Fall weddings are really beautiful. June weddings are quite popular, but I prefer fall weddings. I just prefer the fall. The colors are awesome. Earth tones everywhere. Yellow, orange, brown, rusty red. Some of my favorite colors. Today I’m going to talk about what makes weddings special no matter the season.
But first, I want to take a minute and say welcome to all the new listeners and welcome back to the veteran homestead-loving regulars who stop by the FarmCast for every episode. I say it every time and I mean it every time. I appreciate you all so much.
Our Virginia Homestead Life Updates
What’s going on at the homestead right now? Well, it turns out a lot.
Today, I’m starting with the creamery. It’s so exciting to see it evolving day by day. Scott has worked so hard on this project and continues to work hard every day to get it done. Even when I’m sick or traveling or whatever and he has to step in and take on my work load, he is right there picking up my slack and getting his tasks done as well. He is so amazing.
What he thought would be a rather quick task of a day or two is turning out to be days and days and days. That’s because he is doing such a magnificent job of it. I’m talking about filling in those spaces between the blocks that has been on his radar for weeks. It needs to be completed before the weather gets too cold and the mortar wouldn’t set up as well.
He has been at it for quite a few days and it looks wonderful. Not only is he filling in the spaces between the blocks, he is also giving it a wonderful rough finish. It’s going to be truly stunning once completed and painted. He always goes that extra mile to make his work durable and beautiful.
The cows and bulls got shuffled around. Only two bulls with a few sheep are in one animal group. The larger group of our milking girls, the main flock of sheep and all of the goats are getting ready for the rotation through the back fields.
We rotate our stock for several reasons. The biggest reason I think is for parasite control. They never eat the grass down so low they are re-ingesting parasites they just eliminated. Fresh, tall grass makes that impossible. Another huge reason for rotating stock is managing the grass. Just like any other animal, they eat all the really tasty stuff first and leave the undesirable stuff behind. Well, if you let that continue, all of the really tasty stuff eventually gets eliminated and only the less nutritious and less desirable grass is left.
Keeping them confined in a small area until they must eat the second and third desirable grass maintains a variety of grasses in the pasture. No one grass is left to take over. All are grazed and that maintains a balance. It is a delicate dance to get them to eat everything without eating it too far to the ground.
The fields in the back have been left to grow without being grazed for many months now. We have been working towards a goal of having enough grass for the livestock to graze throughout the winter without feeding hay. I’m thinking we are not quite there yet, but we get closer every year. The longer we can go without having to put out hay, the better. Leaving these fields to grow throughout most of the summer without being grazed makes a kind of hay in the field that we don’t have to buy.
It’s getting closer and closer to the time when the sheep will begin their breeding cycle. This task is so much easier to handle that getting the cows bred. We simply put the breeding ram in with the girls – the ones we pick out for breeding – and that’s all there is to it. We do not have to keep such a close check on exactly when the lambs are born. They can be born over two or even three months if necessary and our plans will still come out all right. Not like the cows when we need the calves to be born within a specific window because of our milking schedule.
The lambs grow out over a year or even a little longer. We process them as needed for ourselves and for our customers.
There isn’t much to say about the garden. We still have a lot of clean up to complete and I still have some peppers growing out there. The first frost hasn’t happened yet. We will go as long as possible before clearing out everything that will be killed off by the frost. That includes the lima beans, the basil, parsley, and the potatoes as well as the peppers. The other herbs need to be moved to containers for planting in a more permanent location in the spring. I suppose I could just leave them where they are until spring, then create the herb garden of my dreams. We shall see.
Now I’m on to fall weddings. I just returned from a trip to Oklahoma where my grandson was married and is now off on his honeymoon. It was as beautiful service. I got to see family that I haven’t seen in years. It had been four years since I had been to Oklahoma to see my children and grandchildren. Some of them have visited me here in Virginia in between but it’s always nice to get to visit them. I hadn’t seen my sister and her daughter and grandchildren in longer still. It was wonderful to see them.
