Independence Days Update: Waning Summer

Sharon August 16th, 2010

Looking at the forecast I’m hopeful that the worst of the blazing summer is behind us – we’re still very far behind on rain, but have gotten enough to sort of make do.  While the hot dry weather has been wonderful for things like tomatoes, okra, hot peppers and melons, I’m pretty much ready to be done with it, especially since teh canning is getting pretty heavy duty.

I picked a bushel of tomatoes today to put up, and I only stoppped because I didn’t want to deal with more than a bushel.  Then I got a phone call from my favorite local farmstand, where I forgot I’d reserved myself several bushels of tomatoes earlier in the season, thinking I might not have this good a crop if thigns turned wet and cool (last year I didn’t put up nearly enough, so I was hedging my bets) – guess what, they’ve got those three bushels of tomatoes for me.  Oops.

So salsa and ketchup, sauce and whole tomatoes it is.  If you are looking for me, I’ll be behind the canning kettle.  There are also the cucumbers, but I’m in denial about those for the moment.

Yesterday was my 38th birthday, and it was not wholly successful.  First of all, I’d spent Saturday night up with a laboring goat.  This one, Selene, has lingering neurological damage and weakness from her bout with meningeal parasite, and our concern was that she might have trouble delivering, even though she can pretty much everything else.  The vet had been encouraging about breeding her, and friends with a goat who also had the same problems had had good luck, but hey, I was nervous.  So when I woke at 12:30 and checked the barn, I stayed out with Selene.

It turned out she was completely fine, except that the buck kid she delivered was huge (I had thought she was going to have triplets) – in fact, he’s bigger than the triplets born a whole week before him.  But with enough time and maternal discomfort, out popped Heliotrope.  We had agreed we would keep one wether, to use as a transitional goat when one of the boys is in with the ladies, so that we never have to keep a goat solo, and after witnessing the amount of trouble he gave Selene, we’ve decided he wins, and we’ll keep him. Selene does not give birth to buck quality goats, but he’s cute and she’s the best and most devoted mother we have. 

So Saturday night was no sleep.  Sunday morning was supposed to be me getting to do whatever we wanted, but my friend Jesse, who I’ve known and loved for 19 years now left a message on our machine.  You see Jesse had stopped by on a trip west a couple of weeks before, and because he missed the kids, promised he’d stop for a bit on his way back.  Although he was meeting up with friends and his fiancee, we were told it would just be him, and he would arrive sometime late on Saturday.

Well, Saturday passed and we wondered where Jesse was. Late that night we got a phone message from him, announcing that he, his fiancee and two other people I’d never met would be arriving at 11:30 on Sunday.  Oh, and despite 19 years of friendship, it was pretty clear he’d forgotten it was my birthday.  So much of the morning was spent preparing for four people to arrive at lunchtime.  And plotting the ass-kicking Jesse was going to get.

As it turned out, while I still would have preferred not to spend the morning cooking and cleaning, it was lovely – the two friends were lovely and one of them, realizing that it was birthday, announced he had a case of Blue Moon Ale in his car he was looking to drop off – the birthday beer fairy arrived!  So it was pretty awesome.  We had a lovely lunch and pie from the local farmstand (the one now holding unbelievable quantities of tomatoes for me).  The afternoon of my birthday was spent cooking for a friend’s shiva minyan (mourning prayer gathering), since our friend had lost her mother earlier in the week, but we’d planned that.

All of which is a really wordy way of saying that one of these days, I’m supposed to get a birthday day in which I get to goof off a lot.  That said, however, with the mountain of tomatoes facing me, I think that might be, say, in December.

Otherwise, things are quiet – we’re milking again, but most of the does are mostly feeding their babies as yet.  The milk quantities will rise gradually over the next few months, in time for some lovely fall cheesemaking.  

Much of what we’re doing is infrastructure re-working and planning for next year’s farm projects.  We’re working on ways to use the CSA model, which I love, without running a conventional vegetable CSA – we did that for four years, and for any number of reasons, I don’t want to do it any more.  But I love the CSA connection, and the way it ties you to your customers.   I also, being a lazy slacker type, like the ways it forces me to structure my time – once you’ve committed to delivery and specific dates, you have to make that work.

We’re considering three CSA model projects.  The first I’ve talked about here before – a seed starting CSA.  I’ll send out a list of varieties and various options on numbers of plants in December and January, and start seeds for people. I love seed starting, and always start insanely too many, so this appeals to me as an excuse basically to grow more stuff.  This will supplement the plants we’ll also sell at farmer’s market.

