here are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.
Aldo Leopold

20 October 2008

Fall Turkey

My daughter Charlotte, who is six years old, wanted her first hunt badly; so rather than chase squirrels, I opted for a fall turkey hunt, given Thanksgiving is just around the proverbial corner. We headed for our woods, down to "the gully," where a logging road cuts down one side of the gully and up the other, switch-backing on the western side. Many of the leaves from maples, tulip poplar, beech and oak are already down, which makes for crunchy walking. On the other hand, everything walking in the woods is crunching, so if one listens long and hard enough, one can eventually blend in and be relatively unnoticed. This is especially true if there are 3 foot berms on each side of the logging road.

So Charlotte and I were still-hunting along the logging road in the gully, and before too long, we could hear rustling in the leaves that sounded too big and vigorous to be a squirrel. We stopped and knelt, conferencing in a whisper about the sounds. Could it be turkeys digging through the leaves looking for beech nuts and acorns? Charlotte thought "maybe." So, we scratched the leaves ourselves and I did my best vocal imitation of a hen turkey. Lo and behold, a turkey answered, and we had confirmation...they were close, and it sounded like a lot of them.

I glanced at my watch after noticing the low sun casting beautiful slant-y golden light on the tops of the trees, 5:15 PM. I whispered to Charlotte that I surmised that the turkeys were headed to one of their roosting areas, a draw with big old beech trees at the bottom. I asked if she wanted to try to intercept them. She was game, so we crept along the berm, me calling, Charlotte scratching leaves.

We got to a point where the logging road was about to crest and we were going to lose our berm. We knelt again to conference, but just then, we heard a cluck, looked up , and there was turkey poking its head over the berm briefly. The rest, as they say, is history.

We hope to see the Stedman et al. family, the Tantillo et al. family, and the Winchell et al. family at Thanksgiving.

06 October 2008

Lake Friendly Farm Award

Wineries win Lake Friendly Farm Award

by Debra J. Groom / The Post-Standard
Monday September 29, 2008, 12:09 PM

Hosmer Winery, Long Point Winery, Canoga Creek Farms and Switzer Farm have received 2008 Lake Friendly Farm Award.

Farmers receive this special award when they incorporate practices that conserve and protect their local water resources. Lake-friendly farming can include tree planting along streams, conservation of wetlands and manure handling practices.

These four wineries are all located within the Cayuga Lake Watershed area -- where agriculture is very important to the community culturally, economically and ecologically.