Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Farmer's Markets

Summer is here and the markets are bursting!

Today at the Farmer's Market in downtown Chicago I bought:

2 kinds of beets: red and golden
beautiful orange carrots
blue potatoes
fresh garlic
4 year old cheddar cheese

My beets and my radishes have failed to come up this year in my Chicago yard. My neighbors have a large maple tree that grows ever larger and shades out my backyard more and more.

I haven't been to our Wisconsin church/home since Memorial Day so I'm sure that the weeds and grass have completely taken oven the garden. I'm feeling very overwhelmed by work in Corporate America and wondering when if ever we'll get to the farm.

Even if my garden was producing full-on, I would still go to the Farmer's Market because I find them to be a wonderful experience. I am not a religious person but Farmer's Markets bring a sense of spirituality, peacefulness over me. I find them to be an utterly beautiful place to spend time.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Seed drill - drilling for time

Bill has a lead on a seed drill that would work on our tractor. Its a 2 - 14 (or 8 or something like that). I don't know anything about seed drills. It's a manual one that will work on our old tractor. Supposedly this drill can even be pulled behind a 4wd ATV. This could be a nice find as we try to improve our beds and the overall pastures. I spoke to an organic consultant at MOSES organic and she recommended that we cultivate and seed drill our garden/fields with cover crops and then turn it in. At this point, I mostly want to get rid of the massive amounts of thistle we have. Oh, and the buck thorn. Goodness, do I hate buck thorn! I think I'm going to be fighting that fight for a long while. We've actually decided to let the it be for now until we live there full-time. It really needs constant, vigilant attention to be eradicated. We seem to be doing more harm than good with our occasional attempts. So much to do and so little time.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It is June

Where does the time go? Its been two weeks since my last post. [I am hanging my head in shame.]

I spent Saturday with my parents. I weeded their garden (my mom's birthday gift) and we harvested strawberries and rhubarb.

1. Plant something - lots. Turnips, carrots, onions, potatoes (sooo late!), squash seeds, beets, more tomatoes, beans (all in Chicago garden).

2. Harvest something - strawberries from my parents' strawberry bed (see photo), rhubarb, greens (lemon balm, arugula, sorrel)

3. Preserve something - froze some rhubarb

4. Reduce waste - saw some used wooden fence panels in the alley the night before garbage pickup. Made Bill go with me to see if they were any good - they were cedar! We took them home and will use them on the farm (future animal pens?).

5. Preparation and Storage - I'm combining this with #4 this week.

6. Build Community Food Systems - visited the Platteville, WI farmers market. Bought some greens, a bay leaf tree, some baked goods and talked to a lot of folks. Getting to know my new community! Also visited a local marketstand in Chicago and got some IL chevre. I continue to do outings with Urban Worm Girl.

7. Eat the Food - Rhubarb crisp, rhubarb compote (on yogurt - yum!), homegrown salad almost daily. Local (Southern WI) ribs on the grill on Sunday.