my spirit and soul thirsted for renewal.  I needed to refresh my spirit and renew my enthusiasm and remember how my own life had been a miracle now for a very long time thanks to my miracle making and soul tending God.   That He leads me by the Still waters and those of the rushing waters as well and in the deserts and more. That He restores me time and time again and that also applies so to Hubby. 

I ask myself on a regular basis, have I given God all the vocal and written credit for all the miracles in my life, starting with me.  I hope so but I know so many times, I have failed to be fully showing the perseverance and fortitude, joy and peace that comes with full knowledge that I've got my Maker by me 24/7 and that He is our healer and sometimes, from our human eyes we do not understand suffering.  But though I know the peace that passes understanding,  I am very human.  Sometimes I cry, I grimace, I grumble, I withdraw so much from all that is going on around me that I can not tell you what happens when I am in the hospital.  And during a procedure, I want to know generally what will happen but I don't need to see myself on a camera, I don't need you to tell me that only 3 more vials to go, I'm here and that means I'll follow all your directions, etc.  Count down on the anesthesia if you must but beyond that I try not to hear you.  I don't like the twilight processes where I'm not fully out, many of mine have needed that, so I just must "woman up" to them.
Farmer Hubby resting under the sights and sound of glorious falls
Our trip away was not without farm tasks.....In the selecting and picking up of the bees, but my poor dear hubby got bee stung, even in getting them, but as he said  "it was not our bees. It was a free ranger! "   Well, ha, I shall tell our bees that.  They are settling in nicely.  One hive is a bit on the wobbly side as I call it.   The bees have to fall in love with the queen..... So time will tell the tale! And certainly prayers to all the bees and queens that they feel at home and beloved on our farm.

I have often said no to events where I know there are those who come with flu, cold and more as I know that my frailities will make me an open petri dish to them.  It is the wisdom born of time, but I so DISLIKE living a guarded life. That's just honesty.   I thank God so for surrounding me with doctors and medical community and special volunteers who have taken a very special care of me.  They know that I must rest a great deal for many reasons, but they understand what was my "well point" before the past few years was so much more able.  I  must be honest readers, I do still mourn the old me from time to time instead of rejoicing the "I am right now" through God's blessings.   I apologized to God for that on my trip....  I have done so many times and I probably will again but He knows and loves me anyway, despite my failings.

Usually when I get right to the point of yet one more repetitive disease or an ornery or difficult procedure,  My prayer is Please God put my thoughts and focus on you, hide me and protect me, guide these people around me, make me still, not moving or jumping off this cold table, away from the smells and feels and tastes of medicine or fluids in my veins or mouth....not the so necessary sticking, pulling, prodding, pictures, noisy rooms, the cold, the dye running through my veins, the pre op or the post op or the wait..  I have been so blessed by my husband laying aside his needs to care for me.  And to be around me when I am in less than full gentle sweet lady.  When during the day I cough deeply over 200 times - at least that the highest I ever counted in an 8 hour when I was extremely sick..All the muscles and bones in the cough zone scream out objection. when the needed meds make me sicker so they can make me well, I must remember God put me on this path for a reason. I persevere because of Him and Life is so Worth the Living!  Maybe there's someone out there that needs something from me.  Maybe I'll never know until I no longer ask the question...  I don't look forward to those things but I think of Him.  He gave US our magnificent and mysterious bodies and we learn more about them scientifically thousands of years AD and still are coming up with scientific breakthroughs LIKE wow, our lungs also help develop new blood! wow - yes that's true.  Only God fully knows us in our fullness..

Although we must certainly do something in life.....I worked full time from age 16 to well in my 50's enough said - I'm a southern lady and don't tell my age.. Believe me, I understand that clothes are not self washing, that there is a barrage of medical appointments and procedures that is often in itself a full time job. I've lowered my housekeeping standards. The farm with all its complexities has needs for so much and we are so dependent on so many to be our hands.   And we are so blessed by them.  If they were not here, the farm would fold.   I just have to rejoice in that and  leave the worrier side of me as far behind as possible to just be grateful.


I look at my hands most days and alternate between crying and laughing as they drop and break so much and swell up to the bursting point and I can only imagine Hubby's hands now through three surgeries and that they continue to work despite the pain that is endless and I know intellectually will worsen over time.  The farm had gone through so much with the low low temps - the loss of some of the blueberries through frost burns but God's mercy over those extra cold times... That was miracle enough and the answer of prayer.   The new bird flu swirling the southeast had caused Georgia to change its guidelines for bird shows, shipping eggs etc.   I had become over worried about that dent on the income due to this loss of hatching eggs sales.  I had to lay that down and turn it into a prayer of protection and that people would have the wisdom to  obey the guidelines for all with backyard or small farm flocks. I have had  severe mycobacterium and I know from my doctors to protect myself, but if a new strain came about, we may not know what meds would fight it or if they are available! So best for precautions for all!

