A busy mother gathers her children in the store like a mama hen with her chicks. The grocery bill at the cash register is higher this time and continues to go up. Emails, snail mail and social media are clogging up with food recalls every month and sometimes every day. The fuel budget shrinks with every trip to the store. Tomatoes in the winter, or any time of the year, never taste like a vine ripened tomato from a home garden. Meat is shipped from countries far off combining several cows from different counties into one burger. Meat and dairy products come from obscure farms where animals never see pasture but only the inside of a small cage. The decline of the dollar and whole countries' economies are breaking across the world which threaten food security. These and many more reasons are just the start of why people are looking for alternative means the grocery store.
Have you ever contemplated the idea of a life without a grocery store? What would your family do if for some reason there was no longer food on grocery store shelves such as happened in many stores during the January 2016 storms? Are you prepared for emergency food issues, power outages? Its said that “Growing your own food is like printing your own money.” It brings families freedoms beyond just that of the fresh food to their own kitchen. The movement for local, small farm and home grown food is growing (no pun intended).
Useful Skills Delivered
In the next six weeks here on our blog we will be sharing our personal movement towards being grocery store free. Its time to break the ball and chain with a little 6 week plan. We hope you will join us along the way as we share our journey with you! Each week we will share a new step to help you along the path to growing your own food along with our challenges and a printable and/or recipe or two. We will focus on 4 Steps for Ditching the Grocery Store:
Week #1 - Focus on Whole Foods
Our 6 week challenge starts with eating whole foods. Whole foods are those foods have been refined as little as possible without any additives or other artificial substances. Take for example potatoes vs. instant potato flakes in a box, butter vs. margarine, root beer made from sassafras and raw cane sugar vs root beer from corn syrup and flavorings. Prior to the Industrial Revolution storage options were fairly limited and so most food had to be eaten when it was fresh and in season, there were no chemical preservatives. The only food preservation done was by way of fermentation, dehydration or the the root cellar. Chemicals were not part of the mix and large factories didn't commonly handle the foodstuffs. Around World War I food started being preserved in tin cans and then when World War II came around more convenience food was sought after. From there on out we see convenience food increase to our modern day to the point that schools no longer teach home ec. or require students to learn to cook food and as such many have no clue how to prepare a simple healthful meal.
Starting to change ones diet using real whole foods is the first step to saying goodbye to the grocery store and saying hello to better health. In an excellent lecture on the Fundamentals of Nutrition for Physicians and Dentists, Dr. N. Philip Norman says that "Proper nutrition and the role that it plays in the maintenance of good health involve twelve factors:
"1. The ecologic equilibrium of the fauna and flora of the soil.
2. Fertility of the soil.
3. The vigor of the germ plasm of the seed.
4. Climatic factors - temperature, moisture, and sunshine.
5. The proper culture of the flora and fauna which supply man with food.
6. The harvesting and storage of food.
7. The handling of food during transportation and distribution.
8. The methods of processing through which food has gone - milling, canning, brining, salting, dehydration, freezing, sun-drying, curing and smoking, sulfuring, drying, etc.
9. The intelligent selection of food at the market.
10. The proper preparation of the food either for immediate consumption in the raw state or for cooking.
11. Proper methods of cooking different kinds of food.
12. The proper care of left-over food to be used at subsequent meals."
Eating whole foods in their original form (a hamburger made from fresh ground beef vs McDonalds Hamburger, homemade raw milk ice cream vs Dairy Queen.) corresponds directly to number eight of Dr. Norman's list. The way which our food is processed directly relates to our health. The old saying "You are what you eat" is still rather true.
