Category Archives: VVR

Two of the wisest bitches I know. I walk into this New Year with an open heart and the clear intention to learn as much as I can from these two gals, along with the rest of my sisters. I am so grateful to feel surrounded by full-force feminine energy as I stride into this new decade and, nearly, into age 35. Life is beautiful. #staygrateful #2020#learnasyougo #mindfulnesspractice #peoplecare#animalcare#theproblemisthesolution #designforthefuture#permaculturefarm #healthyfarmer#selfcarewhilefarming#truesustainability#permaculture#permacultura #observeandinteract #practicalreflection

Two of the wisest bitches I know. I walk into this New Year with an open heart and the clear intention to learn as much as I can from these two gals, along with the rest of my sisters. I am so grateful to feel surrounded by full-force feminine energy as I stride into this new decade and, nearly, into age 35. Life is beautiful. #staygrateful #2020#learnasyougo #mindfulnesspractice #peoplecare#animalcare#theproblemisthesolution #designforthefuture#permaculturefarm #healthyfarmer#selfcarewhilefarming#truesustainability#permaculture#permacultura #observeandinteract #practicalreflection

I am learning, slowly by slowly, not to panic or struggle when the wind shifts course. My intention for this Solstice was to sit in community with a group of people for whom I have immense gratitude. Yesterday, that plan shifted. In my usual fashion, resistance arrived first. I had my plan in mind, had coordinated a number of other events around this one in order to create time for it, and accepting that it would not happen felt like a stretch.The good news is that I am in the habit of encouraging myself to meet the opportunity to stretch with willingness, and—though it took me an hour or so to adjust—I relaxed into the idea that my Solstice Saturday would be spent solo. The more I passively considered that idea, mulling it over unconsciously for the most part, the more enthusiastic I grew about the prospect of having an entire unplanned day by myself on the land I love. Having just taken a break for a #cleanlocalplate of @vernal_vibe_rise #sprouts + #homemademayo + #mustardpickles with some #eastvirginia tuna, I can report that my #solosolstice day continues to be amazing. Now, back out to squeeze in two more hours of #willow and #pawpaw planting in this balmy, late-December weather. And maybe a fire with the #karakachan pups after dark. It has taken me nearly a decade of farming to understand that rest is just as important as the work. Trust me.Happy Solstice, everyone, and know that I support you in finding some quiet time—solo or otherwise—today, to reflect on what has been and where we are going on this next trip around.#iateitbeforeicouldtakeaphoto#decemberplanting #mychorrizae #earthcare#farmcare#selfcare#theproblemisthesolution #designforthefuture#permaculturefarm #healthyfarmer#selfcarewhilefarming#truesustainability#permaculture#permacultura #observeandinteract

I am learning, slowly by slowly, not to panic or struggle when the wind shifts course. My intention for this Solstice was to sit in community with a group of people for whom I have immense gratitude. Yesterday, that plan shifted. In my usual fashion, resistance arrived first. I had my plan in mind, had coordinated a number of other events around this one in order to create time for it, and accepting that it would not happen felt like a stretch.The good news is that I am in the habit of encouraging myself to meet the opportunity to stretch with willingness, and—though it took me an hour or so to adjust—I relaxed into the idea that my Solstice Saturday would be spent solo. The more I passively considered that idea, mulling it over unconsciously for the most part, the more enthusiastic I grew about the prospect of having an entire unplanned day by myself on the land I love. Having just taken a break for a #cleanlocalplate of @vernal_vibe_rise #sprouts + #homemademayo + #mustardpickles with some #eastvirginia tuna, I can report that my #solosolstice day continues to be amazing. Now, back out to squeeze in two more hours of #willow and #pawpaw planting in this balmy, late-December weather. And maybe a fire with the #karakachan pups after dark. It has taken me nearly a decade of farming to understand that rest is just as important as the work. Trust me.Happy Solstice, everyone, and know that I support you in finding some quiet time—solo or otherwise—today, to reflect on what has been and where we are going on this next trip around.#iateitbeforeicouldtakeaphoto#decemberplanting #mychorrizae #earthcare#farmcare#selfcare#theproblemisthesolution #designforthefuture#permaculturefarm #healthyfarmer#selfcarewhilefarming#truesustainability#permaculture#permacultura #observeandinteract

