Sunday, October 4, 2015

Quote for the Day

"This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body."
~Walt Whitman

Friday, October 2, 2015

Farm Friday

Some of my artisan bread cooling on a rack
After a very dry summer, the fall has turned wet, wet, wet. Plus we have Hurricane Joaquin coming up the east coast. For now, the garden's are loving the cooler and wet weather. We have a crop of the prettiest greens we've ever had. 

A recap of some of this week's events:

  • We had a family wedding this past weekend so had lots of family and friends staying with us. 
  • We continue to add international flair to our farm and had our first visitor from Columbia. She even showed me how to make scambled eggs Columbian style!
  • Held our final mid-week farmers' market.
  • Attended a social media workshop
  • Started experimenting with the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day
  • Began work on aprons for the upcoming holiday markets
  • Delivered produce to our new farm-to-table restaurant
  • Did a little bit of hurricane prep by cooking dishes to have on hand in case we lose power
  • Had a change in plans for our area's CROP Hunger Walk (I'm on the planning team) due to the weather. We've changed the venue so I had to get the word out to the media and on social media.
  • Ran my usual weekly errands
  • Learned to identify yet another wild and edible mushroom - puffballs
  • And a surprise:  Our farm will be featured in a calendar put out by a local non-profit. They do this calendar each year and this year's theme is local food! Can't wait to see it!
Have great week!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wellness Wednesday

Pills - Tablets 2
With each breaking news story about the side-effects of pharmaceuticals, I am increasingly convinced that natural and herbal remedies should be used to treat ailments that aren't life threatening. While I'm glad we have modern medicine, it seems we've gone off course so much that we instantly pop a pill when we feel the least bit of discomfort. While "old time" remedies are mocked and ignored. With synthetic drugs, we often learn about the long-term consequences after we've been taking them for a while.

An article in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal sites a link between dementia (including Altzheimer's diseas) and popular drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter. Read the article on Rodale Wellness for the names of the drugs identified as problematic.

It's time we revisited the remedies our grand- and great-grandparents used.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Taste of Tuesday

Sunflowers field
Sunflower buds are edible! (Photo source)
I'm all about getting as much out of food as possible and thus avoid waste. Here's a great list of edible flowers. Use them to add flavor, color, and texture to foods. One flowering plant that's not mentioned is broccoli. Just because a head of broccoli has started blooming doesn't mean you can't eat it. In fact, one fellow farmer insists that it tastes better when the little yellow blooms appear.

Bon appetit!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Devil
The Ugly (source)
This is something I'd like to make a regular weekly post - when winter kicks in and not much is going on around the farm. For now, it will be an occasional one. 

The Good

Los Angeles County is starting to get it. One of the Supervisors on the County Board has proposed a tax break for property owners who turn vacant lots into community gardens. Beautiful! Learn more here.

The Bad

A few months ago an acquaintance was talking about how she was changing her eating habits for the better. When she mentioned almond milk, I had to bite my tongue. The reason is almond milk is essentially over-priced flavored water - something you can make at home for a fraction of the cost and environmental impact. (While almonds are still not the best crop to be supporting since they come from drought-stricken California, we need to keep in mind that much of the produce in grocery stores also comes from that state.) If you want the nutrition provided by almonds, eat them; if you want flavored water, make it yourself (rice milk is easy to make, too). Mother Jones gives the low down on almond milk here

The Ugly

I was stunned when I read that Volkswagon had schemed to fool emissions control testing with sophisticated software that could tell when a car was being tested versus when it was actually being driven and thereby cheat on the test. By allowing some vehicles to produce 40 times the amount of allowed nitrogen oxide, the company could report much better performance figures. Find out more in this New York Times article.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Farm Friday

My space at the Sova Agicultural Experience

Seems like I've been on the move all week. Here's this week's update:

  • Worked at an event that promoted local agriculture and agritourism (Bill worked the farmers' market without me that day). I was approached by one of the local "Big Ag" guys who decided to harass me and essentially mocked what we do. Why? Because he knows we're on the winning side.
  • We had guests at the farm stay and gave them a tour of the farm on Sunday. Enjoyed spending time with them as they are opting out of the corporate life to homestead on a one acre lot.
  • Sold at the mid-week farmers' market - next week is the last one until the spring. As one of the market managers, I need to work on promotion ideas over the winter so that we can grow the market.
  • Submitted an application for the local holiday bazaar. Time to start sewing!
  • Our granddaughter spent a couple of days with us. We were excited to have her as we hadn't seen her all summer (she's a busy girl).
  • Heard Peter Kageyama, author of Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places, speak.
  • Did a lot of thrifting:  2 dresses, 1 pair of shoes, 1 blouse, 1 clutch, 1 necklace. Got it all for about $55. This was because I have a wedding to attend and need something a little warmer since the weather has turned chilly. I let the ladies at one thrift store dress me from head to toe. 
  • Also picked up some household items at a thrift store:  4 Tupperwear containers that match the set I've had for years and a pitcher for the farm stay. All for about $8.
  • Delivered produce to the new farm-to-table restaurant that is having its grand opening tonight.
  • Ran my usual errands a couple of days early since I had to be in town anyway and could avoid driving an extra day.
  • Got the pork back from the processor and inventoried it.
  • Experimented with the "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" recipe. Forgot a step so it didn't come out quite right. I like the concept so will try again.
Now it's time to work on the weekly newsletter and get ready for market tomorrow!

Have a great week!