Monday, September 29, 2014

Bella's Profound Pic

My 7 year-old daughter, Bella, drew this picture yesterday.  It contains a simple yet profound statement that we adults - especially those with political and economic power - should consider.  What kind of planet will she inherit from us?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Van-Dried Tomatoes

Yesterday I enjoyed a bagel sandwich with cream cheese, lettuce, and DELICIOUS sun-dried tomatoes from our little farm.  And these tomatoes were literally a van on an 85-degree day.  No fossil fuels were used in the making of this wonderful snack (never mind the hypocrisy of using a gas-burning van to dry them! - we're not purists here, but we're doing the best we can).

See that temperature?  That's why you don't leave pets or kids in a vehicle!  That's nearly 165 degrees.  ONE HUNDRED SIXTY FIVE - great for drying tomatoes, but you don't want your kids or pets in there (okay, end of PSA).

Here's a look a the final product.  Not very pretty, but very tasty!

Especially when left to soak in olive oil and rosemary (also from the farm) for a few days.  Next summer when the tomato harvest is coming in too fast and you can't find a way to eat them before they start to go bad, try sun-drying them in your vehicle.  It's fun and delicious, and nothing goes to waste.

Happy gardening this Autumnal Equinox!  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

We're Eggs-pecting!

In all the years we've been co-existing with chickens, we've never had a bird get broody enough to actually sit on eggs for any substantial length of time.  And even if one had gotten broody, before we had Captain Fluffybutt, it wouldn't have mattered anyway (insert lecture on the "birds and the bees" here).

But now...we have "Peep," our little bantam hen, who went broody one week ago and has been sitting on her eggs ever since.  Tonight we candled the eggs to see if any of them are fertile...(I bet the makers of the iPhone never imagined the flashlight feature would be used for this - but it was perfect for it!).
And YES!  Several of them are fertile!  You can see the dark patch on the egg below...that's a baby chick!  We marked 8 eggs that we think are fertile (though I think only 6 are actually fertile - newbie mistake - we'll see).  If Peep will stay broody, we should have baby chicks in 14 more days.  

Stay tuned for details!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

We're Fall-ing!

There are so many things to blog about, things I missed sharing with you in August.  But we'll backtrack to those topics in due time.  But for now, it's time to transition to the Fall garden!  Here in North Carolina in Zone 7, we can grow a 3-season garden easily, and winter gardening is possible with a little help.  Here's some of what we're growing this Fall:

DiCiccio Broccoli and Georgia Southern Collards

Left: Florida Broadleaf Mustard Greens; Right: Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard (under a shade cloth to protect from the 90+ degree weather we're having right now).

Copenhagen Market Cabbage

I'm hoping to transition the garden's layout in the winter to incorporate some permaculture principles. Because of that, I'm having to violate the "Heavy Feeder/Heavy Giver/Light Feeder" crop rotation principle I teach in my classes and plant two heavy feeders (tomatoes and then brassicas) back-to-back.  Everything's an experiment...we'll see what happens!

I haven't planted the kale, lettuce, carrots, beets, or spinach yet...maybe this afternoon.

How's your Fall garden transition going?