In Chapter Four of To-Morrows Food, is given a summary of Dr. Weston A. Price's pleaded work Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, from which we take the following passage: "The best diets of primitive peoples are in fact higher in essential vitamins and minerals than the average civilized diet: and so long as the primitives adhere to their diets their teeth are almost free from cavities, their dental arches are perfect, and their health extraordinary when measured by modern scientific standards. As soon, however, as they begin to use white flour, granulated sugar, and canned goods of our civilization, their teeth begin to decay with astonishing rapidity. Tuberculosis and arthritis make their appearance, and in a hundred ways the resistance to disease declines. Within a generation the pregnancies of their workmen become difficult and the dental arches of their children are malformed." Dr. Price, accompanied by his wife, made a study of primitive peoples all over the world.
Information continues to stream out about how our processed diets are causing multiple health issues from heart disease to cancer. The studies from the past are still informative in our times. Read more about the 12 Factors to Good Health in our previous post, along with Wheat the Broken Staff and Processed Foods = More Hospitals.
Reduce Grocery Budget Bottomline
Another benefit to cutting out processed foods and eating a diet rich in whole foods is that it will save you on your grocery budget. Buying prepackaged foods, even if they are made with whole foods and no chemicals and/or additives will save you money every time. Whether you are making a loaf of bread, home made tortillas, chocolate chip cookies or a pot of soup those will save you money over buying a loaf of bread, the package of tortillas or purchasing factory made cookies and factory canned soup.
Take for instance a can of soup. We had not purchased a can of soup in a looooong time. I was shocked when I considered it for convince purposes, only to find that one small can which would have probably served one person in our family was around $3. Given that wasn't a can of Campbells, but I'm willing to bet even Campbells is rather expensive compared to home made soup. Some chicken stock made from the bones of a left over roasted chicken along with meat bits, a few home grown carrots, a couple ribs of celery and some home made noodles will make a hungry family of 6 a large pot of soup for near the same price as that one little can of soup.
Another instance, take our Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread. To purchase a loaf of sourdough bread it takes some time and research to find a bakery who makes similar bread. There is one health food store and a couple of bakeries that carry sourdough in town, 30 minutes from us. They sell a sandwich loaf for any where between $5 at best to $7. Prior to our own baking we bought Dave's Killer Bread which has little processed flour and processed ingredients in it aside from the gluten flour. Costco was carrying two loafs for around $6-$7 but it also took twice the bread to fill us up since it wasn't sourdough. Not to mention the inconvenience of that half hour into town. A home baked loaf of sourdough bread costs us about $1.07 for organic wheat flour and maybe 50 cents more for a bit of sea salt, tablespoon of honey and water. At the most $1.57 a loaf. Pair that with the lack of nutrition and home made bread will be better on the pocketbook every time as well as better for digestion. Have you read our Wheat- The Broken Staff post yet? If not check it out, you won't look at bread the same again.
Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food shows here in her post 5 Home Cooked Meals Cheaper than McDonald's that it is possible to save money by eating real whole foods vs. processed pre-made foods. Keep in mind too that the more we the consumer do the work (as in make the crackers, make the bread, bake the cookies) we are paying ourselves. Instead of paying someone else to make those items for us we save money by putting in the labor.
Another factor in saving on your grocery budget is that by the increase in your health from eating healthful whole foods you save on doctors visits, time off from work and medications. More money in the pocket to keep adding healthful food!
Gain Practical and Useful Skills
Eating whole foods will not only save on your budget and improve your health but it will also give you a useful skill base. Farm to table education has been going on in this country for some time. There is an effort being made to educate children in the United States about where our food comes from and what our food is made out of in order to promote better health and economy. Take for example the Salem Saturday Market's Power of Produce (POP's) Program where they give children POP currency to spend on produce at the market. Children learn many scientific facts in school but little is taught about our food economy, which is one of our most basic needs (food, shelter, safety...). By cooking and eating whole foods children (and adults) learn what the ingredients look like. Things such as different cuts of meat, different types of meat, different vegetables and if they come from the root, stem, leaf or flower of a plant, what cookies and cakes are made of (butter, flour, sugar etc.) just as a few examples. Later on in our series we will discuss how being able to identify whole foods in their natural state is the first tool to learning how to grow your own food. When one grows their own food they learn so much about nature, plants and permaculture giving us skills that are most valuable.
