Yes I know this is not a picture of ants.........:) A picture is worth a thousand words and this one definitely tells a story!!!
Eilah is her own free spirit. I don't know if it is because she is the only girl in the family (besides her mama of course) or if it is something she was born with but she definitely dances in the sunshine and runs with the wind, if you know what I mean. Another thing about Eilah is generally she is much happier outside. There are many days that we are outside and she is happy as a clam and as soon as you enter the house.............she is crying!! Being that we live on a farm it just so happens that she gets her wish and is able to romp and roam around the farm. Boots are our shoe of choice for a number of reasons.....1. they are waterproof, 2. they can be sprayed off with a garden hose when they get muddy, 3. they protect little feet from "friendlies" (snakes, spiders, ants, etc.) 4. they are easy to slip on.
All of these are great benefits with the exception of number 4. IF they are easy to slip on then they are also easy to slip off!!!!!
This brings us back full circle to the picture and I think you get the idea of where this story ends......luckily Eilah has a VERY high pain threshold and doesn't seem to mind the ant bites all that much!!!
Have you heard of the Dirty Dozen? No, it's not some mobster movie...it's a list of food that should only be consumed organically due to the high amount of pesticides residue. Here is the list (info collected from www.thedailygreen.com and www.pbs.org)
-Apples-over 40 chemicals are used on apples due to insects and disease. Apples are at the top of the list due to this. This also goes for apple juice and apple sauce.
-Celery-over 60 chemicals have been found by the USDA on celery.
-Strawberries-these are sprayed heavily by farmers due to fungus.
-Nectarines (especially imported)
-Grapes-especially imported (including raisins...and WINE!!)
-Sweet bell peppers (all varieties)
-Potatoes (ironically, sweet potatoes have much less of a pesticide residue and are not on the list)
In our family, we try very hard to avoid the above foods unless we can grow them or find them organically. Once you start attempting to eliminate pesticide residue from your diet, you realize how very difficult it is to do.
All of the above foods are either relatively easy to find organically, or have a healthy. less pesticide ridden substitute.
Here are some foods that have low pesticide residue:
Happy shopping! :)
The USDA recently unveiled the "know your farmer, know your food" initiative. This was a positive push for America to support local, sustainable agriculture. So I pose this question...........do you know your farmer? Do you know your food?........in this day and age we are spoiled to think that we can have ANY vegetable or fruit at ANY time of the year. We should all think about how we can do our part to keep the planet and our bodies healthy!
Where do you buy your veggies? Do you know the farmer who produced your food? Do you know what practices were done to that fruit or veggie? Do you know what can and can't be produced with each growing season that passes?
All of these are personal, philosophical questions that only an individual can answer.......but if we care, then together we can take action and make our community, our bodies and the planet as a whole a better place to live in.
Ask yourself......do you know your farmer, do you know your food?
Interesting questions we should all be asking.......
The first week of our "No Commitment, Week by Week CSA" is probably going to look much different than our last week of our regular season CSA.....and the pick ups are only one week apart. It is the time of year we love!! Every day, new crops are coming in and things are changing.
We had a salad tonight with our premium greens mix (which is a salad mix with mustards, Asian greens and lettuces...and it's amazing), radishes, cucumbers, green peppers and dill. We're very excited for upcoming beans, kale, swiss chard, turnips, broccoli and SO MUCH MORE!! The transitions of the seasons are probably the most exciting times of year here at the farm.
Although we still have some of the summer favorites like okra, cucumbers and peppers...we're slowly adding in some the fall favorites as well.
Very exciting times ahead....stay tuned!!!
Tis the season for female goats to go into "heat." This is a natural cycling which signals that the female is ready to be bred. We have been watching for Betty to go into heat for a couple of weeks now.....to no avail. High temperatures can cause these natural cycles to be altered.
Harmony informed me last night that Betty was making some very loud noises during the day and hanging out by the fence near Buccaneer (our big buck). So I went down this morning before sunrise with a headlamp to let the goats out to pasture and checked Betty for signs of being in heat. Sure enough she was in full heat and ready to spend the day with Buccaneer. I put a leash on her and walked her over to Buccaneer's pen and in she went. The goat love began almost immediately and within a matter of 30 minutes I was pretty positive that Betty was positively exposed to Buccaneer (I will spare you the dirty details....even though I've given you quite a lot already....).
We had planned to leave her in the pen with Buccaneer until chore time this evening but Betty had different ideas. Around lunchtime she decided that she was definitely done with Buccaneer, freed herself from his pen (we still don't know how she did this) and walked back to her side of the barn to rejoin her fellow mates (Doughy and Praline). Maybe we will put her back in with Buccaneer tomorrow but we'll see how she feels about that situation???
So, with any luck Betty will be a mama on February 12th and fresh yummy goat milk will be added to our daily lives soon after!!! Can't wait!!
The state of Louisiana gets behind local produce!!!! Hooray!!
Louisiana bill encourages using local produce
New legistlation would reimburse restaurants who buy local
The bill states: “The health, safety and welfare of the people of this state are dependent upon the continued encouragement, development, growth and expansion of Louisiana farmers and agricultural products. Louisiana residents rely on Louisiana farmers and agricultural processors as their primary source of safe, nutritional and affordable food.”
Read more: http://www.nrn.com/article/louisiana-bill-encourages-using-local-produce#ixzz1XqJIKJ00
It's funny how all things are cycles that go round and round and never seem to have a beginning or an end......this is the way I look at growing food.
With the start of our fall season the transition back to cooler weather crops is in full swing!! Harmony, the kids and I were headed down to the barn last night to feed the goats and on the way down we tasted the first of the fall radish crop.....DELICIOUS!! Not even a hint of spice, just cool, clean, crisp goodness. While the fall crops are cycling back in to the mix (by the way the Pac Choi is amazing if you've yet to try it) the warm weather crops are still holding their ground. The new crop of tomatoes are starting to set fruit, the new eggplants (after a DISMAL eggplant year) are blossoming, one last patch of cantaloupe is blooming and the fall snap beans are thinking it might be time! Fall is always my favorite time to grow things. Although the insect pressure always seems to be a little heavier in the fall it is a time of rejuvenation and new crops filtering into the mix......LOVE IT!!
We just cycle from one season to the next and they interchange so beautifully, existing together at times. We always love "transition" times here on the farm!!!
This week's pick up consisted of:Garlic (Creole, cured)
Our CSA members have been getting fuzzy melon in their boxes for the past few weeks, and we've had it in abundance to use in our cooking as well. I have to admit that I was a little nervous when Dylan first mentioned he was growing fuzzy melon. It really didn't sound that appetizing. But I have to say that we've really enjoyed it!!
It is actually not a melon, or a squash, but an edible gourd. It is much like zucchini in the sense that you can pretty much put it in anything. You can also eat it raw. You can peel it...or not. It is a very versatile thing. I have put it in everything from soups to stir fry dishes and pretty much everything in between. Two nights ago, we used shredded fuzzy melon in place of zucchini or squash in veggie burgers, and it was great!! I choose to peel it, because for some reason the fuzziness bothers me. But you can scrub off the "hairs" and use it unpeeled, as well.
For more information on the fuzzy melon, and several recipes, check out the website www.fuzzymelon.com. You can make fuzzy melon soup..and fuzzy melon bread as well!!
We think this is a great addition to our farm and a great substitute for zucchini!! We hope our CSA members have enjoyed it as much as we have!!
We really cannot believe we're getting ready to go into week 19 of the CSA!! It doesn't seem possible.
Last week's pick up consisted of:
Dylan and Harmony, whichever of us have the time to sit down and write for a few minutes. : )