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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

beautiful Tuesday

Alright. I'm doing deep breathing and meditation this morning (oddly enough, combined with lots of coffee) in order to prepare myself for the daunting, daring, and dangerous task of....... raspberry picking.
I should keep a bee keeping suit around just for the raspberry season. I put on flip flops and I don't think that's going to cut it unless I really want to take my chances at the new poison ivy remedy pills I just got as I trounce around in the woods.

Ok, some Regina Spektor on the radio is increasing my meditation for CSA pickup week 2. Feels oddly like the hymns I grew up with, piano in the back and a nice vocal melody on top. I'm ready for anything today.

So I've been weighing out and looking up glyphosate, the chemical that kills weeds in products such as Roundup.  I see people spraying their driveways with this stuff, which makes me kinda giggle because I can't bring myself to care that much about a perfect driveway. If that energy was only spent growing potatoes instead of spraying their gravel... but anyway, back to glyphosate.
Europe is having their bouts of love and hate with this chemical. They've banned imports of Roundup Ready genetically modified corn and soybeans from the US. We're in love with genetically modifying things to take the weed killer Roundup because it does make commodity growing easier. The rest of the world isn't as sold on it as we are.
Here's a nice fact sheet which seems to give the pros and cons of glyphosate. And I like that they put in that bit about the endangered toads. I love toads.
http://www.pan-uk.org/pestnews/Actives/glyphosa.htm
I have a feeling there's going to be quite a few heated battles behind closed doors about this product. It's less toxic than weed killers in the past, but it's like -well, drinking bleach isn't that bad, we used to drink battery acid back in the day, bleach is waaaay better-. And it's odd that trees in hedgerows are dying on the edges of  Roundup fields. Makes you wonder what's really happening to the microbial community that we can't see but rely so heavily upon.

The wind is picking up. It seems like excellent weather to lay out in the grass and stare up at the sky... well, after checking the grass for sheep poop.
I'm picking up my beef on Wednesday and splitting it Wed. night for the 8 families 1 cow program. I can't wait. I love making burgers with cream cheese or chevre worked into the patties with some fresh herbs. It's like a cheeseburger with cheese in the burger. Gormet right there. Heh.

Ok, berry picking time!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

diapers

Holy Frack! How can this be legal???

I'm continually amazed at the amount and scope of chemicals that we interact with in everyday life without anyone being worried about the consequences.



Anyway, my new niece is due in a week. She's not doing well. She's tiny and the doctors are worried. I can't even imagine how nervous I would be in my brother's situation. There's nothing the doctors can do except hope for the best now.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

symbiosis - mushrooms and beef

While walking through my yard this morning among bottomless pens housing rabbits, I found the cutest little mushrooms springing up everywhere. There's a path from the rabbit cages - the farthest is super green lush grass that's got new growth on it and the next square is eaten down to nubs and is just starting to green up and the next square is just rabbit pellets and eaten down to nothing and then the next square is the rabbit cages.
What if instead of using Scott's Weed n' Perfect Yr Lawn chemicals, we used bottomless pens housing rabbits. The pellets seem to work wonders for the grass, and these little mushrooms make me feel good about restoring the symbiotic nature of... um, nature. I like to think about the bacteria and fungal life forms that I cannot see. I like to think about the network of earthworms below the surface that are working to aerate the soil and the microbes breaking down the earthworm poop and the mushrooms that feed on the freshly fertile soil.
I like to think about the soil web while I pay my bills online using this odd man made internet which of course humans first used for only spreading the most carnal images, but of course it's ascended into a higher calling of social media and congressmen sending "joke pics" to college girls. We may be smart, but we're still oddly simple minded sometimes.
I also got some garden oyster mushrooms for putting in my tomato beds this year. Double your crop with the mushrooms breaking down mulch into nutrients for the tomatoes and bonus - this is one fertilizer that you can eat too! Starting trials this week to see what these mushrooms like. I love mushrooms.

Anyway, the farmers across the street were running three tractors with all their lights on to plant corn last night. It looked like aliens took over and were running lines up and down this barren wasteland searching for something.
I drove past it on my way to escape the craziness and stress that weight heavy on me right now on my way up to Akron just to sit on a porch in "the city" thinking about life if I live in "the city" instead of in the country. I drove and thought about a cold beer and good conversation and just sitting without thinking of all the lists that I have to do. I had Nick Cave playing, which is both agitating and soothing at the same time, and I could almost taste the cold beer and fresh city air.
About the time I drove into downtown, I got a call that the cops were at my house trying to keep my little hoodlums from causing mayhem... aka, my sheep were out and standing in the middle of the road. Crap. Turn around, half hour drive back to the country, past the 3 tractors driving in circles, back to mend the jailbreak with the help of bright headlights while the sheep all look at me like -what did we do?
I know I love them, but man did I contemplate reaching for the 22 and making lamb burgers.....


Speaking of burgers, the beef is at the butcher now. If you still want to buy in to 8 families: 1 cow program, there's still spots left. Email me!
I'm really excited to see how an actual beef animal will do after being pasture raised. I like reading what other people are doing with feeding animals grass (novel idea) but I really want to taste it, not just read what other people think.
I am new at this, which probably is a good thing because I'm looking at the whole idea with fresh eyes. So far, the holstein is winning the taste test (cow A for you last year meat share members) but it doesn't yield that much meat. The marbling was great though and it was tender as can be.
I went to a seminar on grass feeding beef cattle this winter and this beef cow was at the perfect age according to this grass fed rancher in Southern Ohio for maximum yield and tenderness. I'm happy because the only thing left in my freezer is a goat leg and a couple hams from 2 years ago which I'm saving for I don't know what occasion. While I'm at the butcher, I might just see if she can get a couple bad lambs on her schedule too. That might make the rest of them stay in line a little better.

CSA starts in only a few weeks. Grow little cucumbers! Grow!