Tag Archives: farming

Down on the farm.

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It had been a while since we visited our farming neighbors across the road, so the other day we took a walk.

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Unfortunately they weren’t home, but we took the time to check out what was happening on their farm. There’s something about strolling through verdant fields of crops that just makes me smile.

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Every time we visit there’s something new.

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This time it was a veritable village of greenhouses.

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These seemingly sprung up overnight, with full irrigation… which must have been quite a feat.

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A house addition was under way as well.

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Why was there a skeleton prominently displayed on the barn wall? It’s probably better if we don’t ask.

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Ugh. I suppose a row of kale was inevitable.

🤢

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There’s our Barn Mahal/man cave in the background.

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We never realize how much it dominates the landscape until we see it from far away. Oops.

☺️

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On our way out we had to stop by the farm stand they opened when Covid shut down most of their markets.

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And naturally we came home with a few things.

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Lettuce, spinach, potatoes and blueberry yogurt. You can’t get much fresher than that.

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Barn, Belgian beer and Brussel sprouts.

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We were back in the barn this weekend and ran the new heat pump for the first time. It’s a big space so it took a while to warm up… but the building held the set temperature all day, which means all our stuff and seal each and every god damn gap insulation work…

Worked.

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But there were still a few more windows to trim and that’s when things went downhill.

There was sputtering, mumbling, cursing and okay…. small pieces of wood may or may not have been flung across the room.

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When the wood started flying? I knew it was time for a distraction… so I trudged down to our crap filled underground nightmare basement and retrieved a treasure we purchased a few years ago.

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A neon bar sign from the Ommegang brewery in New York. We stumbled on them when we visited the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and fell in love with their Belgians.

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https://www.ommegang.com/

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If you’re ever in the area, check out their tasting room in the old barn… and if you’re visiting this time of year? Try my favorite.

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There’s a tavern in Brussels famous for it’s pigeon racing?

Sounds like my kind of place.

And speaking of Brussels…

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When you live across the street from an organic vegetable farmer?

You never know what will show up on your doorstep in the morning.

👍

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End of the (veggie) line.

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Our final CSA harvest from the farm across the street was picked up yesterday.

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Peppers, turnip, tomatillos, parsley, basil, leeks, fennel, radishes, carrots…

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A fabulous watermelon I wish we’d seen more of this past summer…

And this:

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A beautiful thing I had to look up.

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I’d never heard of it. And after sampling a little? I was glad. Mountain meadow my *ss.

Blech! Shiso was a great big no no.

But apparently it’s very popular in Japan where they use it in sushi and drink it as tea.

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Can’t say the pesto looks very appetizing.

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Or whatever the heck that is. If I didn’t know better I’d say marinated dog poo on rice.

Well, to each their own. But take my word for it, it is popular.

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I have no idea what that says, but yeah. I’m still going to pass.

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Are you one of those people?

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You know the ones, they pick up every free paper or publication they see no matter the subject?

Proctologist Monthly?

Yes.

Belt Sander Enthusiast?

Sure.

The Do It Yourself Lobotomy Newsletter?

Why not.

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It probably won’t surprise my regular readers to learn my husband is one of those people.

Free is his favorite word.. which is why he came home with one called the Maine Agricultural News the other day.

My husband, the man who’s never planted anything (other than free trees he lets die) in his life.

Here are a few fascinating highlights:

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Color me proud. My state is one of the top 5 potato chip potato producers.

And lord knows I do my part to keep the Lays company in business.

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The Pomological Society? There’s a sought after membership if ever I saw one.

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For those who don’t know, Maine blueberries are highly prized and big business up this way.

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But thanks to President Trump’s Chinese trade war, among other things… the berry news is decidedly blue.

And finally, disaster.

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Say it isn’t so!

Maine craft brewers have cut back on the production of beer to make hand sanitizer?

Oh, the horror.

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CSA, chili and our local pub.

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Our weekly CDA is winding down for the year, but the harvest is still plentiful.