Second, if we can pull this off, we’re considering working out a schechting workshop with the only conservative schochet in the US, who teaches “slaughter your own” in a kosher style, and setting up kosher (by the standards of Jews who would accept meat slaughtered on farm by a woman and a Conservative, rather than Orthodox Jew – this is a complicated and fraught subject), organic, free range poultry CSA.   This would be a small and specialized market, but it is one we want to serve precisely because it isn’t being served.  We’d slaughter monthly and deliver poultry to our customers for six months - mostly chicken, but duck and turkey as well.  This exercise is more speculative, because it requires that we find a clientele in our area that want what we can offer, accept its limitations, and want to support it.    But the cost of on-farm kosher slaughter through traditional methods in the Jewish community is prohibitive, and that leaves most people buying meat from far away, if they can get organic kosher meat at all – or they buy kosher industrial.  In our case, we schecht our own, but at this stage I won’t do it for anyone else because I don’t feel I’m expert enough.

Finally, I’m thinking about a medicinal herb CSA, and one that could be done mostly by mail, since these are small, light items.  I’d have two tracks – one for practitioners and one for home use, and it would include a monthly delivery of appropriate herbs as they are harvested and dried, tinctured or turned into creams or oils.  I could also make up small themed mail-order medicinal gardens using plants as well, to get people started in growing their own. 

What I love about the CSA is that it connects me to my customers in deep ways – I get to learn what they need and want, and how to get closer to that, and they get tied to the farm and learn about what we’re experiencing.  So I’m experimenting with ideas that would allow me to bring these things together.  I haven’t yet, however, figured out how to make a goat CSA ;-) .

What else is up here on the farm?  Not a whole lot – the boys are done with a month of camp and swimming lessons, so there’s some more quiet time, and at the end of this week, Eli will be done with his summer program.  The latter is a mixed blessing, since Eli really doesn’t enjoy disruptions in his routine, and making sure his needs are met will take more time and energy – but at the same time, it is nice to have him more fully integrated into our day to day life.

I’m starting to feel the real press of autumn coming on – particularly since the Jewish holidays are so early this year (that, of course, is misnomer – they fall the same way they always do by the lunar calendar, but since we use a solar calendar they seem that way ;-) ) – September will be mostly taken up by holidays.  This is nice in many ways, because it means October will be more laid back, and while we’re eating outside in the Sukkah, it should be warm enough to be pleasant, but it means that school, the holidays and everything else come bang up against us in a just a few week’s time.  Have I prepared my homeschool stuff for this year?  Nope.  Have I ordered firewood yet?  Bought the winter’s hay?  Dealt with the damned tomatoes?  Nope.  Better get cracking!

Plant something: lettuce, spinach, arugula, chives, green onions, peas (for pea shoots, not peas at this point), broccoli raab.

Harvest something: Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra, onions, carrots, beets, kale, chard, peaches, green beans, summer squash, cabbage, lettuce, fennel, cucumbers, peppermint, vervain, anise hyssop, betony, dill, sage, pennyroyal, holy basil, basil, oregano, thyme, gotu kola, spilanthes, blackberries

Preserve something: Tinctured spilanthes, vervain, gotu kola, thyme. Made ketchup and salsa, dried peppers, dried peaches, dried tomatoes, made blackberry jam.

Waste Not: Collected the first batch of dried leaves off someone else’s yard – yay, free organic matter!  Otherwise, the usual composting, not wasting food, etc…

Want Not: Began to clean out my attic. That will be a job.  Many interesting things to be found, I suspect. I’m looking specifically for canning jars – I know I have a couple more boxes hiding in there somewhere, and I’m nearly out of pint jars.

Eat the Food: Gorged on blackberries – straight, as cobbler, as sauce over ice cream, in cake.  We’re a bit cold for blackberries here, and the only picking place is kind of a haul, so we are only going once.  So we might as well enjoy!  We’ve been eating tons of what I call “tomato goop” although frankly, it needs a better name that is truly evocative of its awesomeness.  All it is is sliced tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and breadcrumbs, cooked in the solar oven until it is all soft and served over toast.  Yum!

Build community food systems: Gave a couple of local talks about gardening.

How about you?

