Saturday, May 19, 2012

If rabbits ran your farm

Becca of Heartbeet Farm brings the tractor in from the field.
Greenhouse shared by Heartbeet and Easy Yoke Farm.

      Last night we saw a local showing of Greenhorns – a documentary about young farmers around the country who are trying in unusual places and ways to bring nutritious, pesticide-free food to the table and earn a living at the same time. I’d recommend viewing it. These young people are energetic, innovative, educated and very thoughtful about what they’re trying to do. (Is that a little excessive, Margie?)  They are building greenhouses on empty lots in the middle of urban mission districts, reclaiming broken farms, and setting up small shops to sell true artisan foods in the midst of cities. They face enormous financial hurdles, relentless labor, and discouraging government policies. We admire them because we’ve witnessed how they love what they do and we’ve eaten their crops as fast as we could shove shitake mushrooms and potatoes into our mouths.

This was a full-grown rosebush complete with yellow roses sitting on top of the stand
Eaten down to nubbins.
She looks slightly evil as she ignores the radish tops.
     While we were busy watching the film and listening to the discussion that followed, Honeysuckle was busy at home. We had a small rosebush sitting on a stand on the porch. She decided to harvest it before we could transplant it. We never imagined she’d pull it down and eat the whole thing, thorns, yellow blossoms and canes right down to nubbins. On a tiny scale this is proof of what animals can do to your investments if you allow them to run the business. Turn your back for a second, leave the gate unlatched...  just another hazard to factor in if you farm animals.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The way of poppies

      It is the nature of poppies to be fleeting. Here for a few hours, day or two perhaps, then, gone.
For that reason I didn't used to like them. Wasteful, I thought. Now perhaps I'm wiser? Last year we allowed three poppies. This year, so far, I counted seventeen. When you see a miniature orange volcano pressing through the swelling green bud, it's about to burst.

                     Two days ago there were two, now there are five. The weather has been perfect for them, but still, they will not last long. So I go out to look at them several times a day to watch their blazing careers. They nest among the black iris - which is only called black. It is more a very dark purple.

Their petals are so delicate the slightest rain or windy weather carries them away.

     When the sun is directly on them, they are almost too bright to look at. But I do. I am filled with both joy and sadness. Our lives - on a stem.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Simply Water

These days, nothing tastes better than this water. (I’ve been drinking heavily during my absence from this blog.) I think it really could be called artisan water. Artisan –  meaning hand-made in small batches – another word hi-jacked by marketeers and ad-people.

It’s simple enough, and maybe everyone else already knows to do this or isn’t interested. Our niece, Mary Blount Lapp, served it from large glass jars at her beautiful outdoor wedding reception in Lancaster County, PA. In one hour I drank twice the recommended daily amount. Couldn’t stop. Still can’t. The combined flavors are so refreshing they stir memories of cold, sweet water drank from a spring near a lake on a hot day years ago.  

Mary’s Water
1 gallon filtered water
3-4  thin slices lime
5 thin slices cucumber
2 small sprigs of mint
Refrigerate til icy cold.
Obviously, adjust to taste. 

      Mary & Ernie's outdoor wedding reception on the hillside of their friends' farm.