Mott Family Farm

  (Salesville, Ohio)
Choosing the Simple Life
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The Slow Flow

In the Dog Days of summer I've learned the art of slowness. Slow moving. Slow cooking. Slow picking. Slow packing. Sometimes even my thought processes are slowed down--all in my body's effort to cope with the sticky heat. In our non-air conditioned house, we've learned which windows to shut and drape at which time of day to maximize any coolness that can be reserved indoors. But by 4 pm, there's no fighting it--it's permeated every square inch of the house. If we were to ever have AC, it would require 10 times more solar panels and a much larger battery/inverter system to run the house. For now we're content with our 8 panels and wind generator--at least we can run some fans!

We understand better too why some farmers wake up so early--to escape the heat, for one thing! 6 AM on the farm is one of the most inspiring and peaceful times--we're high above the fog, and even our dog hasn't roused himself from slumber. The coolness of the air prevails and hunting for tomatoes seems more surreal and dreamlike than a chore that has to be done.

So think of us as we deal with the heat this week--enter into the Slow Flow with us as you eat your tomatoes, potatoes, and lettuce--and say a prayer for some much-needed rain!


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Duke

Duke is our faithful canine companion on the farm. Splotched black and white (his Dalmation side) with soul-ful eyes (his Walker, Coon Dog side), he has been responsible for chasing the racoons down from the peach trees and leaving his scent around, causing rabbits to tremble. Groundhogs don't have a chance within the perimeter of our growing fields--but strangely he ignores the rooster and hens who freely roam. Even our kittens and burly old cat will snuggle up to him on a lazy summer afternoon.

He lives completely outside (sleeps under the cabin now) and will make his rounds in the woods--we hear him barking, chasing deer. He has no leash or fences and knows the boundaries of our 90 acres. He doesn't chase balls with the boys, but will watch them shoot hoops and slam dunk before stretching his legs and yawning. As soon as I make my way towards the fields he is right by my side, happily trotting around, but he takes off and loses me after five minutes, either distracted by rabbit trails, or off to undig his latest bone.

Our farm would not be as viable without Duke, our companion, protector and friend. He actually came with the farm (was left here by the Amish family) and they have no idea what an asset he is!

Here's to all our pets who bless our lives just by being who they are---

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