fresh from the garden

fresh from the garden


Welcome to the ramblings of a fifty-something suburban "farmer"

Hoping that if you should stumble upon this blog my daily musings might bring a little smile to your day.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Where's my rut

Well vacation time is over and it's time for back to work.This is a more difficult task for me because I work from home and at best have an unorganized routine (hence the intermittent postings) .Knowing what you have to do is sometimes much easier when someone else is directing you (IE a "real" job).Looking around I can see what needs to be done it's just that they are all calling my name like students in a contest to win that get out of homework for a month pass. So wish me luck as I jump back into the fray.
Vacation was really quite nice this year.A new place (Ocean City NJ) was a pleasant surprise.The drive was rather uneventful ( a good thing) The hotel was clean (it even had thick walls ,You couldn't hear the kids screaming in the adjacent rooms, Thank You God )the boardwalk was interesting and also really clean considering the crowds . The ocean had a nice beach with warm (OK warmish ,anything is warmer than Hampton Beach)water with great waves . The only minus was the food .It wasn't bad, but it wasn't WOW either .We got to experience the full spectrum of travel on this trip .In the morning we rented a surrey which is basically a pedal powered car that we traveled the boardwalk with .People don't drive them any better than they drive cars on the highway. Even had a problem with someone on a cell phone (surprise ,surprise). In the afternoon we went on a speedboat that skimmed the water at fifty five mph. It seemed like we were flying .
I was greeted by a whole new crop of weeds when we returned . They had grown almost as much as my "good" plants in the garden . My tomatoes have become a large clump of plants with tomatoes everywhere .I brought in our first wax beans ,cukes, and lettuce and two raspberries ( not two pints ,not two pounds ,two berries, hey you gotta start somewhere.
) Well the students are starting to scream it's time to get to work.
Did I mention That there sure is a lot to get done?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

a pleasant surprise

We arrived at Ocean City Monday afternoon after about three hundred and ten miles of pretty easy highway driving .Only a few minor scares on the way. We had been going to Hampton Beach NH for the last twelve years .Since the fire this winter wiped out a good portion of the limited amount of attractions they had Jackie picked a new place for this years trip. Actually this wasn't a new place but one we were supposed to to before my bout with coronary troubles. Always sceptical of new spots we arrived in a nice community with clean streets and nice houses only three minutes from the beach. This is quite a bit different from what we are used to ,there is an eight mile long boardwalk ,almost warm water (Jackie was amazed that she could still feel her feet after fifteen minutes in the water). There are NO cars on the boardwalk although bikes and surreys are allowed. Here funnel cakes ,gelato and pizza reign supreme, not a single Maine lobster to be found. We even got to see the Little River Band in a concert on Monday night, they did a great job .Did I mention it's nice to get away?

Monday, July 12, 2010

let it rain

A gentle tapping slowly gains momentum building to a crescendo of patters as the welcome rain began falling on the roof of the Antique tobacco shed where the NOFA backyard chicken seminar was held this Saturday. It was a scene from another era of simpler but by no means easier times.Our hosts Pam and David have a few chickens (alright seventy two chickens) as well as six cows,two pigs and four cats(I'm guessing the cats must be for the Chinese dishes).They are a part of a growing trend to organic self sufficient living.We're not talking about little house on the prairie here, just using time tested healthy growing methods as well as modern organic developments to produce the most nutritious food possible. I thank them for all of the information they so graciously shared with us .
Jackie and I arrived at around nine along with around a dozen other folks to learn about the process as well as the virtues and pitfalls associated with raising chickens. Our group had a wide swath of the areas culture. I guess we held up the right wing and things moved to the left from there. Everyone was nice and the tires on my car stayed in tact. During the three or so hours we were there Pam and David took us on a walking tour of their farm explaining many details of the day to day care of chickens. I look forward the next seminars held by NOFA.
I got a rush birthday cake order on Wednesday .A friend wanted an over the hill cake for Friday. I think it came out pretty well and my speed is definately improving .You can see the cake on my photobucket page and soon on the slideshow here.Did I mention it's sunny?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

off we go

This morning Jackie and I are off to a seminar on backyard chickens .I'm really quite surprised that she changed her mind so readily. I don't think I gave her much manure about it.I'm just glad she likes fresh eggs. This is another small step to Independence and self sustainability. Until a few weeks ago I hadn't even heard of permaculture or transition towns ,but I've a concern about the ways things are going in our world.Between the oil mess and the food situation I was thinking there has to be a better way.Low and behold I find permaculture. I'm not saying that this is the be all end all it just makes sense (does a carrot traveling eighteen hundred miles to show up on your table make sense?). I'll be writing more but we gotta run .Don't want to keep the chickens waiting.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'm ALIVE!!!!

Well today is day three of the raw milk diet. It's not really a diet per say as the only change is drinking some raw milk each day but it is a change. I'm not dead yet. Actually I'm really no different although I believe that this decision is a healthy one. So if I owe you money or something forget about it I'm still here.
Tuesday was a rather interesting day (besides the fact that i was sweating like I was back in Honduras), I got to use one of my "time dollars" for a haircut. Since most of the people in the Valley time trade time bank are in the Northampton area at the moment I tried to conserve gas and plan a few service calls in the same day .First I would receive a service ie. my haircut then I would travel to Pam And David's farm to earn more time dollars working there. This is the time banking principal in a nutshell. I think that it's really cool (that's right I said "cool " man). Arriving at Betty W's house in Florence I felt a little out of place as there were PEACE flags adorning multiple houses . Not that I'm against peace mind you but my bumper stickers are a little to the right. Betty my "barber " cheerfully greeted me at the door and welcomed me into her home. They are in the middle of a cleanse and Betty was busy making a raw veg juice blend .She offered some of this reddish purple fluid and it turned out to be quite tasty. While getting my haircut Betty and I discussed many different ideas and ideals ,some were polar opposites and others were perfectly parallel. I found it very interesting how even though there exists a deep chasm in our political leanings we have many of the same core values. Jackie is concerned that I might become a liberal .I tried to allay her fears then she retorted "well I never thought you'd like country music either". Point taken.
While I doubt that I will ever become a liberal, the experience so far with the Valley time trade has been an excellent investment of my time. Not only have I gotten a "free" haircut but I've been able to meet people that I'm certain I wouldn't normally come in contact with and share a sense of community ,exchange information and ideas and to help someone in need . I also found out that Betty is a potter (one of the things I 'm looking for from the time bank is pottery lessons). Did I mention that it's hot?

Friday, July 2, 2010

change of season

I guess since we haven't had a snow flake in over 3 months it's time for a new picture. The garden is really coming along well . I have over fifty tomatoes on the vine, some cukes, peppers ,pea pods ,as well as a bumper crop of slugs (they say they taste like chicken). We (that's right I said WE)are going to a seminar on backyard chickens next weekend it should be pretty informative. Also plan on trying raw milk and grain fed organic beef next week so if I owe you money you'd better collect quick. It's been really amazing how the garden has grown so far this year .If the critters don't get it we should do alright. It must be tough being a real farmer , I see that there are weather issues possible and get all nervous . I'd hate to see all of these beautiful plants get damaged .Setting up a drip irrigation system (alright attempting to set up a drip irrigation system) ,there sure are lots of parts. Did I mention that it's absolutely gorgeous outside .