Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Orchard

Logging in today, I realized I forgot to publish the State Fair entry-- it was written back around September 2, but here it is the 13th...

What I saw instead was the entry about keeping the farming under control. Which I haven't been so successful at, since I find myself now in possession of another preserving book, Deborah Madison's Local Flavors and a cheese making kit. And tonight I ordered Wendell Berry's Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food, Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle (since I have to return the one i borrowed and read), and Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. Also, I spent more than an hour tonight going through the Seed Saver's catalogue 2010-- seeds that I can not even order-- and marking what I want to buy for next year.

Of course, that's all intellectual pondering. So I wouldn't be worried, except that this past weekend I did buy four fruit trees and Steve and I planted them in a newly tilled area near my garden. There is room for more trees if these work out. Basically, an orchard. Or at least, in the near term, room for the blueberry and raspberry bushes I want to put in next spring. I got Honey Crisp and Macintosh apple trees, which I'm completely excited about, and two pear trees which may or may not make it. One did have actual pears on it already, but juicy, edible pears seem like a long shot to me.

Really, I'm not usually like this. And I am giving myself periodic talks. It's about local, not growing it all myself. On that front, I may have found a venison source, and so can look forward to venison chili and stew this winter. Steve also pointed out in church on Sunday the dairy farmer who rents some land from us a few pews in front of us as a possible source for milk for that cheese I want to make. Why would anyone pluck chickens when organic, local chickens are about $7.00 at the meat market? And at the farmers' market last week I actually bought a half-gallon of locally-made sunflower oil for the price of Trader Joe's olive oil. Let's just say, this is local food mecca, but also, well, it could take over one's life. At least for a little while.

Steve's putting in three more raised beds for me this fall, since I really hate weeds and think that big garden bed will be harder to maintain, not to mention how great things grow in deep, rich compost. I do feel like a sponge-- and there's plenty out there to soak up. Tonight watching one of the PBS cooking shows (my favorite is New Scandinavian cooking, though I'd never cook anything they do), I saw part of a show that starts on an organic farm and moves to cooking. The farmer rotates his crops: leafy/fruity/roots. Good to know! I think that's one of the things I like best about this revolution-- the progression of the crops and the way one behaves in the kitchen because of it.

So here we go. Taking it up a notch. Or two.

Still in the garden: butternut and acorn squash, leeks, kale and spinach...and the end of the sage, rosemary, oregano and basil. And could it be a few more pumpkins that might mature before the first frost?

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