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Back of Beyond Farm is a small, family run operation in Rist Canyon, Colorado. We work closely with natural rhythms to create wellness teas from indigenous and naturalized plants. 2013 marks our 4th year of supporting our community through tasty teas. In the year ahead, we hope to continue our work of not only producing healthful teas, but also exploring the edges of what it means to farm and be a part of a place.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Our Gamekeeper

Being our first child, Makabe, taught me so many things I didn't know, I didn't know. Now, two kids later, I know I don't know anything. I remember a particular hike I was taking with Kabe on my back, he was 6-8 months old. I could feel his weight shift from side to side on my back. Finally, I realized he was moving his whole body with his eyes as he tracked birds flitting in the trees above us.

When he was two we would use him as a party trick to list off animals and their habitats. I learned new animals myself - Gnus and Pygmy Hippos. We rooted him in the Earth in his naming - Maka - the root of his name is Earth in Lakota.

On the farm he works as our Gamekeeper. He's planted dozens of trees, worked on the gaibons in our creek, feeds the birds, replenishes the salt-lick, works on our watering whole, spreads alfalfa pellets on the coldest days, builds bird houses, and calls forth the animals in his imagination we need to make this eco-farm work.

It seems an essential role for any farm. In Europe, England in particular, gamekeepers manage habitat and game for the use of landowner for sport. Here, our gamekeeper works to create fertility, pest control and beauty. I am thankful for all he continues to teach me, and draw into my awareness.