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27 May 2017

Remarkable Man: A Visit To Ed And Carol Gulley’s Farm. The Real America.

Ed Gulley/Bejosh Farm

Ed Gulley is a precious friend, a dairy farmer, an artist and sculptor, and in every way, a remarkable and larger than life man. I am privileged to know him and his wife Carol, they are now very valued friends of ours. He happily agreed to host these refugee kids and explain the hard and wonderful life of the American farmer.

He showed them his cows, his work, his barns and milking stations.

He talked about the life of the farmer. He showed them his peacocks and new planted rows of corn. Ed is not typical in any way, he is not like anyone I have ever known. Ed is the last of a breed in many ways, a self-described dinosaur. A loyal friend and a gifted artist and blogger, the Bejosh Farm Journal which he and Carol publish daily is popular now all over the country and some of the world.

It was very important to me that the refugee kids meet Ed and see him, he is symbol of the true American character, honest, hard-working, self-made and  uncomplaining (except about milk prices). Carol is one of the warmest and most hospitable people I have met. The kids got a real view into the heart of America today, or so I believe. You won't find it on the news or in the White House.

You can find it at Bejosh Farm, and the kids loved every animal and moment of it. Ed is one of the great animal lovers I know, and it was a great moment when he hauled out a newborn calf and told her to be nice to the kids. She was.

Ed works in pain all the time, nothing seems to slow or stop him. He has invited me to bring all of the 100 kids who are coming to Bedlam Farm this summer. I just might take him up on it, they sure loved seeing him today. And Carol's brownies were pretty wonderful also.

Posted in General
4 October 2015

Portrait: Ed And Carol Gulley. Loved Etched In Lines.

Ed And Carol Gulley

Ed And Carol Gulley

Ed and Carol are very much a couple, partners in a life that has sometimes been very painful and difficult, always challenging and demanding. They love their life, they love one another, their children and grand-children, their extended families. They are side-by-side in every way.

Ed is a remarkable character, smart, funny, a born-story teller. I told Maria there are not too many people that can bullshit me right under the table, but Ed is one of them. I love taking photos of the faces of these two, they are so much in love with one another. Their love is etched in the lines of their faces.

Carol says she can't imagine why Ed grew a beard, she doesn't like it, she likes his face, which she insists is handsome. He says he will take the beard off in three years when he's 65. Carol can't wait. Ed will be at the Bedlam Open House Saturday and Sunday, selling his enchanting "Junk Art."

Posted in General
4 July 2016

Carol Gulley And Rudy, A Lucky Orphaned Turkey Jake

Lucky Rudy

Lucky Rudy

Life at Bejosh farm is never dull. Last week, Ed Gulley was haying out in one of his fields and the tractor mowed over a nest, empty except for one jake (we think he is a male). The mother fled the nest, and turkey's wont return to a nest if their cover is taken away. So the baby was an orphan.

Ed, an animal lover and animal mystic, brought the baby home and he and Carol have been caring for it every day, they named him Rudy. They have it in a glass incubator in their house. They give him water and regular chick starter grain. They have also begun putting crass in his new home and he has begun picking at it.

Ed and Carol also talk to Rudy, sing songs to him and hold him in the enveloping way a mother would cover the nest. He is doing beautifully and will one day return to nature and make his own way, although knowing the Gulley's, they might just have a turkey hanging around the farm. It wouldn't surprise me.

Farmer's are the worlds most fervent animal lovers, they know animals in a way few people ever get to know them. The Gulley's are are veteran, hard-working dairy farmers, they have started their own very popular blog, the Bejosh Farm Journal. It is honest, original, poignant and entertaining.

Posted in General
7 October 2015

The Gulleys, Ed And Carol

Ed And Carol Gulley

Ed And Carol Gulley

The Gulleys have been married a long time, they work very hard, every day all day, seven days a week, almost always side-by-side. They are dairy farmers, their work is brutal and endless. Ed finds time to work on his art, Carol takes care of the farm and cows, tends to her chlldren and grand-children. She and I went through cardiac rehab together and became fast friends. Our friendship has expanded, now it's the four of us – me, Maria, Ed and Carol.

These two are a love story, one of those great love affairs, they care deeply about one another, share a great love of almost any kind of animal. Ed is a handful, he has his own ideas about the world, when Carol wants to get his attention, she calls him Edward, and he snaps to.

When the truck pulled in, Carol was laughing, she said she was laughing so hard she was in tears. The truck was filled with Ed's junk art sculptures, and she said they felt like the Clampetts, so they started singing the theme to the "Beverly Hillbillies." Carol started laughing every time she thought about it.

This weekend, their first art show, at our Open House.

Posted in General
30 November 2014

Carol And Ed Gulley: Living In The Real World Of Life, Of Animals

Living In The Real World

Carol and Ed Gulley: Living In The Real World

 

I met Carol Gulley while walking on a treadmill in cardiac rehab, she leaned over and told me that my swiss steer Elvis, an animal I unwisely acquired at the first Bedlam Farm, had come from her farm. We became instant friends, and Maria and I were eager to get over to her farm and meet her husband Ed and the goat Sadie, and the cow Sweetpea that she was always talking about. Carol is a pretty shy and quiet person until you mention one of her animals, and then she lights up. Turns out her husband Ed is the same way.

They are one of those couples that complete one another, that define connection and love and loyalty in marriage. They represent something that has become important to me in recent years, as a writer and as a human being: they live in the real world, the real world of life, of animals. They are open and honest and direct. They represent a precious and vanishing way of life, as a culture we are forgetting what a life of independence and individuality is like, what it takes, how important it is to support it.

Farmers are beset these days, encircled. The farmer and author Wendell Berry writes that we have forgotten what people are for, the economists and politicians have decided that the small family farm is no longer efficient or feasible in the new global economy, small farmers are beset by government bureaucrats, unfair and outdated regulations, arrogant and unknowing people who claim to speak for the rights of animals, and they have been abandoned by the rest of us, most of whom are happy to stuff their shopping carts with food without knowing or caring where it comes from.

We get what we deserve, and we will all be the worse for it when these farms finally disappear and give way to the factory farms who represent nothing but mass production and profit. Carol and Ed Gully birthed most of their cows, and know every one by name. They work brutally hard, beyond the imagination of both of us. A few months after her open heart surgery, Carol was on her tractor helping Ed harvest the corn sileage for their cows.

I have a rule at my farm that people eat until the animals do, and Ed and Carol have lived that way for years. I was reminded yet again that people who work with animals are especially blessed, and so are their animals, who have great care, purpose and need in their partnership with people, in the joys and travails of life. Carol and Ed Gulley do not need a wiser and more mystical understanding of animals, they have that already.

This is what people are for, we owe them more than this, we forget it at our peril.

Posted in General