Monday, May 30, 2011

It is starting

I am getting more used to our yearly pattern now after a few years of working with the cooperative.  It is a slow buildup and then work takes off, sort of similar to a roller coaster.  Each year it seems that we have grand plans, are keeping perfect farming records, and weeding and planting are under control until somewhere mid summer when stuff starts to go to pot.  This I am used to.  Things still get done and we get literally tons of produce sold in some kind of insane, hot whirlwind.   The thing I am worrying about tonight is that I won't have time to keep blogging.  I hope I can keep up and keep it interesting.  Some of the best stuff for my blog would come out of our summers!  Hopefully I can take you with me for the ride.  It might get boring and neglected here and there and that needs to be okay, but I will try my best to keep up with it for you, my three readers, and for myself and my family. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

bits and pieces from the week

Me and Fabe walking down to our field.  It is a pretty little path through the woods.

Perfect little flowers. Can you see the spider?  I didn't even notice he was there until I uploaded these.

The garlic has grown so big since the first picture I took of it.
Lavender Lemonade - delicious, refreshing and not too floral.  As beautiful as lavender is, it can be hard to take in food sometimes. Tasting this reminds me of catering work I did in California, and our wedding :)    

My prayers were answered - we got a few good chances to work outside this week.  The garlic is looking good, we have some green onions and shallots planted now too.  All of our produce is about 2 weeks behind because of all the rain we have had.  It seems to be like that for all the farms around here.

The CSA starts next week!  Eeeee! I am very excited and nervous.  It is a difficult and anxious feeling to have planned something for months and have everything set up and then wait for it to start.  I just want it to go so well.

My grandfather, mother, uncle and some cousins go to the Indy 500 every year and this year we are blessed with my grandmother staying with us for 4 whole days!  It has been fun, I love my grandma.  To go to Indy, as we call it, is a big deal in my family.  My father used to say that he would "rather watch paint dry on the wall" and I lean more towards his view of it, but I am sure it would be fun live.  I hope my family is having a great time. 

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 20, 2011

A pretty spring salad

This salad ended up so pretty I felt the need to share it with you.  Some watercress, sprouts, watermelon radish and eggs.  The dressing is my new favorite -- 1/4 cup cream with some chopped ramps or spring garlic, salt and pepper and about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.  So fresh and delicious.  

I have been praying that we are able to get out and do some work this weekend.  Tomorrow looks good! There are just so many things that need to go in the ground and we are starting to get behind.  

Have a great weekend!

Monday, May 16, 2011

New stuff for the Kids


Yes those are suspenders on Fabe!!  I saw some on this blog and squealed with excitement, then right away ordered some from Amazon.  She said she got them at American Apparel, which is where I would have preferred to shop from, but I think they are out. 

This cool Hoodsie I purchased from Threadless.  They have some neat, very decent priced kids stuff.  And it is all made in America, awesome!


And here is the other kid, new glasses, and a missing front tooth! The sweet little purse is her glasses case.  Also new: she wants to be called Addy.  I don't know where she came up with that but I really like it.  It has been challenging trying to call your child by a different name this far in the game but I am working on it. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In the news

We have been in the local news quite a bit recently.  Zeb sent out a press release about our produce storage building being done, and it has generated lots of interest.  So far there were 3 stories and 2 front page photos!  Fun!  Sometime I will write a post about what I do.  It is kinda confusing.   This press has been great though because we want the local population to know we are here.  My phone was ringing off the hook today; some people wanting to know more, some people were telling me how happy they are that people are doing this around here.  It was very encouraging. 

In our home news:

We stayed at a bed and breakfast in DuBois on Friday-  The Inn at Narrows Creek.  It was very cozy and we had a great time.  It was a birthday present from my Mom and Grandparents. 

We stayed at my Mom's the rest of the weekend.  The weather finally took a turn for the better and we had a great Mother's day spent outside.  I was so happy I was able to capture the tree blossoms and some of the spring flowers.  It really is beautiful out there right now.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Notes from rural Pennsylvania

This week I went to Oil City for business reasons and it did not dissappoint my curious nature.  I am continually surprised by these rural PA towns.  Some of them are lively and cute, others are kind of grim and desperate looking, but they are all interesting to me.  We have been living here for nearly two years now, and I am just getting around to discovering all these neat little places.

The building I visited in Oil City is the Transit building.  It was built in 1890 and was used as a "headquarters for the oil/gas transportation network".  It is a grand building and has been maintained well.  Now though, you wont believe who uses it... artists!  The ground floor is an art gallery for local artists and the second floor has lots of different artists studios and one very nice yoga studio.  I was really enjoying just walking around in there and met one of the artists who just loved Fabian.  She told me about the building's history a little bit.  Very interesting.  Also the bathroom on the second floor is beautiful.  Most of the fixtures and tile are original, it just took my breath away.

I LOVE what they are doing with that building, and I am all for keeping the original buildings and using the downtown area, but what really gets me is thinking about how the towns used to be.

Pennsylvania was much more metropolitan back in the day.  All of these little towns were once bustling urban (for that time) areas. With the oil boom, coal and logging, PA was the place to be, even these tiny towns were happening.  For example, the apartment we rent in Callensburg was a cobbler shop at one point, then a tobacco shop, and the top level to our building here was a soft-pin bowling alley!  I can't believe that.  I love thinking about the people in the town coming here to bowl, or what the shop here in our living room must have looked like.

The building where we rent in Callensburg.  It used to be the town center and still houses the post office.

Now these towns are sad and somewhat impoverished.  Just skeletons of a once "urban" area.  There are some buildings and places being kept up (like the Transit), but many of them are not.  I remember when I was younger and wanting to leave PA, thinking it and these little towns were pathetic and boring.  Maybe they would seem that way to a teenager, but now I just love them.  I love learning about their rich history, and I love how they look.  You could view it as being sad, or you could just view it as change.  Anyway, they seem beautiful and exciting to me now. These towns are an interesting part of our young American history.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Greens, Red Pepper, and Gouda Pasta

This is one of my favorites, and one of the first dishes I learned from a cookbook.  It was sort of an awakening moment for me when I was realizing that cookbooks were not only functional but also enjoyable. It was from a high school friend's book and actually the whole book was pretty good. I cannot for the life of me remember the name or author though.  I have tried to find it on amazon in the past, but have been unsuccessful.  At least I remember this recipe.  Special note:  in these pictures I used collard greens, beautiful and tasty as they are I would not use them again.  This dish needs something more delicate, spinach or chard would be perfect.  The collard greens just took over texture-wise.

shredded smoked gouda
greens, red pepper, onions, and garlic

Greens, Red Pepper and Gouda Pasta (serves 3-4)
1 lb spinach or chard
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 lb (1/2 box) pasta (something sturdy such as linguini or rigatoni)
1 1/2 cups shredded smoked gouda
2 Tbsp butter
 oil for sauteing
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to directions.  Meanwhile saute onion with some salt for a minute to soften.  Add red pepper and garlic and saute a few minutes more.  Add greens and saute until they are wilted.  Add butter and stir, remove from heat.  When the pasta is al dente add to the other ingredients along with the cheese and stir until combined. 

Another special note:  This dish is quite deliciously smokey from the red pepper and smoked gouda. Therefore it is great to eat if you are craving bacon and cannot get it sustainably, are vegetarian, on a diet or whatever.