Miracle of strawberries after 17 degrees F weather! Blessings on the Farm guided by Faith and Action
   
But I needed to lay down all manners of worries - whether big or small and bask in God's earth and be with my Hubby, with trying not to talk about the farm or my health 24-7......

I needed NOT to talk about any of my woes or concerns.   And not connect with the phone or internet other than by necessity.   I needed the stillness - the healing of both the still waters and the rushing waters.  The reminders that God is forever and that though there are struggles that we face,  He is so much bigger than all those woes and if we are still wherever we are, we will always be taken care of by Him in every way.

I had no idea that I would be so renewed in such a short time.....  That Hubby had booked a sweet Christ filled stay for us where food abounded in great quantities and qualities....Where I was a guest in a house that was filled with historic love of the Lord and service in the community, and within a short period of time, was at one of my favorite small parks....  Ha!  I had to laugh as it had been discovered by many families on many outings and almost all videos have the sound of parents or caregivers trying to bring their "kids" out of the lure of standing under the falls.

"The word Raphah means many different things in the Bible, but here it speaks to be still..This word is found in various forms in the Old Testament, with different shades of meaning. It refers to that which is slack, or to let drop, or in some instances, to be disheartened or weary.Want to think/study about this more."...Here's a great reference.   Be still and Know that I am God

So I've rambled on to say,  Thanks to God and all my caregivers and those that care about me, our farm, and don't just say but do over and over and over.  And Jacque and I love you dearly.  It's time for afternoon rest and here's a picture that proves that Joy can be overbounding NO Matter what.   Blessings to all..... LITLA

So resting in His Glory!


  

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Compost pile Tips, Part II - Keeping & Tending of compost pile - even if under the sink!







Here's hubby in the compost from a photos several years ago.  His entry won second place but he always has first place in my heart as he is the champion composter!   Don't let the size of that compost overwhelm.  Will describe how to compost on small size in this article as well as more tips not included in Article #1


When we seriously compost, and as you know we even compost hair from inhome hair cuts!  I would not use a commercial hair dressers hair as it might have permanents or chemicals I don't want in our soil or water!
Compost hair from Hubby's home haircut
I am so aware of all the packaging of the so called convenience foods.  As I start to write part II of the compost tips,  I sit looking at a package in front of me.  I rarely buy products from the grocery that I can make at home, but bought these cookies on sale.  Shame on me - not that I didn't cook them and that I didn't buy from an artisan baker friend, BUT that I bought this product so unfriendly to the 6.  I feel like a failure in the process I live as a proponent of composting.  So I confess here. I compost dryer lint and hair from my hairbrush and I did this!!!! Yikes, but I confess my failure.   But take a look at the packaging on this box,  The slick pretty coloring on the non compostible box and the wrappers are not friendly either.    I make of course,   but look at the packaging on this....   As best as I can weigh, Looks like 2.40 ounces of the 4.04 ounces are in fact trash!!! So that on sale price of  the package on the grocery store shelf was wront!!! Over half of the content was non reunable produce = toxic products. No, I didn't weigh the wrappers.  So, that product that was weighed in at 4.04 ounces for price at the grocery, should have been 1.6 ounces.  Plus if hundreds others brought the products as likely they did, that was a large dent of space in the landfill.   Before I had a grinder for wheat berries etc.  I would use the store grinder and recycle the bags.  I wish everything I bought at the store could be refillable, as in refillable olive oil, laundry detergents etc, but that's another day. 
My failure as a composter - I promise to do better!


But here go a few more compost tips:

You can be a secret composter - anywhere   It doesn't have to be a huge mound of decaying compost that takes a tractor to turn.   In fact sometimes that can be the most difficult to manage - why?   You will need that tractor to rotate, and often, rotation doesn't happen soon enough. 


A small compost container for in the house.  This is a recycled food container

Under your sink, there are commercial containers you can use for this, but why spend $30 to $50 on such a thing when you probably have a recyclable item around the house you can use for the same purpose......  Get your own small food friendly trash bin with a lid that you can use.   Check local thrift stores or recycle stores and you can find small containers like this food friendly container.  Use one that is food friendly as it will help the earth worms if you are growing them. This one you could just put on the side of your sink, to remind yourself or under the sink if you are a "neatnik"... I used to be but no longer...... Or if you have a friend who eats large volumes of ice cream, those pails with lids come in handy as well.    

You can be a composter, even if you are an apartment dweller.   Have you got a balcony?  a place you can put a small but attractive composter - like a pottery container, you can add and stir down that compost..... The smell doesn't need to happen, if you rotate it and aerate it, water and control it and maybe just add a few earthworms to the mix.   Now remember you can cover it, but if you do, factor in the sunshine effect, that this is in full sun and you can get a temp increase of up to 30degrees or so more, just like the heat in your car, so you might want to use a white or gray container and then put an umbrella or find a shady part of the patio, so heat doesn't build up. 