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Peppers, turnip, ginger, Korean melon, spinach, salad greens, kohlrabi, radishes, chard, celery, dill and yes. Some awful version of kale.

Our weather has started to change and we’re feeling some delightfully brisk and crisp air. When that happens?

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It’s time for a big pot of homemade chili. And a trip to our local pub.. at an off hour when no one is there. Perfect.

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On the menu? Duck wings with sweet Thai chili sauce.

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Tis the season.

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And thanks in part to my suggestion… okay my endless badgering, whatever!… the owner has agreed to run weekly cocktail specials. He even bought a lovely coffee table book of choices for me to peruse.

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Keep the customers happy.

And the really good customers like me? Keep them soused, they complain less that way.

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CSA and grocery store horrors.

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Another veggie bonanza.

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Tomatoes, beets, leek, basil, carrots, parsley, squash, radish, chickory, spinach, Korean melon and yes… the dreaded kale.

It’s lovely having fresh organic veggies right out of the ground and buying less at the grocery store’s produce section.

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Tastes like an artichoke. Then why not buy an artichoke? I’m so tired of wannabe food.

Be what you are…. and be happy!

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No.

Burgers are not made from plants! Not in my world anyway. But did you notice the oh so cleverly named Incogmeato only has 32% less fat than the real thing? Where’s the other 68% come from… lard coated arugula?

I’ll pass.

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Right Rice made from vegetables is wrong.

So wrong in fact, check out the bottom left corner of the package. It’s made from chickpeas, peas and.. rice.

Rice made from rice.

What a novel idea.

And then, because I live and shop in Maine? This was also available for purchase:

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A map of mooses.

(Meese?)

Big goofy looking things with horns, often seen in the company of a squirrel.

You can’t miss them.

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CSA and more rude produce.

 

This week’s CSA bounty was full.

 

 

With onions, fairy tale eggplants, celery, garlic, basil, rainbow chard, tomatoes, carrots, and salad mix.

But did you see it?

There, on the right hand side…

 

 

A slightly wrong tomato.

 

 

It’s either flipping me off…

 

 

Or sticking out it’s tongue.

 

 

Either way?

It’s rude produce, and that’s just wrong.

It started out innocently enough…..

 

This week’s harvest from our neighbor’s CSA yielded  scallions, cabbage, beets, Swiss chard, basil, parsley, garlic scapes, a tomato, a zucchini and raspberries.

 

 

Needless to say the raspberries were demolished with ice cream the first night and since we craved more, we headed across the road to their farm stand.

 

 

I can’t say I’ve ever seen a tractor trailer box renovated into a turquoise and gold farm stand…

 

 

But hey, it works.

 

 

Fairy tale eggplant?

There are so many off color jokes I could make right now my brain is threatening to explode.

And in case you’re wondering how the veggies don’t bake in the heat?

 

 

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Just as we were about to leave, our neighbor’s daughters showed us all of her father’s left over apple trees. He’d planted as many as he could for his new orchard and didn’t want the rest.

 

 

You know where this is going…. right?

Free trees?

 

 

Yeah.

 

 

It’s been 100 degrees in the shade, the ground is solid concrete because we haven’t had any rain for weeks… and my husband wants to plant more trees.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Week 2 supporting our local farmer.

 

Our second batch of organic veggies from across the street was a nice bonanza.

 

 

Red lettuce, spinach, mixed greens, snap peas, zucchini, celeriac, chard, turnip…. and something I couldn’t identify.

 

 

Since there was a cornucopia of greens that day, salad was on the dinner menu… and because this was green?

In it went.

Bad idea. Very bad.

It was the bitterest, most noxious thing to ever enter my mouth.

 

 

Doing a little research, I discovered it might be a variety of kale.

Curly kale.

No wonder I didn’t like it!

And no surprise it ended up here:

 

IMG_2284

 

And take my advice, if anyone offers you celeriac?

Run.

It looks like a giant turd….

 

 

It’s hard to peel.

 

 

And will break your tooth if you’re not careful.

There’s a reason most people throw it out when they grow celery.

And now, I know why.