Monday, March 27, 2006


It's Spring! I know you all have heard alot about seeding, and your like "is this for real?" Well, I'm here to tell you it is . . . napa cabbage is the big green leafy thing, onions tall and thin and everything else the little buds. All of this taking place in the Intervale Greenhouse. Where you might remember (from posts down below) that I saw someone starting shallots by seed, I ended up talking with Thomas later that day, and he said "It works," - you get one shallot per a seed, as opposed to eight per a bulb, I think. It's much more economical, the seeds being as small and as cheap as they are, the bulbs are what you would eat as shallots, so obviously a bit more expensive.

As you can see, Rachel and I have filled one table, about thirty six trays, and have started our second, which we might come close to filling up by the end of the week: that's when tomatoes, lettuce, eggplant, peppers, etc, etc , start to get seeded, in what is for us, still a pretty condensed schedule. . . . Oh I just remembered I am also here to order row cover from AM Leonard, so more later, especially about potential savings.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Growing from Seed

The sun is shining a bit, finally, and temps seem to be headed towards forty, and I also seeded some chamomile, which is to be done very early, even earlier than I did, but we had some problems with Richter's Herbs that I swear won't occur again. We finally got some replacement herbs from Horizon Herbs (whom I still have to call to find out the germination rates of things (for those who might not know, germ rates indicate what percentage of seed you can expect to actually sprout and become a plant. Lots of rates are around 80-90% but there are definitely funny ones, many herbs included, flowers often are tricky).

I saw one farm at Intervale, I believe Arethusa, growing shallots from seed, something I have never done, and will definitely inquire about. Previously Rachel and I had grown shallots in the same way as garlic, by letting the cloves multiply, or clone themselves. So, for example, from each head of garlic, you get eight new garlics, or something like that. For garlic, growing from seed, would be a two year process, and I will do my best to find out of the same is true for shallots. It never seemed cost effective to grow shallots from bulb/cloves, but seed might be a good option for next year. I think that is my mother's favorite crop.

It has become so sunny here in Burlington that it's best I go check on the cold frames and seedlings in the greenhouse :._) (that's my emoticon for I don't know what)

Friday, March 17, 2006

a man you don't meet everyday

Yesterday I attempted to apply the plastic sheeting to the cold frame, after seeding the first frame with tatsoi and chrysanthemum greens (shinguku). The soil felt like cold clay, mostly, but I worked it over with my hand and tried to make hospitable beds. Our field is a tundra, no wind break at all, and this morning I let loose my Irish ire when we discovered the plastic billowing and balooning over the frames, not at all the snug blanket I wanted it to be. Frost on top of the frames and a bit on the glass inside.

But truthfully, the soil was still not really frozen (I think the temp dropped to like 8 F last night) and Josh has much hope for the seeds' resilience. The Irish temperament, to despair but grudgingly unflaggingly unthinkingly push forth! (Well they say that about some Semite tribes as well, no?)

Anyhoo, we are happy with the germination of the Napa Cabbages, first succession (all thanks to Ma Daley, who tirelessly seeded in the cold greenhouse with me last Saturday). Onions are all thriving. Birds were cackling and socializing much around the steamy compost piles. All kinds of birds. Crows are really the most innaresting. Ca-CAW!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

O OpenHearters 2

Would you believe part one was erased. It was. That's all I'm saying about it. I've been at Ben and Jerry's the past few weeks, and this has led to not as much posting, but it's all ending this week, so:

There are some benefits, which I'm offering to potential members: the first five get a free pint of Ice Cream from you know who, and anyone who signs up by April 1st will get ten dollars off of their membership. That said, I should be clear re: discussions Rachel and I have had (with her visiting mother at the table), that I view the CSA as a way for rachel and I to grow some exciting things for a group of people likewise excited by them, its not for everyone, at least I don't think this one is, but it is for someone. As we are two people and not any more than that, there are practical limits, but at the same time I hope there will be a group, one that I'm not afraid to see start off small and get bigger slowly, or at whatever pace it chooses. I think though that CSAs can be really beneficial on both sides, especially the one where WE aren't all market driven, ideally there could be a lot of working together only some of which needs to be in the form of dollars (at their best another medium, at their worst a symbol, question mark question mark) --

so, again with the farm news: rachel and her mom planted many things including johnny jump ups (pictured), herbs more onions and what else, more flowers, including asters and I remember now napa cabbage galore. the johnny jump ups are part of our edible line (excuse the corporatism), and it is all, courtesy of rachel and new farm car (courtesy of josh's parents), in the green house at intervale.

we've gotten our potting soil from David Z's overflow, which is nice to have. I also put together two cold frames and have another one on the way this weekend. We got the lights from Recycle North down on Pine, the used building materials section, and some from the Burlington Free Press' Free Section, so they have been reasonably cost effecient. These three frames are to house chrysanthemum, tatsoi, and chinese broccoli for healthy living. Still some work to be done on the seeding there.

All of this with Rachel's mom in town not too shabby. I'll include the restaurant reviews of the places we went with her in O Openhearters three.