Now after you have the wonderful compost what do you do with it?   You can plant your own plants in it.   If you find yourself with great surplus and I know you and your practices in food,  I'll be a grateful recipient, or you might easily find a local 4H group or FFA that would like clean healthy compost for their compost area or a community garden.

Why compost if I don't plant or garden?  
Easy, it's fun, it's educational for you and your family to make dirt
Instead of eating up limited dirt space with landfill, you create clean earth. 
You are giving back to the earth  
Saves you dollars, less garbage in land fills and
Personally educates us re all that packaging in the world & make needed changes

As you can see from my cookie failure above,  even the most radical composter fails.   When you do, you must lift yourself up and say.   Nevermore.  

Have you ever had a old cotton shirt that is beyond being a duster or even a bandana..... Don't trash it... tear it into strips for the compost pile if it is cotton, it won't take long to compost.  Tissues?   Compost.....   Lint from your dryer - depending on what you use to wash clothes with, compost!

We covered what not to compost in the first editions - summary again with a few new items here:

Metals, chemicals of any sort, paint, oil, creosote or other painted woods, meats or fats ,  toxic inks on papers, metals,  soaps,  . Any diseased plants that may breed the disease through the dirt.  Treated hay - if in doubt do not compost.   There are some sprays on some hayfields that will kill your plants if you plant in the compost and can remain in the soil for years. Contents of commercially prepared soils - most of the bags of plant soil are ven a plant from a big box store,    Know your source on hay and straw.  Know your source on the hay if you are feeding animals as well.   It can be a life and death issue. 

Very good source on herbicide carryover developed in 2009 by Oregon State University.  Permission to replicate here is pending, so it might be removed in a future blog edition. 
Herbicide Carryover in Hay, Manure, Compost, and Grass Clippings .

Well I could talk (or write), smile for years about compost, but would you do me a favor this week, think about your daily habits of eating, and buying and look at what you could change about them.    I love tupperware type containers.   I do wash aluminum foil and bags and hang both inside and outside.   It's a small investment of my time, but just imagine if only one in ever two persons really really recycled what a great and cleaner space we would have.   And as I have often read, the original inhabitants of our country were savers an reusers.... We were a farming industry, we didn't waste and had no convenience stores for our meals.   Living off the land was a full time life and I'm a bit jealous of those times, But back to the future.

If you have any passion about leaving the earth a better place, I invite you to try composting more. It is so basic and easy and will become a healthy habit for you.

True, men and women have polluted the earth, but each of us can help restore it. And while it might cost the convenience of a one toss garbage, it is worth to me.   

Besides, smile, Since as a farm, so much dirt gets tracked into the house through our clothes and the air in our often "airy" farm house it's just nice to return some dirt plus some more! 

Feel free to share this post as a challenge to others to see how much you can take away from your trash can and put in recycle bins and also compost bins!  Blessings.





Monday, November 21, 2016

Why is She (or He) so Cotton Picking Happy? Grateful for everything?

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A picture of a childpicker from Lewis Hines photos 



Why is She (he) so cotton picking happy?   To understand it more fully, I think I'll go back a generation or two to the lives of my mother and her family. I have no photos as they had no camera back then, but I have stories and readings from others regarding picking those cotton fields. I only came to more fully understand that expression about three years ago, driving down long miles of cotton fields. Now of course, almost all fields have giant machines, but still looking at the vastness of the picking area on a small cotton field, I am awed by the idea of Joy in Hand picking Cotton.  I did have hubby pull over and I looked closely at some of the plants and saw how hard they would be to pick and painful too! And I thought of my family and others who were cotton pickers to earn the much needed extra money for what we now call poverty families sustained by dirt farming and a few jobs like working in coal mines or temporary hard labor field or farmhand jobs. So the cotton picking bridged the gap between hunger and starvation.

Miles and Miles of Cotton Fields in Alabama in 2013
School was let out for farm pickings.  On the mountain, almost everyone was poor, so there was really no stigma to picking barefoot or in worn out tattered shoes and clothes. Maybe the first day or two was a bit fun for the kids and adults.  They perhaps caught up on news of one another prior to the start of the day and on the brief lunch break and while toting those bags to the scales.  But then the harsh reality of the long hard days of work of 12+ hours a day to be repeated over and over and over. I cannot imagine such a hard and painful job, dragging the bag in the stifling Alabama heat, bent over almost upside down to get that cotton. Fingers would bleed as they were stuck over and over. Hands would cramp.  Although an adult was expected to pick both high and low on the plant, if a mother or father brought the younguns along, I understand the adult picked high means bent over but not as much squatting down or breathing upside down to pick the bottom of the plant.  I would imagine that a shorter adult would have advantage on the picking of the plant but unless they were super strong, the cotton bag would be so heavy to drag around at the end of the day.