I lived in Oklahoma for four years and loved every minute of it. The seasons are similar to ours here in Virginia. It does get a little hotter in the summer and a bit colder in the winter – and those scary tornadoes – but overall, the USDA growing season is about the same.
Weddings are wonderful no matter the time of year. When two people come together and pledge to love one another through thick and thin, the bad and the good, it’s a beautiful thing. Life will bring them many challenges and with God’s help they will meet those challenges together. I didn’t get the chance to ask about their plans for my great-grandchildren. We shall see.
The Marriage Relationship
One of the unique things about a marriage relationship is that we choose it. We do not choose our mother, father, brothers, sisters, or other relatives. Marriage is the only one we choose on purpose. It is where you spend most of your life. As a child you spend 18 to 20 or 22 or so years with your parents. But those parents will spend that time and much more together as a couple. As a married couple you share all sorts of physical, mental and emotional challenges.
And marriage is only the first step. Having children and a family is the next logical step for most married couples. In fact, it may be the reason they came together. They wanted to raise a family. In raising a family, the solid base of humanity is maintained. It is the raising of children that then have children who also have children that maintains the human species.
Traditional Marriage and Parenting
Traditionally, the role of the parents was to raise other human beings that would contribute to society. These new adults would further society and continue the tradition that came before them. In this way, humanity was able to evolve over millennia and not become extinct like so many other species. It is the natural way of our world. It is how we came to be today.
But today sometimes it seems like that natural world is falling apart. In this world of computers, iPhones, iPads and social media, we have lost touch with each other. We have lost the physical touch. And in this day of covid19 it has gone even further. Many of us are afraid to hug another human being. We are afraid of dying from loving another. I find this heart wrenching.
Why We Survived as a Species
Over thousands of years we have survived many hardships. Many times, our population could have been wiped out. Many times, millions of people have died during these difficult periods of our history. Never before have we stopped living our lives. Why have we stopped living our lives this time? I do not have an answer. Likely there are many reasons.
At my grandson’s wedding, his grandparents on his father’s side did not attend the wedding. They were afraid of covid19. I cannot fault them on their choice. Especially since I have no idea their state of health. We all must make choices during this time. I am grateful that we live in this country where we can make those choices – well in most places in the country we can still make those choices. I realize some states have been stricter than others in this. I was pleased that the restrictions were few. The wedding was outside and there was no restriction there. Inside, the only restriction was wearing a mask while in the buffet food line.
It was beautiful to see people interacting, talking dancing, laughing and enjoying themselves with no apparent fear or apprehension. I’m only now just thinking of this. People hugged. People danced closely with one another. People talked in groups of one, two, five or more and no masks. Many of you are listening to this now with horror, I know. But for me, it was a joyful experience as it should be at any wedding. Maybe some will get sick. Maybe some will get very sick. Maybe some will die. But all will live their lives knowing they enjoyed that moment in time. And it was worth every moment, no matter the outcome.
Fall marriages and indeed marriages at any time of year symbolize the starting of yet another journey into adulthood with good times and bad times, challenges, loves, and yes even fears. It is life.
The Grace of God
I feel so for those that now live in fear for their lives. They fear loving others in any physical way. It’s so sad. Yes, wear your mask as you feel the need. Wash your hands. But don’t stop hugging others. Open your heart to the grace of God and give up your fear. Heaven awaits the faithful. Death is not to be feared. Pray for those who are Godless that they may come to the understanding that there is no need to fear death when heaven is your next destination. You are free to love and live. You are free.
That’s it for today’s podcast. I know it was a little off the beaten path for me, but I felt the need to share some traditional faith, hope, and love. I trust all is well in your life and you can call on others when you need that extra boost. Call on me. I’ll be here.
Enjoy the fall weddings or winter weddings or whenever weddings. The union of two people starting out in life is glorious. Let’s celebrate new unions and new life.
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Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.
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