Sharon

 

23 Responses to “Independence Days Update: Waning Summer”

  1. Fern says:

    Harvested tomatoes. Canned tomatoes.
    Bought half bushel of ‘seconds’ sweet peppers at farmer’s market. Canning those today.
    Played more with making pickles.
    Since the compost heap is working fast, I’m back to putting kitchen stuff in it – I had seen a few rats in the ‘hood last fall, so stopped adding ‘food like’ items.
    Worked on building community of IEEE Consultants (helped with their picnic, even tho’ the husband is the member and I’m not). Besides, engineers tend to need all the social help they can get….

  2. The Mom says:

    It sounds like things are even more insane than my house. I hope you get to celebrate your birthday properly soon. I’m excited that I will hopefully get to meet you in a few weeks. We’re going to Williamsburg for homeschool week and starting off at the festival at Monticello. I got geekily excited that you were a listed speaker. Anyway…

    Plant something: lettuce, kale, savoy cabbage, Asian yukina savoy

    harvest something: tomatoes, jalapenos, anaheims, green peppers, corn, green beans, beets, cucumbers, onions, peaches, blueberries, basil, chard, potatoes and a smattering of eggs from my now moulting hens

    Preserve something: canned peaches, peach butter, whole tomatoes, salsa, bread and butter pickles, froze beets and green beans and blueberries

    Waste not: nothing unusual

    want not: nothing

    Eat the food: yummy crumb topped peach pie, potato salad, ate blueberries and peaches until we were sick

    Building community: not so much.

  3. cornish_k8 says:

    This is my first go at the challenge but have been following it for months:-

    Plant something: nothing this week but hope to next

    Harvest something: Dug up the potatoes quick before the wire worms and slugs got to them. Our one cougette plant (husband and kids are very selective on how they will eat them) is producing like mad.

    Preserve something: Made Sophie Grigson’s spiced carrot chutney and also Riverford’s courgette & lemon relish using overgrown courgettes(zucchini) and surplus veg from the restaurant of a friend who died suddenly – will pass back a few jars to the remaining partners.

    Waste Not: The usual composting, feeding scraps to chickens etc.

    Want Not: At local car-boot/yard sale found 2 carving dishes, a tea pot and worktop saver for our rental cottages, also a lovely book of crocheted knits for me, total cost $3. Began clearing out junk from the barn – I have better use for the space.

    Eat the Food: Lots of mainly veggie meals based on vegs from aforementioned restaurant. If I’d been forewarned would have bought that dehydrator I’ve been lusting after. Still, not much was wasted. Nigella’s roasted tomato and pepper soup was awesome, never had enough tomatoes in the house to try it before. Can i have one of your bushels Sharon if you’ve got too many?

    Build community food systems: Attended meeting of local environmental group; we hope to become a transition village at some stage (too small to be a town ;-) but are treading carefully just now so we can connect with as many people as we can.

  4. Emily says:

    Goat CSA – like, a herd share program? That could totally work, though it would take some equipment. I’d love it if I could get a share of a goat – perhaps a gallon a week – near me. I’d make cheese, mostly, but I know a lot of folks would want multiple shares because they drink a lot of milk.

    And I so want you to grow my seedlings for me…alas, they won’t ship to Michigan…

  5. Leigh says:

    Happy Birthday! Very interesting CSA ideas. I wonder if a CSA is something we might offer someday, but we’re just getting established so it would be awhile. This challenge helps toward that however, and here is my progress report for last week –

    http://my5acredream.blogspot.com/2010/08/pay-it-forward-book-exchange-idc-update.html

    Plus, I’m doing a Pay It Forward homestead book exchange, if anyone is interested in participating.

  6. annie says:

    Those are great ideas for CSAs. I too grow way too many seedlings b/c I freaking love seed starting! I think this year I might try selling them here and there for a little extra income. The medicinal herb CSA is such a cool idea. I would love to join a CSA through the mail.

  7. NM says:

    Happy birthday, Sharon.
    We’re having a heat wave; will be glad when it’s done but it should be good for the tomatoes and other heat-lovers. I am holding my breath for canning tomatoes this year; everything is maturing late because June was so cold, and the u-pick place says check back in September. The National Weather Service says summer may end early. I won’t care, if I can get the tomatoes done first! And pickles, but it’s the tomatoes I want most.
    Plant something: No
    Harvest something: Plums, herbs, local vegetables and fruits.
    Preserve something: Dried some herbs and the tops of carrots and beets, dandelions, kale, froze some blueberries, ignored a couple pounds of pickling cukes due to hot weather, telling myself they’ll still be fine for relish …
    Want not: Toured the farm of our local year-round CSA, and asked many questions, as research for the starting-our-own project. E-mailed a couple more farms inquiring about tours. Cut all the big limbs off the out-of-control willow looming over the neighbor’s yard, and a lot of blackberries surrounding it. Weeded the garden.
    Waste not: eh, composting.
    Community food systems: some planning with Slow Food group for future projects.
    Eat the food: Coleslaw with a rosemary garlic dressing, peaches, canteloupe (DH), fruit salads.

