It is no surprise that death and new life are often intermingled.
On December 31, in the waning hours of 2021 our friend Sage came and helped us put our goat matriarch down (euthanize). I have been present at times of death before. I remember sitting vigil with my brother and at his time of passing called out, “I think he died.” At that point his breathes were so far a part and his passing so gradual that the moment of death was very soft. I’ve been witness to the time of death when we have butchered cows. Sometimes it has been a smooth passing and sometimes it has been hard. For Penny it quick. Karin and I held her, reassuring her of our presence and of calm, I began to hum softly (probably more to soothe myself) and then with the final needle her breath stopped immediately. One moment her lungs were inflating and then next there was absolute stillness. It was very final.
Penny came to our farm with her daughter Amy in April of 2019. She was gentle, her eyes conveyed wisdom. She was calm and attentive. Since then she’s birthed 7 more beautiful kids who’ve gone on to other farms at this point. But Penny struggled to maintain health and enough fat on her to make it through the winter. She had a bad bacterial infection in the end.
I am grateful for the ease with which we were able to journey with her in her final journey, and for the accompaniment of Sage and Karin. Thank you to all those that have come to Kingfisher Farm visited her through the years. She was well-loved.
Green Bean Soup
We don't freeze every vegetable but I do try to freeze some balls of spinach, broccoli and green beans. When I looked into my freezer this week I saw that I had many bags of beans left to enjoy. So I'm going to pick up a ham hock this week and go back to soup that both Paul and I grew up with.
3 T butter and 1 large onion
6 cups stock (made with a ham hock)
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup potatoes, diced
4 cups green beans
fresh parsley chopped
1 bunch summer savory
Cook until vegetables are tender. Just before serving, remove summer savory.
1/2 cup cream
salt and pepper
Enjoy on a chilly winter day!
Some biscuits on the side would be wonderful.
Recipe from More-With-Less Cookbook
And then the rain stopped
mist rising from sodden earth
sun beams drawing our eyes to glimmering leaves.
and we listened to the stories
houses released from their foundations
toppling into the river
young children rescued by helicopter
and other stories
a feast gifted to those stranded
600 hands damming a pump station
safe houses offered to strangers
about climate change
about supporting local
about coming together
and there were other voices
voices being silenced
water sacred yet poured out
crying to protect our watershed
to protect the rivers
my mind reeled
searching for clarity
"be the change you want to see"
so the saying goes
so we tended the soil
we donated toothpaste
we shared borscht with friends
we wondered about farmers in other countries that might need refuge
we bought seeds
we lit a candle for those who are sitting in the depths of this loss
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