Today we said goodbye to Olga, Helga, Bertha, and Heidi. We loaded up a trailer full of beef breeding cows and sent them off to greener pastures in California. We decided after last winter that our focus with breeding cows on this land is going to be dairy cows, and that steers will come here in spring to finish and harvest in early summer to fulfill our beef shares. We are keeping the steers that we will harvest as soon as our butchery is complete, and a few other cows that are old and ready to be hamburger shares, but beef breeding will take place elsewhere for now.
We found out, only yesterday, that the trailer to California was actually going to be here at noon today to load the cows. The buyer disappeared for days, his check didn't arrive in the mail like he said it would, so we were thinking that the deal fell through...until he called yesterday. So "loading up a trailer full of cows" looked like something that we just planned this morning, which is actually what it was. It involved moving and building a paddock to hold all the beef cows, moving all the cows half way across the property, separating out the cows that were leaving, getting them food and water in their new place, meeting the trailer there, chasing cows and calves that escaped while we were loading them, re-separating cows that were going based on what the buyer wanted, which was more cows than we had discussed. He came with cash, and his check arrived today.
My plan for today, as of yesterday, was to get up early, load the delivery, run to Portland, and get back in time for evening milking. When the plan for beef cow travel became clear, I still wanted to fit in the delivery, figuring my involvement would be a couple hours in the AM. But building paddock, scrambling cows and basic unpredictability made the Portland delivery unrealistic by the time the cows were on their way. It is events like this that cause our plans change here, minute by minute.
We are building two buildings as winter approaches, harvesting foods, growing our capacity in every way, and making deliveries, but none of what we are doing on any given day falls into the "monochronic" cultural model. Currently the farm is working under a "polychronic" cultural model, which allows many things to happen at one time, but timing is very fluid and communication is not great. Kira is polychronic at her core, so she shines daily. Me. I aspire to be monochronic, and I think ultimately being a Farmer, particularly a raw dairy farmer, requires it, but I also see the results of the polychronic way...how much is getting done by so few hands and a lot of coffee. Polychronic for now. Monochronic sometime soon, that is the goal.
Here's the current goal for delivery "schedule". If you look up the definition of monochronic and polychronic, you will see why "schedule" is in quotes:
-Eugene/CG/Springfield: Tonight with CG on Sunday, probably.
We know how important the foods we produce and deliver from your farm shares are to you. Thank you for your patience in this time of building and for your participation in Helios Farms.