Sunday, February 20, 2011

Egg Season Begins Again

With the longer days the hens are laying eggs again!

Ken has been feeding them sprouted grain so the yolks have good color. And last summer's chicks have begun to lay smaller "pullet" eggs.

Send us an email or call for availability.

Winter Boxes

I remembered this month to take a photo of our winter boxes. This box had all the following: potatoes, rutabagas, celery root, beets, black radishes, onions, garlic, some micro greens and the last of the carrots and squash. We will be harvesting from the root cellar again in early March. Soon after that we will be digging parsnips - spring is coming!

Back from Visiting My Parents

Well, I just got back from visiting my parents. One is over and the other nearing eighty years old. They are in great shape, and are an inspiration. Fitness, walks, and a balance between activities and quiet time.

We had discussions on politics, health care, business - you name it. We laughed about old times, remembered people who are gone, and felt glad to spend time together.

Only two things could be better - if Ken had been able to come along, and if they lived closer so we could visit more often.

No photos on their request.

Throwing off the Hump

After Ken makes pots that need lids, he throws the lids "off the hump." This means he starts with a large lump of clay, centers it,

And starts throwing lids.

It take a while to get the right shape and size.

Excess water is removed with a small sponge.

Ken checks for size with a small wooden measure.

Once a lid is thrown, he uses a wooden tool he made to shape it up from the hump.

Then the lid is sliced off the hump with a wire.

Then lifted off and set on a ware board to dry. Later the handles are put on the lids.

Pots and their lids -with a few extra.

Monday, February 7, 2011

CSA Newsletter February

Greetings from the Garden! This box has the following: potatoes, carrots, beets, rutabaga, celery root, radishes, onions, squash, parsley, and micro greens.

Field Notes. Well, the season has begun! If you look back a few entries in the blog, there is Ken planting onion seeds. Now that those seeds are coming up, he can move them and plant the next batch later in the week. For a farmer, the days between the solstice and equinox are so important. Most cultures have a marker of some sort - Candlemas, for example. The days are lengthening at a quick pace, and this is the time planting indoors starts for us. And we watch the snow settle and are grateful for the moisture going into the soil.

I am sorting seeds as they come to us in the mail, and labeling them - heat tolerant, cold tolerant, and other such extra information not found on the seed packet. We have set our program for the next season. Please check the website for details and sign up soon.

From the Kitchen. We are running the cook stove a lot this winter and Ken is running the wood stove downstairs when he is making pottery. We have been baking roasts and adding vegetables for the last hour to cook in the juices. I use carrots, potatoes, onions, and beets in the mix.

It is also the season for soups and stews. In addition to the above, we also like some rutabaga and celery root in soups and stews.

Finally, we do a lot with sprout slaw - and there I grate celery root, carrots, and radishes and add them to sprouts for winter salads. Many people enjoy rutabagas and beets raw. We tend to cook them however. Check the blog a few entries back for sprout salads and dressing suggestions.

And as you clean your root vegetables, cut the tops at the shoulder and set them in a low bowl of water, and they will grow new greens (or reds in the case of beets) that are great additions to salads or soups or stir fry.

We will be harvesting again next month! Info on the coming season in April on the website under CSA. Check us out, and sign up soon! Thanks for your support.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pitchers - Get a Handle on It!

Ken made pitchers Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday he put on the handles. After years of making handles, he makes it look easy; it is fun to watch.

First he shapes a large piece of clay, and pulls handles.

He cuts them onto the table.

Then he puts some slip on the pot and shapes the handle end flat so it will stick onto the pitcher. Slip is clay and water - it helps bind handle to pot.

He dips the handle in slip and pulls it, presses it onto the pot, and pinches off any extra.

Once the pitchers have handles...

Ken signs them, and puts them in the wet closet.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Planting Starts!

Planting begins with onions.

Today Ken has started planting for the next season. First he got the flats ready that will fit on the heat mat under the light.

Then he opens the seed packets and fills his handy seeder. Then he taps seeds into each section.

It is a slow, careful process. Onions usually have a low germination rate, so he puts more than one seed - but not so many they will be too crowded and be small - into each cell.

Onions are one of the few things Ken plants in these plastic cell flats. Most of the time he uses soil blocks. He will place the trays in water and set on the mat to germinate.

And so the season starts.