Friday, May 25, 2007

help on the way?

3 recent college graduates, one the daughter of a friend, stopped by the farm yesterday to see everything and talk about gardening, herbs and sustainable living. they mentioned they had joined wwoof and were looking for a farm to work on for the summer. i mentioned we'd love to have some wwoof'ers at our farm.

the possibility is that they may very well just do that!

that gets my brain to scheming...

i'd love to get a fancy storage type shed and put it in as a guest house of sorts, complete with a wood burning stove for wintertime use (even if a volunteer wasn't here, i'd use it for spinning and such). we could even get a solar panel attached to it possibly to supply them with a bit of electricity. running water would be the only amenity they'd be missing.

we could get some strapping young men here to help with construction projects that need to be done desperately but that we (greg) lacks the time to do: patching the barn and shed roofs, building a solar shower/composting toilet type bath house, adding gutters to outbuildings to collect rain water, build the summer kitchen, etc.

i could use the help with: canning, harvesting, gardening, weeding, making my herbal products, going to the market on weekends (we could even possibly expand to markets in st. louis!), creating more raised beds, milking the goat(s), etc.

possibly even get some occasional babysitting for an evening if greg and i want to go out (gasp!)and so i can do some contract work outside the home to bring in more income and watch the animals for us when we take our vacations and go to conventions and such.

no, babysitting is not on the wooff'ers list of duties but it would be a bonus. finding a couple that has even their own small child would be great too so we could swap babysitting duties. it definitely opens up all sorts of possibilities!

i could desperately use the help in the garden, especially now since i have to hand wash all of our clothes and have an infant who is attempting to walk, which makes it very hard to work in the garden (and did i mention he also likes to eat everything he can fit in his mouth?!)

Monday, May 14, 2007

100-mile diet

i'm always trying to discreetly convert our household to the 100-mile diet. i'm not a fanatic about it to steal a quote from greg but i do try to add foods as they become available.

recently, we've switched to drinking illinois cellars norton wine. the wine is made from cynthiana grapes and is just as good as a good shiraz not to mention it is cheap. but, the best thing of all, the winery is only 58 miles away from us. our local grocer supposedly carries it but i have yet to see it on the shelves, even though i've seen it advertised in their weekly flyers and the website says they do. i think i'll go to the manager and ask if they could special order a case or two of it for me. it is a reasonably priced wine (ranges from 5.19 - 5.99 per bottle).

also, since i've switched to mostly shopping at my local grocer, i have discovered some more local products. i now buy a salsa that is made in belleville which is just a few towns south of us. also, their beef is local, grass fed, supplemented with only non-gm grains and hays and is antibiotic free. i don't think our local butcher can even boast that. i buy their bread that is not organic or natural but it is made in the bakery and has no corn syrup or preservatives in it.

i am fairly disappointed with their ice cream offerings though. nothing local or natural. they do have starbucks which is sinfully good but expensive and full of crap we don't need. time to start making my own.

i have been doing fairly good about eating mostly organic or natural foods. so good in fact that when we went to so mo saturday, eating a day's worth of crappy food did me in and my gut hurt so bad that night (not to mention i had really bad gas).

summer is a great time to establish a 100-mile diet since produce is abundant. i also have a side of beef on hold for this fall from a friend who raises them nearby. couple that with our retiring laying hens, wether and the possibility of venison and other wild game and we should be good meat wise. we have a crop of wheat growing so we'll see how the yields are from that.

i would love to just eat from what we grow and raise and can get locally but it's convincing everyone else that those bagels, flavored yogurts and ice cream (no one but jaden and i eat my homemade yogurt) and crackers are not necessary that is hard.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

April / May To Do Lists

april to do
-paint nina’s new room 3/4 done (need to paint new color, waiting on greg to finish moving his boxes out)
-make 2 solstice gifts
-b-day gift for mom
-finish kitchen: wainscot, flooring, strip wood trim (as time/weather permits)
-may cards
-curtains for dining room (found the fabric!)
-sew 2-3 more dresses for jaden
-sew 2 outfits (shorts) for sage
-write article #2 for herb magazine
-continue defining 3 new raised beds
-continue creating herb bed
-rough out new herb spiral/water garden
-start summer garden in progress
-mulch, mulch, mulch in progress
-continue trying to purchase kerosene heater and 2nd chamber pot (for wipes) watching ebay auctions in progress
-start watching ebay auctions for water filters in progress
-finish replenishing herbal products for market in progress
-bees! not happening this year it appears...hopefully we can at least get the equipment
-find housesitter for annual trek to colorado

this month didn't go so well, at least not according to this list. i got sidetracked a lot.

but, the garden is steadily coming along and i am progressing on things, just not as fast as i want to be.

may to do:
-ebay/second hand items search: chamber pot, kerosene heater, water filter, milk tote, s/s strainer, wringer, mini fridge
-finish herbal product restock
-water garden/herb spiral
-make invites
-sew dress
-dr/bath lights installed
-dr drapes
-summer garden in (beans, corn, squash, tomatoes, peppers, etc)

i'm leaving this month less filled to try to get more done if possible from my h.f to do list.
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