12/16/10 12:07 - 25.ºF - ID#53284
life in holland
we grew over 40 different vegetables this year. big winners were corn, tomatoes, hot peppers, and greens.
the farmer's market downtown was great.....when it didn't rain. it is absolutely horrible when it does rain. it is terrible to have to bring all that produce home.
this convinced me that we need to start a CSA next year. we're starting small, aiming for just 12 families this year. we will still sell at farmers markets, but the long-term goal is to grow the CSA because people at farmer's markets are so fickle. for now, we will only distribute from our farm directly.
one thing i LOVE is our chickens. mark got me 10 hens for my birthday this april. they are fun, and i view them as pets, not livestock. anyway, the eggs were a *huge* hit at market. so we got 30 more chickens this october, and they will start laying in march or april. the chickens live in the barn, where our farm is, and we have moved in to our house, about 4-5 miles away, in town.
it is much easier to make money from selling eggs than it is to sell vegetables. we have yet to make any profit on the farm (this year, our expenses were very high, and last year our harvest was poor). mark and i are hopeful and confident that year 3 will turn this around.
so i work as a bookkeeper on the side (i really like doing this, and i hope to expand this business.) and i also do income taxes. i do not like this job at all, but the seasonal work is exactly what i need.
Last Modified: 12/16/10 12:07
08/17/10 10:40 - 74.ºF - ID#52466
downtown farmers market
i wanted to let everyone know that i am selling at the downtown buffalo farmers market on thursdays. it's on main st, near lafayette square from 8am-2pm. so come over to say hi if you're free.
i have sold out of veggies almost every week (turnip greens, however, did not go over very well). we make about $100/week, which i think is pretty good for our second year of this enterprise.
Last Modified: 08/17/10 10:40
01/06/10 12:20 - 21ºF - ID#50753
i really hope it works out, we love the house, it's the perfect location, it has room to expand for our future pets and kids, and gives us a great base from which to run our farm.
11/05/09 07:35 - 38ºF - ID#50228
i really needed a job, so i went to the temp agency. it turned out that they liked me so much that they asked me to work for them, at their agency.
i now have a job giving other people jobs. i actually really like this job. and they really want me to stay.
i now have a dilemma.
i've been studying income taxes so that i can be an income tax preparer. i thought this would be the ideal job for me while i spend much of my time farming. pretty much because
1. tax season is January 15-April 15, which won't interfere with my farming
2. i am really good at math
3. i already know a lot about income taxes
4. the training only cost $80 (after reviewing my life, i realized that the only thing i regretted was wasting so much money on education that i didn't end up using)
i suppose i don't have to decide what to do soon, but i am wondering if i should stay at this job or actually switch to an income tax preparer job.
08/29/09 11:43 - 65ºF - ID#49659
a sad day (tomato blight)
but late blight came to our farm this week. one week ago, our tomatoes were perfectly fine. but today we were forced to pull all of our 450 tomato plants. the signs appeared on tuesday. by thursday, i was fairly convinced, and friday i was sure. it took me a full day to convince mark, but he gave in today as well.
late blight is a disease that exists all the time, but it doesn't usually appear until after tomato season ends (after the first frost). but this year, a major distributor of seedling tomatoes (bonnie plants, in alabama) delivered infected plants to walmart, lowes, kmart, and other large stores in that vein. so everyone who bought their plants from those stores got infected plants. and although we had started organic plants from seeds, we eventually got blight, because the disease travels by air.
rochester has had no tomatoes this year. and pretty much everyone east of us didn't have any either. it is really sad.
we were actually lucky. despite the cold, rainy weather, we got to harvest vine ripe tomatoes for about 10 days before we got the blight. we got about 50 pounds of fresh, red tomatoes and enjoyed every single one of them. they were so good! i love tomatoes!
today we harvested the remaining green tomatoes that did not have signs of blight. about 200 pounds. they will ripen inside, but never taste as good as they would if they were ripened on the vines. 450 plants should give a harvest of about 4000-5000 pounds. we pulled the other plants out of the ground, because keeping them there would only help to spread the disease.
here are some photos, although the disease doesn't show up nearly as well on the photos as it does in reality. there are black splotches on the stems, the foliage is dying, and the fruits have darkened, leathery splotches. it is suggested that anyone noting this disease pull their plants right away. there is no cure, not even pesticides or fungicides at this point.
close up of green tomato. the "dead giveaway" sign of late blight is the white powdery substance, which contains the spores that are widespread by the wind.
nasty partially red tomato that rotted away, also containing white powdery spores.
our large harvest of green tomatoes.
beautiful harvest of heirloom tomatoes from the previous day.
despite this problem, will we grow tomatoes again next year?
08/07/09 07:10 - 70ºF - ID#49483
get a job, hippie!
so I've been looking for a job for over a month now.
this has been so challenging! Whenever I've wanted a job before, I've always found one in two days at the most. but this time around, I spent an entire month. I was searching the want ads in about a million places and, of course, searching on the internet. I even went to two different temp agencies, but..... nothing!
I guess it was so hard because
1. the economy sucks these days. This has expanded my awareness of the economy a whole lot and I can empathize with people in rough places so much more now.
2. I now live in the country and it's much more difficult to find a job in the country than in the city.
This was the worst: I applied at an apiary (a bee yard) for a seasonal job and the lady told me that they run that ad in the Penny Saver every year and they usually get 5-7 calls for their two positions. This year they got over 50 calls! Man, it is rough out there.
I'd advise anyone who is just irked with their job to not quit right now unless you have enough to sustain you while you search.
So, after applying to 11 jobs, I finally got one. Probably the one I like best, because I'm getting paid to farm! And to work in a greenhouse. And it's full-time, year round.
