Monday, June 29, 2009

being a farmer

hey all.
i'm still here, farming and loving it.
the end of last week was busy - the sun came out for a couple of days, so we had a chance to get into the fields. the late summer crops are loving the sunshine... there were little baby tomatoes today!!

this past weekend, patrick + i went up to the catskills to spend some time in the mountains. the old barn on his grandma's property still had this sign:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

let the markets begin!

the sunday market in Beacon started a few weeks ago, some days have been busy, some slow, but tim seems pleased with the outcome thus far. i will be working at that market form time to time (i will try to give you all a heads-up so that you can flock right up to Beacon and visit the veggies!)

thursday finds us at another market, in Fishkill. the first of these mid-week markets was last week. despite the driving rain, 3 out of 12 expected vendors set up - us (Common Ground Farm), Fishkill Farms, and the Famous Cohen Sisters. here's a quick collage of our first fishkill set-up:

one last pint of peas (the big seller of the day!), some yummy greens, and BEAutiful kohlrabi (the alien-ish purple veggie on the left)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Skip(ping) with Creek

way back at the start of this month (man, how time does fly) i posted about visiting a great man doing great things with permaculture, water, earth, etc.
i have finally managed to tinker with and post the images from this visit... feel free to view them here.

included in this album is:
the discovered creek and various details of what lies within and below the surface, a house constructed of industrial - a unique and beautiful use of steel, skip's 'hovel' constructed of familiar objects in unfamiliar ways, and our dinner party inside: chips, hummus, tabbouleh, wine, beers, great people... great ingredients.

Friday, June 19, 2009


the land on which our farm is located (Stonykill Environmental Center) is an educational farm owned by the sate of NY. they have various programs and tools, including animals. the past two weeks have been very exciting in the barn... the sheep are lambing!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

technical difficulties

in an attempt at being organized, i cleaned up a folder on my computer last week.... that folder contained all of my blog images! (confirming that sometimes 'organizing' your folders is a bad idea...)

i still have the images, however, the website that brings what i write to your lovely eyes has lost track of the images... and now i have to re-upload all of the pretty pictures!

so, please be patient as i spend the next few nights fixing and re-uploading...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

72 labors

in zen buddhism, meals are commenced with a liturgy that starts "72 labors brought us this food, we should know how it comes to us"

last night, devin, daniel, tim, heidi and i had a meal, the contents of which we labored over: from the veggies in the salad to the fried chicken, we knew every step that was taken to make the meal. it was in incredible event.

the evening began with a slaughter of the 5 roosters we have been raising, but cannot keep.

each of us slaughtered a chicken, silently, calmly, and with respect. i believe that if i want to continue to farm, and to eventually keep and raise livestock, i need to know how it is done... it was an experience i will never forget and i am very grateful to have learned with and from such mindful people.

there are some photos, not of the actual slaughter, but of the evisceration.
warning: these are NOT for the faint of heart, there is blood, and internal organs, pictured.

once the tasks of slaughter, de-feathering, and drawing were complete, we sat down to a fantastic meal of salad, southern style fried chicken (tim was able to prepare his bird while the rest of us cleaned ours), and oatmeal trailmix cookies for dessert.

to know what labors have brought your food to you, or to at least know your farmers, is a privilege we all should be able to enjoy...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

mamma, is this spee-natch?

we had some helpers on the farm today, some that helped, others not so much....

but this one little girl, who was a GREAT spinach bed weeder, would check in everyone once and a while to make sure she was pulling the bad guys (weeds) and leaving the good guys (spee-natch)

remember those first pea seeds put into the ground back on april 9th? check 'em out now:

peas, peas, peas!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

bicycle reminder

heidi put on a skill share/lunch + learn about bikes yesterday and it reminded me... we're still trying to win that farm bike!

click on this, even if you have clicked before, keep clicking! thanks.

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

holy harvest tuesday!

part two-
today was our first big harvest for member distribution. it goes something like this:
half of the crew brings the veggies out of the field, to a washing area. the other half gives them a good rinse, packs them up in bins, takes them to the walk-in cooler for safe keeping. at the end of the day, the members come and pick up their shares.
this will be the routine every tuesday and friday for the next 20 weeks! plus, weekly markets on thursday and sunday - food, baby, food!

vashing zee kale and zee lett-oose

being cool in the walk-in

ring-a-ling-a-ling... come and get it!

lisa made us cake to celebrate. we ate it alllllll in about 15 minutes!

sunday thru monday

man oh man oh man! i can't even begin to express the excitement that has been brewing the past few days on the farm. but i will try... in a two-part harmony:

part one-

sunday mark-ed our first mark-et... we started early; harvesting radishes, scallions, lettuce, choi, and kale for market sale. despite some big winds that almost took the tent, tim returned with a report that market went well.

sunday evening devin, creek, daniel moon and i visited an amazing man doing amazing things with earth and water... vague, i know. pictures and more to follow. his name is skip and i will elaborate at another point and time.

sneak peak:

monday evening was the first craft meeting: a gathering of interns from the various farms in the region. there are soooo many farms here, there were easily 30 interns in attendance last night. it's a great chance for us to discuss our experiences, visit each others' farms, see what is going on in this productive and inspiring region, and have a general good time. we meet every monday, and i'll try to update you all on what monday evenings bring from here on out.