Newry July 29
Hey there, I’m back. Please excuse last week’s absence, life was pretty busy here at the Farm. The morning that my column was due, I was elbow deep in the miracle of life. My favorite goat, a Saanen named Espri, delivered two positively beautiful and rather large dealings (girls). Praedin was delivered at 3 a.m. and her sister, Kessie, arrived, with help, an hour later. Once the girls were cleaned up, dried off and brought into the house it was time to return to the barn to tend to Espri. Milking needs to be done within the first hour after delivery, so I brought my cup of coffee and my pail out to the barn. No longer tired but running on a full load of adrenalin I made myself comfy in the fresh hay beside Espri and began the rather tedious task of expressing colostrums from an exhausted but very patient new mama. Daylight had come I realized, as I made my way back to the house with a full pail of steaming breakfast for the new babies. I started the pasteurizing process, prepared bottles and then took a moment to get myself cleaned up. It was such an exciting, scary and yet magical time.
Since then I have thought an awful lot about the huge manifest of titles and skills that accompany the job description of “Farmer.” I want to get back to basics, to raise our family to be more self-sufficient and to take pride in the fruits of our labors. It is rather involved and time-consuming but it is the root of our lives. The sad part of our journey is that all of these skills, such as midwife, veterinarian, dietitian, horticulturist, mechanic, teacher, etc., are all lost skills that used to come naturally. These rich qualities are not found to hold precedence any longer in the education of our children. Thank you for letting me have a moment, I’ll stand down from the soap box.
Besides our busy lives here and the unexpected discovery of newly hatched chicks, there has been much excitement for the rest of Newry as well! My sister, Amber, her husband, Bryan, and daughter, Maya, are so very pleased to share with everyone the birth of their newest family member. Ava Helen was born July 7 at 4:03 p.m., weighing in at 8 pounds, 8 ounces and 20½ inches long. Life blooms once again and its sweet aroma was taken in by closest family and friends. Grandpa Owen is enjoying the extra visitors and doesn’t seem to have been effected by Ava’s little voice. Uncle Tom, Aunt Edith and their three children were here for a week, staying “up to Camp.” Between Amber’s daughter, my three children, and Rick, Marian and Danny, it was like our own little community with the children all convening in the blueberry field to play.
Dave and Anne Wight were also visitors to Newry last week. They had the privilege of their two grandsons' company as they took in the sights They even came here to the Farm to meet the new baby goats and piglets. Sam caught a bantam hen for the boys to pet and finished by perching the contented hen on top of his head. Of course it had the desired effect, the boys loved it.
Brooks Morton’s oldest son, Joshua, is home for a couple of days. He and his girlfriend, Taryn, are cheese buyers for Whole Foods in San Francisco. Brooks and Josh’s mother, Vicki, held a party for them at Brooks’ house last Friday. Friends and family were there to share a meal and to catch up on each others lives. I brought my specialty, herbed string cheese, eager to have the opinion of cheese connoisseurs and it was a hit. I was so excited to see Josh; he was the closest that I ever came to having a brother. We all had a laugh when he introduced me, rather awkwardly to Taryn, as his first wife. (We were married by my cousin Jennifer on the porch at Grandpa Owen’s house about 25 years ago!) He is really enjoying life in the fast lane but we here at home are trying to talk them into moving a few states closer, like say, Vermont, hint, hint. They spent two days of their East Coast vacation at a Cheese Festival in Vermont, perhaps it grew on them
Lia Paliocha and Keith Durgin‘s son, Lucas Durgin Paliocha, graduated this May from Gould Academy. On the 10th they held a party at their little Emerald Pond to celebrate Luke’s achievements and milestones. Family and close friends, totaling 46 all came to offer their congratulations. Luke has been honored with academic and community awards including induction as a sophomore into National Honor Society, the St. Michaels’ Book Award his junior year and the Principal’s Scholarship award his senior year. In addition to four other scholarships, he also shared Gould’s Art Book award junior and senior years and a Silver Key Award from the state of Maine for one of his paintings. Luke has also come full circle with his skiing. A participant at Maine Handicapped Skiing since age 6, Luke developed his abilities to join the race team there becoming the 2010 junior male winner for New England’s competing adaptive ski teams. He now volunteers with disabled children learning to ski in the program. He also skied on Gould’s Prep Race Team winning the coaches’ award three years and the MAISAD Sportsmanship Award his senior year. Luke plans to continue skiing and volunteering at Sunday River on weekends while pursuing his other passion, art, in a dual program in Boston at the School of Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University this fall. Friends and family from Newry to New York wish him the best of luck in his endeavors.
Please enjoy the fantastic weather this week and don’t forget to stop by Norman’s farm stand before dinner as it is bourgeoning with fresh produce and lush herbs. Love hearing from you- email@example.com or the good ole’ fashioned way- 824-0836.