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Tessa DeMaster

Did I see an Elk in those shadows? + Pigs bulldoze and fertilize after veggies are done

Published 4 months ago • 2 min read

Hi Reader,

Camping overnight in Landers' City Park in Wyoming brought Farmer Reuben to the edge of the wilderness filled with a bright Milky Way, shadows of mule deer and Elk and cold feet in his sleeping bag.

Taking two of our high school children on this adventure to visit Wyoming Catholic College was all he was hoping for - wide open space, friendly people, mountain peaks and mule deer walking down the street.

This town of 5,000 has bakeries and coffee shops, farmer's market, ranches - all locally owned businesses and NO big box stores. It's so refreshing to see a local economy providing the essentials for its own citizens.

Meanwhile back at the Ranch... I mean, Farm!

Andres, the twins and I are keeping up with the farm chores: packing market boxes, picking swiss chard, bottling milk, making butter, shooting videos, and feeding pigs, cows and chickens.

Earlier this week, the farm boy above helped move the pigs from one former vegetable field to the next.

They did it in record time: 45 minutes.

As I explain in the video, the pigs clean up our fields and get them ready for a new season.

video preview

A bulldozer on legs -that's what a pig really is.

Working with a home butcher in his shop a number of years ago proved to me what a massive structure the head of a pig is.

You may think that a pig is large because its purpose is to get fat. That's only part of it.

A pig's body is powerful muscle behind a thick -a very thick- massive skull with a "comparatively small cranial cavity."

As my son says, "All their brains have to do is say, "Eat. Eat. Eat. Dig. Dig. Dig."

Moving earth, pushing stones and rotted tree trunks around and digging up roots in a forest is what pigs do in the wild. They are great for regenerating the land in their own way but their actions can be seen as destructive if not contained.

Some farmers and homesteaders even use pigs for clearing land that they want to farm. Pigs are even better than machines at times because the will leave untouched certain plants like elderberries but destroy poison ivy, root and all.

As the weather gets colder, that's when these pigs will put on the extra fat that I love render down to make lard for making sweet potato fries and Faschnachts.

Your grandmother (or great-grandmother) knew that lard was best for making pie crusts and doughnuts and she most likely had access to a what we now call "grass fed or pastured lard."

Now, if you want access to what used to be normal food, you have to know a farmer or raise your own.

We support your desire to have a good healthy way of life and food on your table that supports that goal.

Our farm members know that we are doing the work, both in the field and in the office, to make REAL, HEALTHY food available to them every time they customize their Market Box Delivery.

NOW is a great time to become a farm member. Our Fall and Winter season is full of amazing food that never stops even though other CSAs and farmer's markets are closing.

We'll keep farming for you!

Reuben and Tessa DeMaster
Willow Haven Farm

P.S. Find out how a Market Box can fit into your life. Need help deciding what size to get? This free download will help you decide What Size Market Box will fit your life.

Thinking of unsubscribing? CSA members need to stay connected to our emails but you can limit them to just vital information about your membership by clicking here.

Tessa DeMaster

Growing up on my family's farm in Pennsylvania, I never would have pictured the life I live at Willow Haven farm. As a kid I spent summers in our large family garden we called, “The Truck Patch”. I helped mom every summer, picking beans, weeding, and cutting fruit and vegetables for the hundreds of jars of canned and frozen produce we put up. Now I spends less time out in the field and more time in the kitchen doing the same preserving for my own farm family. Farmer Reuben values my many hours doing much of the behind the scenes marketing, writing emails to cultivate customers and capturing the farm story each week. I'm always learning along the way in my quest to improve the farm experience for each of her current and future farm members in our 500+ member, year-round customized farm box delivery program. Reading our stories will connect you with your food in a way you never experienced before. Someday soon you will want to fit local food into your life and we'll be here to help you.

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