Sunday, February 5, 2012

PASA 2012 day 4

The day began with a presentation on the topic of having livestock and vegetables and low tech, fossil fuel free solutions to manage. It went pretty smoothly, with only a couple people falling asleep in the first (and early) session.

Then a keynote speaker, Shannon Hayes, who has written a couple of grass fed meat cookbooks as well as the book Radical Homemaker. Her premise is simple: if you buy less you need to make less and if you buy local much can be bartered. That the work of a family has become shopping..for things that people used to make themselves. Of course many Amish and Mennonites attend the conference, and they never moved away from the idea that family is first, children need age appropriate responsibilities, that growing, preserving and managing your own food and land is the work intended for us to do.

Shannon also writes about an intentional decision to live this be near different generations of her own family, to labor daily on the farm, to decide what to take to the farmers market, when to relax and enjoy the day..and does so, daily, with her husband. And with her children, parents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, friends. She ties in history, pop culture and plenty of humor. We will read her book aloud to each other as we do most others: as we drive places and return back.

Then we had the opportunity to take the kids who were in camp programs to see the chickens and to move the pen. Homer always says his pen design is so little ones can move it as well as old folks..and while some of the 6 year olds could not budge it there was a strong 4 year old who got it rolling! I tease Homer sometimes about over engineering but when that little girl got that pen moving it was beautiful to see. The hens moved right around and were just as happy moving as being in one place.

And then a session on flower growing, what a delight. Little nuggets learned that will be implemented!

Home again and time to get back to work. With much gratitude to Jessica, who made our trip away from the farm possible..the place looks fantastic after being in her care! Thanks for being here and allowing us the time away.

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