farm garden

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Speaking of California...before we left I found the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture / member-sustained farms) of my East Coast dreams.  

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We've got our pick out in California, since most organic food is grown right here.  I've enjoyed CSA memberships in the past for a lot of reasons.  Most especially  I love the dreamy newsletters by the farmers, telling about the past week's seasonal adventures, country trials & tribulations, the ethics & questions of sustainable farming in a barely-financially-stable vocation.  They are the original die-hard bloggers, committed to sharing even though they are tired & full from a filled-up & useful week.  And, oh, the recipes they include!  Dug up from excellent cookbooks, featuring the often-unheard of bounty: ground cherries, kohlrabi, sun-dried apricots.  These are the recipes I've used the most.

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We quit our CSA years ago, when we got too many peppers, which most of my family will not eat (everyone but me), & one Fall box, containing nothing, but a GIANT *2 1/2 foot-wide* Cinderella Pumpkin, with the opening instructions to "just drop it off the roof."

 

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Later we solved that with our Farmer's Kitchen Cafe Sustaining Membership, which was a step way up in many ways: divine home-cooked meals, which happened to be gluten & casein-free, sourced from the same local farms, at a fabulous huge discount from the restaurant's prices.

 

But I missed the fresh produce - farm interaction.  I had heard of quite a few East Coast farms that allowed their members to come & pick their own produce.  This is what I've long yearned for, both for myself & for the kids.  I want to learn about the gardens, to make my black-thumb, green. 

 

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 Growing up, we would head to Occidental every September to a fireman-friend's small vineyard.  While our parents worked the field, gathering grapes, the kids would all run wild: harvesting goodies, fighting over the hammock, exploring the hand-made property, & mauling the huge potluck spread in the main house.  In the evening we would stomp on the grapes, bottle the wine ourselves & dance in the barn to a live band.   It was fabulous.

 

Our Homespun homeschooling group mentioned a local farm that still had some strawberries, so we headed out with a visiting sweetheart from Telluride, who'd never been berry-picking.  And it's here that I found it: Pick your own everything, $2 a pound.  We can come whenever we want, help out a bunch, & pick the farmer's brains, too.  We get to be "farm-owners!!"  As long as I make it out there as often as I'd like, which is weekly, I'm sure that's how it will occur to the kids.  I have to believe that the unconscious seasonal-awareness & Earth-human-animal-bee-food-table connections will be among their most important & effortless learning experiences.  It will be that for me.

 

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In the meantime, I am obsessing over these fabric garden planters & indoor wall-gardens.  Obsessing.

 

I'm updating my usual gift wrapping ~ recycled brown craft paper with colored wax twine, for the much-sexier recycled brown craft paper with colored Norwegian twine.  I know.  But it's sultrier, with a higher-quality contrast to the paper.  Check it out.  I believe in standardizing for ease & peace of mind.  At $7 a spool + $3 for a roll of wrapping, $10 is a very easy way to relax about this for the year.  

 

I'll be copying Rashida's porcelain paint-palette pincushions as soon as I get home.  They'll fit in perfectly with my already-stacks of porcelain palettes & my Asian-Modern-Quilty-Cabin abode.  And pre-ordering her book, to be sure.

 

And I like this site, very much.