Step into Life at White Rose Farm!

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Posted 1/8/2015 7:24am by Sally Voris .

A friend and I stepped into two inches of light, crystalline snow last night. We had committed to spreading the Three-Kings preparation, a world-wide ritual to heal the Earth.

Hugo Erbe created this preparation after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. A biodynamic farmer in Germany, Erbe felt how the bombings disturbed the elemental beings and the energy field of the earth. He created a healing balm made of gold, frankincense and myrrh, the gifts that the Three Kings had brought to honor the Christ child. Those substances,some say, represent an awareness of the spiritual events behind physical form.Others say that in this ritual, we are preparing for the coming of the etheric Christ.

I had heard about this preparation from another friend. She described how biodynamic farmers all over the world spread this preparation on their land at dusk on January 6. I imagined a healing wave of energy circumnavigating the globe. I wanted to participate.

I order a kit from the Josephine Porter Institute(www.jpibiodynamics.org). On New Year's Eve, I grind the three ingredients together, then add water and glycerin to make a paste. On January 6 in the afternoon, I mix the paste with water and stir it for an hour. As darkness settles, I sprinkle the enlivened water around the perimeter of the farm. I invite friends to join me.

The first year, another friend helped me. We faced freezing rain and sloppy snow. My friend is a short, stout woman with great heart, but limited stamina. I decided to ask the trees to help us. We both felt their excitement at being included! Now, each year, I include them and bless them.

To view a tree trunk by the light of the moon in mid-winter reminds me of how it is to see one's naked lover standing in half-light, open to being seen. One becomes expectant, appreciative, humble. To be seen in one's nakedness; to see another clearly. To face the elements—the elemental forces—that is much of what stepping into the woods at this time of year is like.

I first exercise my will to step away from the warm hearth fire to don layer upon layer of clothes. I step outside, feel the chill of the air, breathe in its freshness, wonder at the breadth of the sky, the magic of the moon hanging above the Earth, the crunch of the snow underfoot, and the sublime quiet.

My friend and I tromped through high grass along the fence row in the pasture. Soon we stood amidst field and tree,far from any reminder of the modern world. We saw the play of form and formless—the silhouettes of buildings, trees and shrubs against white open fields and broad sky. We noticed clumps of snow on the ends of the long stalks of weeds We watched my dog run happily through the snow. We were surprised as birds flitted suddenly from brush, twittering. It was intensely present; deeply filling.

It feels ancient,” my friend said. She had listened to a program on the radio as she drove from the Washington DC area to the farm. A guest described how technology could send a sense of fragrance from one person to another. Such technology seemed inconsequential where we now walked.

I want to get more people to the farm, I explained, to connect with the Earth. It is not enough to think: we must find a spiritual path and walk it; find a devotional practice and do it to make a difference.

Last year this friend and I were out on the coldest night of the year in blustery wind, freezing cold. She already plans to be back next year. So do I. 

Posted 12/24/2014 1:52pm by Sally Voris .

My friend and I had been preparing for Brigid, Buttercup's mother, to come board here over the winter. Our heifer, Buttercup, now five months pregnant, has lived here two years. To go from one cow to two seemed another giant step toward making the farm whole—cows, I have been told by many are herd animals and need companions. I would now have a herd over the winter. I did not know how much uncharted territory I would discover.

We cut vines off of the fence posts, cut and raked grass from under the fence. We pounded T-posts along a line in the pasture and then strung two strands of electric wire on it. We tightened the existing fencing and made new four-board panels for around the barn.

“The weather is not fit to work in,” my neighbor advised. It was cold, windy and rainy.

“Where are you going to put that cow?” she asked. I had planned to let her into the pasture at the end of the farm lane. “You don't want to do that.” She said emphatically. She was an experienced farm wife. “She'll walk away. You need to put her in a stall for a week so she gets to know where home is.”

Her owner, on the other hand, assured me that Brigid was easy-going, “Just give her a carrot or an apple and she will follow you anywhere.”

This was new territory for me. Was there a middle path, I wondered? As my friend and I finished the fencing, we imagined putting Brigid in the pasture at the end of the farm lane, and keeping Buttercup in an adjoining area.

The owner and her husband arrived early on Saturday morning with Brigid. Fencing looks strong, they said. Pasture looks great. Husband and wife agreed to our plan. He walked Brigid into the pasture. She danced; the cows mooed low and touched noses across the fence. They grazed happily that day.

The next day, freezing rain fell. At dusk, I decided that Buttercup needed shelter more than they needed to be separate. I opened the gate that let them both into the stall in the barn. How would they do together? There were several uneasy moments as they both headed into the stall together. Brigid had just come out of heat, Buttercup tried to mount her. Brigid moved away. Then they settled together.

This new chapter is uncharted territory for us farmers as well. Three years ago, the cow's owner bought a family cow, a fine Jersey. She brought her home and named her “Brigid.” She and her neighbor agreed that they would milk her together, one woman took the morning shift, the other the evening. After a year, they had had enough. Three days later, they met again: they loved the cow; they loved the milk. They wanted more flexibility in their schedules.

So the cow's owner recruited a team of “Merry Milkers” to help with the milking. The milkers agreed to milk twice a week, and the owner trained us. Last winter, the owner needed to travel. She gave the cow to another Merry Milker who installed an expensive fence to accommodate the cow. She and her family have milked the cow all year.

Now her oldest son needs medical care. Would I take the cow, the owner had asked? I agreed to board her over the winter. If I find young farmers to help on the farm, I may be willing to take her permanently. Meantime, she had become a commooooonity cow. And we are all in uncharted territory.

Merry Christmas!

 

Quiet time is starting....

Hazel is back! She is pregnant and due midwinter. Our thanks to Leah Mack, at whose farm Hazel and Daisy spent the summer with a virile bull.  Now we want to find Daisy, a pure-bred Jersey, a new home. She is pregnant and due mid-spring. Interested? Please contact me. Thanks. Sally    

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