Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I had been the week earlier and wanted to purchase some beets. (My beet crop being sorely lacking this year.) I only had $1 and the bunch of beets was $3. I was at a stand that I had never stopped or purchased at before. The nice woman said, oh go ahead and take them anyway. I was shocked - I don't know why - I've experienced kindness and thoughtfulness like this before at the market, but I guess it always just strikes me as uncommon.
I went back yesterday to pay her the $2 that I owed her (and buy more beets of course). I got to talking to her and it turns out that she grew up in the little western Illinois town (Wyanet, IL) next to where my family is from and my grandmother still lives. In fact, her parents live in the town where my parents lived when I was born. Small world! We laughed about it. Her stand was pretty busy so I didn't take up too much of her time and moved on. I'm going to go back next week and talk to her some more. I want to hear about her farm (which is near Kankakee) and her growing methods. Based on her use (or non-use) of chemicals, I may ask her if I can volunteer sometime on her farm.
Bill and I are considering taking the Stateline Farmer Beginnings class through Angelic Organics Learning Center. I think it is an excellent opportunity to learn from current market and CSA farmers and to network with others.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I listen to WBEZ religiously every day when I get home from work. All Things Considered, Marketplace and WorldView are my daily dose of news and happenings. Those programs are my companions during my downtime doing various things around the house or making supper.
Can you imagine my surprise when I heard one of the sponsors is Monsanto? And on top of that - claiming to be a proponent and supporter of SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE? Say what?!?
I called and cancelled our membership and told them why. The response was polite. I think I will follow up with a letter explaning my disgust.
I will send our money to Wisconsin Public Radio or to Iowa Public Radio instead.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
We worked at the farm today. I ordered a 20 yard dumpster to fill up with the garbage left by the previous owners and the trash that I took out of the barn. Today we filled it up about 1/2 way. Bill filled the loader on the tractor over and over and over and over. I continued to take down the summer kitchen - until the boards were too high for me to reach. I balanced for a bit on a cinder block but then, well, that just seemed dangerous. Bill cleaned up all of the trash from the barn interior (that I previously emptied) and the cement slab behind the hog house. We were laughing and joking with each other that we always seem to buy properties and clean up other people's garbage. Bill said, well that's our buying strategy! It's true. Garbage, run-down = affordable. Plus we prefer to do the work ourselves (sustainable and in an historic appreciative way). The trash behind the hog house was disgusting. It was a former burn pile so it had lots of rusted car parts, half-burnt, and trash. Literally trash. I found a curling iron. Children's toys. A busted barbell set. A burnt calculator. I could go on and on. You get the point.
We returned to the church/home tired. A chicken is in the oven. It was a terrific day.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
We are in Wisconsin at our old church/home for an extended weekend or mini -vacation (Tues night thru Sun morning).
We arrived tonight at about 8:45 p.m.
We were sitting outside enjoying a New Glarus Organic Revolution (best name ever or what? and check out the cool illustration on the label!).
Anyway, I was sitting outside as darkness moved in and the wind picked up. I said to Bill, "feels like rain."
It began to rain. Bill chose to go inside. I like to sit in the rain so I stayed on my bench near my weed filled (not as bad as last time) garden. I discovered the Symphony of Rain.
This is what I heard:
Raindrops hit the leaves of the sunchokes growing in my garden
Rain gurgle down the gutter behind me
Raindrops splat on the compostable mulch I have on the onion bed
Raindrops pummel the corn stalks across the road
Rain on the road sprattle up from car tires as they drove past
Raindrops making the slightest hush as it fell on the prairie plants
The world is alive with music; we just need to stop and listen to it.
I am so glad to be here. We are going to work at the farm and try to get in some relaxation too.
(p.s. I don't think sprattle is a word, but I think it accurately describes the sound.)
Friday, July 10, 2009
I was also impressed that they want to make sure their workers/producers receive a living wage.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
After the movie, which was shown at No Exit (the theater space associated with Heartland Cafe in Rogers Park), there was a networking opportunity. It was great to see so many people associated with the local food movement.
Interesting article from Johns Hopkins on the use of antibiotics.