What Eating Whole Foods Looks Like
Eating whole foods can be very simple and include many of your current favorite recipes. That is why it is Step #1 on our list to ditching the grocery store, because its simple and easy and anyone can make these little adjustments.
The meal above fits in many of our 'steps' to ditching the grocery store but most of all its made from real whole foods. The main course is whole wheat pasta, all the pasta contains is whole durum wheat and its organic. It cooks the same as white refined noodles and if you cook it a little longer than instructed it even tastes similar and has texture. The price of the pasta is a bit more and may be harder to find but remember, not only are we gaining quality calories instead of empty calories but we are saving money on healthcare by eating more healthful foods. Next up is our choice of ground beef, its a locally grown, grass-fed beef that does not contain any 'pink slime' and was grown here in Oregon rather than being from another country or perhaps many different countries of origin. That cuts down on contamination issues and supports our local economy. Along with our local grass-fed beef is a jar of organic pasta sauce free of any additives or chemicals. Its also easy to pronounce each of the ingredients and see that they are a whole food source. There is no corn syrup, MSG or other hidden ingredients. Along with our sauce is some chopped whole garlic and onions from our local farmers market as well as herbs straight from our garden; thyme, oregano and rosemary. Finished off with with some pepper and Redmond's Real Salt. Our veggie is sautéed zucchini (insert Italian accent for authenticity) in organic butter (not margarine) with some farmer's market garlic. If one wanted they could even throw in some of our Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread and a glass of kombucha for probiotic health.
The simplest way to switch your meals from processed to whole meals is to read the labels on what you buy and even easier to just avoid anything that has an ingredient list on it or make it yourself at home. We would love to walk you through a week of whole food dinners, give you a whole foods menu planning sheet to call your own and a whole foods pantry staple list.
Thanks for stopping by the farm and we hope you will join us for Part II in our Simple and Easy Skills to Make You Grocery Store Free series: Eat Seasonably; A Flavorful, Free and Valuable How-To. Where we share simple steps for learning to eat in God's seasons.
Creation and Providence
SING the almighty power of God,
That made the mountains rise;
That spread the flowing seas abroad,
And built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained
The sun to rule the day:
The moon shines full at His command.
And all the stars obey.
I sing the goodness of the Lord,
That filled the earth with food:
He formed the creatures with His word,
And then pronounced them good.
Lord ! how Thy wonders are displayed.
Where'er I turn mine eye;
If I survey the ground I tread,
Or gaze upon the sky!
There's not a plant or flower below,
But makes Thy glories known;
And clouds arise and tempests blow,
By order from Thy throne.
Creatures (as numerous as they be)
Are subject to Thy care;
There's not a place where we can flee.
But God is present there.
In heaven He shines with beams of love;
With wrath in hell beneath!
'Tis on His earth I stand or move,
And 'tis His air I breathe.
His hand is my perpetual guard;
He keeps me with His eye:
Why should I then forget the Lord,
Who is forever nigh ?
The Metropolitan Second Reader
By: A Member of the Holy Order of the Cross 1883
"I think you like tomatoes, John," said his grandmother. "Yes, grandma, I do," said Joh. "I like them raw, baked, and almost every way." "I wonder if you would like them the way I ate them last summer out West?" said Cousin May. "We ate them like fruit, with cream and sugar." "I should like to try them that way," said John. "Why, bless you, child!" said grandma, "we will have some for supper. That is the way I used to eat them long ago."
"Did you not like tomatoes when you were little, grandma?" asked John, as he saw her looking at him with a smile in her bright eyes. "No," said grandma, "because I was a big girl before I ever tasted them. I never saw any until I was twelve years old.
"I can remember it so well! A man who came to our farm once a month bringing many little things to sell, brought the seed to my good mother. He used to carry seeds and slips of plants from one farmer's wife to the next. He was such a kind old gentleman that they all liked to see him coming. One spring morning he came. After mother had bought from him all that she needed, and he had fed his horses and was sitting by the fire, he put his hands into his big pockets in search of something. At last, he drew out a very small package and handed it to mother. "
"I have brought you some love-apple seeds,' he said. 'I got them in the city. I gave my sister half of them, and saved the other half for you.'