I have been told children were expected to work as long as adults but often fell behind on their work and the adults I imagine had to scold over and over to look all around and get all the cotton! The field boss would not look kindly at wasted cotton and I was told pay was reduced even further if he saw it.  I never heard my Mother complain about her cotton picking days.  Simply "we did it to help out".  And that was the attitude that it was expected that all helped with picking, canning, animals, housework, do your school work, you just do! Oh there were occasionally fishing and playing in the yards, but it was not an everyday joy.  You see with Granny's garden and their efforts, I know no one ever starved but I imagine that the children never knew how marginal they were. And that if, for example, the well failed, so would they.

Leather gloves were a thing of rich folks in those days. I heard of picking in rag wrapped hands with the fingers open to careful picking, some used old socks that could not be mended and the more wealthy had new cotton gloves at the beginning of the season.  These were not supplied by the field owner or his supervisor. In the 1910's through 1930's I cannot imagine many of the pickers with leather gloves.  In fact the only leather glove I found at my Granny'w when I played dress up was a carefully packed in a box pair of leather going to church gloves my Mother bought her, that like all the precious gifts were kept in a bureau or chest in original box and papers. Somehow that was customary for that generation....They didn't return or regift as moderns do, but they cherished the gifts, no matter, how "off the mark" they were.  My sweet Mother born of the Country and then 90% citified didn't realize HER mother needed cotton ones even for her garden, that's what she used, but I imagine that Granny would have preferred her cotton gloves or no gloves at all. But mostly Granny put those strong wonderful hands straight in the dirt and on the plants. all that gardening.  But I digress, back to the Cotton picker gratitude.

For the 1910's to the 1930's cotton picking meant:
  • Getting up before sunrise and coming home after sunset often 12+ hour days
  • Eating a biscuit or two for sustenance and drinking water from a pail with a dipper
  • Poor fitting shoes, if shoes at all
  • No gloves, just rag wrapped hands
  • Breathing the perpetual dust and toxic cotton spray and then later many got Farmers lung, pneumonias and tb
  • Sunburn, torn hands, cuts and scraps and hurting backs and feet
  • A pittance for pay and no minimum wage and no benefits other than brief break
  • Walking both to and from the fields
  • Being so Dog Tired that some just laid on the floor after evening meal to tired to wash up
  • And then repeating this over and over and over until the crop was in
  • The field supervisor was not friendly or understanding and wanted no excuses and would have none
  • You were replacable in an area that needed any kind of coins they could earn.

So hence I ponder the expression Why is S/he so Cotton Picking Happy? It is the attitude of perpetual gratitude, no matter what life's situation. I hope someone can say the same of me, that no matter what I've got the Joy Joy Joy Joy down in my heart.  

At least most of the time.   Blessings.....And this is a special edition for Thanksgiving

Special ponderings on Phillipians 4:4 And dear Lord please make me as grateful as the Cotton Pickers, that I am grateful in the rain, in the drought, on the mountain or in the valley, in sickness or health, in sadness, in sorrow, whatever! Amen

 PS. If you have enjoyed this, please subscribe to our blog to see more......and as always feel free to share it! LITLA

 

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Garry Farm Tips - Picking up Pecans, which to keep and how to store and prepare!

 One of my favorite things to fix with pecans from the Garry farm - Pecan Pies
 
Strangely we are getting a few pecans this year... In the midst of the drought, what the squirrels haven't gotten, (and the cats have chased the squirrels), now the crows are trying to get green pecans and fly off with them. On the ground, the armadillo seems to like them as do the raccoons and the deer.   So I like pecans, but over the years I've learned a few ways to id which to keep and how to store and want to share them.  Take a careful look at the picture below and see if you can tell which of the pecans are prime (this year's and expect to have good pecan meat in them), culls,  secondary pecans (those with green husks) and last years or even prior year pecans.


#5  Good pecans.   They fell out of the tree a bit early but with our dry weather in a few more days, you simply peel the cover shell away and use them

#4 Cull pecans.   The dark shells are dried out from last season and the other pecans have bite marks on them.

#3 One possible good pecan, The green coating may dry sufficiently to get the pecan out,  Although the second pecan has a crack on the end of it, since it might ave been bitten by a rodent or other disease bearer so I'll pass along on this although I'm super frugal!

#2 All have pin holes in them, probably from worms.  Even if part of the meat maybe unaffected, it will yield a bitter taste.

#1 Hurrah this year's pecans and expected to be prime.  The truth will be told after they are shelled.

Oddest event while picking up pecans, squirrels nailed me with a green covered pecan and yes it hit me in the face and even worse covered with squirrel saliva.. ugh.  I really think He beaned me with it on purpose.  I did go and wash my face before continuing.

Best non human helper with pecans..... I had a cat who would bring me pecans to the back door.  They were always there as she had observed me gathering them and these were for me!!!! I so miss her.   She was always a ferocious mouser and squirreler as well.  

Advice on picking and storage, gather daily or twice daily to beat your native competition.  Bag immediately and put in freezer.  These will insure that if there is a pin hole in one of your nuts you will not find all ruined when you get around to shelling.

What to do with the shells?our trees have had no toxic chemicals so all of the shells, etc make excellent compost.  Be sure to bury deep as they will certainly attract the predators!