My #karakachan livestock guardian dogs get all of the meat scraps from the @vernal_vibe_rise kitchen. When I am washing up from a meal, I usually grab the #cleanestdirty bowl and use that for any bones or bits of gristle that the pups would enjoy. Sometimes, that vessel, licked clean by the pups, is the container on hand when I have a few more eggs than I can reasonably carry down the hill post-chores. Which is why, in the historical style of my contradictory life, I sometimes end up with a crystal berry bowl filled with fresh-from-the-coop eggs on my gatepost, to be ferried down to the house.#gratefulforeggs #heritagechickens#dominiquechicken #delawarechicken #heritagelivestock#peoplecare#animalcare#theproblemisthesolution #designforthefuture#permaculturefarm #healthyfarmer#selfcarewhilefarming#truesustainability#permaculture#permacultura #observeandinteract

My #karakachan livestock guardian dogs get all of the meat scraps from the @vernal_vibe_rise kitchen. When I am washing up from a meal, I usually grab the #cleanestdirty bowl and use that for any bones or bits of gristle that the pups would enjoy. Sometimes, that vessel, licked clean by the pups, is the container on hand when I have a few more eggs than I can reasonably carry down the hill post-chores. Which is why, in the historical style of my contradictory life, I sometimes end up with a crystal berry bowl filled with fresh-from-the-coop eggs on my gatepost, to be ferried down to the house.#gratefulforeggs #heritagechickens#dominiquechicken #delawarechicken #heritagelivestock#peoplecare#animalcare#theproblemisthesolution #designforthefuture#permaculturefarm #healthyfarmer#selfcarewhilefarming#truesustainability#permaculture#permacultura #observeandinteract

The best two to welcome me home to @vernal_vibe_rise at the end of last week. Their joy makes the 100 degree to 10 degree swing more manageable, for sure. Not to mention that hot, dry heat from my sturdy @vermontcastings #rescuestove #karakachan#farmeronholiday#selfcarewhilefarming#peoplecare#animalcare#theproblemisthesolution #designforthefuture#permaculturefarm #healthyfarmer#truesustainability#permaculture#permacultura #observeandinteract #practicalreflection

The best two to welcome me home to @vernal_vibe_rise at the end of last week. Their joy makes the 100 degree to 10 degree swing more manageable, for sure. Not to mention that hot, dry heat from my sturdy @vermontcastings #rescuestove #karakachan#farmeronholiday#selfcarewhilefarming#peoplecare#animalcare#theproblemisthesolution #designforthefuture#permaculturefarm #healthyfarmer#truesustainability#permaculture#permacultura #observeandinteract #practicalreflection

It was just so dang beautiful out on @vernal_vibe_rise this evening. The dogs opted to stay at the barn, but I had a solid solo walk after a day at the table in my @scion_design permaculture studio. I scouted some spots for the remaining #pawpaw trees, to be planted tomorrow, and returned home with a feeling of fullness and gratitude. #cyclicalliving #livepermaculture #permaculturefarm #healthyfarmer#selfcarewhilefarming#truesustainability#permaculture#permacultura #holistichealth#observeandinteract

It was just so dang beautiful out on @vernal_vibe_rise this evening. The dogs opted to stay at the barn, but I had a solid solo walk after a day at the table in my @scion_design permaculture studio. I scouted some spots for the remaining #pawpaw trees, to be planted tomorrow, and returned home with a feeling of fullness and gratitude. #cyclicalliving #livepermaculture #permaculturefarm #healthyfarmer#selfcarewhilefarming#truesustainability#permaculture#permacultura #holistichealth#observeandinteract

Yesterday’s rainy-day #familyfeed included @wildunicornfarmstead butternut squash, @vernal_vibe_rise kuri squash, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and #ossabawlard + #bellsvalleyfarm #englishroastbeef + bay leaves from #dildahliefarm and some I brought back from #zagrebcroatia + the essential @jqdsalt #cleanlocalplate #feedyourfriends#feedyourfamily #provision#healthyfarmer#selfcarewhilefarming#truesustainability#permaculture#holisticcommunity#permacultura #holistichealth#smartnothard#theproblemisthesolution

Yesterday’s rainy-day #familyfeed included @wildunicornfarmstead butternut squash, @vernal_vibe_rise kuri squash, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and #ossabawlard + #bellsvalleyfarm #englishroastbeef + bay leaves from #dildahliefarm and some I brought back from #zagrebcroatia + the essential @jqdsalt #cleanlocalplate #feedyourfriends#feedyourfamily #provision#healthyfarmer#selfcarewhilefarming#truesustainability#permaculture#holisticcommunity#permacultura #holistichealth#smartnothard#theproblemisthesolution

