Tag Archives: YHWH

Fencing, fencing, Fencing

Building fence, not the notion of combat sport.

Over 4 years ago, I rolled up the fence on the Bowyer farm and hung the hi-tensile wire rolls on the posts at the end of each run and stored the fiberglass posts in the barn on pallets. At age 55, i truly was questioning this decision to have the farm organically row cropped for 4 years in a quest to eliminate or set back the toxic endophyte infected fescue which had become quite horrible to animal and wildlife health. Reminding myself that, should i live long enough, i’d be reinstalling all this fence at age 59 – and here i am doing it. Praise Yah for the strength and health to do so.

In addition to moving fences on the east 320 in preparation for more efficient and effective total grazing, I’ve been doggedly setting up this 120 for total grazing. It is supposed to start raining this evening (Wednesday) and do so for more than a week, so i’ve spent hours each good day walking out hi-tensile line, pounding in posts, clipping the wire to the posts, setting up gateways, and scrambling up and down the ditches with drop lines through the many ditches and draws on my farm.

Additionally, as i’ve been putting in fence and taking a break from pounding in posts by hand, i spend time resting by lopping out locust tree sprouts and treating the stumps with RTU. The bigger trees will require my chainsaw, but there are really, really high winds right now plus i must focus most of my limited energy on getting the fences installed. Tree and brush removal is a HUGE job considering they were allowed to grow these past 7 years due to organic certification regulations. (3 years prior to organic farming, then 4 years of farming). I’ll likely use more fuel and chemical getting the place back under control than would have keeping it under control.

Bowyer farm with fences being re installed. The red lines are ones i have finished (with the exception of the north end because i have to burn brush piles created when logging out which are in the way, but it is set up with temp step in posts for now). The light purple lines are yet to be installed. So, i’ve installed 3/4 of a mile and i have about that much more to go. Actually the red line around the pond and the stretch to the south of it are barbed wire permanent.

Compass Plant – Pointing the Way!

Compass Plant

Compass Plant and Flower (1)

Long before the days of magnetic compasses or global positioning systems which track our every movement and tell us where we are at any given time, there were and are, plants which aided the native Indians and later the pioneers traveling by covered wagon across the United States of America.  Of course, when the sun was shining, anyone can tell his directions, but after many days of cloudy or stormy weather what could the wagon master do?

Behold!  The humble compass plant, a rugged, drought-resistant native plant found in most tall-grass prairies which once dominated the wide Midwest.  However, given its high palatability to livestock, it is seldom found in pastures utilising continuous grazing practices, but thrives on road banks and in managed grazing systems.  Whilst other plants maybe referred to as ‘compass plants,’ the one most generally thought of is Silphium laciniatum, found on prairies from Ohio to South Dakota, south to Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas.

The compass plant, a perennial which can live up to 100 years, has a central stem which is thick, light to medium green covered with conspicuous white hairs.  Large basal leaves cut almost to midrib have sandpaper-like texture with its alternate stem leaves having their edges vertical and nearly always pointing north and south.  The six to twelve foot (two-four metres) mature plant, also called rosinweed or pilot plant, is topped by yellow flowers, which bloom mid-summer for about 1½ months.  When blooming, the stalk is very resinous and, reportedly, Indian children gathered droplets of rosin from the upper parts of the stem, where the gum exudes, to use as chewing gum for ‘sweetening the breath’ and cleansing the teeth and mouth.’

The flower heads, which are three to four inches across, resemble those of a wild sunflower.  However, unlike the sunflower, its seeds, which though large, are flat and light and can be carried several feet by the wind.  In addition, like other Silphium spp., the small tubular disk florets are sterile, while the ray florets are fertile.  Its drought resistance secret reveals itself if you try uprooting it for transplant; the taproot may reach to a depth of sixteen feet (five metres)!

Native people prized the root of the compass plant for its medicinal qualities.  The Pawnees made a tea they used for ‘general debility’, while the Santee Dakotas, Poncas and the Omahas prepared a similar concoction to use as a horse tonic.  Some Indian tribes burned the dried roots to ward off lightning during storms and some believed that lightning occurred more frequently where compass plant grew and did not camp in those areas.  In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, doctors also used the compass plant as the following: Antipyretic, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, tonic, styptic, antispasmodic, and stimulant.

Information for this article primarily drawn from the following resources:

Compass Plant goodrop

Compass plant is an interesting flowering plant with many uses, not to mention that it is beautiful and palatable to livestock and wildlife.  The indigenous people of the United States chewed the sap as gum. It’s notable that the location of the plant can indicate an underground water source; probably because the roots can grow as deep as 16 feet which could quite possibly increase the number of lightning strikes in the vicinity as believed by Native American Indians.  Makes sense to me!

