Sunday, August 30, 2009

What's In A Foodie's Fridge?

Here is a look at what is inside the fridge's of a few well known food folks. Where does your food dollar go? If you have branded products in your fridge the farmer gets only a fraction of your food dollar. Go here to see the NYT story with pics.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Arthritis Schmitis I Don't Care

Yea, well, so what's a little arthritis? Boo, Blah! I am not gonna let that stop me! Of course there is a strategy to cope, let's be realistic.

Lose extra weight to lighten the load on joints
Yoga plus some back work
Schwartzbein Principle - an endocronologist makes body metabolics easy to understand
Weston Price guidelines for nutrition
Home brewed Kombucha

Sunday, August 23, 2009

X-Rays and Bedrest

Nothing got done this week!! Aaaarrrgghh!! Leg and hip pain sent me to the Doc. X-rays were taken but won't get results till Tuesday. There was no CSA delivery yesterday either! Very bad. I appreciate the shareholders understanding and patience. If I had an intern all this would be a small blip. There are drawbacks to being a one woman show. However, I am determined to give a double portion next Saturday. So...............grit and determination, that is the plan.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Farmer's Market

Saturday is market day, which really starts early Friday morning. Think 28 hour marathon and you'd have it just about right. We start by walking through the rows, checking each crop for maturity. "Oh, these peppers are finally big enough!" or "Why are these tomatoes sooo poky to turn red?" are the kind of comments that can be heard. A list is made and each item crossed off as we harvest. The grunt jobs-digging potatoes for instance, can be a bear when temps and humidity are high. We can easily empty a gallon jug of water, a gallon of ice tea and more while we are working. Keeping hydrated is hard when sweating profusely. I will appreciate Fall.

After harvest comes the post-harvest stuff. Washing, sorting, weighing and packing are next. Some vegetables do not require washing, in fact should not be washed, unless very dirty. Potatoes dug after a rain are quite muddy and must be cleaned. This can sometimes take hours. There have been many a Saturday I've arrived at market on a few hours sleep!

No matter, when that alarm rings it's time to jump. Usually the van is loaded the night before with produce. Still waiting are the canopy, tables, tablecloths (which were washed and folded during the week), display boxes, cash register, bags, signs, markers, tape, scissors, clean apron and other items. Market farmers have different strategies for remembering all this stuff. Some have a large Rubbermaid bin where all market "stuff" is permanently kept. You would be surprised at how many odds and ends are necessary to cope with small "emergencies". I can remember a fruit vendor (who had been selling at market many years) that forgot his tables!!! Canopy weights are a safety mandate, flying canopies anyone? Loading and unloading multiple times is backbreaking.

BUT, despite all the above, when the stand is finally ready and customers show up, it is GREAT! I have met the nicest folks these last few years through selling at market. Even if they are not buying anything they stop by and say hello! Each sale is so much more than a transaction. We exchange news, recipes, and sometimes a customer will bring me a favorite pepper or tomato variety to try. Market is also where people run into friends and neighbors, more chatting. It really is a lively community event. The other vendors are exceptionally nice. I have made good friends and visited several of their farms to see where their produce or fruit is grown. Our market manager is a hands-on helper, just all around good guy. Maybe not all markets are so personal. I am very thankful for this particular market.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sciatic -What a Pain

Grounded today thanks to sciatic nerve pain. Tunnel seedlings are probably toasted since I have not been able to water since Friday! Weeks like this are so frustrating. Yet I am blessed with so many good gifts I should not complain. A few:

Freedom from oppression
Clean drinking water
Eyes, ears, hands and feet

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Market Pics

Squash Boxes: baby patty pans, baby zukes, cherry toms, bell pepper and hot pepper.
Aaron cheezin' it at our stand.

Thursday was my organic certification inspection. The inspector has to confirm that all water, soil, fertilizer, pest management, weed management and growing practices are in compliance with the USDA's NOP rules. Kind of a pain, but all that paper trail gives a very specific picture of how the farm is doing across the board. It is especially helpful for year to year comparisons. Human memory is not very accurate................can you remember what you ate two weeks ago for lunch on Wednesday???? Me neither.

Market was very warm and slow. I suppose folks are on vacation (what's that?), traveling about the country. My break will come in December. Then January starts the seed orders, crop map planning, heavy reading etc. and we begin all over.

Monday, August 3, 2009

CHECK OUT THIS STORY!! Will Allen is in the NYT again-great story. I read the link on Tiny Farm Blog and decided to post it here too.
Yikes, here are some lovely heirloom toms being overrun with disgusting pigweed. I am relieved to report the pigweed was later sent to the compost pile!
Benary's Zinnias that were in the tunnel too long are finally going to get planted outside. Let's hope they still perform. Flowers have not been getting enough of my attention this season, alas I wanted to have plenty of bouquets.
Bay Laural grows very slowly and is frost sensitive, which is why it is in a pot. The flavor is complex and hard to describe, but the oh so subtle difference makes the dish special!

CSA farmers are a family so to speak. When one farm gets hit with a disaster we all feel bad. I read today of several farms that are suffering severe losses due to a blight that attacks tomatoes and potatoes. This blight spreads rapidly in wet, windy conditions. So far we have been spared. Once it arrives in a field that crop is doomed to die. I truly feel bad for my fellow growers.