The Barry Farm

Pasture Raised Red Wattle Hogs, Dorper Lambs, Pasture Raised Chicken, Citrus and Blackberries


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The lambing process on video at the barry farm in Needville Tx

I’m sure this is not something that you get a first hand look at every day, but is is none the less an absolute miracle and a testament to maternity.   Inspiration and hope can come from so many places but for farmers nothing renews our spirits like birth.   No matter how many times I see it happen the sense of pride I have in watching a ewe act so selflessly swells inside.  Seeing a newborn lamb take it’s first breath and stumble to it’s feet and search for it’s mother.  Sure it is a scary breath holding few minutes but when it all goes as it should it pretty much looks like this.

 

The moment the lamb is born

the ewe goes right into cleaning her baby off.  She does this for a bunch of reasons, but basically to stimulate it to breath, warm it up and then encourage it to stand.

She continues to encourage him to stand.  Meanwhile she has not stopped to care for herself since labor began.  She is still contracting delivering afterbirth and is no doubt exhausted.

Once this happens, you can start to breathe normal again.  When the lamb latches on and gets a real drink of super rich colostrum things are looking up.  The next 24 hours will bear out how good of a mom she will be but so far she is showing some great maternal instincts.

 

 

 


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Over sold!

  
We just cannot say thank you enough for supporting our farm through this very rough season.  For better or worse we have thrown the future of our farm completely at the mercy of community.  Completely content to work diligently to grow relationships and value and let the chips fall where they may.  Thank you for keeping our together mission going forward.   See you at the farm! 


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Pork Shares! 

PORK SHARES AVAILABLE!

We are taking reservations for pork shares ready in Oct/Nov. 

90-100 lbs of pork- total cost is $700. Half is due to reserve a share. 

Our red wattle pigs are raised here on pasture and are fed a barley based diet which helps us avoid corn and soy. 

This diet changes the quality of the fat and adds delicious marbling! 

To ask more questions and request a share email us at thebarryfarm@yahoo.com 

  

How putting family back into farming made my life worth living.

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This has been an interesting few weeks to say the least. I’m not the only man to have to admit this but I typically learn lessons very thoroughly but take the long way to discovery.  Pain and heartache have taught me many things like the epiphany “stupid is suppose to hurt”  to the hard earned  “think before you speak”.  Both of which I will gladly discuss with any young man willing to listen to a front porch sermon of mine. One of the things I now feel I know well it that there is real Joy in working together with your family.  This is the bread and butter of authentic family farms.  Not the oversimplified version of performing tasks with your children, that is not what I’m talking about.   Every family does that right?   And I am also not talking about happiness.  Anyone who has held the other end of a nail while teaching a 9 year old boy to swing a hammer can attest that laboring with your children isn’t always a bowl of cherries.  I want to a few moments to delineate the difference between joy and happiness and work and labor and just why family farms may be one of the last bastions of hope for us to rekindle this notion.

In a previous version of me being a husband and father I had swallowed the normative expectation for my young life.  Get a good job, buy a house, take out a loan for a SUV (but hold out for a good interest rate), use credit cards to build you credit score, get a dog, have kids, watch evening sit-coms, check facebook.  Is the image of my mid twenties coming into focus?  It may be overly simplified but by all accounts a relatively normal and acceptable life that my elders from the depression would love to have.  All chocked full of the gooey excesses and security that my family deserves.  By the time I was 30 I was working all the overtime shifts i could get my hands on and passing by my wife and kids like the accessories I had made them into.  They fit just so into the way I saw the world and in my egocentric vision of the world I loved them the best way I knew how.   Thank God for the way I was made with a little bit of sand in my britches that leaves me very unsettled even when all is going the way I hoped it would.  Thinking to myself “If this is the best that life gets, then I’m not interested in this at all”   How does a 30 ish man change himself enough to have the courage to actually lead his family somewhere that has meaning and value?   After all I lead us to this point and it is my highest calling to lead this family with love and devotion.