Length of time - in the freezer - for us they have been good three to five years, usually don't last that long, unless they move to the back of the freezer.   What if you are not a baker?

Roasted pecans - great to go with your salads, or yogurts, or in your homemade granola at the very end.  Toss them in your stir fry.   You'll get a new flavor and crunch factor!

Toasted pecans are a great snack as well.   If you are not a pie maker, you may want to try some homemade cinnamon buns with the pecans highlighting them both inside the rolled up dough and sprinkle on top as well. 


A pecan pie in the making.   Once the pastry is made and the custard is cooked and you learn how not to over or undercook the pie, it's not too complex! And really it is almost as easy to make two as one. They freeze well!
Dried Peach and pecan granola yes it was good!!!!
 And on Yummy I love to make cinnamon rolls with pecans as well

I have never made pecan butter, but I bet it would be very tasty.....Well hope this has been educational and helpful. To see some of our farm's recipes, please do stop by The Garry Farm in facebook.    Also I tend to be a bit of an improviser and encourage you to play with your food as you eat and cook it and cook with joy and love.....Let's see.....mmmm pecans in soft cheese spreads, shakes, great protein source, pecans with cooked oatmeal - why not!  Oh and the best reason to go to weddings in addition to getting all covered with happy smiles and loved!!! Those wedding cookies.......    Please eat food that comes to you with no preservatives, or toxic sprays,  eat local and lots of veggies and fruit. Real bread - made with fresh real grains - the sturdy stuff!  Go to your real local market and meet your farmers.   Those farmers have to eat and there is some good cooking going on in a farm kitchen.   Have a blessed day.  And live your life with Joy.  Be a food adventurer.   Your recipe is only a bit of a road map..... Don't be afraid to get off the main road and invent your own recipes.   I don't care if you never saw anyone cook. You can cook.  It is a hobby that will feed you and free you from the food evils of takeout, fried and greasy food.   And if it's the first time you've read a blog here's one of my signature's on covered pies ...... The I love you pie!!!   Blessings to You from The Garry Farm in Bowdon GA..............LITLA

Monday, August 8, 2016

Compost pile Tips, Part I - Uninvited chemicals/toxins in your compost pile



      No toxic chemicals on The Garry Farm plants or trees or vegetables/fruits.  No thank you!
 
That compost pile you have been working on for days, weeks , months and in some cases years may have herbicides and other dangers lurking in it.....That you put in unknowingly.....I'm assuming you want to have natural and healthy compost pile so you can either incorporate it in with your soil or make that lovely compost tea. 

Whether or not you want it to be 100% organic is up to you, but I know of no one who needs or wants to be dosed with herbicides from their compost pile, I know for sure, I do not! 

Now let's focus on those unintended toxins in the compost pile that you don't want on your plants and trees.  And talk a bit on how they may have gotten there in the first place! 

Names of common toxic herbicides are "Aminopyralid, clopyralid, fluroxypyr, picloram, and triclopyr are some of the most common and prevalent  known as pyridine carboxylic acids."  Now, some of the weeds they kill can sicken and kill farm animals.  What we do is hand pull those weeds.  Takes a long time but it's the way we operate.  If we are not steady on the job of looking for and destroying these, our goats can get ill and even die.  Our goats for us are a source of milk and also our great friends.  

Dow Chemical maker of pyridines has a 12 page document and says it's fine to have for pasture and cereal crops but not for tomatoes, potatoes etc and not for compost.  I per sonally disagree and pray this is yet another reason I am committed to make our own cereals, and carefully source out all the grains that we use but don't grow.  Now to give Dow it's due here's is their introductory lines to their 12 page summary about issues relative to pyridine.  They have truly seemed to minimize the dangers but they are in this for the economics .......they want to sell this as a safe product but realize that they are being scrutinized or a 12 page "consumer friendly" doc would not be out there.   Here it is from Dow "It is possible for some herbicides to end up in hay, silage,animal manure, compost usedfor soil amelioration,mushroom substrates, plant mulches and animal bedding.Through product stewardship, Dow AgroSciences strives to minimise the potential for herbicide residues in treated crops to transfer through animals to composts and mulches.This stewardship is done either with potentially affected industries and/or the product label" Dow Agro document found herehttp://msdssearch.dow.com/PublishedLiteratureDAS/dh_08bc/0901b803808bcf76.pdf?filepath=au/pdfs/noreg/012-10770.pdf&fromPage=GetDoc



Now here is a more independent article about Herbicide from Oregon State University written for small farmers (I hope all farmers will read as well).http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/sfn/f09Herbicide  It explains the dangers of buying and getting for free animal compost that doesn’t kill the animals it feeds but can harm your plants.  Don’t blame the farmer or backyard hobbyist.  S/he likely didn’t do any of the field spraying even if s/he planted the hay. Some sprays stay in the ground for years.  The individual may have recently bought the place and be assuming there was nothing dangerous without testing specifically for toxins and since his/her animals were fine, thinking, okay all is well.  

