Sometimes getting the newsletter started is the hardest part. I know there is so much to talk about but pinpointing what is interesting is the hardest part.
I figured this week I could bore you with technical details about breeding hogs or treating potato beetle in the potato patch, but I think sometimes the nuances of farming in Amish country are more interesting.
Last week David and I were walking over to the drag pens to move the meat chickens. As we opened the gate to the pasture, David noticed a larger bird perched atop a dead Ash tree along the edge of the field. "It's a juvenile," I heard David mumble. 'Huh?' I asked.
The large bird took flight and David told me it was a juvenile Bald Eagle. It hadn't yet taken it's full color and was really quite ugly - kind of fuzzy looking from the distance and brown with just a bit of white tips on the wings.
"I'll have to call the hotline later," David proclaimed.
And here a little background might be required. For those who read each week, you might recognize David's name as my main farmhand. David is probably the most reliable and punctual person I've ever met. When it's time to catch broilers at 4 AM, he's sitting in the tractor at 3:45. He's patient and level headed and a key team member here.
On his time off David spends it in the woods or fields watching wildlife. He's an avid birder, as are many Amish men around Holmes County. It's not unusual for him during the day to pull out his binoculars and spend a few minutes observing some birds in the distance.
'What is the hotline,' I asked. David explained that it's a number that Amish men call when they spot an unusual bird in the neighborhood. One guy moderates it and consolidates all the messages into one message. He sorts through what's worthy and leaves a message that other birds can call and check to see what's going on in the area.
This was perfectly logical to me, but it made me smirk just thinking of the differences in how their community and our English (the term for non-Amish) accomplish the same thing. Today, we would use social media to share these experiences and stay connected on similar interests.
Sorry, that had nothing to do with food, but I hope you enjoy this insight into our local food community.