An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Susan has been keeping the Farm Blog updated far more than I have said anything about our work or life on Paradosis. In fact, I've obviously not done much updating here at all - too much time tinkering with stupid Facebook...but not only that: I've been busy reading and studying my materials for the DVP, I'm preparing for another Uganda trip, I'm wrestling with back problems again, working on that darned book I'll seemingly never finish, and in general have just been busy...and if not that, then just plain lazy. Mostly the latter I guess.
The most notable events here at our little mini farm has largely surrounded the first of two expected kiddings. Butter gave us a little doe and a buck and you can read about that HERE. All went well. Just two days ago however Butter began to develop signs of hypocalcemia (which is how, we are fairly sure, we lost her mother last year) and so chaos reigned for a day or two while we played goat vet. But all is well now - turned out an accidental change of feed from Cenex might have caused all the fuss. Goats are sort of like Orthodoxy...they don't like change. Butter's older daughter is expected to kid in the next few weeks. All of this also means that we are back into milk and cheese!
In this post Susan has put up numerous pics of one of our recent summer-like days and you can see the planting she and the kids have been doing. (It also has the kids being born). Susan has been doing most of the gardening - as usual. She's expanded with a couple of new beds in the main garden and two more new beds in a region east of the house which used to be wasted grass. We've largely abandoned tomatoes as being a waste of time in this region and are focusing for maximum production. Once again, we NEED a good crop. Finances are tight and are only going to get tighter as it appears the transmission on the truck is on the fritz.
Kelsey is apparently going to raise a few ducks and they will coordinate with Susan's gardening buy reporting for slug removal duty...plus we'll sell their eggs. The chickens, speaking of eggs, have been working overtime and are giving us an average of 32 eggs a day now!
We are all happy to see the weather shifting beautifully into Spring/Summer. Once again we've had a wacky winter full of rain and this time much snow, and having so much to do outside, the mud grows terribly wearisome. But that's in the past. Apple trees are blooming...we even have a bloom on our baby Italian Plum (future source of brandy or at least wine I hope). The cedars have already rained down their smoke-like pollen EVERYWHERE and while torturous to some...it is a welcomed happening to me. All other trees are showing their plumage and I'm seeing green salmon berries forming, which could mean our berry season will be more reasonable this year. I'm intent on trying to make blackberry wine, darn it! This is the year!
Birds are amassed. Including swallows...which we've not seen much of in years past. They are welcomed guests...readily invited to devour as many skeeters as they can. Same with our faithful bats which the girls have seen, but I haven't yet. Grass is growing like crazy and we've been having Charissa harvest it with our St. Brigid Farm lawn combine for the chickens, who feed on it voraciously.
Anyway, much to do...I'm compiling a lengthy "to do" list for this summer. I have many unfinished projects and so I will post them here and note their completion as I manage it. Perhaps this will help keep me accountable.
So...off to Uganda on Monday for a couple weeks and then home for a couple of days and then off to New York to St. Vlads for the Liturgical Practicum and then finally home to stay. I hope to blog more while on these excursions. Prayers sought for traveling mercies.
Thank you, James, for the almost lyrical description of happenings on the farm. What a blessing it must be for you and all your family to dwell in the midst of so much that is basic to life, producing with your own hands -- and great amounts of labor -- what most of us take for granted as we move through the neighborhood "supermarkets." May all turn out this season as you have hoped!
May God richly bless you during your trip to Uganda, blessing and protecting your family while you are gone, and may your efforts there bear fruit to His glory! If it is not actually possible for you to blog while you're there, I hope you will make notes for blogging upon your return!