This is a friendly farm #publicserviceannouncement —Wash Your Tools When You Finish Using Them. I have been digging holes and otherwise playing in the dirt for more than a couple of decades, and doing it professionally for a full decade. As of the past several months, I can now report that I wash mine every time I finish using them. And it feels so good.#gettingwiser#learnasyougo #toolcare #theproblemisthesolution #designforthefuture#permaculturefarm #healthyfarmer#selfcarewhilefarming#truesustainability#permaculture#permacultura #observeandinteract #practicalreflection

This is a friendly farm #publicserviceannouncement —Wash Your Tools When You Finish Using Them. I have been digging holes and otherwise playing in the dirt for more than a couple of decades, and doing it professionally for a full decade. As of the past several months, I can now report that I wash mine every time I finish using them. And it feels so good.#gettingwiser#learnasyougo #toolcare #theproblemisthesolution #designforthefuture#permaculturefarm #healthyfarmer#selfcarewhilefarming#truesustainability#permaculture#permacultura #observeandinteract #practicalreflection

The Way To Be GMO-free

Just as we (humans) are what we eat, so are the animals that we raise here on Vernal Vibe Rise. As a result, we believe that it is truly worthwhile to go to great lengths to make sure that our animals have access to the cleanest, most nutrient-rich foods available to us.

GMO-free feed in truckEvery few weeks, we make the trip to neighboring Virginia to purchase GMO-free feed for our animals. It involves an entire day, significant expense, and intense physical effort, but what is farming if not comprised of those things already?

GMO-free feed on truck

Much of the GMO-free swine feed is contained in this one-ton tote, which needs to be secured carefully before the two-hour drive on the highway back to VVR.

GMO-free feed in/on truck

Here is the (rented) truck of the week, all loaded up for the drive back to Renick. My dear truck, the Dumpin’ Doggie, is a 1969 F100 and isn’t well-suited for this type of trip, so she stays at the farm during feed runs.

GMO-free corn

The GMO-free whole corn, which serves as a supplemental feed for VVR poultry, and as a snack for swine and sheep. The clean feed that we offer the animals here on VVR makes them healthier, which in turn ensures that their meat and eggs are tastier and safer to eat. We thank all of our customers for caring enough about the health of our environment to make the choice to purchase VVR’s GMO-free products.

 

A Millennial’s Perspective of Farming and the Future of America’s Food

During our 3-week stay at Vernal Vibe Rise, I witnessed one of the most admirable and humbling displays of diligence and dedication I have ever seen. We all have people in our lives whom we look up to for all sorts of inspiration (mentors or role models if you will), and Quincy is one of those few humans who will continue to inspire many people. When I was a kid, my mom would often tell me that anyone who works hard at anything will eventually reap the fruits of that labor. Sooner or later, it happens, and being at VVR was a much needed reminder of this lesson.

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I hope I don’t get too preachy, but please entertain my thoughts for a moment. I belong to a generation that has had to struggle with the consequences of the near-sighted decisions and assumptions that our predecessors made about our natural and human-crafted resources. While my generation has more gadgets and better access to information than ever before, we carry a large burden that no other generation has faced. We are having to deal with the consequences of carelessly mining natural resources, and we are realizing that mass-production coupled with an irresponsible “free market” is perhaps the most pernicious combination of social constructs that humans have ever created. Thankfully, the Internet has helped us see that there are smarter ways of powering our homes, fueling our vehicles, planning our cities, and growing our food. On the Internet, you will find that many hard-working people are helping to spread the word about the vast world of wiser alternatives to the way in which we grow our food and raise our livestock. Suddenly, urban farms are sprawling all across the country. Suddenly, farmers markets are sprawling in abandoned lots in various cities. But what I found most encouraging about my stay at VVR is that many of us are talking about these hard truths and quickly seeing that all the information and technology we need to make our world a more responsible one is already in our hands.

If we look back in time, especially to the humble, rebellious beginnings of this country, we can easily appreciate that social revolutions are slow to occur. But if there is one quality that characterizes this country over the centuries, it has got to be its undeniable ability to foster some amazing social revolutions. And it is pioneers like Quincy who take matters into their own hands and lead the rest of us into a transitional period.  I am grateful that people, such as Quincy, have fearlessly challenged the status quo by acknowledging that something isn’t right about the way we’re mass-producing livestock. It is inspiring to see that people are empowering themselves to do things differently.

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Meeting Quincy and her loving, collaborative community was an honor. Indeed, a reminder that anything is possible as long as you work hard and support your local community (be it by purchasing food from local farmers or, in Quincy’s case, by selling your product to local, small businesses). Quincy, I wish you nothing but the best–you’ve definitely earned it 😀

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With much love and appreciation,
Hugo