Monday, June 6, 2011

Walnut Creek Farms

Andy, the new generation of farmers
I couldn't resist an offer from new friends to visit their farm in Waynoka.  That was just going to be one of the stops on an adventure day at Glass Mountain.  We never made it to the mountain, and my only regret is that my camera didn't get to meet the farm.

Walnut Creek Farms is a chemical-free and happy farm.  The farming philosophy is simple - focused on the health of the land and the growth of the rural communities.  There are multiple types of chickens laying pink and blue eggs (no, it isn't pink for girls and blue for boys - I asked).  There are cattle, pigs, sheep, dogs, and a cat named Midnight.  It is 1300 acres that have been in the family since the landrun.  Walnut Creek Farms provides fresh products to local restaurants such as Ludivine and La Baguette.

When we arrived at the farm, our host, Andy, got his daily orders from his father-in-law, Kim Barker.  Just a couple of quick chores, he said.  What transpired was a beautiful display of the seasoned farmer patiently tending to his younger apprentice, while the newest farmer absorbed like the dry earth around us.  We replaced a broken water hydrant, started construction on a new chicken feeder box, and rounded up stubborn cattle.  Plans were made to collect freshly-harvested wheat from a neighbor.  It can't even be called bartering - it was just plain neighborly sharing in action.

Much more than the physical lessons being shared, there was an overwhelming code of peace, patience, and respect.  Respect for Mother Earth, her animals, and her people.  There was mutual admiration between father and son-in-law that was as obvious as the testicles on the sheep (impressive, believe me).

At the end of the day, we caught up with Andy's wife, Juli, and joined what seemed to be half the town of Waynoka for a dutch-oven feast.  Cast-iron pots were filled with meats, potatoes, beans, cobbler, breads, and even cheesecakes.  Bottles of wine were shared like stories.  Little ones there still know how to climb in the trees, and they were completely unplugged.   

When the sun finally gave up, the guitar emerged.  The stars responded and gathered 'round.  I neither lie nor exaggerate when I tell you that the brightest green glow of a shooting star actually sizzled when it crossed the sky.

The invite and temptation was strong to stay the night.  The VW pop-up camper/ van was definitely a draw.  Instead, I took home pieces of Waynoka and Walnut Creek Farms in my memory.  I feel fortunate to have shared in the abundant harvest of peace and kindness that day.  I want to preserve it, can it, keep some, and share the rest.

Juli, Andy, me, and LaNita

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