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Breezy Hill Farm Update Mar. 22, 2020

Posted 3/22/2020 3:04pm by Art Ozias.


  • What a time to be alive.  Java Junction is closed.  Art Jr. is still roasting coffee and providing it to  GoGo Bean drive-in and thru facebook.  Robert, who runs La Sous Terre, is doing soup and sandwiches on an order out basis.  It's very important to shop local.  I doubt very much that the so called government bail-out will reach  to such very small businesses.
  • Robert and Dallas, who helps me on the farm, told me that last week when they were at the local groceries, there was no ground beef and the meat cases only had a few packages of brats, no chicken.   If you can't find milk, contact Heritage dairy north of Warrensburg.  I'm sure they would appreciate your buying local.  I am sure a lot of this is because people are staying in, and cooking for their entire family as schools are closed.
  • We have plenty of ground beef to process, just have to get to a level to commit an animal.  If you know of someone wanting ground beef have them send an email, and I'll add their name to my list.  Those on the list may want to add an extra ten or so pounds.  This thing may last into the summer.
  • We helped a friend by buying six dirt hogs this last week.  We had several names on the list and were happy to get them their request.  We had an extra half and normally I send out an email trying to get someone to take it.  Not this time, that half will be in my freezer.  We were almost out and the timing was perfect.
  • On hamburgers, we have discovered how best to cook a hamburger.  Try this next time.  We mix about a tablespoon of breadcrumbs in for each pattie.  This apparently absorbed some of the juices and makes for a very tasty burger.  They are cooked with a small amount of bacon drippings (oil).  Cook to just past medium rare.  Also, we have home made buns.  It may be time in this crisis to start  baking your own bread.  It is very easy.  A good book we used to start baking several years ago is, 

    The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking.  If you have questions, Debra can help, just send an email.

    • It's also time for all to consider making KOMBUCHA and KEFIR.  We all need to increase our individual immune systems.  Washing hands, maintaining your distance are necessary, but there are things that we can do that improve our resistance.
    • Debra continues to plant and transplant.  The green house is filling as are the raised beds.
    • On beef.  I had two calls this past weeks of people is search of freezer beef.  There was a hint of desperation in their questions.  They were interested in availability NOW.  I'm pretty sure they had not done much research on quality of grass finished beef. They wanted any kind of BEEF.  When I explained about not having any freezer beef until late April or mid May, depending on weather as they need 30-45 days of grass, they didn't seem to be interested.


Behold the fowls of the air…’   Alan Guebert         My father wasn’t stoic. Instead, his temperament was one of acceptance. He simply accepted the fact that he wasn’t in complete control of most things on the southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth.       Sure, he was boss over everything in sight: hundreds of acres, 100 dairy cows, five farmhand sons, three hired men, and his unpredictable, iron-bending Uncle Honey.       But control? Never. And yet, little ever moved him to anger or anxiety.       For example, when Jackie, the farm’s principal hired hand, destroyed an Oliver 77 by driving it off the corn silage pile, Dad’s only question to the still-shaking man—who was never known for speed—was how he managed to jump to safety so quickly.       Years later while sharing one of our thousand evenings in the milking parlor, I asked him why he hadn’t even cussed when he saw the mangled 77.       Ah, he said with a wave of a wet hand, once he saw Jackie was OK, the tractor didn’t matter. “It was old and insured. Jackie was neither.”       Acceptance. Somehow he just knew that there was little he could do to prevent bent cultivator bars (Uncle Honey), overturned silage wagons (Uncle Honey) and two, plowed-out telephone poles. (Uncle Honey and Uncle Honey.)       In fact, I once thought that if our family had a coat of arms, its motto would have read, “I can’t prevent it but I can fix it.”       Decades later, in one of our weekly telephone conversations, I asked my father how his best friend was dealing with a recent cancer diagnosis. “Not good,” Dad said. “He doesn’t want to see me.” Why?       “Well,” he said, “I think it’s because he hasn’t accepted the idea that dying is the cost of living.” Wow, what insight.       I asked him what he could do. Oh, he said, he’d find a reason to go to the friend’s house to talk about the weather or the Cardinals or the peach crop. Just chat, you know, about things that, when rolled together, make up today and tomorrow.       “I just want him to know that each day is a gift from God regardless if it brings a baptism or a funeral,” he announced.       That really was the essence of my father. Life ebbed and flowed and he rode it back and forth without fear or favor. He never asked for love or loyalty, he didn’t lighten his load by adding to anyone else’s, and he was religious but never preachy.       Two, almost opposite, traits might explain him better: he was a very good fisherman and he loved to play cards.       Fishing, he would say, is mostly preparation—the right bait, local knowledge, good tackle—and patience. Neither, however, ensures you’ll catch fish. That’s why “It’s called ‘fishing’ and not ‘catching,’” he’d say on the days we spent more time fishing more than catching.       Card playing, however, is mostly luck; you, literally, play the cards you’re dealt. Skill in playing them also matters but skill rarely trumps the luck of the draw.       My father embodied those near-opposites; he was prepared for whatever luck—fishing or catching—brought.       One last memory: I once asked him, a diligent Bible reader (King James Version, please) what his favorite passage was. After reciting his baptism, confirmation, and wedding verses, he settled on one that made perfect sense to him, Matthew 6, verse 26:       “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”       Ye—we—are, my father might say, today and tomorrow and everyday. That said, I’m pretty sure he’d still keep one eye fixed on Uncle Honey.   © 2020 ag comm   The Farm and Food File is published weekly throughout the U.S. and Canada. Past columns, events and contact information are posted at

Be sure to visit Alan's web site for more articles.







Art Ozias