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Natural Roots. July 1, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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One of our local CSA’s, the one of which my Susan owns a share, operates entirely by hand- and horse-power, with no motorized equipment on the property, period.  The fields are plowed and hayed and tended entirely by a team of well cared for horses who work hard along side their owner/farmers:

It’s pretty cool seeing things get done the “old fashioned” way, with simple machinery and patience:

Kinda makes things taste better, whether it’s the lack of petroleum residues on the produce or just the knowledge that we’re treating Mother Nature with the respect she deserves.

Western Massachusetts is fairly buried under the volume of such community supported farms, which are by and large doing very well, with clients including supermarkets and school as well as us hippies up in the hills.  I’m a big fan of the concept, and if you don’t have a garden, I’d love to encourage you to find a CSA near you and support it.  You’ll be doing a good thing, both for yourself and for your world.

‘Nuff said.

Bye!  🙂

More From The Festival Of The Hills! October 10, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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Here’s a brief tour of last weekend’s festivities in Conway:

The “welcome wagon,” in front of the Field Memorial Library, built by a local-boy-made-good:

The library is a visual anomaly in this little hill town of one story wood-framed buildings, but when a local-farm-boy-turned-department-store-mogul builds his home town a library, you just say, “Thank you.”  😉

The town hall is the only other “modern” building in sight, and the gateway to the festivities:

This is basically an agricultural fair in the old New England tradition, with displays by local farms:

…these being organic goodies from our CSA.

There’s fresh cider from local apples:

…Did I mention that it’s fresh?

And lots of food from local restaurants and crafts from local artisans:

But the real excitement is provided by Six Flags Over Conway – witness the Giant Swing:

…the Slide of Death:

Mountain Climbing for Those Who Dare:

…and of course, what country shindig would be complete without… a rodeo!

While some might express their disdain for such reckless pursuit of excitement…

(I was going to title this one, “Llama Lifts a Leg” until Susan pointed out that it’s an alpaca, which doesn’t alliterate as easily…)

…none could be other than impressed by feats of Herculean Strength such as the Ladies’ Skillet Toss:

And let me tall ya, these grrrls could hurl!

All kidding aside, this was a great day of family fun, with all proceeds going to benefit scholarships for the town’s students.

That alone was plenty of reason to go and drop a few bucks.

A Visit To The CSA. May 28, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Politics and Society.
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I recently accompanied Susan to her CSA, a Community Supported Agriculture farm in which she owns a share.  Her investment provides her with generous weekly bags of beautiful, fresh organic vegetables throughout the growing season, as well as cut flowers and value-added products made on the farm.

This is a really cool place, special in that it’s not only organic, it’s set apart from the petroleum-fueled world by the South river, the only bridge being scaled for pedestrians.

All of the farm work is done by hand and by horse; manual labor weeds the beds and manages the gardens, and all of the heavy work, including plowing and tilling and hauling loads, is accomplished by horse power.

And that’s why we’re here today – Gus, a working horse, had a leg problem, which Susan has been attending to, and she was here on a follow-up visit.

We cross the bridge to this little Utopia, leaving the noise of the twenty-first century behind:

…and enter a world of simple yet elegant machines:

No gas tanks here, just hay fields and pastures.

And the “parts shop” doesn’t smell of oil and degreasers, but rather of hay and sweet manure:

Susan was here to dig deep into Gus’s  leg and loins…

“Say what???…”

Yeah, Gus, you heard that right, and you’re gonna love it, trust me.

Susan leaning into it…

…and Gus loving it:

The result was that Gus, expected to be sidelined for at least two weeks, was back to work in two days, and has been productively pain free since his therapy.

Susan is something of an animal empath, and gets a great deal of satisfaction from this aspect of her work.

And she loves being a part of this beautiful endeavor:

We’ll be back, and we’ll keep you posted on what happens next.