Tuesday, September 16, 2014

One Week to Go

Photos of the finalists in the southeastern region (that's us in the bottom right corner)
We're almost there! Just one week away from voting at Bon Appetit Management Company cafes. What's at stake? A $5,000 grant that would allow us to build a greenhouse. With a greenhouse, we can extend our growing season plus grow all of our own plant starts. You can go here to read about our application.

Voting is regional and by guests at cafes (most on college campuses) managed by Bon Appetit. We've asked our friends in the Southeast who are near a cafe to please pay a visit to vote for us and/or tell their family and friends to do the same. Keeping our fingers crossed!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Quote for the Day

“Silence is a source of great strength.”
~Lao Tzu

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Taste of Tuesday/Good to Know

Tuesdays are when I semi-regularly post "Taste of Tuesday" and often share a recipe.  However, I'm thinking about alternating it with "Good to Know" where I can share various tidbits I pick up in my real and virtual travels.  This week's post works for both topics.

BuzzFeed has a great article about onions - which types work best in what dishes.  Here's a handy chart they've put together:
I tend to violate these uses regularly because, as a homesteader, I usually just use what we've grown and have on hand.  However, I'll keep these guidelines in mind in the future.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Farm Happenings

I missed doing "Farm Friday" for the last two weeks. I really hate it when I'm not able to put a farm update on the blog but that's how it goes sometimes, especially this time of year.

Part of the reason for the missing post is my girl Ginny has been really sick, so sick she had to be in the animal hospital for three nights. I wasn't happy about that as it's hard on the girl - she's never away from home and I'm rarely away from her. She started having mild stomach issues a few months ago and I chalked it up to her eating nasty things she finds around the farm. However, when she got to where she couldn't keep any food down, I had to call in the vet. I've been practicing my voodoo medicine (aka alternative medicine) as trying some other things. I had her fast for a day and a half in order to allow her digestive system to heal a bit. She's doing better but has gotten skinny and isn't out of the woods yet. Here's photo of her when she was just a puppy - and you can see how she captured our daughter's heart:

Eleven years ago
It was love at first sight for our daughter

We also had our granddaughter over Labor Day weekend.  We picked her up on Saturday, after the farmers' market and after I went to get Ginny at the vet. We had a good time with her - she loves visiting Grandpa and Mimi.

Due to the Labor Day weekend and community events, the last two farmers' market Saturdays have been a bit slow. However, last week was our best week ever thanks to loyal delivery customers who understand the importance of eating naturally grown food - for the taste, for health benefits, and to support the community.

Bill and I concocted some hot sauce using cayenne peppers and a jalapeno pepper grown on the farm, mixed with some organic white vinegar. It's yet another item we can produce on the farm and no longer need buy, helping us continue down the sustainable living path.

Our little homesteading/chemical-free farming community is growing.  In October we will celebrate the one year anniversary of Piedmont Sustainable Living.  Early in 2013, this group was just a dream that Bill and I tossed about, trying to decide how to create such a community.  Now we have regular members who not only attend the meetings, but also host in their homes and on their farms.  We also have a business-related group - Chemical-Free Farms of Southern Virginia - that is also growing and evolving. As I said at the past Chem-Free meeting, it's so nice to know we're not the only freaks in the community.

Balance - that's the key for me right now.  I sometime find myself racing from homemaking to homesteading to farm work. I need to find time do do some things well and learn to let go of others.

We had the opportunity to speak at a local LIon's International chapter. We didn't do our usual Powerpoint presentation as we didn't have a projector nor was it the right group for our usual spiel.  Bill did most of the talking (I always point out the obvious - he was the lawyer, I was the law librarian) as I don't do extemporaneous talks; I need a script. We've been asked to talk to a school group and look forward to the opportunity to help shape young minds.