Farm Week: October 14-18, 2013

Another beautiful week in the valley here at Chubby Bunny. When we weren't harvesting, we planted garlic, tended to the winter greens in the hoophouse, and were all-around social butterflies. Because we're still putting off the first hard frost, we're getting a great pepper harvest still. Between peppers and the two stuffed meat freezers, I had an urge to make stuffed peppers. Rather than eat stuffed peppers all week, I made a bunch to share with my fellow apprentices on Tuesday night. I did have to cut them a little short to fit in my toaster oven, but they were delicious nonetheless. On Wednesday, we went to eat with the apprentices at the other farm in Falls Village. Thursday, we and the Hayhurst clan went to eat with Kay and Bill, the neighbors who went looking for young farmers ten years ago and found Dan and Tracy. Another lovely night in lovely company with delicious food.

As if that wasn't enough excitement for one week, we had a double dose of farm fun on Saturday. First, we had a little party for the members - apple cider press, hay rides, fresh cider doughnuts, jams and charcuterie Tracy made with the odd bits - beef tongue, country pate, and chicken liver pate. We had members come up from our delivery sites in White Plains and southern Connecticut, and lots of people visited the farm for the first time. We made a bit of a dent in the over-full meat freezers, and kids and adults alike had a fun day on the farm. Afterwards, we had friends and family over to trailer-town for a bonfire "after-party." I brined a brisket this week for corned beef, which I slow-cooked all day in some homebrewed IPA with onions, garlic, turnips, and carrots. We had a great fire, complete with guitars, a fiddle, and a banjo. A little rain didn't dampen the party much, and the music continued with everyone crowded under my little trailer awning. Unfortunately, the full moon was a bit obscured by the rain-bearing clouds, but the night was certainly one to remember.

Thinking about: conference plans, road trip stamina, brine

Reading: Alice Munro's Too Much Happiness, another mystery novel, Wes Jackson's New Roots for Agriculture

Eating: veggie dinners, salmon cakes, charcuterie, corned beef, stuffed peppers

Farm Week: September 23-27, 2013

It was another beautiful week here on the farm - so far fall has been picture perfect. Days are shorter, certainly; it's dark when I wake up now, and daylight fades fast after work. What sunlight remains is more appreciated than ever with the nights and even the days turning cooler. So far, we've been spared a hard frost, and our outdoor tomatoes, peppers, and even eggplant are still producing. The last of our transplants and seeds are in the ground, and we even cleared out the jungle of tomato plants and weeds in the lower greenhouse in preparation for some winter greens. With the cool weather, the weeds have slowed down a bit, and we've moved from cultivation to cleaning up. We're tilling in the remains of old crops, readying the soil for the rye and vetch that will be our winter cover crop. This Monday was another CRAFT visit, this time to a nearby raw milk dairy. It was a nice, if low-key visit, the highlight being the adorable new calves and a really lovely flock of laying hens. Friday night brought another fun birthday bonfire on the farm, which has brought another mellow Saturday. Hopefully I'll be back at 100% by tonight, when we've been invited to a barn dance party. The fun never ends!

Thinking about: warm boots, flannel layers, darning socks

Reading: Gabriel Thompson's Working in the Shadows, Jacqueline Winspear's Pardonable Lies, William A. Owens This Stubborn Soil

Eating: more potlucks, ploughman's lunches, home fries and eggs

Big Weekend: Fire & a Fair!

This past Saturday, we had a great bonfire and party with friends and other farmers from the area. For the occasion, we cooked up a picnic shoulder from one of the pigs that we slaughtered two weeks ago. I decided I wanted to try a twist on an underground cooking method used in Hawaii and the Yucatan with the Chubby Bunny twist. After 7+ hours underground, the results were amazingly delicious. Possibly the best bbq-ed pork I've had in my life.  

On Sunday, sufficiently recovered from Saturday night's festivities, we managed to sneak in an afternoon at the Goshen Fair in between thunderstorms. We perused the livestock and veggie tents, ate the fair food (hand-dipped corn dog! sour dill pickle!), and I even made a spur-of-the-moment decision to compete in the skillet toss!