When the sides of the roads are sprayed, they can get on  your land.  I would like all spraying on our road stopped and if we can catch the sprayers, they usually are glad to move on.   The only requirement about the spray is that it shall not be toxic to animals or humans at prescribed doses.  My lungs are fragile, and they cannot take the spray in the air. I can easily get what known as chemical pneumonia if I am in the presence of chemical spraying on lands. Spraying seems to be less and less due to expenses of the toxins.  I wish there were a state and Federal initial to do away with the use of all public funds in spraying and use of toxins.  and I am glad of that and from my humble opinion even though we are trying to maintain the right of way..... THIS is the “wrong of way” to do so.  Certainly there could be some collaborative effort or solution to the problem of the seemly right of way. I would prefer a wildflower row on the roadside.  Even if we planted them, they would be sprayed.  

Another tip for this compost blog: About those clippings of grass and leaves.  Unless they are from your farm, you are risking getting chemicals of several kinds.  Oh it’s tempting to get those bags ready to go, but you may be poisoning the very mulch pile you are trying to grow to feed your self or others food.  

If you have ever met me, you know we repeatedly say, that you should feed your soul, mind and body well.  Ask everything you can about all farm products you buy, including compost, old hay etc.   I'll add another blog on compost when time allows.  Hope this was helpful.  Feel free to share, but please link its source to our blog.  Thank you,  The Garry Farm,  Bowdon, GA    Nancy Garry 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Massive Massacres by the Panthers our west farm was hit!

The purpose of writing this is to share a warning to any animal lovers within a few hundred miles of us.  You could have an unexpected visit by a panther and lose not only your animals but your peace of mind.  The panther is a carnivore and will eat pet cats, dogs, ducks, chickens, baby goats and cows and pigs, etc. In addition they carry the Feline Leukemia Disease which they can transmit to domestic cats and there is no cure or vaccination for that debilitating disease.  It is not a pleasant article but it is "real to life on a farm".  God will heal the heart but since poor animal management decisions made in Florida are suffered by Georgians or Alabamians if that is the correct language.

Warning, in addition to the bear spotted in Carrollton, please be on the alert for relocated wild Panthers from Florida as well as other wild panthers. The Garry Farm has had a screaming entity that lives in the woods and then created the most horrific massacre ever experienced by our farm.  NOT A JOKE folks. It is a predator in a most unnatural setting. I've heard the sound for a few weeks and yesterday found out its animal kingdom entity. I used to think a tv set had been left on a nature channel. and checked all around. It is not a screech owl, a coyote, a fox,it is not a fowl. The animal can easily maintain 35 mph - no problem. In less than a 6 hour travel they could be from our farm to Atlanta, or N. GA, or Alabama, no problem... The screams start early am - around 1 to 3 am - at least that's when the sounds woke me up. . It moves swiftly and powerfully. I saw a deer on the side of our road that was not hit in any fashion. How did it die? no usual hit marks by automobiles.. I suspect it ran itself into heart attack. It was fairly young. The woods predator would easily knock me over if it so desired. Normally they do not attack humans but they might not be happy if humans interrupted their dinner plans. They are in the woods of Georgia thanks to the release program of Florida who released them into natural reserves in the wetlands between our states as Florida had an excess and they were seen as an endangerment to household pets and small animals. so under the auspices of save the nearly extinct animals hundreds were released in the everglades. as the everglades became encroached by roads and construction of all sorts etc, the animals spilled over into GA and Ala. Tall fences DO not keep out foxes, or panthers... Sadly the predator does NOT respect borders or boundaries and doesn't read maps and is a real and present danger to farmers as well as anyone with pets that go outside. Hubby told me some local farmers have also lost livestock. 


Less than half of what was slain on the farm..... (the white geese had already been relocated). 

Here's a picture of one of the beauties up close when I was helping hubby move them to their huge pen with 6 foot high fences and shelters and pools..... 



Ironically the panther is less and less endangered and has taken out all by three of our large Saxony ducks flock which was on the critical endangered list. Can you see how big that pure Saxony drake was and he was NOT even fully grown!

