Anticipation of good

As a small person, I loved to read fairy stories and poems – that sense of wonder has slowly eroded away as the years accumulated in my book of life. It would be such a delight if all my fairy friends appeared to help clean up the market and kitchen for Monday’s reopening. Anticipation is a mental quality which I lack at the moment.

A test of hope:

There once was a kingdom by the sea, not one with waves crashing or a castle rising up from the shore, but a home on the edge of the prairie where moss had settled into the shady corners. The man who lived there was known as “Pop Pop” to the village children since he was indeed older in years than anyone remembered. He had a most marvelous room full of books and toys that the children had only heard tales about; ones of little people and giants, and how all would come alive in that magical space.

A rumor was whispered among the children that Pop Pop was going to clean out the mossy nooks in hopes of selling his home. He was moving. They pleaded with the village elders to make the purchase and save what they had dreamed about all of their lives: to be able to enter the room of hundreds of stories and to catch a glimpse of the magic that must still be there hidden in the pages.

And so imagine…..

….in expectation of good eats… Steve stayed up several nights keeping the furnace going when the winds howled and Jack Frost did his best to freeze up the whole building. Salad greens made it through the bitter cold spell.  The rest of the farm share includes: carrots, beets, cabbage, frozen raspberries or veggies, potatoes, delicata squash, and fresh cilantro.

 

Resolutions both old and new

There is a week remaining to complete what we had hoped to accomplish in 2017. Steve’s goal was to learn everything about the farm from Nathan before he and Loida left for Bolivia last May. The learning mode never quits, yay for data cable lines that criss cross this planet and keep us connected. My goal was to keep my feet on the ground and my head 5 feet above them.

As for 2018 – well – there are all sorts in the works. Steve will be building a small shed (no need for a permit) with a hoist for a ceiling…somehow. Several short gothic hoop houses that can be lifted and carried elsewhere as needed will be attached to the shed. The makeshift turkey roosts that were used as wash stations and hardening greenhouses are now disassembled – whew! They were awful, dangerous and unsightly. The new ‘gothics’ will spend most of their time all hooked together as a caterpillar greenhouse out the south door of the shed. In the summer, the gothic midsection will be carried to the outdoor wash station area. The remaining ‘head and tail’ of the gothic hoop houses will be clipped together and used for processing and drying. In the fall, all three will be together once again to extend the growing season for more good eats.

Fall’s final farm share pickup should include: salad mix only for members, garlic, potatoes, delicata squash, kohlrabi, carrots/beets, frozen corn/beans/broccoli, and thyme (which we all need more of).

We will be closed the first week of January 2018 for all the deep thinking required to keep us fit as a fiddle and ready for ….work!  On Monday, January the 8th we will be open for business once again and ready for winter farm shares that Wednesday.

Farm dinners, Make & Take cooking classes and Pasta (homemade) Nights are scheduled for the new year. A concert violinist will be adding ambiance to the night of the  January 19 farm dinner. What fun! Fit as a fiddle and ready.

 

 

 

 

Air and trial

The rain gutters were placed in the hanger with care in hopes of more greens being harvested to share. Ho Ho Ho….

Take a look out the windows into the greenhouse when next in the market to see another tier of hanging rain gutters. They would be clear to the ceiling if we knew of a way to hoist them up and down for hair cuts. We are wanting to increase the use all the real estate and the air space in the greenhouse. Loida’s lemon tree might stretch its roots into real soil along with a cold-hardy fig tree – why not?

I am always running trials in the kitchen to boost the options for healthy eats. This week’s breakthrough was to come up with eggless beet noodles that did not require flour covering all surfaces including me! They make a delicious colorful plate of pasta. The next trial is to be with kale or spinach for a greener noodle. Next year I will be ready with Christmas pasta – haha.

Farm shares will receive their choice of McCone’s sweet potatoes, our Kenebec potatoes, a butternut squash, carrots and/or beets, a head of cabbage, a choice of salsa – relish -jam, dried herbs and frozen melon or rhubarb for the full shares. The few bags of salad mix were all sold.

Thus the need to trial more gutters in the air!

Thyme well spent

The sunroom is gradually losing its mounds of dried thyme as each little twig is stripped of its aromatic leaves. There must have been 4-5 bushels to begin with – oh my! Note that this is another unbusiness project to convince folks the superiority of real food, grown just feet from our kitchen and its untold benefits for the health and well-being of ____________.

Thyme is an ancient herb dating back to the Egyptians and their method of saving their departed ones for the final voyage. It was believed to purify and be a source of courage. Keep that thought – I usually lack the former and never have enough of the later!

Thyme is for sale on the spice rack along with many other herbs that came from our garden. It is a wonderful addition to oodles of recipes and can be added at the beginning of the cooking process and not lose its flavor.

We cooks have been experimenting with homemade noodles for the farm share members. The goal is to have rainbow pasta for sale … with tomato, kale and other ingredients to vary the color and nutrients, of course. We will also be making a variety of ravioli that will be for sale in the frozen department….at least we plan to.

Along with the pasta, this week’s farm share should include another nice bag of salad mix, potatoes, Delicata squash, choices of parsnips, carrots or beets, onions and garlic.

Put a little sprig of thyme in your pocket as the knights of old did and go forth in courage….not with swords so much but with suspension bridges to bring the other side back into community.

Seeing the path ahead

While walking through a copse of trees just outside my bedroom window, I caught a sense of there being a path right beneath my feet, one that I was going to step over. It was the different shade of ice crystals and the slightly bent look to the grass that gave its presence away. It ran from the trunk of only one tree to another singular tree. Looking up, I could see that the distance between branches would have been an impossible leap for a squirrel of any size. This path across the frosty ground was the only weak tree link for over a mile of continuous branches that nodded and swayed together for ease of travel.

This time of year, Steve and I start planning for the next one that is soon upon us. We look at our could-have-done-betters and our achievements. It takes special folks to stick with us so hugs around to all the brave CSA members that show up each week for their farm shares. Yes! We would love to hear ideas or suggestions from others….

I have been reading about Fresh Food Pharmacies – they actually exist in major hospitals! Folks who are dealing with chronic diseases and opt for fresh food by prescription are able to become healthier – Imagine! The path ahead is not a mystery in that department for Steve and I – we both changed lanes from the medical world and are still running the same race but giving out real food instead.

This week we have a nice picking of salad mix that must have every kind of leaf represented. A free cookie to anyone who can name them all. The rest of the share will include the last chance of: red head lettuce, cherriette radishes, Nero radish , Acorn squash and pac choi. There will also be a choice of frozen veggies (corn, beans or broccoli), carrots and a surprise.