Like a ton of bricks, what has taken almost 7 years of warming up to, truth slammed down on me this week.  Here is the truth that now we are tasked with acting upon; I am not the center of the universe and changing from my egocentric default setting takes daily un sexy work for me to be different.   So what does his have to do with farming and family farms?  I’m so glad you asked.   Even when I didn’t know how to completely flesh out the truth my heart was open to it and the beginning of change has been brewing in me for years now.  The disillusioned young man in his early 30’s decided to change his family’s path but the path wasn’t farming.  The path was changed by letting my devoted wife and children in on shaping my dream.  That is the bold step but also the unifying keystone to living a life on a mission as a family.   Not only is this life not all about me but the way I live this life is not all about me.  Our family landed in farming because I abandoned the notion that my dream was my own and instead began asking what is our dream.  The answers we simple and not overly involved.  They were things like “we want to be together” and “we want adventure”  and “we want to be healthy”.   Family farms are practice grounds for all of us working together, while laboring, to find pure joy even when happiness eludes us.  One of the reasons you and your family should care about family farms is because they are a natural place where this counter cultural thinking breeds.  This is what you may have had a hard time vocalizing but know is there when you say things like “I just love your lifestyle”  or “what a blessing that your kids get to grow up on a farm”.  I think if we drill down enough through those emotions the bedrock there is an acknowledgement of the difference between a farm and a family farm.  I pray this has found you in a place where change is possible for you if you’re open to it to begin the conversation of letting your family shape your dream.

 

there is so much more in this discussion but you will have to buy my book to continue unpacking these ideas with me.

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Catching up in the wood shop

I’ll do my best to keep all my digits.  No promises though.  I have a back log of projects so am taking advantage of a rainy morning to play a little catch up.   I also get to wear this hat which I love and makes Renee laugh.  Sugarland tx 1959 commerative cap.   It is so brittle and old it may just turn to dust while on my head.   


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Summer dinner series . the third and final installment 

  

 This event will sell out quickly so if you’d like to attend e mail renee at thebarryfarm@yahoo.com to make your reservations.  Thank you for your continued support of our family farm and we hope to see you next month.   


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Time given  

 I love these kids.  In fact I love them so much that there is not anything I wouldn’t do for them.  Layla was sitting on my lap the other day and I said “who loves you the most in this world?”  Her first answer was “Jesus”.  I pressed her and said “then who comes second”.   With just a little pause for an attempt to spare my feelings she said “mommy”.  I asked her, “why not daddy?”   she said “simple, she spends the most time with us”.

 

Don’t worry about me, I am plenty alright with all those answers.  She is making pretty good sense to me and I know that Layla loves me very much.   It is true that if you ever want to know the truth, just as a kid.   She was unwittingly reminding me of my most valuable resource and how I choose to spend it.   Just like everything valuable, time is a limited and fleeting commodity.   The tension in being an engaged dad is the pull between obligation and where my heart is on a daily basis.  I’m not cut out to be a good employee, and the justification that I go to work for their benefit gets crappier by the day.   They both look at me with skepticism as I muddle through something along the lines of “well you see kids, I work to earn money to pay for these things and for us to eat and have clothes”  yada yada yada.  None of which they thoroughly believe and quite frankly neither do I.   The truth is that my off farm job provides for our mission to continue when times are tough which for farmers they always are.  The scale of our farm sometimes makes paying the bills worrisome but my family’s lifestyle wouldn’t change much without the business of the barry farm.  As a family we can never go back and have burned the bridge behind us but our mission is greater than our family.  We work and farm as hard as we do because we are set to a task and that task is not making the best food we can.   Our task is to build community and foster good in this world.  To stand in the gap and not let the cracks be filled with people who don’t fit in other areas.  Our farm does make some pretty awesome food and we work non stop to make it the best we can be, but I would give it all away tomorrow if it would get our community closer to our mission.  This is why the world needs family farms.  We are not unique in this and others if they could would echo my thoughts.  So why tell you all this?  Just like layla reminded me, I’d like to remind you.   What is your family’s mission?  I mean the real stuff that puts you all on the same page and clears your mind while at the same time stirs your heart.   Now answer this,   just how much time is your family spending working together on that mission.     

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