Wednesday, August 17, 2011

farm mornings and lesson learned

 Most mornings there is a heavy fog that covers the farm. Everything is drenched in dew. 
  The world just ends at the treeline. No traffic, no sirens, no neighbor honking the car horn.. grasshoppers, birds and the cow bellowing out like an agricultural lighthouse. "North pasture today ladies.."

 I like routine and predictability lately. I take a few minutes to grab my coffee or tea and sneak out through the well oiled front door. My usual perch on the porch.. 
  My favorite time of the day is very fleeting.  Very soon we'll be back to staying in the small house in town as the Maternal Unit will make her return. Insane situation.. but so it goes. How long she'll stay is a mystery. Not long is the general guess. 

 Right now is kind of an odd time for foraging as there is a bit of a lull. Very soon elderberry, black walnut, chestnut, hickory, puffball mushrooms, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, apples, pears, plums and several other goodies will be ready. 

 We've still had no luck in finding work. To be blunt.. I am rather amazed at what we have lived off of for this long. Just the whole pride issue keeps me from getting assistance as I keep telling myself.. we're doing ok for now..  

 I am for sure doing better than I have been in a very long time. Granted the nerve damage from the diabetes has limited me.. but after spending tens of thousands on medical and insurance.. losing almost everything.. I seem to be gaining my health back. I've lost 30 pounds.. without intending to do so. 

 Losing weight with type 2 diabetes and poly-cystic ovarian syndrome.. to name just 2 things wrong..  that's flat out hell. That's like bailing out Lake Erie with a slotted spoon. 

 But we don't eat processed foods right now. If I drink coffee, maybe a 1/2 cup. No sodas, no conventionally grown foods.. no gmo...    None of this intentional.. and the effects are amazing. Most of what we eat is from what we have grown, what we have foraged, and what we have traded. It is almost entirely local, it is entirely organic.

 This blog is my luxury I guess. No cell phone, we've got to watch Falling Skies and maybe the weather.. but nothing else.. Too busy to be bored, and zero time for video games.  It does mean a lot more time prepping meals.. especially when it is hot out. I find I can make several meals at once, or darn close.

 Somehow.. even with this financial vortex we are in.. I still am able to feed others. Weird I know, but doing something like that makes me happy. Yesterday.. I had to roast a turkey. Had to.. power line got nailed and the freezer thawed before we got home in that last storm. 

 This odd year is teaching me a lot.. and teaching me the hard way. Always learning I suppose.

For right now.. I am collecting alfalfa seeds for AJK and wild bergamot seeds. Here's a bouquet of alfalfa flowers to show their range in color. Really a lovely and yet under appreciated plant!


  1. I think you have the perfect personality for beekeeping and I am betting you would be amazed at the amount of cash it can bring in. Do the farmers market thing with some made from foraged items and grown stuff and you would make it. Easily I think with your knowledge the sky is the limit. Hell start your own seed company I will be your first customer.

  2. Sounds to me like the Lord has decided to teach you some skills that might be necessary skills in the near future.

    In some ways, your life sounds pretty rich to me...

    ...but having not walked in your shoes, I don't know for sure. I can say I appreciate your postings and knowledge.

  3. How I envy your mornings...the peace and quiet with a nice cup of coffee. I like your blog. God bless.

  4. Thank you for sharing how a diet rich in "real" foods has improved your health so dramatically.

    The best six doctors anywhere
    And no one can deny it
    Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
    Exercise and diet.
    These six will gladly you attend
    If only you are willing
    Your mind they'll ease
    Your will they'll mend
    And charge you not a shilling.

    ~ Wayne Fields

  5. @ PP.. baby steps, but that would be on my list of things I want to do. We've pretty much switched to mainly using honey and maple syrup as a preferred sweetener. This coming spring.. tree tapping will be explored.. and possibly keeping an eye out for any swarms that might grace our area. If there are any seeds you're interested in.. let me know. I'll share if I have extras. I'm thinking about posting what varieties I have had luck with and what flopped. Just held back by time limitations atm. (We are about to tackle chopping wood.. enough for 2 homes for the winter.. yay for no power tools to tackle it

    @ OJD.. even if I didn't HAVE to do what I am doing.. I'd still be doing it. Limited options just means it scoots up on the priority list. I've loved foraging.. but rarely ever had enough time to do it. The farm however.. seems to be a vortex where pens go to disappear. This makes writing recipes interesting... as I have a couple now written in eyeliner.

    @ Stephen.. selective hearing helps. lol I oiled the front door so the birds would not hear that I am awake. Once they hear me.. there is no quiet until they get let out and fed!

    Sorry if I don't get the chance to respond quickly. Lately we've been unable to make it to the house long enough for me to get on to the computer.

  6. @ Mr. H I intend on trying to keep this going no matter what! It takes awhile to "detox" I guess.. and while I've eaten "healthy" before for years.. this is extreme. No cheating.. at all.

    A side note is.. I've also notice a massive change in the forest. A lot of invasive plants.

    Grains for sure need to be considered for next year.. not for the seeds.. but because straw seems to be incredibly hard to find. (The old dairy barn has a mountain of it.. but aside from being several decades old.. it also has had many "contributions" left by an assortment of predators, deer, wild turkey, bats, wild birds, snakes.. pretty much everything.

  7. That nesting area is beautiful! What a lovely shade of warm, happy yellow along with the chartreuse green, it's bound to remind you of spring even in the dead of winter. :-)

    LOL, the stench warped the lens! I hear ya! Thanks for the tidbit on the 8%, good to know they can be stored frozen. (Although I don't know WHERE in the freezer crammed with figs, jams and strawberries at this point). Time to can those frozen fruits! (I've been lazy this season, well more busy than lazy honestly).

    I am so glad you are regaining your health. Organic, rich local food is the best medicine for any modern ailment. We are bombarded with junkfood in the Standard American Diet(SAD). It makes sure it will get us sick. That's what they want. So, they CAN charge you exorbitant fees for toxic pharmaceuticals and medical care that just masks the root cause of the disease.

    I am STILL looking for work as well. (Since Nov 2010) I have one opportunity, but they keep dangling the proverbial carrot in front of me. I haven't applied for aid either. We are slowly going through our savings and it is rather nerve wracking, but cutting costs in purchases, stopping little things like Netflix, and sadly, stopping our son's piano lessons has helped the financial bleeding slow down significantly. I dream of owning enough land to be self-sufficient and away from the city's maddening rat-race, but alas, God has his plans and I will bloom where I've been planted.

    Oh my! Gorgeous alfalfa bouquet! I love them! They are such an important crop and a nitrogen fixer too! Please let me know what seeds you'd be interested for an exchange too! My "What I'm Growing" list is on the left side of my blog if you scroll down.


  8. btw, Mr. H., what a lovely quote!

  9. @ AJK yep.. if seeds are dried enough they hold the longest in the deep freeze. Like in a chest freezer at the very bottom.. not near the front where the temperature fluctuates the most.

    Beans as well you want to give a freeze treatment to if seed weevils are an issue. Dry them out very well (dry enough means when you hit them with a hammer they shatter).. then pop them in the freezer for a week or 2.

    lol The color scheme was courtesy of what we found under the basement steps. 2 colors we didn't use (yet) are a rather rich raspberry and a cobalt like blue. As much fun as those other 2 colors are.. I wasn't quite brave enough -yet- to pop those open. Kinda hard colors to cover back up!