Wednesday, July 28, 2010

July harvest

July has provided a bounty from the garden so far. We had a great market day July 17th. We sold edamame, okra, the last of our carrots, potatoes, summer squash, green beans, sun gold cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and eggs. We already spend so mcu time harvesting - I can't imagine what next year will be like.

I realized our current good fortune the evening of the market as we were eating dinner and it occured to me that everything we were eating we grew or purchased locally. We had corn on the cob (TFM - Tahlequah Farmers' Market), potato salad (our 'taters, carrots, bell peppers, chives & dill), canned dilly beans (us), edamame (us), baguette with Italian bomb - goat cheese with pesto (both TFM), cherry tomatoes (us), cucumbers (us) and watermelon (us). I feel good when we contribute or procure just one item locally, but being connected to the entire dinner felt great!

I'll end with a brief story: we are working to build soil and combat weeds (bermuda grass) in our one-acre market garden spot. We got a tiller from a grant, and purchased cover crop seed. We were just waiting for good conditions, namely rain. So as I was driving home from yoga (, and heard the forcast for rain that evening, I ran into the house and at 8pm told Johnny we needed to till and plant - right now!

He went for it! I admit, I may have wanted a little farm drama. We were planing well into the dark of night, which is never, never a good idea. We have plants coming up, and got 2" of rain two days ago, but there are bald patches. Dummy!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The first

I always have an excuse not to start this, but I often find myself thinking a blog would be a great way to keep in touch with friends, and allow me to vent every now and then.

I don't have internet access at home, so this will be sporadic - maybe monthly. And these pictures are all months old now, but I had to start somewhere.

So, where are we at. I recently read a blog (which I NEVER do, but an acquaintance here told me I needed to meet this lady) about a woman who owned a restaurant in Seattle and relocated to central Oklahoma to farm. Her blog states she was abducted by aliens and placed on a farm in Oklahoma. When I read that I nearly died - that's how I feel sometimes, only I wasn't clever enough to come up with it on my own. I moved from the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina - the Cullowhee/Sylva area, which is really spectacular in both natural beauty and community. And this move would not have been for everyone I know out there. In fact, it might not suit anyone. However, the more I try to own this move and reconcile my choice, the more I realize this did actually suit us. We wanted to farm and have access to a bounty of locally grown food. And guess what - so many people around here farm! In the town closest to me I can get locally raised beef and pork. A man 10 minutes down the road sells raw cow's milk (cheap!), and we have enough land for our garden, a crop field for a market garden, pasutre for cattle, and woods for firewood. Plus our property includes a root cellar (aka storm shelter), a livestock pond, a spring-fed swimming hole pond, plus some really cold pools in the canyons, adjacent wild land that goes on for miles, and more. It really is good, affordable farming land. The only drawbacks are that I left a whole community of friends behind, and we drive 35 minutes to Tahlequah. But, this actually kinda suits us.

We really are better able to realize our life goals here. Hmm, what are those. Well, I think I've got a working draft:
1. Don’t go into debt.
2. Live close to nature
3. Don’t work full time
4. Have only one child
5. Home school your child(ren)
6. Minimize media exposure
7. Be energy independent

How close are we? Check out "About us" if you're really intersted. I moved this section there.

What else? I probably shouldn't write more in a blog - sorry. We have two cows who are growing well and nearly weaned. We harvested our first crop of spring wheat. It is still drying and awaiting threshing and winnowing. We are drying food, canning, fermenting, and making wine like mad. 33 pints of jam already, elderberry wine, rose blossom wine, and wild plum wine (5 gallons!). We've dried summer squash, herbs, greens, and cherry tomatoes. I'm making mullen flower oil, and tinctures of yarrow, St. John's wort, Passion flower, and dandelion root. We're growing all the garden produce we always have plus an heirloom Hopi Blue field corn for chicken feed, spring wheat, and okra. We planted over 100# of potatoes, and are storing loads of them plus some carrots. We sell eggs at the market plus produce. Our crop field is scaled way back - we are cover cropping to choke out the bermuda grass - thanks to a new tractor tiller from an OK Dept. of Ag grant that we were awarded. We hope to have the full acre in production next year, at which time we may have to give up sleep.

Ok, I'll stop and leave something for our next post. And maybe some new pictures too! Love to all!