An update to the blog is that all but three of my adult Show Quality Holdread ducks were slain by panther and what appears to be cubs it was training to kill prey as well as possibly a presumptive first strike by male panther ...   I cannot bear to post pictures of the slaying and only recently did my husband give me the full count as I have been very critically ill and he thought the stress would have been very bad.  He was right. Though initially upset not to be told the full truth, after crying and crying and crying about the tragedy, I knew he was right...I could not have stood the news at a time I was having such serious medical issues. I thought the birds were in the back part of the huge fenced in grassy lot we had them in.  After egg laying, they are let out to explore the grass and enjoy live.  Just before the incident I was saying to hubby, if my health continues to do poorly, please keep our precious ducks.  I loved the duck eggs and love to see them grow up and waddle and chat so so.  So fun and friendly. When I think of their last few hours of life, I cannot.  They were asleep when it happened and it's a miracle that the two girls and one guy survived under a mass of death and destruction.   A precious friend said I can start over.   I'm afraid I cannot, I no longer have the diversity for the breeding program I need, but more importantly I no longer feel I can keep anything safe on our farm and if I start from ordering babies for the future, It is too late for this season.   So basically our three year old breeding program will be set back at least two more years and that is a long time in my life. Sending babies in air transit will be too hot on the plane and certainly not bode well for transit.  Holderead doesn't ship eggs, I would gladly try that with this breed.  I saved for almost two years to buy these special birds. I bought two boxes full and ordered 25 birds a box two boxes at over nine dollars a bird plus express shipping so the babies alone were hundreds of dollars, more than we could afford, truly, but I had saved and skimped and sold to buy them. It would cost us well over $500.00 for two boxes of express shipped babies if I could buy them now plus express shipping if mailing temps were right and birds not already prebooked..And then there was the special feed that they needed for months before the first egg even arrived.   As we sold out geese, white puff headed common ducks and other bird groupings, the funds went to the new special duck fund! It took a long time until laying begain - I was so excited to get them as Saxony ducks are an endanged breed that was well known for large body type and great weather diversity, withstanding extreme cold and heat very well.  I know it's not much compared to other person's animal losses, but I'm so destraught and discouraged by constant predators, two legged human types, four legged, slithering kinds, fox, raccoons, oppossums, hawks and more  I know that this animal can come back and likely will as they do have "hunting memory!" The odd thing there was a very open pen with about 11 roos/hens due for relocation and it was not selected.  I guess there is a preference for ducks, they are so friendly and trusting and then they are no more.  

I only know if I had been in or near the pen, I would have fought with a frying pan and a hoe to protect my beloved ducks and safe as many as I could.  Yes the lightweight wannabe seasoned farmer weighing in at 100 plus pounds would have taken this on. I chased coyotes in flip flops with two hoes! I still have duck nightmares and I cannot think of this without tears.     I am praying God will give me full amnesia about the massacre.

For more about the panther:

" Florida panthers live alone, unless a pair is mating or a female is raising cubs.  Males roam much larger territories than the females.  A male can make a territory over 200-250 square miles in size."  The female had finished her birthing and was teaching cubs how to hunt.  cubs will kill in imitation but usually only eat what mother brings them until they are fully trained. 
To read more about the relocation program go here:  Florida Panther

If I have affronted anyone by my blunt openness I am sorry.  I have thought and prayed about posted the massacre scene and I do not want that in your memory as well as mine.  When humans try to decide to relocate animals, they so often fail.  The foxes in GA were relocated in areas along the river rafting and they also have invaded cities and countryside.  The fox  by no means a rare animal, they are an ever present danger anywhere.  Rabies from them continue to happen every year at any increasing rate.    California already limited its fox relocation program and recognized that "Non-native red foxes pose a documented threat to many vulnerable species and ecosystems because they are so highly adaptable and are such adept hunters."   

I would add amen and THAT for any species that is a meat hunter we should study the impact on communities, farmers and backyard hobbyist or anyone that has a pet......

Well be knowledgeable that there are things that lurk in the dark and they are not all our friends....





Massive Massacres by the Panthers our west ga farm was hit!

The purpose of writing this is to share a warning to any animal lovers within a few hundred miles of us.  You could have an unexpected visit by a panther and lose not only your animals but your peace of mind.  The panther is a carnivore and will eat pet cats, dogs, ducks, chickens, baby goats and cows and pigs, etc. In addition they carry the Feline Leukemia Disease which they can transmit to domestic cats and there is no cure or vaccination for that debilitating disease.  It is not a pleasant article but it is "real to life on a farm".  God will heal the heart but since poor animal management decisions made in Florida are suffered by Georgians or Alabamians if that is the correct language.

Warning, in addition to the bear spotted in Carrollton, please be on the alert for relocated wild Panthers from Florida as well as other wild panthers. The Garry Farm has had a screaming entity that lives in the woods and then created the most horrific massacre ever experienced by our farm.  NOT A JOKE folks. It is a predator in a most unnatural setting. I've heard the sound for a few weeks and yesterday found out its animal kingdom entity. I used to think a tv set had been left on a nature channel. and checked all around. It is not a screech owl, a coyote, a fox,it is not a fowl. The animal can easily maintain 35 mph - no problem. In less than a 6 hour travel they could be from our farm to Atlanta, or N. GA, or Alabama, no problem... The screams start early am - around 1 to 3 am - at least that's when the sounds woke me up. . It moves swiftly and powerfully. I saw a deer on the side of our road that was not hit in any fashion. How did it die? no usual hit marks by automobiles.. I suspect it ran itself into heart attack. It was fairly young. The woods predator would easily knock me over if it so desired. Normally they do not attack humans but they might not be happy if humans interrupted their dinner plans. They are in the woods of Georgia thanks to the release program of Florida who released them into natural reserves in the wetlands between our states as Florida had an excess and they were seen as an endangerment to household pets and small animals. so under the auspices of save the nearly extinct animals hundreds were released in the everglades. as the everglades became encroached by roads and construction of all sorts etc, the animals spilled over into GA and Ala. Tall fences DO not keep out foxes, or panthers... Sadly the predator does NOT respect borders or boundaries and doesn't read maps and is a real and present danger to farmers as well as anyone with pets that go outside. Hubby told me some local farmers have also lost livestock. 


