Footehills Farm Christmas 2017
Let us start by wishing all of our Footehills Farm fans, customers and friends a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous new year. This season is the time for celebrations by many religions and pagan cultures. It represents a time of sharing, community, endings and beginnings. Some of these celebrations are:
Pancha Ganapati – Holiday of Ganesh the Hindu god of beginnings; deva of intellect and wisdom
Mōdraniht – Saxon winter solstice festival.
Saturnalia – Celebrating Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture. An ancient Roman winter solstice festival
Soyal is the winter solstice ceremony of the Zuni and the Hopi. It also marks the beginning of another cycle of the Wheel of the Year,
Kwanzaa – is a pan-African holiday celebrating family, community and culture
Dōngzhì Festival or Winter Solstice Festival – One of the most important Chinese celebrations. A time to get gather together and share meals. The festive food is also a reminder that celebrators are now a year older and should behave better in the coming year.
The celebrations all have one thing in common- the end of current year, with its victories, defeats, mistakes and good decisions and bad – and the start of a new year, with new opportunities to learn, grow, repair, rejuvenate and make good decisions and choices. After this past year we, are embracing the thought of a new beginning (so needed).
This is the time of year when we can catch our breath and take stock of what we’ve done and what we learned. Next year we will begin to make plans….meanwhile, we also note and thank all of those mentors, volunteers, friends and family who have traveled that path with us. We could not do anything without our community. With arms wide open we embrace new and old friends and find many people that are like-minded (we tend to not attract those who wish to take from, diminish us or who are opposed to our values and principles). Which makes us pause when we watch the powers that are currently driving the country-all based on fear, anger and hate. That does not seem like it can go well -if you believe in the law of attraction!
We remain rooted in the local food movement and work to make those local options more available to our region. We firmly believe that eating locally not only is healthier for us (fresher, higher vitamin/mineral content, good biomes, and more) but also builds a stronger local economy. We have made our farm available to those wanting to learn more about how to do or not do things when growing in a sustainable way. We hope to build on that this next year. We as a country need to do more about the small farmer before they become extinct. Most of our somewhat limited local foods come from small farms (not the mega farms) and yet most small farmers must have outside jobs to make living and farming doable. The government subsidizes large farms and foods coming from other countries but not our own small farmers! And it is even worse if you are someone trying to buy a small farm. Remember in the old days many farmers began as homesteaders-no money-just vision and willingness to work the land. Now many of those farms have run out of relatives to take them on and are being sold to developers, and other countries (China and Saudi Arabia needing land that can grow food). We are losing our most important food land to other things! People around the country are starting to notice this deficit and are working to make farmland available to younger farmers but they need all our help and support (money, ideas, and political will).
In our effort to make our “non-profit” farm profitable we have continued work on our website (let us know what works or doesn’t work for you), adding several “value-added” products and selling things in bundles all seem to work better than just selling a fresh or dried herb. We worry that many of our younger friends don’t do much scratch cooking, so they have no use for herbs of any kind. Meanwhile, we have learned that almost all herbs are as medicinal as any wildcrafted plant is! So, we are also helping to start an herbal guild in our region, allowing us to learn and share how to collect and make amazing medicinals from our woods and plantings. Our first two meetings had about 30 people coming to join in!! More on that initiative next year. This is all selfish on Torie’s part. Increasingly she has found many pharmaceuticals and other heavily processed foods either don’t work or make her sick. Making “it” ourselves makes things taste or work better.
*&(()^^%%$#! Hold her down while I get this out. Excuse me but I represent the Fowel Union here on Footehills Farm and I need to get a word in here. You need to know it is not all roses and berries!!! First they got rid of all the roosters leaving us hens, or “layers”, as they like to call us, alone without our rooster-folk for entertainment. Then, suddenly, there appeared next to us a bunch of different chickens on one side and on the other, turkeys! Can you believe it? Turkeys! So, after a while, we kind of warm to these others and get to know them a bit. The meat birds are a sad lot, knowing their ultimate fate. We tried to humor them. The turkeys, well what can you say about turkeys? Dumb does not begin to describe them. On the flip side, they are friendly, curious and innocent of what lies ahead of them.
Us new layers are kinda of getting used to the neighborhood, when “Wham!”, just like that we discover that all the meat birds are gone. We knew it would happen eventually but, still, it is shock when it happens. We didn’t even have a chance to give them our most sage advice, “You shoulda been a layer.” Then, a little while later, the turkeys are gone. Of course, being turkeys they did not even realize they were going. Ah, such sweet innocence! So, we, the remaining fowl in the union, held a meeting and decided that, while it was an inevitable event, it did have a deeper meaning for us. A motion was proposed, and passed, for each of us, for the good of the flock, to make a concerted effort to lay more eggs. Anybody need some?
Back to the Foote’s…..we love getting Christmas cards, and the letters, and mostly hearing from each of you in some way. And of course, our door is always open and you are all invited to come.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!
Alice McCrave says
Torie and Thom, I didn’t get around to writing cards this year, and wondered if I’d get your letter which didn’t mention any offspring, always of interest. A few CCE retirees still get together monthly for breakfast on Henrietta Rd (Jay’s) And I keep in touch with a few other out of town RITers by e-mail. There is a new President (Munson) at RIT — who received 50 million from a grad who is on the board of directors, nice way to start new administration. Sue Rogers who first headed up Distance Learning is still is at WXXI. I believe Claudia Kerbel is still in Rhode Island. Irene Hawryschuk is on transition retirement from Registrar’s office, and had been working on getting RIT on a semester rather than quarter system. Larry Belle sometimes joins our breakfast group, but it’s mostly ladies, Nancy Kunkler keeps us posted on dates.
Not doing much traveling, usually just one day bus-tours, but did get to Naples FL for a week. Went to a wedding, saw family, friends and old neighbors and damage from hurricane Irma which took roof off my former home’s ;porch, deck and carport. Thanks for post card. Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year! Alice
Torie Foote says
Hey! I just saw a way to respond to your note (a year late!). We put our letter on this site and sent out postcards directing you here. Hope that you got that. This year we are mailing out a postcard to direct people to here but also emailing a more personal letter. It saves some money but there is still a card I make from something on the farm (I love Christmas cards!). Hope to hera from you again!
Hi Torie and Tom
I’m not very “techie” I’m on Facebook but don’t know how to use it either. So far I’m doing OK, recovering from installation of new parts – in my case second hip replacement. Still getting around town, and once a month RIT retirees have breakfast together at Jay’s diner. Last Fri in Nov. I attended retirement party for Irene Hawryschuk, Sad that just before Thanksgiving, Janet Jackling died from lung cancer. Rose Ellen Larish and husband John (who just had 90th birthday), Judy Denise and I were at funeral on miserable cold snowy day. I was too slow doing cards this year, luckily I can do my Christmas shopping on Amazon, everything is here, now just need to sort and wrap. Our bowling group just had a cookie exchange yesterday along with lunch and gift exchange or steal – I think it’s called Yankee swap. Fun time. Hope you fill me in on your family’s escapades. Hope you are doing well, BTW my oldest (Donna) is still working at Kodak, Tim living with me and Nancy started in September as UX researcher for company in Copenhagen Denmark (she works here from Home). .Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Alice
Torie Foote says
A postcard will be coming out to send you to our new blog here. We are also emailing a letter that has more about our family and other foibles. So you should get both! Your kids sound like they have interesting lives, I enjoy hearing about them. Sorry to hear about Janet-a painful way to go. Hope you are cruising well with your new hip. Merry Christmas!!