Gardening in the Blind


Organic farming
November 5, 2011, 12:24 pm
Filed under: Farming, Green
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Harvested tomatillos before the storm

Organic farming has been researched for years.  The findings are the same everytime.  The produce is more nutritous, uses less fossil fuels and has a higher soil quality.  So why, if so much better, does it cost more to prove you are responsible.  The people who use more fossil fuels, trash the soil and grow seeds that are genetically modified don’t have to pay extra to farm as such.  What is wrong with this picture?

Bioscience magazine published an article back in July entitled “Environment, energy and economic comparisions of organic and conventional farming systems”.  This article is documenting a 22-year study that found organic farming produces the same yields of corn and soybeans as conventional farming, but uses 30 percent less energy, less water and no pesticides.  This study blows holes in all that is stated about reasons why people don’t use organic farming.  If the yeilds are the same or better, why not?  Just make it pass the first four years when the soil is being built back.  I would think you would eventually save a lot of money by not purchasing and dispersing chemicals on the land that ruins the soil.  This study is a review of the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial, the longest running trial of its sort within the United States.  I urge you all to google it to learn more (Click Here for the Rodale Institute Site).

I have a dream.  Not an earth shattering dream, but a dream nonetheless.  Let it be free to farm organically and charge people for conventional farming.  Maybe then people might learn to appreciate the soil and environment and saftey
of produce.



Harvesting the biggest raddish yet!
June 27, 2011, 6:42 am
Filed under: Cooking/Canning/Drying, Farming, outdoor gardening

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I had mentioned some time back that I was trying a new radish this year – Black Spanish Radish.  Well, I have to say it is the largest radish I have ever grown.  I needed to pull them as it was looking like it was going to bolt, so I started with the largest of them.  It was a little hard to pull, so I started digging around it.  I ended up with a radish the size of a tennis ball.  Amazed at this, I ran inside to show Deron. 

It amazes me that even after the three years doing this blog, I still get excited to find something to harvest.  It is my favorite time of year!  Deron and I have been eating mustard greens in stir frys lately.  I need to make pasta again.  Not only do I have almost 2 dozen eggs again, I am harvesting garlic scapes which I love lightly sauteed with tomatoes and placed on top of pasta…mmmmmm.

Let me try to help you think of just how many garlic scapes I have.  For every garlic I planted (200) I get a scape that needs to be picked so it will start forming the bulb.  I have harvested about half of them.  Although right now I only have about 50 in the refrigerator.  Lots to make stuff with.  So, I see pasta, potatoe salad, garden salads and much more for the next couple of weeks.

I have a lot of green tomatoes on the plants.  I am betting the first I write about is Matt’s Wild Cherry.  I should be shortly!



Volunteering for the love of a farm and cheese…
May 10, 2011, 2:12 pm
Filed under: Farming | Tags:

Moving plants around and giving some away!

I decided that I needed a class to take my cheese making to a new level.  I looked at the NOFA website  (Northeast Organic Farming Association) and found the perfect class.  For $85, I took a day long cheese-making class at Robinson Farm.  Visit the farm’s website to see just what Robinson farm looks like.  I came home with an 8 pound wheel of cheese that needs aged for about 4 months.  Anyway, after the class I got to chatting with the owners.  One thing lead to another and I am now volunteering at the farm on Friday mornings. 

Last Friday was my first day on the job.  It was fun and exciting, yet I realize that I need to gain a lot more knowledge before Deron and I have our own farm.  This farm is a nice size, but bigger then I would want.  They have some chickens, grow some produce and milk about 35 cows – not only selling raw milk at the stand, but the cheese that they make at the farm.  

I spent the morning wiping down each swiss cheese to clean it, turning it over and then wiping it down with brine.  When I was finished with the swiss cheese, I helped with packaging the cheeses up and helped collect eggs from the chickens.  The eggs needed cleaned before they went into the stand, so it was soaked in water, wiped clean and placed in cartons.  I like my motto “Poo is a sign of freshness”.  This allows me to not have to refrigerate the eggs.  (As soon as you clean them, you have to refrigerate as you just washed the protective coating off.)

Just spending the 4 hours at the farm was enough to put a smile on my face.  I can’t tell you how it has aided in getting me through the week so far.  I was still talking about it on Sunday to anyone I could!  Deron repeatedly asked me to give it a break.  I just couldn’t.  I can’t wait to see what I have in store for me this week!