Continuing snowy white and frigid outside, and if it weren’t for the handy neighborhood supermarket, the last thing you’d be thinking about around here right now is fresh orange juice. The reality is, there’s plenty of it, legally speaking, at least: aseptic storage and flavor packs aside, fresh not frozen, not from concentrate, pulpy or pulp free OJ is in abundance, now as ever, and often on special, too!
This year’s seed catalogs! Haven’t kept on the mailing lists for the dozen or more I used to get. I do always look around online, but for the hard copy, and the main seed ordering, it’s reduced to two, one main seed supplier and a backup. The more you know, the less you need? I like the sound of that! :)
[From 18-May-2013] No food styling, just salad! The first grown-this-season greens – romaine, butterhead, oakleaf/salad bowl letuces – picked by raiding half-grown plants for a few leaves apiece. Dinner.
[From 5-Aug-2012] Volunteer cherry toms – weed toms, really – ahead of this year’s planting. Cool. Not sure if these have crossed, we had many varieties planted close together last season. These are not hugely sweet, instead, super little bursts of mildly tart tomato-tasty!
Sometimes the winterscape looks a little strange… We’ve been in a deep freeze for most of the last month (mostly in the -5° to -20° range at night, the days barely higher, with a couple of pleasantly mild exceptions). Today, a little more snow. Need a break to harvest the last of the carrots.
[From 2-Jul-2012] End of the line: what it looks like when your well bottoms out and the water stops flowing. Just like a power failure… We’ve been watching the level in the dug well we’re using, and the refresh rate is pretty dismal. Today, while watering in newly seeded beds, the water finally stopped. After last fall’s failed well drilling, figuring out short and longer term water solution is big here now. The water will come back eventually in this well, but the water table drops as the winter reserves go, and at this point, the well won’t refill high enough or quickly enough to be useful even for seedlings. Water barrels filled from the house well and distributed by watering can is a possible labor-intensive emergency measure. And of course, there is always…rain.
See the growing list of 50 Things I’ve Learned from Tiny Farming:
#38 – Use a pencil: You can find no finer quick-planning and sketching technology than the PENCIL, used with a crisp sheet of paper, a supporting clipboard, and a quality white eraser. There is a curious kind of commitment only a pencil can bring to the start of something. The impermanence, the erasability, the chance to begin now but make sweeping changes later, is the cool thing. Pencils are perfect for roughing out garden maps, preliminarily filling in tricky forms, and sketching all sorts of construction and fabrication projects, mobile chicken coops to better farm stand shelving (even crudely done, a picture is worth…a lot). Forget digital—lappies, tablets, smartphones, batteries, cables, software, formats and files—there’s nothing like good old straightforward no-frills paper and pencil (traditional or mechanical) for freeing you up to think!