Ramble On

Monday, January 11, 2010

Local Focus - a Mid-winter Diversion

I spent a little bit of the morning yesterday thinking about the summer, a nostalgic moment brought on by a combination of things, including:

December 2009 Mother Earth News article “Grow $700 of Food in 100 Square Feet
Recent completion of Michael Pollin’s “The Omnivoure’s Dilemma” (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143038583?ie=UTF8&tag=hawkscabin-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0143038583)
Twice-a-week lunches at Whole Foods in Arlington

I guess the most pressing thought on my mind is our apple tree at Hawksbill Cabin. We think it is 50 years old, dating to when the Thompson’s first built the place. It has gone wild from neglect over the last 10 years (at least) and although it gave a great crop in 2008, 2009 was dismal, even a failure. I think it needs an aggressive pruning – maybe even a couple of years of work on this account – to make it a reliable producer. I’ve started looking for advice on how to take this on, a project we’ll likely begin in mid-February.

There was another realization that David and Heather, at Public House Produce, will probably already have made their seed orders for this year’s CSA and Farmers’ Market program (http://www.publichouseproduce.com/2009CSA.html) . I recently saw where the Sustainable Shenandoah group reported out on their efforts last year (http://sustainableshenandoah.blogspot.com/2009/11/sustainable-shenandoah-garden-2009.html) . Some Facebook friends were discussing a new local, grass fed, beef farm in Sperryville, one that complements the Burner’s farm outside of Luray (http://www.triofarmsinc.com/) – they are a corn fed operation, available at the Luray and Manassas markets. This is pretty fascinating stuff, all contributing to the development of a new, non-industrialized, agriculture, and it has really added some interest to our simple weekend home concept.

I talked to Mary about last year’s container garden, where she had some great success with the tomatoes and peppers – expanding the tomato crop to three varieties and introducing peppers for the first time. I asked what she thought about adding a zucchini plant and maybe some eggplants, upon which she went into some additional detail about moving a rose bush to expand that operation out to maybe 30 square feet this year.

I think there is a still emerging philosophy around our house about eating better. The habits are already changing – I saw a recipe for stuffed zucchini that I think I can do on the grill. It sent me looking for summer vegetable pictures – some of these come from the Public House Produce site, and a few are from planetnatural.com (including a summer squash and eggplant variety that I’m encouraging Mary to include in the container garden plan).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

grass fed beef?! Can you bring me some? You know I'd buy it. Nancy