walking the cow

Sulphur Bluff, Texas, USA



“Akin to the idea that time is money is the concept, less spoken by as commonly assumed, that we may be adequately represented by money. The giving of money has thus become our characteristic virtue. But to give is not to do. The money is given in lieu of action, thought, care, time. And it is no remedy for the fragmentation of character and consciousness that is the consequence of specialization.....  Most important, even if we could give enough to overbalance the official and corporate misuse of our money, we would still not solve the problem: the willingness to be represented by money involves a submission to the modern divisions of character and community. The remedy safeguards the disease.”
Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture

I've been reading this book by Wendell Berry, sometimes he can get kinda wordy, but the section where he starts talking about specialists really caught my attention.

Sometimes I am self-conscience because I feel I try to do too many different things. Perhaps I'm not specialist enough. I think maybe if I tried to focus on one thing it would be truly good.

Berry reminds me that "the problem with the specialists system is that it produces specialists". I quickly realized we have plenty of specialists.

I can't imagine doing only one thing. Or go to a job where at the end of the day I'm trying to accomplish only one goal i.e.-sales, production, ? clients, customers.... you get the point?

Our entire education system has subscribed to the specialist system and I believe it is brainwashing our students into thinking that when they grow up, in order to be successful, need to become some sort of specialist.

Berry goes onto say that a specialists can't even entertain themselves, they have to hire (at a hefty price) a specialist for that!

This is a new painting influenced by the book.



I was looking through an old portfolio today and this storage jar caught my attention.

I realized I made it almost 3 years ago and I can't remember what I drew on the other side, all I got to remember it by is the upright gorilla, which for one reason or another I deemed the front. I sold it not long after this photo was taken, so I didn't get very long to live with it.

I like the proportions of this pot: the skinny foot, the inflated belly, the quiet lid and knob. The black engobe stripes and the flashing from the soda vapors came out pretty muted, but to me somehow everything works.

I think it is good to revisit work you have done to reflect. It helps as you go forward.


Where is your food protein grown?

I should make a disclaimer that this photograph has not been manipulated in any way. Above are two 1 1/4" thick cut T-bones and below are the complimentary 3/4" center cut pork chops. Lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. The quality and texture of this meat is the best I have ever eaten.

Do you know where your food protein comes from? Did you know that 54% of the worlds pork is grown in China? and 20% of the worlds beef is grown in Brazil?

How many miles does your food have on it from field to fork? Have you ever imagined dipping your food in a 5 gallon bucket of diesel before you eat it?

I challenge you to try and figure out where your food was grown... you may be surprised to find it was grown where a thick jungle once was deep in South America, or maybe Korea, Mexico, or Argentina. Or maybe a combination of several countries! Then try and figure out if it has traveled more than you have this year.

If you go to the Dallas Farmer's Market this saturday and come to Shed #1 you can buy some food protein that was grown in Sulphur Bluff, Texas, USA.



Round hay bales are rolled up in late springtime like dry grass cinnamon rolls. That is, 1200# grass flavored cinnamon rolls.

To feed out I unroll the hay for the cattle during the winter season.

There are several advantages to unrolling hay vs. putting it in a hay ring or barn feeding, etc.

It is good because you can run any class or size of animal all together. This way the bigger bully animals won't hog all the feedstuff.

One hay bale stretches out to about the length of a football field.

There is very little waste.

I can monitor exactly how much hay I am feeding.

I unroll in different sections of the paddock every day and it acts as a secondary fertility program for the soil.

It reduces pugging (see summertime pug wash).

The animals line up and I can do a thorough daily inspection of body condition/health/pregnancy development.