"'Thank you, kindly,' said mother, as she looked at the little yellow seeds. 'I am glad to get them. What kind of plant is the love-apple?'
"' Well,' said the man, 'the person who gave me the seeds had his plants last year in the sunny corner. The flowers are small, but the fruit is bright red, and is very pretty among the dark green leaves. you should not eat the fruit: it is poisonous. The man who gave me the seeds got them from a friend in South America. The love-apples grow wild down there.'
"So mother planted her love-apple seeds in the warm corner. In a short time, they grew; the little yellow blossoms came; and then the green fruit, which soon changed to a pretty red. We children would go and look at it, talk about it, and wonder if it would hurt us if we ate it. On one occasion, mother heard us talking about it. She called us to her and said: 'If you children cannot look at the pretty fruit without wanting to eat it, then I shall have to pull up all my love-apple vines, and throw them away.'
"We knew that she would not like to do that, because she was very proud of the vines. So we kept away from that corner. In the meantime, the vines grew and blossomed, and the red showed in new places every day. The birds did not seem to be afraid of the poisonous fruit. They ate all they wanted of it. One day, in the early autumn, my Uncle George came from the city of New York to visit us. When he went into the garden, he stopped in great surprise.
'Why, Mary, what fine tomato vines you have!' he said to my mother. 'Where in the world did you get them?'
"'We call them love-apples,' said mother. Then she told him how she got the seeds.
"When my Uncle George found that we were afraid to eat them, he had a good laugh at us. Then he showed mother how to prepare some for our supper."
"' Don't be afraid to eat the tomatoes, children: they will do you no harm,' uncle said.
"We did eat them; and enjoyed them very much."
The Ideal Catholic Readers; Third Reader
By: A Sister of St. Joseph + Imprimatur 1915
Its a hot summer and we know mother's like to nourish their children with wonderful things, we have found that most children love our Bloom'n Hibiscus Cooler. Use coupon code YOUNGFARMER16 for 10% off your order from our farm shop :) Happy hydrating!
Click the picture on the left to download and Print this weeks Young Farmer Friday Activity Sheet to share with your young farmers! Make sure to join us next week for another story and printable.
Thanks for stopping by St. Fiacre's Farm! Support our little farm by shopping our Herbal Farm Store which helps keep our site ad free and helps us provide our family with a traditional farm life.
Looking back I think we could name June spring harvest month! We have been busy down on the farm harvesting our spring crops and putting in our summer crops. It sure has made for a busy month out in the garden but one full of many blessings. Welcome to our farm!
In the Farm Kitchen
First up on the harvesting list is our nubby carrots. These were intended to be short, a mere 6 inch carrot, but they decided to go wide as well. We would have liked to leave them in the ground longer but needed the space for other crops so out they came!
This was probably our biggest strawberry harvest in one picking from our small strawberry patch. Much too small of a patch for our liking, we will be finding a place to expand it for next year. There is nothing better than home grown, fresh from the vine strawberries!
A nightly harvest from the greenhouse garden: a few beets which don't grow so well in our greenhouse, a lovely green cabbage, carrots and lots of salad greens.
Cabbage cabbage! After figuring none of it would actually make a cabbage head it turns out that patience is fruitful.
Nope not green beans but kale pods! When kale flowers it shoots out these pods and the seed is inside. We picked some early and fermented them in a salt brine for a few days on the counter then let them rest in the fridge. They came out like a garlicky green bean. We used them similar to capers cut up on some salmon with lots of butter and salt. It was fantastic!
One big radish! Kidding, a turnip snuck in with our radish harvest. We made sure to put it to good use.
Dinner all from the garden, now to replicate that 364 more days and we will have met our goal of being self sustaining with our food! Roasted beets, turnip and radishes with a balsamic honey glaze and garden fresh salad.
