The Organic Life
Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
After I sat down for dinner, I realized that almost everything was fresh and local. Farmer’s Markets rock
So, we spent the day drinking and loving Greene Bean Coffee’s newest edition, Organic El Salvador. It’s Rainforest Alliance certified and very tasty. At the Farmer’s Market, we bought heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, a fresh loaf of French bread, and some bi-colored sweet corn.
I took half of the loaf of French bread and sliced it horizontally. On each piece, I added a layer of olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper follow by a few slices of tomato. I topped it off with a heavy sprinkle of finely shreaded mozzarella cheese and stuck it under the broiler until the first hints of brown came out.
That, and some steamed corn. Massive amounts of Yummy.
Almost local-vore, The olive oil and seasonings are a stretch, but a staple around here. I guess I cheated on the cheese as there is no local dairy in the county. There is a great local dairy in Woodward, the Picklet Fence Creamery. I know they have cheese. If I was in Perry or Boone, I might have found a local cheese to use. Still, dinner left me wondering how much of this food was either in plant or ingrediant form, just 24 hours ago.
Sunday was more of the same at the farm. We nearly finished the recycled material stairs leading to the crib. I’d like to add a few small chunks, and someday cement all this together to get rid of the cracks.
I got a lot more re-grading done around the crib and moved the old compost piles. I thought the old compost site would be a good place to create a new fire pit, as it was next to the giant pile of scrap wood (ie, the barn). It turned into more of a giant courtyard, as the dirt scooped out easily, then lined it with most of the leftover rubble. After we burn here, I’ll clean it out and make it grass or garden and leave the new retaining walls.
Monday found us using old corn crib siding as 4′ tall fence pickets at the house. Our back fence is 2/3 of the way done. We ended the day going back to the farm to pickup the last of the picket pile we didn’t bring up beforehand.
Wanna know how to get things done fast? Rent a skid-loader.
We had one dropped off at the farm this morning, and put it to use over the next 9 hours. Doing what?
Building an entryway, a retaining wall, re-grading around the crib, getting rid of the rubble and field rock piles, and I poked the barn with it once.
This was the biggest recycling project yet at the farm. Everything served a new purpose. For example, there is a bank on one side of the driveway. By digging it back, I had dirt to pile around the corn crib. Then this new hole made a home for the field rock piled with the rubble.
We also used a lot of the rubble for some of the deeper fill around the crib, and the good parts became our ‘urbancrete’ patio and stairs.
First, there is an awesome, blue, cube-shaped rock that you would step on first. Then a step of large concrete slabs. The next step is built from a few large sections of brickwork. Finally, we had a stash of nice limestone steps that brings you to the French entry doors of the crib.
Our day consisted of moving things around and around the farm. I was quite good at the skid loader. I could scoop, drop, flip, and place large concrete blocks right where they needed to go. There were many pieces we could not have moved by hand, and the smaller ones would have worn us out by the end of the day. This was the right tool for the job. I did use it to push the last standing door off it’s track from the back of the barn. In the process, I took out the post that I previously attacked with a chainsaw. Now there is a section of second floor balancing on a single beam. In another day or two of Iowa wind, things should work out.
I took a bunch of pictures, and will be uploading soon to the gallery.
This has been tree planting week.
The farm has gotten 10 Scotch Pines to start our windbreak. We also got 2 Kentucky Coffee Trees, but they don’t make coffee. I also planted an entire row of Maple seeds. Those little helicopter seeds seem to cause trees to pop up like weeds in gardens, so we saved a bunch of them, and hopefully we’ll have 100 little saplings soon.
We also took the Cub Scouts on a tree planting party at St Joesph Cemetery where they helped plant 50 trees.
It was a drizzly type of day yesterday, and now it’s pouring today. That should help.
Two Barn Farm is starting to turn, after a long winter hibernation. We have a basement full of vegetable seeds, on heat mats under timed lights. If the neighbors were watching, they’d call the cops thinking we were growing something else. We’ve been talking of tilling, and of bio-char this year. FYI: Bio-char, adding charcoal remains to garden beds. Yes, we have plenty to burn off. However, the ground is defrosted only an inch or so.
Today feels like spring. Warm, clear, sunny, yum. I had the urge all afternoon to go get some brats and start grilling. We sent the morning working on house projects. The kitchen has molding, some more in the bathroom, and I finished off some flooring transitions. Score a few more items from the to-do list. Reagan loves crossing items off. We often add new tasks to the list, just to cross them off right away. My gratification comes from creating new, clean to-do lists, slightly shorter than the last one. We did both today.
We also burned our brush pile at the in-town house. This was a small one. Yes, we can burn in town. No, we were not the only ones today. Yes, there is a bonfire like no other waiting at the farm. Yes, it used to be called a barn. Bonus, I moved coffee roasting operations to the garage today. No coffee smell in the house. And I cleaned out the garage a little as well. I might do this more often.
Today was also a good day to catch up with friends. In small towns, you run into them when you least expect it. Winter seems to hole us up too much.
I did add in a few bike maintenance projects today too. Over the winter, I ended build a new tubular wheel. I mounted a tire on it, and took it for a spin today on the TT bike. I wanted to make a LSD ride out of it. (Long Slow Distance. ie, low heart rates) I got 22 miles off OUTDOOR trail and road riding done. I must say, that my first all-tubular ride left me amazed. These tires really do have a better ride quality. However my heart rate kept creeping up. It was far too much fun and excitement to be on the road, hitting 35mph and seeing how long you could keep it. Every time I sat up and rested, a car came. I ended up diving back down on the bars and making it look good.
Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy. Until next week, true believer.