Big Pleasures From Little Things

Posted on May 22, 2019 by Elizabeth O'Sullivan
Tags: Newsletter

As a TC Farm member buying meat from organic-fed animals raised on pasture, you support so many beautiful things you might not even realize.

Living on the farm, I witness the miracles you make possible every day. I would love for you to hear the frogs singing in our fields right now and to understand that you are helping protect them.

Here is a recent experience I had while doing chores.

My hens foraging in one of our pastures

At dusk I close up the hens for the night and hear frogs singing in the low spots of our land. I stand at the door to the coop, looking out to the west and listen to their song. Just down a slope, in a tiny hollow of land, rain collects and reflects the sky between stalks of grass. This place is full of song now.

Farther west, beyond our fence line, the neighbors raise conventional crops, year after year -- corn one season and soybeans the next. A field of dried corn stalks left standing from last year’s harvest spreads out immense and impossibly golden in the setting sun.

At the edge of the horizon, the sky spreads wide and magnificent, and so much bigger than anything beneath it. Dusk comes in layers of pinks and purples, and an unimaginably expansive shade of dark blue that looks gentle even in its greatness.

It is breathtaking, but sadly not much is alive on the enormous swath of land past our fence line even though spring is hard upon us.

Our land is green and singing.

The sound of frogs is so rich that I want to see them.

I leave the coop and walk down to the low ground where wet earth squishes each time I take a step. They hear my steps and are silent. Every single frog has stopped singing, and I expect that they are all looking at me with golden eyes and delicate white throats that can’t wait to fill again with song the moment I walk away.

I can’t see any frogs, but their silence tells me that they see me, which fills me with a surprising wave of gratitude.

My hens with the low land and then conventional fields beyond

As soon as the land dries enough to support the weight of enormous tractors, the other farmers will be out in their fields spraying with anhydrous ammonia, a synthetic fertilizer. This chemical has already aged their fertile and ancient soil by thousands of years.

I don’t like to think of anhydrous ammonia hitting all the frogs that sing in their fields, just outside our buffer zones, with their smooth and delicate amphibian skin.

The frogs in our fields won’t be hit by that spray, and neither will frogs that live on the hundreds of acres that grow organic grain for our chickens.

Everyone who buys our chicken and eggs offers a little bit of protection for the song of frogs, and for the other teaming life that is naturally part of our miraculous soil.

So thank you.

Thank you so much.

It is so beautiful.

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