This week, a little shameless self promotion.
We are celebrating our first direct-to-consumer sales here at Whippoorwill Creek Farm. Four steers were brought to the meat locker on the 15th of April, and will be picked up or delivered to ten or so customers in a couple of weeks. It is both a touching and exciting time - saying goodbye to the animals you cared for day in and day out and having it brought home that, if you eat meat, it does actually come from an animal. Yet at the same time, we can see our hard work paying off and the farm as a business and ecosystem thriving.
It is also an ending during a period where the world is badly craving closure. More and more people are getting the Covid-19 vaccine while many others come up with reasons not to, in a pandemic that feels like it could both be over at any moment and last a lifetime. The George Floyd murder trial may have "ended," yet several Black people were killed by police in questionable circumstances during the very same week. States are concocting First Amendment restraints on protesting, just as thousands again take to the streets, making their patriotic voices heard.
And here, in rural Iowa, the end of winter marks the beginning of the parade of fertilizer and herbicide trucks down our gravel road. The chemicals mean a continuation of business as usual, the trucks emptying their contents onto bare fields, which then erode into local streams and creeks when it rains. This, just after the Raccoon River in Iowa was named one of the most polluted in the nation, primarily because of the use of agricultural fertilizers and herbicides.
So a true ending and a fresh beginning is badly needed - a time to be nourished and revitalized. On the farm we experienced that with our cattle, ending one cycle and propelling us into the next. We are excited to head into the next summer with new ideas and some new goats.
It is also high time to celebrate all we have accomplished (although sometimes it feels like there is so much more we have not yet started!): our commitment to not spraying chemicals, to restoring our ecosystem and to our success on the farm. We've made it through our first three years, have planted hundreds of trees and cleared out invasive weeds; we now have about 70 cows on the farm, acquired a flock of goats and two new dogs (even if one is a "villain"). Perhaps most importantly (however capitalistic of us) we have eked out a small profit to pour back into the farm, meaning that we can survive another year and continue on with our adventure and goal of changing this one tiny portion of the earth.
Also to celebrate is the support we have gotten in the form of your comments and "likes," your emails and even a card or two. Having you all along for the ride has added immensely to our journey and we feel like we are creating the village it takes to truly support a farm.
And so...merch. Maybe you need a celebration of your own and might like to take a piece of the farm home, even if you live hundreds of miles away. We are having a shirt made for the farm by a local printer - the super soft kind, available in a women's cut (with a v-neck) as well as "unisex." They are $25 each (including shipping) and will be ready at the beginning of May if we place an order this week.
Click here if you would like to order a shirt or two. There is a black version too (with white lettering and cows, and green grass). We will contact you directly to confirm your order and to figure out payment.
But regardless of a silly t-shirt, we hope you find your own way to celebrate an ending in your life and build upon it for the future. Thanks for all your support.