The purple cabbage was ready and my was it dense, which is great! A little on the spicy side so I'm thinking it didn't get as much water as it needed. It has been adding color to our salad for weeks now.
Lunch down on the farm made and grown on the farm. Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread from our fresh ground flour and made with local honey, eggs from the chickens soon to be egg salad, peas and carrots as our veggies.
Home made mayo in less than 5 minutes, grab the tutorial here. This was a shot intended to go with our first video DIY but the iPad died just before the end so it go set on the back burner for now.
Fresh and local Sunday breakfast tradition down on the farm! When we can't grow our own there is no better sub than locally grown from other farms in the area! This is truly a Farmer's Market Breakfast from the Salem Saturday Market. Eggs provided by our own chickens, nitrate free bacon, fresh fruit from the market, marion berries from family, Cinnamon Raisin toast from The Bread Board of Falls City and wonderful Haskap Fruit Spread from Mt. Hope Farms. Delicious tea from our farm store with a bit of local raw honey from Beeline Honey Co. in Salem, OR.
One of the things we love most about Oregon is all the wonderful seasonal fruit, it is a real treat for our family every year! Oregon strawberries are some of the best around and while the season is short we make sure to enjoy God's wonderful strawberries! Salem, Oregon is also known as the Cherry City and so cherries are in order for sure along with some marionberries grown by our family members. Such a treat!
Eggs are still abundant down on the farm though it seems we have one chicken having a ruff time. Chicken egg colors are based on their breed and the two breeds we have are suppose to lay brown eggs which they usually do. It seems this chicky isn't getting enough nutrition but my guess is that she is low on the pecking order since all the other eggs look well and fine.
The Farm Animals...
Oh how we miss this little kitty, we are not sure what happened to her as she just disappeared one day but she rather enjoyed my gardening shoes when she was with us. Farm life is always teaching us about life, loss, love and sometimes death. God's cycle is always a lesson.
Our lambs are getting rather big! July proved our last month for bottle feeding Little Bitty who isn't so little bitty any more. The lambs are enjoying their free range and pasture grass with a nice rub under the chin here and there.
Mama cat is still parked in front of our door with her furry babies. She is having a ruff time with the loss of 2 of her 3 kittens especially when the one left took a ride to town under our truck. St. Francis must have been looking out for her because she survived two trips under the truck and came back home. We call her spunky because she is always looking for a fun time and hitching a ride.
Around the Farm...
The outdoor garden went in this month. Lots of digging, tilling and then mulching and cleaning up the area. Talk about motivation for a different way of preparing the land. We hope to use our chickens as our tillers this fall and work on a deep mulch system that will save us the work and hopefully build better soil while feeding our chickens. Thank you to Justin Rhodes of Abundant Permaculture for inspiring such an idea.
In go the plant starts and the straw mulch. Nothing like crawling around in your garden ;)
Ahhh! Done, what a happy moment and thankful the garden was smaller rather than larger at least in this regard.
When plants bloom it sure is easier to identify them! We discovered after being here two summers that we have St. Johns Wort growing along the front of our property. Oh happy day to know that we have such a wonderful herbal medicine right in our yard!
Lavender harvest has begun! I always hate having to cut the flowers off the plant because they make the yard look so beautiful and we really enjoy having these plants around but they are so beneficial that flower cutting must commence.
Hand tying lavender wands for drying. We use lavender in three of our teas in our farm shop; Floral Repose (Soon to be renamed Rose City Repose), Raspberry Repose (soon to be renamed Riverfront Repose) and our Lavender Earl Grey.
Evening Lavender Harvest, the best way to relax down on the farm!
Harvesting chamomile from down on the farm which may be found in many of our teas including Orange Jasmine Green Tea, and Floral Repose (Rose City Repose).
Our grapes are coming along well and we are so excited to see fruit on the vines for the first time!