Less than half of what was slain on the farm..... (the white geese had already been relocated). 

Here's a picture of one of the beauties up close when I was helping hubby move them to their huge pen with 6 foot high fences and shelters and pools..... 



Ironically the panther is less and less endangered and has taken out all by three of our large Saxony ducks flock which was on the critical endangered list. Can you see how big that pure Saxony drake was and he was NOT even fully grown!

An update to the blog is that all but three of my adult Show Quality Holdread ducks were slain by panther and what appears to be cubs it was training to kill prey as well as possibly a presumptive first strike by male panther ...   I cannot bear to post pictures of the slaying and only recently did my husband give me the full count as I have been very critically ill and he thought the stress would have been very bad.  He was right. Though initially upset not to be told the full truth, after crying and crying and crying about the tragedy, I knew he was right...I could not have stood the news at a time I was having such serious medical issues. I thought the birds were in the back part of the huge fenced in grassy lot we had them in.  After egg laying, they are let out to explore the grass and enjoy live.  Just before the incident I was saying to hubby, if my health continues to do poorly, please keep our precious ducks.  I loved the duck eggs and love to see them grow up and waddle and chat so so.  So fun and friendly. When I think of their last few hours of life, I cannot.  They were asleep when it happened and it's a miracle that the two girls and one guy survived under a mass of death and destruction.   A precious friend said I can start over.   I'm afraid I cannot, I no longer have the diversity for the breeding program I need, but more importantly I no longer feel I can keep anything safe on our farm and if I start from ordering babies for the future, It is too late for this season.   So basically our three year old breeding program will be set back at least two more years and that is a long time in my life. Sending babies in air transit will be too hot on the plane and certainly not bode well for transit.  Holderead doesn't ship eggs, I would gladly try that with this breed.  I saved for almost two years to buy these special birds. I bought two boxes full and ordered 25 birds a box two boxes at over nine dollars a bird plus express shipping so the babies alone were hundreds of dollars, more than we could afford, truly, but I had saved and skimped and sold to buy them. It would cost us well over $500.00 for two boxes of express shipped babies if I could buy them now plus express shipping if mailing temps were right and birds not already prebooked..And then there was the special feed that they needed for months before the first egg even arrived.   As we sold out geese, white puff headed common ducks and other bird groupings, the funds went to the new special duck fund! It took a long time until laying begain - I was so excited to get them as Saxony ducks are an endanged breed that was well known for large body type and great weather diversity, withstanding extreme cold and heat very well.  I know it's not much compared to other person's animal losses, but I'm so destraught and discouraged by constant predators, two legged human types, four legged, slithering kinds, fox, raccoons, oppossums, hawks and more  I know that this animal can come back and likely will as they do have "hunting memory!" The odd thing there was a very open pen with about 11 roos/hens due for relocation and it was not selected.  I guess there is a preference for ducks, they are so friendly and trusting and then they are no more.  

I only know if I had been in or near the pen, I would have fought with a frying pan and a hoe to protect my beloved ducks and safe as many as I could.  Yes the lightweight wannabe seasoned farmer weighing in at 100 plus pounds would have taken this on. I chased coyotes in flip flops with two hoes! I still have duck nightmares and I cannot think of this without tears.     I am praying God will give me full amnesia about the massacre.

For more about the panther:

" Florida panthers live alone, unless a pair is mating or a female is raising cubs.  Males roam much larger territories than the females.  A male can make a territory over 200-250 square miles in size."  The female had finished her birthing and was teaching cubs how to hunt.  cubs will kill in imitation but usually only eat what mother brings them until they are fully trained. 
To read more about the relocation program go here:  Florida Panther

If I have affronted anyone by my blunt openness I am sorry.  I have thought and prayed about posted the massacre scene and I do not want that in your memory as well as mine.  When humans try to decide to relocate animals, they so often fail.  The foxes in GA were relocated in areas along the river rafting and they also have invaded cities and countryside.  The fox  by no means a rare animal, they are an ever present danger anywhere.  Rabies from them continue to happen every year at any increasing rate.    California already limited its fox relocation program and recognized that "Non-native red foxes pose a documented threat to many vulnerable species and ecosystems because they are so highly adaptable and are such adept hunters."   

I would add amen and THAT for any species that is a meat hunter we should study the impact on communities, farmers and backyard hobbyist or anyone that has a pet......

Well be knowledgeable that there are things that lurk in the dark and they are not all our friends....