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Real-Life Lessons in Mindfulness


It is said, every thought, every action, whether intentional or not, affects the energy of the universe. There is a ripple effect that is so far reaching that the effects of our thoughts and actions are not even known to us. I believe this to be true and I try to remain mindful of my thoughts and actions. On a much smaller scale, we see the effects of our thoughts, our actions and happenings right before us if we pay attention. Sometimes these effects are very easy to identify and others require one to search a little harder.

Let us revisit the events of the past week here at the farm. If you have read previous blog posts, you know we lost our lovely lady, Miss Scarlet to what we believe was an allergic reaction to penicillin. Sadly, Miss Scarlet left behind eight little piglets. The ripple effect of the loss of Scarlet is felt almost immediately. One would not think that the loss of a pig would have any effect on our small soap and body care business. However, it has greatly impacted our little piece of the universe in ways I would not have imagined.

We have ten girls who produce milk for us. Of those ten girls, we regularly milk four of them. We milk by hand and the goal for the year was to work smarter, not harder. We have left it up to our girls to decide when to ween their babies, thus making it easier for us at milking time. Four of the girls weened their babies on schedule and those babies found new homes. While milking four girls, we had enough milk to make our products, feed the kitties, give the dogs a treat, and give two quarts to the chickens. All was going very well for everyone here at the farm. Everyone was happy, well fed, and the work load with manageable.

With the loss of Miss Scarlet, all that changed in an instant. The piglet’s source of nutrition was gone and we had to fill in the gap. We could provide them with a commercial milk replacer; however, they may not thrive on it, they may not take to it, and we were afraid of losing the babies as well as the mama. We know from experience piglets do very well on goat’s milk, so our attention turned from the business and the happiness of all our animals to the survival of eight little piglets. Piglets take a ridiculous amount of milk to stay fat and happy. Instead of using the fresh milk for the pleasure of our other animals and our fresh lotions, we now have to feed it all to the babies.

Not surprisingly, four goats do not produce enough milk to keep eight little piglets satiated. We now have to milk more goats to provide for the little porcine orphans. Which means, we have to ween our goat babies. Realistically, our goat babies should have been weened weeks ago. The babies are now large enough to lift their mamas off the ground when they are nursing…it’s probably time. However, this makes for some very unhappy baby goats. We are now milking all ten of our girls twice a day, this makes for some harder working farmers. The cats, the dogs, and the chickens no longer get a treat of fresh warm milk, this makes for some disgruntled critters. The ripple effect of the loss of Scarlet is becoming wide and fast growing.

With all the milk going to the piglets, we have to limit our lotion production. We have two freezers full of milk to make soaps but the lotion requires fresh milk. We had to delay our release of our seasonal soap, Fruit Fantasy. The piglets are taking to solid feed rather quickly, we are hoping to have enough fresh milk to make our new lotion on Sunday. Which means we can release our new seasonal soap and lotion on Monday. With the lack of new releases, we are fearful the buzz and excitement for new products will wane. It is indeed all interconnected. Now, more than ever, we realize just how much we rely upon our girls for not only our livelihood but also the sustainability of our farm family.

That dear reader, is why we are so diligent in the care and health of our girls. Not only are they wonderful companions, they are the sustenance of our life at so many levels. One would not think the loss of a pig could have such far reaching effects but it is a real-life example of how one action can have a resounding effect on aspects one would never consider. This acts as a lesson and reinforcement of the importance of mindfulness. I believe now, more than ever, we have to work diligently at being mindful of what energy we send out into the universe.

As always, please continue to stay safe, stay smart, make an effort to be mindful of your energy, and of course wash your hands…with some really fun soap…it’s on sale this week…I’m just saying.

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