That’s the news from the farm
Friday, April 30, 2010
That’s the news from the farm
Sunday, April 25, 2010
I have no farming history at all. Before I moved to Oklahoma I knew nothing about farming, so I try to watch, listen and learn from people like Rae Blakley (Creek side plants and produce) and Debbie Shanks both long time farmer’s market vendors. There are many more I draw from too who have spent their entire lives farming who were taught by their parents. The article Natalie wrote was beautiful and I think a lot of times these real pioneers of farming get overlooked by the flashy new faces that aren’t yet warn by the sun of generations. The new faces of farming like me are acclimated to the media, marketing and technologies like face book, blogs and tweets we put ourselves right in your face. But from a hard core perspective here, we stand in the shadows of the ones who have come before us. They have paved the path for people like me. So here I sit looking at the photograph of my windblown face and sun cinched eyes. I’m simply a small piece in a very big puzzle trying to fit in to the best space that will fit me.
I realize that we all have a role to play. I just never want to overlook or under rate the farmers that I am trying to emanate. Seven years ago I decided after years of being a chef that the real stars in food are the farmers. In Seattle I was smitten with several farmers at my farmers market, to say I had a crush was not too far fetched, maybe enamored? Well, basically in love. But I didn’t want to marry them (good thing for the 78 year old egg lady) I wanted to BE them. I wanted to get as close as I could to food which has always been my most ravenous passion. They had it. They were closer to food than I was and I wanted to get as close to it as they were. I wanted to touch it feel it smell it cook it eat it. To grow it, that was the crème the raison d’être. I wanted not just the cake but the soil in which the wheat was grown in. Clearly perverse.
So thanks Natalie for your amazing reminder of the generations before me and keeping my crush alive.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
I really don’t like the rain or the cold so I don’t know what possessed me to live in Seattle for most of my life. I guess I really didn’t know the difference so I just lived with it. It wasn’t until I started taking vacations to warm sunny places until I realized how much I loved the sun and hot humid weather. Florida, Sicily, Alabama, Oklahoma, these were places I didn’t want to leave. Oklahoma seemed the best idea at the time as a place to live, and still does but I could have easily ended up somewhere else. But I’m glad it was here.
That’s something the rain does to me. It gets me thinking about the past and curious about the future. In a melancholy kind of way I go to this place in my head where everything and everyone has deep profound meaning. The colors are bright but silent. The earth is soft and full. I can tell the goats don’t really appreciate it, but the sheep seem pretty happy out grazing. What a beautiful sight that is. Sometimes I can’t believe the beauty my eyes are able to take in.
Spring for a farmer can be a blessing and a curse. I mean we usually get a lot of rain in April which is good in so many ways. The flip side is, it makes the place muddy and not so pretty. It’s hard to get into the fields and plant or harvest or weed but you do it anyway, its warm but you still need to put on your rain pants and rubber boots, so it’s sticky, your sticky. But the grass and leaves on the trees sparkle and dance. The birds sing loud and you’re out in it, a part of it just as much as the frogs, birds, grass blades, leaves, wet hay, bark, the warn paths through the pasture. Here we all are together as one living breathing earth. These are the moments I try to keep fresh in my mind, melting away the sadness and frustration of the morning news stories on NPR. Spring rains and the unfolding life in front of me smoothes out the ragged painful memories of the past and spring rains always promise a future.
Friday, April 16, 2010
My mouth is watering just thinking about them sauteed with a little olive oil, garlic and Reggiano tossed with home made green garlic fettuccine, topped with a little fresh goat cheese. Oh gads, why do I torture myself?
I got a wild hair up in a particular place yesterday morning and headed out on the hunt. Found nothing. Too dry I suspect. They have to be here somewhere though. Right?
I followed cow trails which led to deer trails witch led to coyote trails witch led to brambles and thickets of wild blackberries. The ground was like walking on a mattress. The sun coming through the just opened hands of leaves and the new growth in the forest was amazing. And when my neck became to sore from looking down, I would look up and have some of those 'Oh My God This Is Beautiful' moments.
I am hoping after the rain I'll see some pop up. Its kind of like fishing you know they are there but just not biting. Or maybe the conditions are not just perfect yet.
Strangely, on my hunt I saw tons of Poke. I could have harvested, but I just left them. I did see Oxalice, (sp?) a lemony clover and tender green brier tendrils, i munched on during the hunt. I miss the fiddle head ferns in Washington.
Anyone have some tips for me on morel hunting here?
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
In a large cast iron pan I had sauteed onion and lots of garlic waiting in a pan. Once I figured the poke was adequately tenderized I strained it and cooked it with my garlicky mixture for another 10 minutes. It basically looked like cooked spinach. I wasn't leery at all Kasey took a very small portion and said he wanted to see our reaction before having a second helping. I had a extra large portion (I love greens) It was absolutely delicious!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
It's no wonder I don't get any work done, I'm so busy spying on the animals trying to get a good shot!
The animals are in heaven right now. So much to eat, the temperature is perfect and we've made it through the long cold snowy winter. I've managed to get some work done brush hogging and stuff, farm stuff you know. I started my first batch of cheese last night so that's exciting. The colostrum is out of the milk and it is tasting gooood!
On Sunday, Linda and I found a nice spot to have dinner. Do we know how to live or what!
Thursday, April 1, 2010
So after a day a full day of fence mending and tick bites, I got to finally spend the day weeding and planting. It was a great day until I looked over and noticed seven Woollies high tailing it down the road. Calmly (freaky calm like) I grabbed a bucket of corn an got them to come back. (still freakishly calm like) and I put them in jail. In hopefully several days they will (as nanc says from Cordero Farms http://corderofarms.wordpress.com/) grow wheels, is that right? anyway I'll be taking them to 4 states to be processed.
The decision was not a difficult one it just took a while.
Meat in the freezer or meat on route 66 and a possible car crash. Its simple really.
So much for my fiber project.
So much for their wanderlust.
I better not get the Rocky mountain spotted tick fever.