Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Irrigation project underway!

A farm project that has been in the works for at least two years is finally getting underway this week. *insert happy dance and shouts of joy here*  Since this is Mike's project and I have not been intimately involved with all the details, I am unable to recount all the boring details and twists and turns that have led to where we are right now.  I do remember standing in a cold rain out the middle of an old meadow and talking with the excavators while we planned where to dig a pond that would serve as a water source for irrigating the vegetables. That was somewhere around November-December of 2011.  Yep, 2011.  The sun has come up and gone down many times since then.  The bright red flag that staked out where the pond was to start has turned to light pink.  We would call the excavators and they would say they would be coming, but then they never would.  But we know these folks and they do a great job and we have used them before, we wanted to give them our business and so we waited.  And actually, it didn't really matter that the pond wasn't getting dug because the other part of the project was not getting anywhere either.

The other part was securing grant money to install the field irrigation system.  The endless paperwork, changes in policies, waiting for other people to do their part of the work, waiting and waiting some more.  *insert twiddling thumbs here*  There were so many starts and stops it wasn't funny.  Well actually it was funny.  You know.  One of those situations where if you didn't laugh you would probably cry.  And so the irrigation system that we THOUGHT would be in place by spring of 2012 was not even underway.  No pond.  No grant.  No nothing.  And then we lived through the drought of 2012.  Now wouldn't an irrigation system have been a handy thing to have as we watched plants wither in the summer drought?  Yeah.

The project wheels are finally turning though.  The sand filter, pumps and various hoses were delivered last week.  While they are crucial to the project, those items are quite boring.  However this week there was much more excitement to be had on the farm when the track hoe showed up to dig some test holes for the pond.

Nothing like a big ol' track hoe to cause some serious equipment envy.  After the test holes had been dug and all was quiet, Mike and I HAD to go back to the meadow later that evening to pay a visit.

Even I was wishing we had one of these things on the farm so I could drive around and dig holes whenever I wanted.

The smaller of the two dozers that are going to be used got delivered as well.  The bigger one was supposed to come this morning, but it thunderstormed all morning long.  Even so, just having some of the equipment sitting on the ground at the site of the future pond is a sure sign that this project is finally happening.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

2010-2012 Peters Creek Farm Foodie Index

Coming up on April 27th, Mike and I have been invited to be speakers at Fresh Fork Market's "Farm Fair".  Farm Fair is a "One Day Crash Course in Urban Gardening" and in addition to Mike and I, there will be 10 other speakers sharing their farming and culinary knowledge.  Definitely going to be a lot of fun.  My talk is on freezing and canning and as I was sitting down preparing for my talk this past week, I realized that I already have somewhat of a collection of canning, freezing and cooking recipes right here on the ol' blog.  The problem is that I have no index (well other than labels, maybe) to sort through the old blog posts.  So this blog is dedicated to indexing all my past postings that include anything to do with canning or freezing or other cooking or baking recipes.  Some of the posts are pretty detailed.  Others have very little detail except maybe an external link to a recipe.  If the post contains just an external link to a recipe I put that in the notes next to the blog post link.  If the full recipe is actually printed in the blog text, then there is no mention of an external link.  All the posts are directly about preparing food.  So here we go.

     Contains the link to "To Die For Blueberry Muffins" with my minor change to the recipe amounts.

     This blog also has a link to "To Die For Blueberry Muffins" along with the picture of the finished project.  The fact the I blogged about the recipe twice in one week will tell how good this recipe truly is.  

     My recipe for whole wheat buttermilk blueberry pancakes.  *mouth is watering as I type this*

     Now there is an original name for a blog post.  Bet you can't guess what this one is about?  This one is a fairly detailed write up of how I freeze sweet corn.

     While this one doesn't include details of how to use a pressure canner, it does have step by step pictures through the process of canning beans.  As a bonus, there is a paragraph about how I freeze whole peaches.

     This post contains my recipe for whole wheat brownies.

     Here are the details of how I make and freeze applesauce.  There is also an external link to a recipe for "Maple Apple Crisp"

     Basic directions on how I use an old stew hen to make homemade stock and use the stock to make chicken noodle soup.

     This one contains an external link for "Cream of Celery Root Soup" as well as how I loosely adapted the recipe to fit the ingredients I had on hand.

     Once again an original title for a blog post.  Yep, this one details how I make pumpkin puree from scratch.  It can be easily frozen to be used for pies and other recipes all winter long.

     Yes, another title that will leave you guessing.  This one contains my own recipe for slow baked rabbit.

     Nothing like a good old snow storm to keep me in the house making food all day.  This one has two recipes.  One for White Bean Squirrel Chili and one for Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie.  Oh yeah!

     Two recipes, both are links to external web sites.  "Whole Wheat Banana Bread" - a quick bread and "Four Grain Bread" - a yeast bread

Then in 2012 I really slacked off the foodie postings or at least any with any detail or links.  But I've already put one up in 2013.

     This one has a pretty detailed step by step directions as well as the external link for the recipe I used as a base.

So hoping all my links work correct.  Whew!