  8. Kris says:

    Happy birthday, Sharon!

    Have you ever thought about doing a “U Pick” operation on your farm in lieu of a CSA model? There are some farms here in the Seattle area that do U Pick and it seems a lot less labor intensive than running a CSA. There are tons of possibilities with a U-Pick operation — strawberry patch in the spring, blueberries,veggies & herbs in the summer, pumpkin patch in the autumn — maybe add in a U-Pick flower patch (dahlias, cosmos, zinnias, and some easy fillers — all of those flowers are easy to grow). Heck, you could even advertise you have a petting zoo w/all those darling little dwarf goats and the poultry. If I lived in the Albany area I would absolutely love to come visit your farm a few times in the summer, pick some yummy organic veggies and fruit, see the goats and chickens, and generally have a nice outing.

    Another thought — since you have extra room at your house, have you ever thought of hosting agricultural exchange students during the summer to help out with the farm labor? I took a local small farm tour last summer and that seemed to be all the rage. You put up college-age kids (young adults) for the summer, provide room and board, and in exchange they work on your farm. A couple of the farmers I talked to said they couldn’t manage their operations without the help of these students because there was just too much work to do and not enough time to do it, and they didn’t have the money to pay for employees. I was thinking that could be useful to you right about now, when you need two or three people just to keep up with the harvesting and pickling and canning operations, not to mention all the animal care and managing a young family. The students love coming to the US for a summer and seem to have a great work ethic.

  9. Kate says:

    Yesterday was my birthday, too, and I spent it cooking for my husband’s family, putting up peaches, and getting ready for one of my son’s birthday (today). Seems to be the fate of the mother!

  10. Mike says:

    S-

    This is exactly why my wife and I started celebrating birth month instead of birthday.

    If your birthday is on a Thursday during your month, then you get a present on each Thursday of that month, culminating on the “real” present that you would normally get on your birthday.

    We’ve found that the smaller gifts we give each week are more meaningful and because it’s stretched out over a month, nobody misses the “big gift” that they thought they might/should receive, thanks to our modern marketing system.

    That said, the birthing that you worked through will hopefully be a gift enough and I look forward to hearing how the kids are doing (and your trials and tribulations thereof)

  11. annMarie says:

    While i would prefer a traditional csa, around here they mostly do it where you pay $X in advance and then you get a discount at the market or the farm. So as the farmer you wouldn’t have to make boxes or promise a certain amount of food available. Mine gives 10% off for $200 paid in January or so and 15% for $300. We can put more in the account during the summer too. Farm gors to 2 or 3 markets each week and you can buy at the farm.

    What about a winter csa? I really liked the one I did last year but it’s too far away. For $70 you could come in once (they offered it twice last year and i think will do it 4 times this winter) and get root veggies, cabbage, garlic, and some specials (cranberries, homemade rolls, some jam). There was a total weight on the veggies like 30 pounds or so and you took what you wanted.

    I would look into the herbs by mail from you. I am interested in such products but can’t grow from home or make the tinctures nor learn enough to do it right.

  12. Lynne says:

    I hope you get some time to goof off for your belated birthday.

    I’ve noticed something with our chickens that I’d like to share. In late May, their egg shells were starting to get thin. So I bought oyster shells and whatnot and it didn’t seem to make any difference. I was a bit worried. Unrelated to this, we started letting them out in a big pasture for an hour or two per day while we were gardening. We also grew them a ton of kale, which they get when they don’t have a chance to be in their big pasture. Anyway, their egg shells are much thicker again. Not sure if the pasture/greens/bugs have anything to do with their nice thick shells.

    Plant: just clover cover crop on beds that are finished

    Harvest: raspberries, blueberries; carrots, onions, garlic, fava beans, green beans, peppers, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, kale, broccoli, summer savory, basil, eggs

    Preserve: drying soup peas, fava beans for storage, just put up a few garlic and onions with more to come

    Waste not: the usual

    Want not: for my husband’s birthday, we both got fly fishing rods…what an absolutely insanely fun activity. The regulations are pretty strict here, though, as the fishing pressure is pretty high, have to be careful.