The best simple physical description is provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation:

Other Common Name
Rosinweed
Family

Asteraceae (daisies, sunflowers)

Description

Compass plant is a tall, showy, yellow rosinweed with hairy stems. Blooms July through September. Flower heads are few to many, arising from a tall stalk. The flower heads are about 2½ inches across, and both the petal-like ray flowers and the central disk flowers are yellow. Leaves are hairy and deeply cleft almost to the midrib, the lobes sometimes having secondary divisions. At the bottom of the plant, the leaves are huge — to 16 inches long — but the leaves are progressively smaller toward the top of the stem. In full sun, the upright lower leaves turn their edges toward north and south, with the flat surfaces facing east and west, giving compass plant its common name.

Similar species: There are 6 Silphium species recorded for Missouri. Aside from compass plant, the other most common ones are starry rosinweed, rosinweed, prairie dock, and cup plant. Compass plant is identified by its deeply cleft leaves.

Size

Height: to about 8 feet.

More Compass Plant (Rosinweed) Facts from the USDA.

Compass Plant and Flower (4)
Flora wildlife providing nectar to fauna wildlife.

Compass Plant 1
Often grows to 8 feet tall!

 

Compass Flower 2

Compass Flower 5
Closeup shows the masterful plan of YHWH, our Creator.  No accident in design.  One of many examples of what Fibonacci described as ‘the Golden Spiral.”

 

Fibonacci Numbers

The flower of the compass plant is another fine example of God’s orderly world.  He created such order from the chaos of void as magnificently viewed in the Golden spiral of our universe, the Milky Way.  This pattern is found throughout the earth in the curve of a bird’s beak, the shape of some seashells, the breaking of an ocean wave, even bacteria grow at an accelerating rate that can be plotted along a logarithmic spiral and so much more.  While man has repeatedly copied this pattern in his architecture and painting, the mathematical symmetry of the Fibonacci pattern has a prior claim, and that is of our Creator and Lord.

First recorded discovery was in 500 BC by Pingala, an Indian mathematician, whose Sanskrit book on meters outlined what he called Chhandah-shastra.  In addition to the basics of Fibonacci numbers, his work also contains the basis for binary numeral system and Pascal’s triangle and later, popularized in the west by Leonardo de Pasino Fibonacci about 1200 AD.  Applications of Fibonacci numbers and sequencing are in the Euclid’s algorithm, Diophantine equation, and in binomial coefficients, as well as recognizable in music and art, and represented in many places in nature.1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibonacci_number

 

French Cheese Braid (Natte)

Here’s an easy, delicious, and gorgeous recipe i tried for the first time and was pretty successful!  Taken from my old Betty Crocker International Cookbook.  When i posted it on facebook, a friend noted that it would make a great Challah bread for Shabbat and some of YHWH’s Feasts!  Unbeknowst to me at the time, the little write up for the recipe in the cookbook suggested exactly that!

French Cheese Braid

“The rich yellow dough used to make this braid (the French call it natte) is similar to the Jewish holiday bread called Challah, but somewhat richer in flavor and flecked with bits of cheese.  It is delicious as a luncheon or light supper bread served with soup and salad.”

  • 1 package active dry yeast (i use 1 tablespoon)
  • 3/4 cup warm water (105F to 115F)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Real salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 ounces Swiss or Gruyère cheese, shredded or diced (about 1 1/2 cups) (i use mozzarella or cheddar)
  • olive oil
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons water

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl.  Stir in sugar, salt, eggs, butter, and 2 cups of the flour.  Beat until smooth.  Stir in enough remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (I use my Kitchenaid mixer with a dough hook).  Place in a greased bowl; turn greased side up.  (i spray the dough and bowl with my Misto olive oil sprayer and leave the dough in the same mixing bowl).  Cover; let rise in a warm place until double, 1 to 2 hours.  Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.  (If you can’t find a warm spot in your house, set the bowl in a bowl or pan of hot water)

Punch down dough; knead in cheese until well distributed.  Divide into 3 equal parts.  Roll each part into a rope, 15 inches long.  Place ropes together on lightly greased cookie sheet.  Braid ropes gently and loosely; do not stretch.  Pinch ends to fasten; tuck under securely.  Brush lightly with oil.  Let rise until double, 40-50 mintues.  (May have to set your sheet on top of the pan of hot water again)

Heat oven to 375F, Beat egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water slighty; brush over braid.  Place on oven rack below center of oven.  Bake until braid sounds hollow when tapped, 25 to 30 minutes.  If braid is browning too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.

My experience is that this baked fully at 25 minutes and the braid needs covering at about the 18 minute mark.

French Cheese Braid 001
Braided before second rising

french cheese braid 004
After baking

This is perfect bread to accompany soup!

Cheers!

tauna