The year 2011 is already here and we have now gestated half of the first month. Which leads to the question of how many new year resolutions have already been broken?

We are now living in interesting times. Government accountability and responsibility have diminished to the point where truth and lies can no longer be distinguished, forcing the long-neglected, needed infrastructure into the negative position of pushing the tax burden in no other direction than up, up and up. This, at a time when economic restraints are necessary, brinks far beyond the reach of the average small business, forcing those who employ less than 100 to critically downsize, forcing a large percent of the wage earners to join the ranks of the unemployed. Not good.

On the other hand, we as individuals now have access to incredible power. We now have the tools that only a few years ago even the wealthiest and smartest people on the planet would have been envious of. With the magic of the computer, e-mail and the World Wide Web, civil society investigations are now possible. Perhaps it is time that the promotional practices of the international drug companies, influencing the country’s public health priorities, be questioned. Should not also the ever-escalating price of gasoline be seriously questioned? The list could go on and on.

Meanwhile, on the farm front, I have been gazing out of my upstairs picture window, watching a large flock, numbering just short of 100, of snowbirds hobnobbing and gossiping in, around and about while emptying my bird feeder on an almost daily basis. This I certainly do not mind – they and all other members of the feathered family are, as the locals up here call it, “eye-candy.” They perch in large numbers on the roof of the building that was built especially to house my canaries, in which I have placed a baby monitor with the speaker outside, allowing their songs to be heard over a much wider area. It is perhaps this that has attracted the wild birds in such great numbers.

At the same time, folks, I have been mentally planning a garden that will be in an expanded pre-existing garden space. As soils definitely differ from the new and the old and from what I am familiar with, it’s probably best explained as equal parts gamble and experiment, too. But, having grown up, to mid-teens, when market gardening was our source of income, I have lived long enough to have experienced both success and failure. Though I suspect failures to some degree outnumber successes, and I know also that I have learned more and remember better the failures than I have the usually-taken- for-granted bragging rights of success.

As a point of interest, Candy, the little black premature calf, is doing well. She now downs two quarts of milk replacer both night and morning and is starting to munch, for lunch, both her hay and her grain. And, too, she now has a greater number of four-legged creatures that have joined her in the barn, but that is a story in itself, so you’ll have to wait till next week to learn about the new arrivals.

Take care ‘cause we care.




Barrie Hopkins