    Community: just food sharing

    Eat: stir fries with out veggies; pasta dishes with veggies; fruit by the handful; sliced raw veggies, steamed veggies; potatoes and onions; pancakes with various syrups and fruit, eggs

  13. KC says:

    Here’s my idea for a food preservation workshop/ winter storage CSA. I would grow lots of root crops and greens. In October/November, my customers show up with crates and buckets to fill with potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, beets, radishes, carrots, and burdock (dig your own. Then we go into the kitchen and chop cabbage, carrots and daikon to salt and put in jars and crocks to ferment at home.

    —————–

    lots of wildlife in the garden these days. I always see toads once the sun goes down and today a blacksnake was coiled in the bush beans. Of course butterflies galore and the sound of hoot owls as the day ends.

    plant: When the skies were cloudy and expecting rain, I transplanted some kolrabi, kale and collards from rows of direct seeded to fill in spaces in the beds. Also, in my cleanup , I found a handful of crimson clover seed – so out the door and into the flower beds it went (just before an afternoon shower).

    harvest: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, okra, basil, flowers, rattlesnake green beans, crowder peas, spaghetti squash, and a couple of small carrots.

    preserve: 21 pints of tomatoes 13 pints of applesauce and 1 pint of grape juice.

    waste not/ want not: still organizing canning jars, food stores… moved a cupboard into the office – to store cans of tomatoes and applesauce.

    eat the food: corncakes with okra and peppers. The stocky red roaster peppers (from wild garden seeds) are delicious fried. Many meals with variations of fried okra, green peppers, tomatoes and green beans with basil. (over spaghetti squash).

    build community food systems: sharing tomatoes with friends, taking care of neighbors animals while they are away. Passing out fliers for Monticello Harvest Festival.

  14. Claire says:

    Heat is the continuing theme of our summer (St. Louis, MO area) too. We were under an excessive heat warning the entire week. Highs around 100F, lows near 80F. Not as bad here because it’s only about 10F or so over normal, unlike what Moscow and other Russian towns have had to deal with. But not good; this is one of the overall hottest summers on record. It’s pleasant today, for a change. Finally got some rain, a deluge of course (1.7″ in a few hours).

    Planted: nothing. It’s too late to plant summer crops, too hot for fall crops.

    Harvested: tomatoes, peppers, elderberries, cucumbers, potatoes, a few very welcome raspberries.

    Preserved: tomatoes, both by drying and by pureeing and freezing. Elderberries, by freezing for later winemaking. Cucumbers, in the fermenting crock with its earlier-harvested cucumber friends.

    Waste not: can’t think of anything over what we usually do. We’ve kept the AC at 80F when it’s been on, which it was for the past week. It’s been off the past couple of days.

    Want not: my DH bought a used mountain dulcimer at the local festival we attended last weekend. He’d been wanting a certain style of one for several years, finally found one at a good price, and it’s being reused at that! I found a book with lots of public domain songs including multiple verses, great for sing-alongs.

    Community food systems: just talking about what we do on Facebook, which usually gets some comment from our friends. The latest was my DH discussing how he’d cooked sausage in the solar oven.

    Eat the food: potatoes in multiple different ways. Tomato-onion salad with homegrown of both. The DH made another batch of beer. We made a chicken-lime soup for friends because we had some limes we needed to use up and they were coming over for dinner. Added some potatoes even though they weren’t part of the recipe, but we have the potatoes. The soup was delicious!

  15. dewey says:

    You’ll forgive me if “schecht” sounds like a noise made to accompany drawing one’s finger across one’s throat… :-)

    The herb CSA is a purely fantabulous idea, for more than one reason; I think it just might be a way around the regulations that essentially criminalize home manufacture of “supplements.” People could pay a chunk of money upfront to own a share of a “can’t say organically” raised herb garden, and you would then send their share of the harvest to them in whatever form they wished, with the necessary processing being free. You’re not selling a tincture; you’re sending people echinacea that is already their own property, which you just kindly agreed to put in a bottle for their convenience. (Appropriately dated contract upfront would be necessary.) Just like the cow-sharing approach: you’re not buying raw milk, you’re receiving the milk from the cow of which you are a part-owner. Of course this would be unmanageable at a large scale, so it might just be a mechanism by which little herbal producers can not just continue to exist but have a unique place in the market that the megacorps can’t usurp. I grow more herbs than I can find time to process myself, but (or perhaps THEREFORE) I’d sign up for such a CSA the minute you offered it. Or perhaps if I get laid off I will START one, if you don’t mind a little competition!

