24 July 2011

Where do Americans get their Calories? (Click for an interactive graph)

Cheap food has its price

Summertime…the livin’s easy

Sike!  The days have blended together and I lost track of how long it’s been since the last update.  What with animals getting out twice in as many days a month ago, my she-devil girlfriend Kate, and being in my friends Kevin and Jenn’s wedding last weekend in Sunday, I’ve finally settled back into a good routine and the farm has basically caught up with weeds.  The garden is certainly a sight to be seen.  Right now there are plenty of shell and sugar snap peas, new potatoes, swiss chard, some broccoli and cauliflower, scallions, parsley, basil, and cilantro.  Oh yeah, we have carrots!  How I missed carrots.  They are so sweet, tasty, and worth all the hand-weeding we had done two to three weeks prior to beginning to harvest them.
Let me tell you a thing or two about weeding.  It is hard, hot work since the best time to weed is usually under dry and hot conditions.  The reason is that despite your best efforts to pull and cut weeds, they can and will replant themselves if they still have roots available and are somewhat covered by soil.  This is even easier if it rains the night after you weed.  However, hot and dry conditions severely reduce the chances of weeds replanting because if their roots are exposed, they will quickly wilt and die.  Yes, many plants die in the making of even your veggies.  As Elton John once sang, it’s the ciiiiiircle, the circle of liiiiiife.

Leah and I also trellised the tomatoes this week, back-breaking work if I’ve ever done any.  It isn’t time-consuming but requires a lot of stooping to wrap string around trellis posts and picking up plants lying on the ground.  Glad we’re done with that task.  Enough said.
There hasn’t been much horse work as of late since it’s mostly cultivation and that is generally quick work.  Horses are fly magnets though and I always feel bad for them because they are out on the pasture with no shade and not too much relief from flies.  Carl left which is good because he was the super fly magnet.  Since he was the weakest horse and lowest on the totem pole, he had the most flies on him.  Last week he moved in with his owner Django.  In any case, what is cool is that the horses do have a pretty good adaptation to flies; Bill, Millie, and Perry stand side by side, head to tail so that when they swing their tails, they shoo away the flies on the neighboring horse’s face.  Evolution at its finest.
Sometimes I wish I evolved the ability to stay cool without sweating gallons of water.  Thankfully it has cooled off a little bit today.  This weekend I have to do animal chores instead of working or going to market.  It’s a good arrangement: I plan on hanging out, cleaning up around the yurt, and building a solar heated shower.  I’m excited for the shower!  There is also an ice cream shop in Wiscasset that has the best ice cream I’ve had ever: ginger ice cream.  It is made with real, fresh ginger rather than candied ginger.  Leah and I daydream about eating it after work on a hot day, which has been almost every day the last two weeks.  Speaking of which, I believe I will go have some now.  Adios!