Sharing is Farm Caring – Sustainable Farming at its core.
Visitors to our Sustainable Farm in East Texas will frequently set at our dining room table. Of course we share our meals, planning session, entertain prospective buyers of our mini cattle, gourmet beef, gourmet pork and poultry – all raised on pasture and most of them finished on clover at our table . . . Folks get to know their farmer in no better way.
When we set down together, our visitors are impressed by the uniqueness of the table top – it is covered with paintings of our most beloved animals from the past:
This Canadian couple came to partake of our On-Farm-Consulting Services. Our Bio-Dynamic farming practices attract folks from all over the country and numerous visitors on the WWOOF program. Here is a good view of our table depicting several of our animal friends. Animal welfare is a big component of our farm/ranch. Our mini Hereford beef cattle, mini Jersey dairy cows, pigs, chickens and ducks, are all treated with respect and live in as low stress environment as can possibly be provided.
On our table or board we can see our Coat of Arms center stage, and each place has a painting of one of our beloved animal friends (personalities) of past years.
My Current Falster Coat of Arms:
In the center of the table is the Farmer Falster version of my family coat of arms – the Ancient Arms of Falster as we know it is the gold chevrons below the lion in red.
Now, in heraldry the custom was to treat/make a depiction of a man’s honor in battle on a emblazoned crest or shied – a standard.
In my personal life history: After serving in combat in Viet Nam as a US Marine (Scout Warrior with 1/!), awarded several medals for valor, I started a franchise company called Falster Knives – thus the sword.
My people come from a Danish Island named Falster Island – thus the Viking Helm.
Our efforts at farming here in Texas respect the values of the past in order to preserve the prospects of the future – thus the Valhalla type style in the lettering.
Let’s look now at those animals we honor on this broad board:
Falster’s Paint Cow Pony FOLGER:
FOLGER and his ½ brother RAZ-MA-TAZ served as my cow horses and saddle mount in reenactment parades around South Texas for many years. FOLGER is a two blue eyed registered paint gelding. He is Nancy’s horse and wants to do more work than we have for him to do now.
I say that because of the injuries I have to my bones and joins over the years of rough cowboy work on the farm.
To offset that loss of flexibility, we tried to find a suitable working dog. that would afford good companion as well as herding style.
The most beautiful dog to possess those attributes was our American Farm Collie – BELLE.
She was everything one could want in a slow moving working dog, including a loving and respectful family dog. Like RAZ-MA-TAZ she has gone on to be with the Creator, and we have her replacement with us today: KNF WOLFORD VON FALSTER – our pure blood Border Collie “Willie” shown here resting after a hard day’s work herding cows out to their Summer quarters. He is assertive almost beyond compare and lives to be at my side, or on a long outreach to fetch up our mini cattle, pigs, chickens, ducks or any thing I send him to fetch..
So what are these cows that need herding?
At the Master’s end of the table resides a portrait of the world renowned miniature Hereford herd sire KNF CIBOLO.
ANNA was the most theatrical cow one could ever meet. There simply is not enough space in this missive to tell all the tails that come to mind with most of these creatures, but ANNA is perhaps to most cunning, and comical of the lot.
Of course we have had goats, and lots of them of several wonderful breeds but the smartest and most charming was a cross between a Lamancha and a Pigmy Goat – named Bar-B-Que. BARBE was a show goat – not a powder puff show goat but a showboat show goat that loved to travel – especially to the “old folks” homes around San Antonio.
On the farm Barbie was a rough and tumble little fella trying to hold his own amongst a large company of larger animals.
But upon entering the foyer of a building he became the persona of a gentleman goat. Riding up and down the elevator, waiting respectfully outside the patient’s room, jumping up on their bed when called – you name it, that goat could do it!
Well Now, what farm would be complete without a dynamic barn cat – Col. Gustav Hoffman. I was the Commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp in New Braunfels, Texas at the time Nancy came home with this little kitten she had picked up on a street corner, downtown San Antonio. A 16 -17 year old intern (Kenny Morris) with us at the time identified the kitten’s sex as a male, stating emphatically, “I know these things.” Thus the name. A month or two later, he was to taken and be “fixed”, but he turned out to be a he! The moniker took and she is Gustav to this day.
DUC DUCK is just one of the numerous ducks we have enjoyed over the years – this on lived (by dodging the coyotes, raccoons, opossums and the like) much longer than any other duck we have had. Each evening her would come up from the pond and sleep with the pigs. I think they enjoyed his company a good bit. Then come morning, he’d waddle back out to the pasture and eat grass, then go take a dip in the pond. What a wonderful life.
STONEWALL JACKSON was Nancy’s pet rooster – a barred rock that would follow her around the farm and jump up and set on her arm chair. When she prayed out loud – at the conclusion of evoking the Deity, STONWALL would crow a joyous AMEN.
Honestly, with wonderful farm animals like these, we want to celebrate their remembrances as parts in our lives.
At times, when I travel by a factory farm I wonder if the corporate officers of that place give a damn or not about their livestock crammed in those small pens, packed on that feed lot. When I think of the shallowness of the farmers raising genetically modified malnourishing grains, I wonder if they knowingly care that what they are doing is destroying our earth, our farms, our farm animals, our families, our friends.
Well, here is my last offering, the beautiful little artist that painted these magnificent creatures for Falster Farm – Mrs. York Midge Iguchie.
Fini – Karl E. Falster, Sr.