The Year in a Word

If I had to choose one word for this year it would be “RESILIENCE“.

Broom Corn Sunrise
Our small garden patch of broom corn/sorghum and Indian corn on a beautiful morning!

We have had so many ups and downs.  Both Colton and I lost people that were important to us; we got married and had to go through the hurdles of planning a wedding and figuring out how to navigate life together; and many more trials that has made the year rather difficult.

Our personal life meant we didn’t spend much time caring for the garden, but that wasn’t the only issue with how it turned out – early torrents of rain followed near-droughts.  Then – something that nearly broke my heart all over – a “small” storm smashed down a lot of the broom corn crop.

Granted, we don’t have much of a crop, but it was an important first step for us.  It had taken time, energy, planning, and a bit of luck.  We were hopeful.  And then we came home to a crop that was sheltered on the west and north sides – directions that the wind usually comes from – and the broom corn was down.  Would it recover?  Field corn usually pops back up after a few days, but this tall, top-heavy plant was falling down in the garden (which, of course, that little plot was unfazed).  Would it die from shock, lack of air flow, or damaged roots?  Would it bend to reach the sunlight and therefore ruin the viability of the crop for its intended purpose (decorations, but those need to be straight, not curved)?

Then I realized this year is just what I wrote above – A Year of Resiliency.

I recently learned about Jordan Green with J&L Green Farm.  He was being interviewed by Justin Rhodes about his pastured pig processes at a large scale.  Jordan is an ex-Marine and Justin asked him how military life helped to shape him for farming.  As Jordan said – you just get it done.  Doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing, cold, hot, or if your days are exceptionally long and hard – the animals still have to be fed.

That, in a nut shell, is farming.  It’s hard, rough, and sometimes disappointing, but no matter what – animals have to be fed, plants have to be tended.

Thankfully, our broom corn seems to be rebounding.  Every corner I turn with this crop has me learning and seeing something new or unusual.  I was worried that due to other stalks falling that they wouldn’t recover, but I should have known that Mother Nature knows best!

Every time I look up information on sorghum I find something new – there are several different varieties, colors, heights and purposes.  Mill into flour, pop like popcorn, press for syrup, feed to animals for a non-GMO grain alternative, or just use it for beautiful decorations!

We both know that farming is hard, long work, but sometimes we need a kick in the pants to get the job done, or a reminder that things will be ok.  We have suffered far less than our farming families with their losses this year and have been grateful for the learning curves thrown at us.

What we would like to know from you – what do you want to see from us and in our community??  Here are a few ideas!  Comment on the post so we know what we should shoot for in the future, email us at jctrustichomestead@gmail.com or contact us through our Facebook Page!

  • Broom corn – for fall decorations
  • Sorghum – for milling into flour and/or syrup, decorations, and animal fodder
  • Indian corn – for fall decorations and possible use for grinding into flour, meal, etc.
  • Popcorn – eating and decorating
  • Veggies – ??
  • Herbs – fresh and/or dried
  • Pumpkins/gourds – decorating
  • Livestock – beef, pork, chicken, goat, etc – what do you see lacking around here?  Are you more interested in pasture-raised products, knowing your local farmer and supplier, having access to fresh, humanely raised meat products?
  • Something we’ve missed?!
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