What’s been going on!
One more day of summer temperatures and then maybe we are finally to real fall weather, let’s hope! It has been good weather for mowing and crop cultivation to control the weeds. While there is still more planting to do most of it is for over winter production and will be in the sliding tunnels. If we can get good weed control in the field now then the fall crops can roll on without much more attention short of water and harvest.
Probably no newsletter next week as Betsy and Alex will be off to the 20th Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium in Oxford Mississippi. Every year the SFA has a theme for their programing that runs through all of the events. This year it is the Latin South which we have been looking forward to both from a cultural perspective and of course the food. This will be our first Symposium but we know that it is filled with scholarly discussions and talks with lots of great music, food and drink throughout.
The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies, and explores the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. We find it a great group for us to be aligned with as it gives us insights into the crops we grow and how they fit into our region. We have also been honored to be included in the Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans and Chefs some of the most talented and smart people we have ever been around. While we had a long run with the Slow Food movement (and still keep abreast of what is going on) we have felt that the work that SFA does in the south resonates more with what we are doing and of course where we are.
Jennie and company will be at market next weekend with the full array, including the pepper roaster, so don’t hesitate to preorder as we will all be keeping an eye on emails.
Picture of the Week
Early morning light across the farm
What’s going to be at the market? Continue reading
We are in the middle of an interesting week beginning with getting the place ready for multiple groups of visitors. It is hard to make the Kalahari desert look vibrant when everything is brown except for the small patches we are irrigating. But we mowed what needed it and picked up and tidied around the buildings making mental notes that we should never have tours in September when we are just about to close for the season, oh well. The best looking thing we have are the cowpeas we planted as a cover crop and which, in a normal year, should have been mowed down by now but have struggled to get this far, at least they are a rich green. Saturday was a long but fun day. The Southern Foodways Alliance was in town for what they call one of their field camps. A group dedicated to the preservation of southern culture(s), from arts and crafts to music and writing but all sort of surrounded by the foods of the south. People from all over the country were here, you may have noticed them touring the market on Saturday. We hosted them here at the farm Saturday afternoon where we talked about small scale farming, the market in this area and tasted tomatoes. They didn’t realize what a miracle it was for us to have the wealth of tomatoes we have had this late in the season, this season in particular! We then headed into town for a large dinner with the whole group, having been awake since 1:00 a.m. we decided to head home at 10:30 instead of following the group down the road to sample the local taco truck, it was a sound idea.
Yesterday we had a group out from NC State which included two Uruguayans who are doing research in their country on organic farming. Through an excellent interpreter we walked all around and showed them how we did it here. Discussions about soil fertility, rotations, cover crops, etc. They were also very interested in how we used the turkeys, integrated with the crop production, too bad we didn’t have any turkeys to show them this time around. This coming Saturday after market, again, there will be a film crew here from Gourmet Magazine shooting some of our crops (up close I hope) for their TV show “The Diary of a Foodie” which is on PBS, here on Saturday afternoons. They are working on a piece with Andrea Ruesing at Lantern Restaurant, who knew when we all agreed to do this that we would be in the middle of an historic drought. At least it will be cooler and they always tell me they can do miracles with the camera and editing!
Picture of the Week
This is our creek, a good sized stream, dry for two months now, our house is 100′ to the left