Sometimes there weeds, sometimes their food. Blackberries in Oregon can be so bitter sweet (pun intended). They take over any yard and are near impossible to kill off unless you want to use chemicals or let pigs free range on the farm. Our pigmy goats are helpful in keeping them down some what by eating the leaves which kill off the canes. But when this time of year comes around we are thankful for their fruits!
In the Greenhouse...
Harvest basket hanging out in the greenhouse collecting kale pods and the like.
Chickory bloomed this month, the flowers were so pretty!
Radish pods ready for harvesting for seed. We didn't manage to pickle any of these but perhaps next radish season.
View looking out from the greenhouse on a wet day. A dash out to grab salad greens for dinner while the sun peeks through the clouds.
Mid-spring harvest pulling up radish seed and chickory root making way for summer plants.
Farm girl #2 packing Spunky around the garden. Spring peas falling over and summer green bean starts in the ground.
Tomato starts in the ground with beet going to seed in the background.
Down come the peas to make way fro green beans.
Baby bean starts hoping they hold off the pill bugs ... we shall see....
Kale, lots of kale. Kale in the winter, kale in the fall, kale in the spring and kale in the summer a green for all seasons. I must confess we started sautéing it as we are rather tired of kale salads.
Trips off the Farm to other Farms...
Blueberry season is here and we could not be happier... so happy we picked 91 lbs of these lovely things for the freezer. Check out how huge they are! If you ever get a chance to pick at Satterwhites Farm off Hwy 22 make sure you take it!
Earlier in the month we picked haskap berries for our Willamette Berry Pie Tea blend from the local test farm in the Eugene area.
In the Farm Store...
The Salem Saturday Market is always bringing us surprises with the weather! This particular day was so hot we made sure we had plenty of iced tea to share!
Bloom'n Hibiscus and Bullet and Bean tea were in order for sampling this market day served with a bit of local raw honey from Beeline Honey Co.
We introduced a couple of new teas this month made especially for mothers. The one pictured above is a lactation tea called Our Lady of the Milk in honor of the devotion to Nuestra Señora de la Leche y Buen Parto a Spanish devotion to our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery.
Our other new addition to our tea selection is a monthly tea for women called Our Lady's Mantle in devotion also to Our Lady but also because the main ingredient is called lady's mantle that has great properties for assisting women during their monthly menstrual cycle.
A few of our organic hand blended loose leaf teas ready to go in their new home at Bear Branch Farms in Stayton.
We were so excited to welcome this St. Fiacre statue to our Salem Saturday Market display. Its quite a treasure to find such a rare saint statue in our area and one of good quality. We are happy to have our patron with us now where ever we go. May St. Fiacre bless all of your gardens and thank you for stopping to see what is new down on the farm!!
NATURE affords but few more striking evidences of then wisdom and the goodness of the Creator, than may be observed in the labors of bees. The observer is at a loss which to admire most, the wonderful manner in which these insects are adapted to their circumstances, or the unity, industry, loyalty, and sagacity which prevail among them.
When they begin to work in their hives, they divide themselves into four companies ; one of which roves the fields in search of materials ; another employs itself in laying out the bottom and partitions of then: cells ; a third is employed in smoothing the walls ; and the fourth company brings food for the rest, or relieves those who return with their respective burdens.
But they are not kept constantly at one employment; they often change the tasks assigned them; those that have been at work, being permitted to go abroad, and those that have been in the fields take their places.
They seem even to have signs by which they understand each other ; for when any of them wants food, he holds out his trunk towards the bee from which he expects it. The latter, understanding the desire of his companion, immediately deposits for his use a small quantity of honey. Their diligence and labor are so great that in a few days they are enabled to make cells sufficient for several thousand bees. In the plan and formation of these cells they display a wonderful sagacity.
The danger of being stung by bees, may be in a great measure prevented by remaining quiet. A thousand bees will fly and buzz about a person without hurting him, if he stands' perfectly still and does not disturb them even if they are near his face. It is said that a person is in perfect safety in the midst of a swarm of bees, if he is careful to shut his mouth, and breathe gently through his nostrils.
