Peregrine Farm News Vol. 10 #33, 10/10/13

What’s been going on!

What is that saying “be careful what you wish for”?  Didn’t expect nearly two inches of rain on Monday or that it would continue to be damp through the week.  Only a week to go before Betsy and I leave for Italy and the cover crops have to be in the ground before we leave, no way around it.  Had hoped to get back on the tractor tomorrow but todays rain may push us back to Sunday between wet soil and having to get everything ready for market.  Argh!

Nothing else to do but read, cook and eat, or maybe go out to eat.  We are looking forward to an event this evening at ACME restaurant in Carrboro.  Billed as a Slow Food Ark of Taste dinner it revolves around our friend and fellow fellow in the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans and Chefs Glenn Roberts of Anson Mills and his compatriot and chairman of the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation, Dr. David Shields.  Kevin Callahan of ACME is a great supporter of sustainable and local food and the menu will looks luscious, there may be a few seats left.

Picture of the Week


At least the Kale is happy with this weather

What’s going to be at the market? Continue reading

Peregrine Farm News Vol. 10 #2, 1/18/13

What’s been going on!

A great morning to be inside at the desk.  It is nice to see snow again after last winter’s crazy warm and dry weather.  My father always said if you really want to see the lay of a piece of land you need to walk it in the snow.  He was right, it really brings out the contours and highlights maybe because it covers up a lot and it is all in black and white.  Not much of a snow, maybe an inch, but a beautiful clear morning.  This is the view from my desk, down through the woods to our bottom field.

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Even though it was raining pretty good yesterday we harvested all the root crops as it was warmer than it will be today and if really covered with snow there wouldn’t be any way to get them out of the ground.  This afternoon after it warms up we can get the leafy greens picked for market.  Life of a farmer, one eye on the weather forecast (especially the radar) trying to make the best out of sometimes challenging situations.

We had a great weekend in Tennessee with the Barkers and the Southern Foodways Alliance folks.  The Scholar in Residence this year was David Shields who, among other pursuits, is a historian of southern culinary food stuffs.  He gave a talk on tracing the origins of old watermelon varieties grown for superior taste.  Not that we have grown many watermelons in the past, he did have some seeds of old varieties for us to take home and try.

Too warm there too but it did allow for more outdoor activities than usual to go along with the cooking demonstrations and sumptuous food.  Our fellow Fellows, Mark and Sherry Guenther of Muddy Pond Sorghum Mill brought their demonstration set up with mule drawn press and wood fired boiling pan.  They are one of the leaders in the revival of Sorghum syrup, maybe the largest producer in the US and one of this year’s American Treasures Award winners.  Sorghum syrup is not molasses which is a by-product of the cane sugar industry but is a milder syrup made from sorghum cane.

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What’s going to be at the market? Continue reading

Peregrine Farm News Vol. 10 #1, 1/10/13

What’s been going on!

Happy New Year to all, we hope that your holidays were enjoyable and as you wanted.  This is one of those times of the year that I realize how complex farming can be and how many different hats we have to wear to operate this business.  Just looking at my desk there are stacks of catalogs with most of the seed order forms completed.  It goes along with the clip board that includes spreadsheets with the crop plans for the year with the number of beds, plants, seed flats, seeds needed, planting dates, fields they get planted to, and on.

There is an architect’s ruler and square as I am still working on design details on the new building. There are bills of lading for the new Big Top parts, and By-laws and rules being reviewed for the Farmers’ Market.  A stack of grant applications, just reviewed and scores sent and of course the end of the year tax forms and records that need to be finished up soon.

Our holidays were as we like, quiet with some family dinners but mostly we were marching on with the workshop project.  Determined to get it “dried in” we did finally wrestle the last pieces of siding on last week, I am glad to be down off the scaffolding and on solid ground for a while.  We poured concrete for the deck and stair footings this week, which is what awaits us when we get back from Tennessee.  Don’t worry, Betsy has the greenhouse filling up with lettuce and flower transplants too.

But hey, its winter, let’s not get too tied up with the upcoming growing seasons plans, there is still time to relax some before the weather really warms up.  So this weekend we are off to the annual meeting of the Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans and Chefs and the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Taste of the South event with our compatriots Ben and Karen Barker.  A truly fun and unusual weekend where not only do we get to hang out and visit and talk business with the other Fellows but there are a number of interesting attendees and talks to absorb and of course the food and drink!  Jennie will be at market this weekend so not to worry about getting those sweet carrots and glowing anemones.

Pictures of the Week

068We sometimes refer to it as La Torre, the tower 

What’s going to be at the market?

It’s the deep winter selection now.  The winter potato- Jerusalem Artichokes (Sunchokes).  A little more Spinach.  Lacinato Kale, beautiful tender and sweet Collards.  It is root season with lots of Turnips and plenty of sweet Carrots.  In Herbs we have Cilantro and Dill.

Bring some color to the house with the amazing bright Anemones.

As a reminder if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.

Hope to see you all at the market!

Alex and Betsy

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