Friday, August 1, 2014

Farm Friday

View from the back deck after a rainstorm (notice the white deer/critter fence to protect our garden)
These past two weeks have been great for the farm - but bad for my blog.  Our orders are up and, despite the constant battle against nature, we've been able to fill our orders and bring a lot to the farmers' market.  

We've added another delivery date so I'm now on the road three days a week plus we sell at the farmers' market.  Here's a pretty country church I drive past on one of my routes:

Yesterday we had the opportunity to speak at one of our local Rotary clubs - Danville Riverview Rotary.  We gave a version of the presentation we've given in the past and then opened the floor for questions.  We were told that our talk generated more questions that is typical.  We also made some good connections and helped further educate our community about food issues.  We've come a long way from when I first started selling our extras at the farmers' market and people would ask "what does organic mean?"  Of course, we cannot legally use the "O" word anymore - even with describing our farming methods and comparing them to conventional farming - but now people don't ask us what chemical-free means.  In fact, they actively seek out us and other like-minded farmers.

As I've said in the past, part of running the farm is homesteading - the more we're able to do and provide for ourselves, the better for the planet and the better for our pocketbook as we don't need to make as much money.  Last week I learned to make a quick and easy tomato sauce to freeze and I've been putting some up for the winter.  My dehydrator has been running quite a bit lately.  I've discovered eggplant caviar (will share the recipe next week) and found that it is delicious on golden scallop squash chips that I've dehydrated.  I also dehydrated some of our shiitake mushrooms to sell. We've been harvesting herbs and hot peppers and drying them, as well.  I also made some refrigerator pickles from our zephyr squash.

I've been working on aprons again - and sold two last weekend.  I'm trying to get ready for the holiday craft shows.  Here's a sneak peak at some of the fabrics I'll be using:

I'm off to do some deliveries.  Have a good weekend!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Quote for the Day

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds."
~Edward Abbey

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wellness Wednesday

Here's a chart from Huffington Post showing the pros and cons of three sleeping positions:


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Taste of Tuesday

A blogger friend requested that I post the recipe to go with the photo in last week's "Farm Friday."  Here ya go:

White Beans with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

2 pints cherry tomatoes (halved if large)
5 cloves garlic, sliced
5 springs thyme
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 15-oz. can cannellini beans (or other similar beans; I used freshly cooked October/cranberry beans), rinsed and drained
1/4 t. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425F.  In a 9" x 13" baking dish, toss the tomatoes, garlic and thyme with the oil. Roast until the tomatoes start to brown and the garlic is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs. Toss the beans with the tomatoes and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Bon appetit!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Quote for the day

"It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end."
~Ursula K. Le Guin

Friday, July 18, 2014

Farm Friday

Delicious dish made almost entirely from food we grow
It has been a while since I last posted a "Farm Friday."  That's because, in addition to the VIP visit and our trip to do a presentation about sustainable food, we've been in the thick of the summer vegetable production.  We both get up before 7 every morning and go into the evening, usually ending our work day around 8:30.

What are we up to?  In addition to harvesting beaucoup squash, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and beans, we've been putting up food for our personal consumption over the winter.  The freezer in our basement refrigerator is almost full.  We also get the "leftovers," that is the produce that has gotten a little too old to sell or has bad spots.  Don't feel sorry for us because we've been eating like royalty.  Some of the dishes I've made include cranberry beans (known as October beans here) with crispy sage and garlic; another dish with October beans, cherry tomatoes, garlic, and thyme; roasted squash and/or zucchini (four varieties of squash and two of zucchini); tomato salad; gazpacho; and plain old cucumbers with salt and pepper in vinegar.  Last night I made a savory summer cobbler as our main dish.  I've also been making white sandwich-style bread so that Bill can have his beloved tomato sandwiches.

I've also started preserving herbs, both to sell and for us.  I'm going to package dried herbs (and some mixes) to sell at the farmers' market - and maybe to delivery customers.  

I need to start thinking about the holiday craft shows.  I've been looking at fabric and placed an order yesterday.  These fabrics will be used for my traditional halter-style apron.  I've also come up with a half apron design that I want to start making as well.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wellness Wednesday

Hair Pieces  77
Almost two years ago, I made the decision to forgo any highlighting or color on my hair. Initially, when I started highlighting my hair, it was because I said I missed my Florida highlights.  Then I became even more vain and wanted to make sure that no one could tell that grey was creeping around my temples and hairline.  However, as I was evaluating my life and how I was contributing to sickness, both in my own body and to the planet as a whole, I realized that the chemicals in hair color products couldn't be good and had to go.  I tried to do some research but didn't have the time to do it justice at the time.

Last week, I picked up a copy of Mary Jane's Farm magazine, one my my guilty pleasures and occasional treats.  In the June/July issue, there was a brief article about studies that connect the use of hair color to various cancers.  Here are the stats that I had been looking for:

  • 87 out of 100 breast cancer patients have used hair dye long-term
  • Women who changed their hair color (instead of simply masking the gray) tripled their risk of breast cancer.
  • Ovarian cancer rates increase by 70 percent for women who colored their hair one to four times per year
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma rates quadrupled in women who color their hair

The article went on to say that the European Union has banned 179 hair coloring chemicals; the US has none.

Although correlation does not necessarily mean causation, these statistics should make anyone pause before making the decision to use hair dye.  Here's the article that Mary Jane's Farm referenced.