    Claire – I’m cookin’ in St. Louis too. The zucchini died two weeks ago, the tomatoes are either not fruiting or withering; beets and potatoes have done great. Hope to get the fall lettuce, beets and radishes in this week.

  16. Hello again!

    This is the first time I have looked at your site for a while. It’s interesting that you have been having really hot weather for so long. In Melbourne, we haven’t been having such cool and wet weather for a long time.

    However, with an election around the corner, I have an eerie feeling that the next few winters will be terribly warm and dry because the conservative, Catholic Tony Abbott is likely to win. Expert know that global warming is certain to move southern Australia into the heart of the desert belt, but they won’t make this public to the very conservative and apolitical suburbs who form the real Australia.

  17. Susan in NJ says:

    Happy Birthday Sharon. The only IDC going on around here this summer seems to be getting the business started and getting lots of dental work done (that’s prep right?)
    We have been reorganizing the basement (for better work areas) and apparently disturbed a mouse that was holed up down there and now confusedly runs around in other places.

  18. Sharon says:

    Dewey, I’d love to have you start one too – there’s a lot of stuff I don’t grow that well, and I’d probably join yours – or heck, maybe when the day comes, we’ll find someone in a desert and someone in the tropics, form a little herb mafia of our own ;-) , and be able to exchange all the stuff we can’t do ourselves.

    That was my thinking about the CSA – herbshare might keep me out of trouble.

    Sharon

  19. dewey says:

    I recalled getting a CSA herb share several years ago from a couple who also have an orchard and a published book on herbalism (some of you may know of whom I speak). I didn’t use all of the products, so didn’t sign up in future years. After this discussion, I went to their website and found that they are still offering the CSA as well as bulk herbs and also individual tinctures. When I saw the draft FDA GMPs, the first thing I thought is that this family would be run out of business. They make good-quality products in my experience, so I really hope they do not end up squashed under the treads of the federal government. Anyway, their CSA promises to deliver a specific amount of five or six specified products (except that they decide which tea blends you get), which at least gives people some idea what to expect. But I do think there should be a way to buy-in to more specialty herbs if, for example, you need hawthorn as well as echinacea.

    Another issue with the cow-sharing model is that you must own or co-own the cow to get the milk, so how this jibes with the CSA model whereby one pays every year, I do not know. By the former model, customers would buy a share of your back yard that they would then own in perpetuity. Perhaps (to take yet another page from Salatin’s “Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal”) you could charge a small extra “buy-in fee” the first year, and an annual “shipping and handling fee.” Salatin described, IIRC, once charging a penny for a cow and $2.00 a pound for packing and delivering the beef, or something roughly along those lines, to get around some state or localgov rule that prevented him from selling beef. Ironically, handling charges were not liable for sales tax, so the state lost a lot of money they could have collected if they’d just let him sell the meat. Or there may be another way around this – Salatin is just full of clever ideas.

  20. Anisa says:

    Here’s my update for this past week. Now to work on this week’s!

  21. Anisa says:

    Oops – hit the submit button too soon. Argh – ok let me start again! Here’s the update: http://anisaschell.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/independence-days-weeks-20-through-22/ And I still have to work on this week’s!

    Sharon – you are making me glad that my birthday IS in December. Happy birthday! I hope you do find time to relax!

    I’ve started to become disenchanted with our CSA – I’ve actually been feeling a bit taken advantage of and nit picked. :/ Hoping to work through this soon or else find a new CSA for next year.

  22. Pamela says:

    I had read a few years ago about a business in the U.K. that raised lots of seedlings and then boxed them up for backyard gardeners. They would provide a basic garden plan, based on the person’s ability level, and some ongoing support. Sounded like a great operation.

  23. Vicki says:

    We are in Connecticut, and we’ve been trying to find a kosher butcher forever. Please let me know if you decide to do this workshop. Several members of our Conservative congregation have expressed interest in buying local, and maybe we can work something out.

    My husband contacted some place in Florida about learning to become a shochet, but being Conservative put him right out of the mix! :-)

    I was recently appointed the Hekhsher Tzedek Ambassador for our synagogue (which sounds much more impressive than it is! LOL). Are you familiar with Hekhsher Tzedek? It seems really interesting and worth a push.

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