Friday, January 25, 2008

It Was Two Years Ago Today . . .

It might not have been today exactly, but close. We started the blog, after having moved into town a few weeks earlier, to see if we could connect with people electronically. I have alwoays been surprised how well it has worked, people who aren't my relatives say "I read about that in your blog," and while I like the stardom, it's mostly felt like writing in a journal, which is I guess always a useful way to define some of one's ideas. Well, one of the first blog entries was about shaving soap the old fashioned way. It's not that I love old fashioned things (though I do love that tune especially by Chet Baker), but the thought of all that energy going into the making and recycling (if we are lucky) of all those cans (I wonder about the energy of pressurizing them as well)) always bothered me, then I stumbled upon some soap that fit in a much that was formulated to lather with shaving, and it was cheap, and I bought it. It turned out, that brand, Williams mug soap I think, was the same one my grandfather used and sold in his five and dime in WIlmington, NC. I have nothing against that kind, but now two years later I found one that I think works (shavewise) and smells alot better: Herban Cowboy. How many cars would be taken off the road (standard measure?) if American men who shave used this stuff? Mindboggling, plus, like I said, it's cheaper and has many more servings of shave than the cans.

Enough product placement, I've doing gradual amounts of farm work like sending out brochures to members, who get a chance at a early bird discount, and now I am beginning my general distribution. Then there are reports for intervale and taxes. Not always the fun stuff, but kind of interesting and revealing about what worked and didn't work in the overall business.

Rachel made me promise to put a few shots of Ciaran up, so:

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Fine Tree

so, we have finished the seed order and some have even begun arriving. As promised I got some fun things, couldn't resist. I tried to make sure that we got lots (more) of the things that worked - and we did - but we definitely have some things that will be interesting for us out in the field. Well, I should preface by saying it's not just weird things that we like, but also just ones we haven't done in awhile, like acorn squash. It's a favorite of all and has higher yield than alot of squashes we have done in the past. We are still doing sweet dumpling and butternut but also added a buttercup, which is another classic I think people will like and Rachel and I will enjoy seeing again. By the time we got to watermelon (I order alphabetically using Johnny's (which I just learned is owned by Monsanto (Rachel is reading the Barbara Kingslover Book))) I went a little bonkers. I got the standards, but even those haven't been that great for us, in large part because something about the timing in the season has led to lots of weeds, but giving us even another leg up this year is golden midget. Shown here, It not only ripens quick, it also turns this golden color when ripe which takes out some of the guesswork (not that we mind the guess work it is just that we eat half of our melons in the process. It is hard to believe it will ever be warm enough for watermelons, but I guess I can believe it if I think of scallions and onions, which will be starting in about a month, so possibly still snow on the ground.

I am adding a link to epicurious dot com on the side bar. It seems like the most helpful of sites, or at least a good place to start. I also have an unlikely cookbook to recommend. It is Rodale's cookbook, might have some other prts of the name if you are looking up but it is a very good one for whole grainy foods and healthy versions of non healthy things and fun desert ideas that aren't necessarily made of chocolate (they exist!). The recipes are basic compared to some of our other cookbooks but sometimes you don't want to do twenty steps or crush and bake your spices before getting to the rest of the recipe.

This is a poster Rachel made for Ciaran and put about our bed. Trying to stimulate him via shiny things, but I'm putting the picture up cause I just think its wonderful, the crinkles in the paper and the lettering and "A Fine Tree," which reminds me, I am planting a few pear trees this year. Someone suggested digging a whole throwing the placenta in and planting a tree over it, nutrients spirit and such. When they (forget who) suggested it I didn't think much of it but then when it was there (in our apartment) I didn't feel like throwing it away so now it's in our freezer and will eventually be in our field and feed at least one of the trees.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year, The Start of Seeds, and Inevatably More Ciaran

I always wait for the hew year to start the seed order. Sticking up the new calendar and a bit of the lengthening of days makes all those numbers and varieties make a little more sense. So far (about 1/4 through the seed order) this year seems to be about perfecting alot of what we liked about the past two years, and losing as much dross as possible. That said, it's hard not to go crazy seed buying, it's definitely the kid in the candy store mentality, I think most farmers feel that way. Some things I'm excited about so far are sempasoi, an asian collard that I think will be kinda flea beetle resistant, and red carrots (a heirloom variety called red cored chantenay), and a better yellow one (last years was just ok flavor and slow grower). Yes, someone out there is thinking "excitement" is too strong a word for these things, well then, I'm not going to tell you about the golden celery . . . ok, I will. I guess I'm feeling a little defensive about the golden celery, both because it's golden and because it's celery. Everyone thinks its so wierd when I show up for CSA drop off or market with celery. Is celery all the sudden an alien veg? - and then the golden part will make it truly wierd, but it is discribed as not being too strong, and now that I see a picture it's not totally yellow or anything.

I'm sure tomatoes will be a day unto itself, rachel and I really like to think that one through, and we have quite a few slots to play with as we are getting rid of about five or six varieties from last year, and will surely add one or two without really meaning to.

now on to the big stuff: Ciaran is edging ever closer to twelve pounds, and still looks cute as all get out. Below is some evidence . . .