I started yesterday; It's tough work! I was sure beat when I got home yesterday. You really work every minute there, except your half hour lunch and fifteen minute break.
I get paid $9.25/hour. This is pretty incredible, because I've looked around at jobs on farms before and they only pay about $4/hour, because they call them "internships" instead of jobs.
The only problem is the pesticides. (I don't spray them, but I can feel that they're there. And I've never eaten fresh-picked tomatoes that tasted like supermarket tomatoes before!) But I guess this just makes me appreciate our own farm even more.
The best thing, apart from the money that I desperately need, is that Mark has been cooking dinner for us! Yesterday, he made an amazing tofu/rice/boiled cabbage/swiss chard dinner and today he beat that by miles with his pasta with marinara and fried green tomatoes and mushrooms:
yum! what a great thing to come home to!
07/28/09 09:32 - 74ºF - ID#49405
This has been an amazing growing season for peas. They love cool, wet weather in the summer and will keep producing until the weather gets above 80 for a few days.
I have frozen over 45 cups of peas. Unfortunately, I do not yet have a full-sized freezer, so I can't freeze any more. We are eating and giving away as many peas as we can! We have been eating them fresh from the garden nearly every day for over a month. I just might turn green.
Here is the story of my largest pea harvest in a day.
It took about an hour to harvest these peas.
Here I am shelling the peas. This took about two hours.
Here is the result after I shelled them. (The bin in the back is the empty pea pods.)
Then I boiled them for about two minutes per batch. I guess this took about 45 minutes, as I had to rinse them in cold water afterwords.
I dried the peas before bagging them. This is so they don't stick together. ( I have since bought a salad spinner for this purpose.)
End result: around 20 cups of peas this evening!
I do not understand how Tops can charge only $1 for a pound of shelled frozen peas. This is a lot of work! Don't get me wrong, though, I am happy to have enough home-grown peas to eat all winter long.
07/01/09 10:49 - 67ºF - ID#49144
So many updates. The nursing school thing sucked. So I ended up quitting school, even though I had good grades and was more than halfway through. The life in the city, not for me. I found a good man, got married last October and we started an organic farm in Holland, NY this year.
I really, really like this lifestyle. I like working outside. I love watching my vegetables grow. I love Mark and I love being married. It wasn't something I dreamed about or really planned on, but it's way better than I would have thought.
We live in the barn on Mark's family's land. I like almost everything about living in a barn, except that we don't have a bathroom. I hate getting splashed when I use the outhouse, and I miss taking showers so much more than I ever thought I would; sponge baths just do not compare.
We just started to sell our produce at the Holland farmer's market, two weeks ago. So far we have sold radishes (they sell like crazy!), escarole, kale, collards, swiss chard, and arugula. This week, we've got tons of peas, so it's going to be our first big week.
I hope all my friends out there are doing great! I haven't looked at the sight for years I think. I was just inspired because Mark ordered a digital camera last night. And I thought, hey, I should get back in to blogging because then I'll at least have a use for the camera!
03/09/07 02:40 - 42ºF - ID#38410
everyone's in a good mood.
it's friday. it's sunnny. it's warm. there is an abundance of smiles going around in buffalo this afternoon. enjoy!
i'm outisde on the porch drinking a beer with (e:bridgette), and a couple other friends, next door to pano's if you happen to be in the neighborhood...
this feels so good.
my lack of a jacket gives me so much extra ability to MOVE. i have so much energy. i'm loving spring. i feel like a plant getting energy from the sun.
goin' back outside to get some more...
03/08/07 11:53 - 16ºF - ID#38405
10 good things about today
i had a seriously bad day. so many things went wrong, and i was having a hard time getting out of feeling bad.
so i decided to make a list of ten things that were good about today. and they had to be today specific (like, i couldn't say that i am healthy, because i am healthy every day.) it actually took me a while to come up with the list, but i stuck with it. and i do feel much better now.
here it is:
1. we got a whisk broom. we haven't had one for about a week. me without a whisk broom is like (e:paul) without a computer.
2. carlos, the UPS guy, who is one of the few people in buffalo who know my last name (peace) drove by when i was waiting for the bus, gave me the peace sign and shouted out PEACE!
3. i had this intuition that i would see someone i know while on mass transit today, and i did end up seeing two people i know. (actually three, if you count carlos, but i don't really know him...)
4. i had people to talk to. i talked to my nursing friend matt while in class and had conversations with three of my roommates when i got home.
5. i read the article in buffalo rising about our coop. i thought it was a nice article, and i was impressed with the quality of the articles in the magazine in general. (i don't know how to add a link, but if i did, i would add one here of that article.)
6. i learned something i have wondered about often. ever since i saw trainspotting, i wondered about the fascination with heroin. i saw people in the movie shoot up and immediately lie down. it didn't look that fun, but i always wondered why they lie down like that. it turns out (as i learned in pharmacology today) that it's because heroin makes your blood pressure drop a ton if you're standing, so you're likely to pass out. (your blood pressure doesn't change nearly as much if you're lying down.)
7. i chose to walk to the subway instead of taking the bus this afternoon, and i enjoyed the walk.
8. there was an absolutely amazing sunset this evening. there were clouds low in the sky and due to the sun tinting on the ub shuttle, it literally looked like those clouds were an ocean. i have never seen anything like that before. words can't suffice.
9. the weather was much warmer today.
10. i got my jeans back. i know i don't get excited about possessions, BUT for the past two months, i have only had two pairs of pants i can wear. now i have three. that is much better. (to avoid having my double x chromosomes taken away by admitting that i only have two pairs of pants, i want to say that i have many more pairs of leggings and pants that go underneath the two pairs of pants i have been wearing.)
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