Friday, July 24, 2009

Seeds of Change and Holy Basil, Batman!!!

Aside from working in the fields, some of what I have been learning about is seeding or the first step in the germination process. We have these neat trays that looks like giant ice cube trays and they are filled with NTC's own special blend of organic soil and compost. Then painstakingly one seed is put into each little compartment. They hang out in the green house getting watered everyday until they start to sprout. This picture here shows several trays with seedlings at different stages. After they reach a good size, the trays are moved outside to adjust to the new climate and then eventually they get planted out in the fields.
One of the other things that happens in the green house is the wheatgrass production. We are a big supplier of organic wheatgrass to many local health food stores and juice bars. Don't you just want to lay on it?
Finally, this is the basil corner of my world. We grove thai, purple, cinamon, lemon, and sweet basil. (I think I got all those types right!!) Nearly everyday, one of the first things we do is harvest basil. It is best to pick it when it is still cool out, so the leaves don't wilt. The basil is destined for grocery stores, our CSA boxes, and farmers markets. It smells so nice and I like to stick my face in it!!! Oh, and eat it!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

tricycle, quail eggs, and picking plums

Just a quick one to show you this cute tricycle on the farm that we sometimes use to get around. There are lots of bikes here to get from field to field or field to barn but some of them need some TLC.... maybe when Christy and Dan come?
Also, a nest of quail eggs in the tomato field.
Next, I picked PLUMS! Here are a few not so great pics of that. There are quite a few fruit trees on the farm, so I will be doing more climbing in weeks to come. yum!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wild Wild West

The other day Chello showed off his rodeo skills and lassoed the sheep. The temperature gets well above 100 degrees so we had to shear them to cool 'em off. My job was to hold back Rex, my favorite puppy. Maybe someday I will be a rope swinger too, but somehow I doubt it with the whole vegan thing. The sheep and goats have it pretty good though, they have lots of space and get to eat squash and wheat grass among other things.... like black berries. I think some day though, they will get eaten by some carnivorous human. But, I enjoy having them here.

Wild Woman, Wild Flowers

I wanted to show you some of the flowers that are volunteers here on the farm. A lot of them I can use in the bouquets, but many, are covered with thorns. If Susie is reading this maybe she can tell me the names of some of this stuff? Also, maybe, I need one of those hand held thorn removers. Where do you suppose I could get one?So, I think a couple of these things are part of the thistle family. One, maybe the sorghum family, some grasses. I think the white fluffy one is Queen Ann's lace? Any how, I am having fun scouting for them and trying 'em out. Makes for a nice walk around the property with all this stuff in bloom.
As far as what is planted, we have zinnias, sun flowers (which I posted pics of last week), cockscomb, black-eyed susans, cosmos, and a few things I recognize but I don't know the names of. Maybe astilbe. I'll get out with my camera next week and take some more pics for everyone.

Something to Celebrate: Tiniest Pine Cones

I found these when we were out by the American River. If anyone knows what tree they fell off of, I would like to know. Maybe all pine cones start out like this and I have just never noticed. Dang, these are cute.

Puppy Love and Home Sweet Home

Today, I wanted to introduce you all to the puppies on the farm!!!! I LOVE THEM. Best dogs ever!! Here is Boanne, she hangs out mostly with the sheep and the goats keeping an eye on them and the ever cunning coyote. Next is Bella, she is the oldest at about 2 years, I think, and she is the sweetest, ever! Rex is my home boy though, he is a rowdy crazy dog, eats everything, barks like a mad man, but he loves people and is so friendly and affectionate.Also, here is my bedroom, a tent out by the bamboo forest. Next is the bunk house where we all cook, shower, and hang out. There are bedrooms in the bunk house, but everyone is tenting out mostly just to sleep under the stars and stay cooler. This is the kitchen actually at its best. It can get reallllllly messy, but I am trying to stay on top of it with out sounding too maternal.
Once again, here is more carrot love. I just can't help taking the pictures.... hope you like them as much as I do. Miss you. Love you. Bye.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Yeah, it's HOT! But, magic happens.

I find it hard to give you an overall impression of my time so far. It has been beautiful, educational, and hard work. Oh, and did I mention HOT? Everyone here is so, so nice and I am having a good time getting to know everyone and to do that my Spanish has been improving... well, bit by bit. I do miss having women around, more than I thought I would. There is a lady who works in the office but I don't see her too much. I can't complain though, all the guys are very sweet and total gentlemen and fun to be around. I am looking into yoga classes or a singing group or something so I can make some female friends near by.

Tomorrow I am doing my 3rd market. It is an easier work day physically, but my face hurts after smiling at everyone and expressing excitement about fresh organic vegetables. Which is legitimate, but work still in its own way.

So far I have been really focused on keeping up, learning the ropes and working hard. I thought I would have gotten lots of thinking done already by now but my brain does not seem to have space for it yet. I hope after I get in the grove... things will start to show themselves to me and I will start planning as to what to do next in my life. I however, am kinda emotional lately.... I think I just miss all you guys!!!!

So, this week I started picking flowers and making bunches for the markets. It is fun and creative and I am glad to do it. There is only a few flowers growing on the farm so I have been scouting for weeds..... I am sure I will find and learn more as the weeks progress.Also, here is my poor abused hand.... after scrubbing. Dang girl, you are so cute!

Carrots Show Love and Here it is.... the picture post!

New Homies and Poor Loretta

Hi all,
Sorry for the tardy posting. I am closing up the end of my second week on the farm and I wanted to catch you up. First, meet my new homies, my fellow interns on the farm. We went to the American River. Here is Ben, Asher, and Evan (don't know where Joe is). The river is so so beautiful and crystal clear and in the bottom of a beautiful canyon. It is about a half hour drive from the farm. Yay! I have been several times already.

ALSO, poor Loretta, she busted her radiator hose. Sad sad. Had to get her towed back to the farm. Good news is that my new homie, Asher, helped me fix it. Crazy thing though, when we arrived at the auto parts store in his jeep his radiator hose also exploded. Here he is fixing it in the parking lot. Some times when it rains it pours, in this case anti-freeze. Yikes. Thanks, Asher.