Many amusing stories are told about the effect produced by the sting of bees. In 1825, a mob attacke'd the house of a gentleman in Germany. He endeavored in vain to dissuade them from their designs ; at length when every thing else had failed, he ordered his servants to bring a large bee-hive which he threw into the midst of the enraged multitude. The result answered his expectations. The mobites, stung by the bees, immediately fled in all directions, and thus gave the gentleman time to escape from their fury.
Bees have one fault common to bad boys, they are inclined to fight among themselves. Quarrels and combats are frequent among them. Sometimes it seems that their contests are commenced in the hive, as the combatants may often be seen coming out in the greatest fury, and joining in the deadly strife the moment they reach the door of the hive. In some cases a bee peaceably settled on the outside of the hive is rudely jostled by another, and then a fierce struggle is commenced, each endeavoring to obtain the advantage of the position.
They turn, dance about, throttle each other, and such is their bitter eagerness, that a person can approach near to them without their perceiving it.
Other times, the combat takes place in the hive, and in those cases the contest usually continues until one kills the other ; then the victor takes up the dead body of his antagonist and carries it outside the hive. Bees are remarkable for their industry, and those among them that will not, or cannot work, are driven from the hive and not permitted to return.
The Metropolitan Third Reader
By A Member of the Order of the Holy Cross 1872
Birds in Summer
How pleasant the life of a bird must be,
Flitting about in each leafy tree;
In the leafy trees so broad and tall,
Like a green and beautifal palace hall,
With its airy chambers, light and boon,*
That open to sun, and stars, and moon;
That open unto the bright blue sky,
And the frolicsome winds as they wander by!
They have left their nests on the forest bough;
Those homes of delight they need not now ;
And the young and the old they wander out,
And traverse their green world round about;
And hark! at the top of this leafy hall.
How one to the other in love they call!
" Come up ! come up!" they seem to say,
"Where the topmost twigs in the breezes sway.
" Come up, come up ! for the world is fair
Where the merry leaves dance in the summer air."
And the birds below give back the cry,
"We come, we come to the branches high."
How pleasant the lives of the birds must be,
Living in love in a leafy tree !
And away through the air what joy to go,
And to look on the green, bright earth below!
How pleasant the life of a bird must be,
Skimming about on the breezy sea;
Cresting the billows like silvery foam.
Then wheeling away to its cliff-built home !
"What joy it must be to sail, upborne
By a strong, free wing, through the rosy morn'!
To meet the young sun face to face,
And pierce like a shaft the boundless space ;
To pass through the bowers of the silver cloud;
To sing in the thunder halls aloud
To spread out the wings for a wild, free flight
With the upper-cloud winds,--Oh, what delight
Oh, what would I give, like a bird, to go
Right on through the arch of the sun-lit bow,
And see how the water-drops are kiss'd
Into green, and yellow, and amethyst!
How pleasant the life of a bird must be,
Wherever it listeth there to flee.
To go when a joyful fancy calls.
Dashing adown 'mong the waterfalls ;
Then to wheel about with their mates at play,
Above, and below, and among the spray,
Hither and thither, with screams as wild
As the laughing mirth of a rosy child !
What joy it must be, like a living breeze.
To flutter about 'mid the flowering trees ;
Lightly to soar, and to see beneath
The wastes of the blossoming purple heath,
And the yellow fiirze, like fields of gold.
That gladden'd some fairy region old !
On mountain tops, on the billowy sea,
On tha leafy stems of the forest tree,
How pleasant the life of a bird must be!
-Metropolitian Third Reader
By a Member of the Order of the Holy Cross 1872
Welcome to our Family Tea Farm!
Howdy from our farm to your home! It is said that the, "farm is the nursery of the family," and that "the family is the nursery of the nation." We hope you enjoy your visit to our blog as we share with you the happenings on our little "nursery". Thank you for following us on our journey and watching us GROW! Read more about our farm HERE.