“I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”
Fall Greetings everyone during this beautiful month of October! This is the time when the earth dresses her leafy trees with magnificent colors for all of us to observe and enjoy, as we secretly wish that they would hold on to their leaves tightly and not allow them to fall. But this is not in the plan of our earthly existence.
When the sun shines on the leaves everything surrounding the trees becomes luminescent and glowing. The blue sky becomes bluer, the bird song sweeter. When one walks along the forest path in October, it’s as if you are transported to another reality where there is no darkness, no sorrow just warmth, laughter, and light.
It is with a broken heart that I report the death of one of our very supportive and very talented Board Members of Ephphatha Farm’s Board of Directors, Fr. John Skehan.
Fr. John was the Pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Augusta, ME. He was so very energetic, strong, and outgoing so his sudden and unexpected death sent all of us reeling in shock and in the painful reality of the loss all of us would feel. Fr. John’s funeral mass was on September 5th at St. Augustine Church. Hundreds of people came to honor his memory and show their love.
It was uplifting to hear the accounts of all of the goodness and support he gave to others during his lifetime. Fr. John’s life was truly a gift and we at Ephphatha are all grateful for knowing and working with him.
Because of Fr. John’s sudden death, we at Ephphatha were not in the heart space to go forward with our Open House at the Farm…but one of our Board members mentioned that Fr. John would have wanted us to go forward. It’s an activity that brings members of our community, clients, and friends together to enjoy warm apple cider and tours of the farm as well as share our hopes and dreams of the future; and with our raffle items, much-needed revenue comes in to help the farm remain operational. We all then decided to have our open house in honor of Fr. John’s memory. So on Saturday, October 1st, 10 AM -1 PM THE FARM OPENED AND WE CELEBRATED! Friends came, talked, laughed, and painted pumpkins. We drank hot mulled cider and we shared stories of Fr. John and stories of life and the harvest and the belief of renewal, and transformation as the earth begins her journey to winter. We believe in the rebirth which occurs every spring as the cycle of life and death continues: All as it should be.
We at the Farm are preparing now for the colder months. We have over 400 bales of hay in our barn ready for when it is necessary to feed our horses, goats, and chickens. We are still using our pastures and the horses are out on the grass for 5-6 hours per day. The mornings are cool and frost has arrived coating the fields with a silver fluff that evaporates with the sun. So the grass growth has slowed, and soon we will be needing our hay to keep everyone satisfied. The sun is still warm and cozy and our baby chicks enjoy her warmth and light. We had a predator problem and a fox decided to feast on our chickens. We lost over ten. Now our chicken herd is no longer free range but behind a chain link fence for their safety. Hopefully, the fox will move on when he realizes that his dinner is now safe behind strong fencing! Our turkeys are growing and looking fit and healthy. (They are gifts for our Board Members at Thanksgiving!)
Our pumpkins are out on the stoop of our front porch along with several multicolored gourds used for fall displays and decorations.
We are continuing our harvest of kale and root vegetables: beets, parsnips, and carrots. This should be accomplished before successive nights of twenty degrees or below. Hopefully not too soon!
So we wish everyone a beautiful October. Carve your pumpkins, fill your days with light, and enjoy a warm cup of cider by the fireside.
Robin for Ephphatha