It is important to remember that the most important, special, things tend to happen in just their own time- and that time has been the last 9 days.

This past weekend I was again at Prairie Heritage Farm to slaughter turkeys for Thanksgiving.  You’ve seen the pictures from last year, so I’ll spare the gory details, and if last weekend wasn’t one to celebrate my anniversary in Montana, this one certainly was.

The high, northern plains.

There’s a feeling I get being out there, on the high northern plains.  The openness of the land and the warmth of its people remind me why the hard, unglamorous work of farming is what has shaped many of the richest, and most fulfilling parts of our culture.  Jacob and Courtney seem to draw a particularly beautiful crew of people each year to help with the grisly work- I was particularly privileged to enjoy the company of my new friend Katie for the drive from Missoula to Power, and our shared work slitting throats together.  We had glorious weather, and spectacular new facilities for the slaughter- making this year less about “getting through it”, and more about “doing it right and having fun.

Getting what she came for.

Farm-fresh and amazing, dinner is not to be missed.

The introspective observations:

  • As much as I enjoy my time on the farm, I don’t feel compelled to farm- but I do feel compelled to empower other people to farm.
  • The hard and unglamorous work of farming often mirrors the hard, unglamorous work of contracting- and I like that.
  • Being around this group of people made me start to seriously think about my own aspirations in participating in the sustainable food system.  How can I participate more?

A humble day of work and 10 gallons of blood.

The practical observations:

  • People always look funnier with turkey blood splattered on their faces.

“I told you not to look directly at the turkey…”

  • Turkey farts smell really bad, and are hilarious.

    The look on little Declan’s face says it all…

  • There is such a thing as “sipping Tequila.”

It was a special weekend, and no doubt I got what I came for.

A few other highlights from the last 9 days:

  • I had a hilariously good time as a guest soloist with the Dodgy Mountain Men last Thursday night as Missoula said goodnight to our beloved Top Hat (until spring of 2013).  Thank you gentlemen, and I look forward to more songs soon.


  • Despite a year of injuries and training focused entirely elsewhere- I still put 10 more pounds on my best-ever deadlift last Tuesday night.
  • Last Sunday I took the first few steps on the next BIG adventure.  Stay tuned.

Safe to say, I will have plenty to give Thanks for at the table this Thursday.

The Seeley-Swan at sunset.

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