Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Beet Salad Dressing

My current favorite. Thanks, Hop and Lila! We miss you!
1 beet grated
3-4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup good olive oil
3 TB cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
2 tsp salt
1-2 pitted dates
1/2 tsp rosemary

I also add some honey, and usually more vinegar. Play with it till it tastes best to you. The color is vibrant and it really dresses a salad.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When farmers are going broke, it’s wrong to expect them to reform the system,”asserts Wendell Berry, “In fact, there are too few actual farmers left to reform anything… Reform is going to have to come from consumers. Industrial agriculture is an urban invention, and if agriculture is going to be reinvented, it’s going to have to be reinvented by urban people.”

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Beautiful weather!

I don't think we had many August days as nice as today and yesterday! Wow. I could use about a week of this.

Bill and Mike built our new sugar shack shed off the new shop and have most of it painted. We picked out the new syrup arch and pan to order from Sugar Bush Supplies. We skipped Spring 09 syrup-making, so it will be good to make it in Spring 2010.

Bill picked the first small field of corn and we moved all the brood cows and calves into it this evening. They will glean the stalks and missed corn - we try not to waste much on this farm. All the cows will get run through the shoot tomorrow, pregnancy checked, and retagged if they've lost their tag. They will get a good look for health, age, etc., and some may be marked for culling (ground beef). The calves look great this year! All the rain made lush pastures and good milk.

We still have the younger bull, but butchered the older bull a few weeks ago.

I got all the potting soil made for next years' seedlings to be started in the greenhouse. More garden is cleaned up. Rye is sprouted in the fields for green manure crop. All the carrots and parsnips for winter storage are mulched thickly with straw and will be dug throughout the winter. It's always a chore to move the snow, straw, and then freeze hands while digging them out of the cold soil, but they are so tasty sweet! We have tried to put in a large enough crop to have some for Sweetwater Market through the winter.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fully Fallen

Whew! Wow! Holy s#*+! Yeah, at different times of the seasonal cycles that's about all I can say. Please forgive my internet absence. Its been quite a year and hunting and pecking my way through regular communication entails more energy then I want to spare.

Autumn is completely here. This year it came in the way of one long cold raindrop. October 31st, after dumping another 3" from the rain gauge, the monthly total here on the farm exceeded 11 inches. At one point the weather man commented that "for 24 days so far this month there has been measurable precipitation on 17 of them."

To quote myself from a few months ago "I wonder what the recharge will look like?" We were due, now here it is. The ponds, swamps and rivers are full. The local paper (17 miles away) had the precipitation for last month at 3.37" when we had over 8". North of us, they got 11 inches in one June rainstorm. Roads are still being repaired. The agricultural erosion and sedimentation created from that "rain event" will take years to repair.

Fortunately, here, we are just muddy. The sunny break in September allowed for some very good fieldwork and the new barley, rye and hay remain in good shape. The critters are still on pasture. Rain equals grass so the cattle have never looked better. For that matter the pigs look great too, following the steers, foraging acorns and rooting the soft ground wherever they please.

Obviously some work is delayed. There is compost that could have been spread and the home barnyard is pretty sloppy. Corn is yet to be picked and that will prove interesting. We may have to wait until it freezes. If necessary we could cross fence it and turn the cattle into a chunk at a time. If that happens we would probably winter some pigs to follow.

All that being said, there's still plenty to do before snow arrives. We have some building projects to finish and more firewood to bring in. Yesterday the sun came out and it was a beautiful day to work in the woods. And trees love the deep rains we've had. Bill

Colored beauty past
The leaves now fully fallen
Contours are revealed.