Monday, March 06, 2006


I've been stalling on the purchase of an inoculant for our legumes the past week. For no particular reason, just not wanting to pay another round of shipping fees to Fedco or Johnny's, and wanting to get the story on the whole thing.

After talking to a nice man at Fedco Friday, I think we should get some, if only to maintain the pattern of dotting our ps and crossing our qs. But now I udnerstand more about what this inoculation is - just adding a bacterial boost to the root area of the peas and beans, which will help nitrogen uptake and/or download into the soil.

The word INOCULATE has been kind of perplexing to me since last year, when I learned of the MUSHROOM MAN of Sag Harbor selling inoculated logs. I always had associated processes of sterilization with "inoculation," due to my learning the work through vaccination-speak, which always had meant making you unable to get sick frmo certain things.

I mean, I understood/stand the process of vaccination, getting a little bit of the thing so you build up an immunity to it - but that's not how it's sold to people, really. I mean, if it were, wouldn't homeopathy be more popular? I think when we think of "getting your vaccinations," we think of it as a pharmaceutical barrier against smallpox, etc, rather than what it is - actually introducing ourselves voluntarily to smallpox.

This is all rather pedestrian. More recently, I've been thinking of how inoculated I tend to get by/to PEOPLE by way of the kinds of interactions/transactions I'm subsumed in while serving food to them. I have this immunity to them building up, which is sort of disturbing, but which is basically my involuntary response to so much exposure. I'M INOCULTED! perhaps better able to deal in the long run, but pretty mechanical and dull in the day to day workings...

promised pics of boodha

This was going to be the post:

This is what happens when you've got many brother and sister lawyers, the dogs have to get equal time on the blog, so, without further ado, Rachel's brother Bryan and still newlywedded wife Liz's dog boodha, (no need for pics of them i guess)

but whether its bitmaps or ben and jerrys computers, no picture of boodha is forthcoming at this moment. Hopefully Bryan's wrath is not too strong!

Sunday, March 05, 2006


I feel like it has been forever since I have posted and I have a lot to say but we shall see:

First, I don't mind you, rachel, talking about lenny bruce or boodha the dog or anything. It might be nice if we all thought of / or at least accepted the possibility, of people with lots of different interests, and even capacities. For instance, not to pick on you rachel, but you happen to grow nice plants, write interesting things, and watch alot of sopranos with vigor. . . . I could go on. So I don't mind you mentioning all that even if I have tended to stick to the farmy. Which is because of

Secondly, and interconnectedly with the firstly, I view the blog as pretty public, and in my mind haven't prioritized our posts over the comments; if you look back you (and this is the big you out there) will see i'm always hoping to launch this into the more interactive. Also of course open to blog settings that would allow that. Like perhaps your membership would include the ability to post (if comments are truly a bit more marginal than I imagine).

Thirdly, all the farmy news fit to print (with reserved rights of further presentation of non-related bits), in between ice-cream bites rachel planted alot of onions, what we are hoping with be 1200 onions, of which we have two varieties, red long of tropea, which we grew last year and really liked, and a yellow called copra which is recommended for this area and for storage. Rachel also bought a grow-light for the aforementioned onions, as they can have no greenhouse home for another week or so, which is fine considering the cost of heating that would be involved. One of the things that I did was order trays from Johnny's. But I've opened them and they are the wrong size: I like to have at least one continuing saga.

More exact info was given to us by Leigh O'Donnell, the owner and soapmaker of Adirondack Soaps about what the full shares and 1/2 shares will be. Check it out:

1/2 Share ($30) that would be 5 soaps and a lotion, the soaps are about 5 ounces each, bigger than the ones on my website. The lotion is 8 ounces.
Full Share ($60) that would be 10 soaps and 1 lotion and 2 lip balms.

We have also got the brochure together. Rather than post it, if you would like one comment with your mailing address or write to, whichever.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

lenny bruce and the booda in you

Does everyone know Booda? I bet you don't! Hopefully we'll have a picture of him up here in the near future.

As per Lenny Bruce, I have to say that I am so much more impressed with him as viewed on my TV screen, rather than from my sessions of listening to taped recordings of his stand-up. He falls out of all tv-format-boundaries, really. Well, that was 1950 or -60-something. He has absolutely no persona. Which is an incredibly attractive way of being to me now since I'm serving food again part-time. My persona is not only rather ineffective but is involuntary and makes me exhausted. Lenny Bruce became Jude Law in a dream last night and he had tall tall kitchen ceilings and his kitchen cabinets had writing all over them, in blue ball-point pen. He was the embodiment of equanimity, I guess, and I think I was being allowed to live there.

I hope this post doesn't scare away potential CSA members! Josh! You have authority to delete or edit as you see necessary!

joe raises an interesting question

If you haven't read Joe's comment to my Borders post, you should know that that is what I am referring to.

I have to say, Joe, that the answer must lie (lay?, mom, help me out!) in a step-by-step approach. which may or may not entail an SOS shout out to local folks with a modicum of discretion. (so as to not let on that you've actually done this thing)

For my part, I am wondering what machine was the unwitting victim. Perhaps its time had ended anyway.