Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

A Wells Tavern Farm Hillbilly Limousine

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Our new favorite toy is a 1987 Dodge Ram 150 4×4. It has been lovingly cared for by one single owner (father-daughter situation) and appears to have been w-a-x-e-d sometime in the last handful of months. Waxed. Wow.
We looked at the vehicle last night. My husband and mother test drove it. Then I was brought in to approve their decision. It would be a big financial commitment — I had to cast the prudent and wise vote to either purchase or let it pass by. How do I make the decision? I have been told that I can’t drive a standard transmission, so I couldn’t test drive it. I looked under the truck and observed the frame, and looked at the alignment of the doors to the truck body. No noticable wracking from the Fisher plow and its use. The tires were just purchased, they were new. New. Not used, not new to us… but really new. That is very cool. The truck had four tires, two doors, an interior that needed some assistance from the parts store: a new door handle, a clasp of some fashion for the glove box… little things. And then I closed the drivers side door, and saw the wax. It was visible in that little crevice that is hard to get into that is around the round exterior silver door lock.
When I saw the wax, my heart skipped a beat. “Yup.” I said.
“Yup? Do we get it, or do we keep looking?” they asked.
“Call her. We’re buying it.” I replied.

Okay, really…I am not that totally shallow. I really did look at a few more details on the vehicle, but, basically, yes, the wax was the deciding factor.

(Time elapses)
The truck has a little gas tank leak, and some play in the steering wheel.

Our Dodge. 60,000 original miles in a twenty-two year old truck. (Think, think) that is less than three thousand miles a year, average.  That is a pretty small carbon footprint for that truck in a lifetime — think of it — it sports an engine that is older than most convenience store employees, and not stopping anytime soon — we are keeping another truck from having to be manufactured, and shipped.  Provided that it is maintained well by us, we will actually be conserving precious resources, while stylin’ in a two-tone Dodge Ram. A four wheel drive blue and white truck with its original pinstriping (pinstripes!) and all of its service and owners paperwork. A plow. A classic 80’s aluminum tailgate protector strip. It really is a hoot of a truck.

Postscript: Maybe we were wrong.  Day One, trip one.   Husband just called me. He is stranded on New York State Route 22 with a blown stainless steel brake line, a pig in a tagalong trailer and with very little cellphone signal. We have no prospects for being rescued for hours, if we can find a part.

PPS: Driving without an Emergency Brake, and with Stainless Steel Brake line clamped off with vice grips. Leaking Brake Fluid. Got as far as Spruce Corner Restaurant in Goshen, MA. Called for assistance.  Never going to make Ashfield Mountain without brakes!

I guess that the truck is still lovely, though I wouldn’t have thought that it would have been outfitted with aftermarket specialty high-performance brake lines.  Note to self: check the brake lines next time before buying a vehicle.  The special ones are special order only, two-to three days.  (dope slap head here)

Small Farming? How Small?

In Uncategorized on July 18, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Not large, and kind of dinky. Our farm is small. We have about fifty acres of forested land with a fairly steep slope to it, and about ten acres of grazing pastures. There are under a dozen beef and milk cows, combined, and about a hundred turkeys, maybe a hundred chickens and meat birds, a half dozen pigs (the ladies have not yet farrowed) about twenty five ducks and a handful of geese.
Volume. There is a great volume of time daily devoted to caring for each of these species. Each has their own needs and every animal has an individual personality. Many of them, especially all of the cows (beef and dairy) have names. Many of the chickens and turkeys have names, and a few actually know their own name. What we don’t have is a volume of beef, or pork or turkey meat.
What we do is offer meat products from each of the the species, seasonally, in limited quantities.
High quality and low volume. We graze and pasture the animals on the same grass and in adjoining pastures. Everyone gets along and cohabits nicely. What that means for the land is that the grazing techniques of each of the species allows the land to provide differently for each. Cows rip up hunks of grass, sheep nibble, geese pick, chickens eat the tops off the grass, and hogs root up and/or nip off the tops of the grass.
There are other local farms who have the volume of single species to provide halves and quarters of beef and provide for some real volume purchases. Do I wish that we could do that? Yes and no. I know that our land cannot sustain the number of hooves that the other farms do. The neighbor farms acreage must be easily up in the hundreds of acres. With the luxury of hundreds of acres, I would raise more volume, but given our situation, we do what we can while attempting to not overburden the land.
Stewardship of what we have is important to us.  If we tried to raise too many hooves on the ground at once, we would be no better than the industrial farms out West — the ones that destroy the root systems of the grass, strip the nutrients from the soil and cause erosion and other environmental issues.

So we do what we can with what we have.  We offer limited quantities of seasonal meats of the utmost quality from animals who tread lightly upon our pastures.

What we have NOW:

Ground Beef in one pound packages, patties, steaks and some smaller roasts.

Frozen Young Duck and Stewing Chickens.

Fresh Chicken Eggs!

Reserve your family’s Wells Tavern Farm Thanksgiving Pastured Heritage Breed Turkey — fresh for Thanksgiving!  (Remember that we sell out early in the fall — reservations are limited.)

Next week:

Goat.  I have sold most if not all of this meat, but if you have a request for a specific cut, contact me before it is gone.

Mid August:

An extremely limited quantity of  Lamb.

Late August:

We are getting ready for pork chops, ham steaks, bacon, and sausage.  Products that will not be smoked are expected to be available in mid August. Smoked bacon and ham steaks will be early September, I believe.

Questions, custom orders, suggestions? send an email or call! Thanks.