Monday, June 25, 2012

Putting Out Fires

In a perfect world, we start each week with a field walk on Sunday evening. iPhone in hand, we take notes, camera on shoulder, we snap photos. We walk through the greenhouse,

the fields, the farmstead. Then, we come back to the house, eat desert and write up the week's agenda and fall asleep to an episode of Downton Abbey (ahem, I should say I do but John is not a fan). But, the walk often yields fires, priorities, failures, controlled chaos at its best. So, when we are back in the kitchen working on writing up the week's agenda, we start researching pests, fertility, irrigation, and maybe the perfect vessels for a certain wedding to be. The dessert happens, the movie...well, we're lucky if we get a shower.

These past few weeks, the fires have been quelled, but not before some worry and heartache.

  • The hybrid battery on our family car died. The dealership reported a replacement cost of $4000 which sent my blood pressure rising. After a weekend of research and a trip to an independent mechanic, we discovered the battery is still under warranty (10 years, 150, 000 miles!). The Prius is off to a different dealership for a new battery and our pocketbook is all the happier. 
  • The cat got attacked by something, resulting in a very gory looking eye injury. We had his grave dug, thinking he wouldn't pull through. Not only did he pull through, thanks to the loving care of our dear vet, but on the first day of his return the world of the living from his house-bound convalescence, he manage to snare 8 baby turkey chicks, newly arrived from the hatchery, much to his delight. That darn cat....
  • And then, there was the death of the 3G iPhone. Welcome Siri!
  • And the motherboard replacement on the computer....
 And that's all before the field walk. Sometimes, the fire catches fast.
But here we are, at the start of another week, flowers are amazing, berries are delicious, and the peas are ready to be picked. The Long Barn Summer Camp program is off to a perfect start and the FLORA*BLISS, the dooryard farmstand is experiencing a greater turnout than we had imagined.

 This last detail is so exciting! We love the drop in customers, the new folks to the farm, the old friends and neighbors and the travelers from afar. We are stepping all over ourselves to keep it stocked and dreaming up ways to keep all the products fresh. We installed lovely walk-in cooler, and put a barn board on it to help it blend in to the space.

And now, when the days are ending, we are taking our drinks on the veranda....thanks to our favorite carpenters,

 we are celebrating something new, and just for us! A new outdoor room. It was so fun to see it go up and I am already planning the vines that will cover it in the years to come. Putting out the fires is certainly hard work.

I do believe this needs a maybe a hot tub? Oh how I would love to soak on those late winter work days when the bones ache and the weather is raw. Until then, we're easily satisfied with this, our lovely slice of heaven.


This week's harvest list:
Pac Choi (also listed in recipes as Bok Choy)
Broccoli Raab (delicious sauteed with garlic, mixed with pasta, lemon zest, lemon juice and parmesean)
Strawberries (the last of them for awhile)
Garlic Scapes
Kohlrabi (tastes and behaves like a super tender broccoli stem)
Radishes (best eaten with a little freshly made butter and a cracker, preferably a saltine)
Sugar Snap Peas (these lovely bits can be eaten shell and all)
Napa Cabbage

Friday will get some broccoli this week and Tuesday folks will get broccoli next week. The maturing of the crop sometimes leads us to split up the harvest into odd weeks.

Blessings on the meal-


  1. Thank you for sharing your joy and your struggles! This is such a beautiful and inspiring space! Much love, B

  2. I am always so lucky to read your blog. Thank you for your words and your honesty! Any chance you would be willing to share how you built the cold storage you mentioned in this post? I am the director of a nonprofit in TN and we are struggling with an economical way to create better cold storage for food and crops.

  3. Tallu- We used the recommendations on the CoolBot site and sized the air conditioner up one size for cooler temps. Good luck!