It took me a week to get these photos up, but good things come to those who wait. If you don’t see yourself here, it’s not because I didn’t care…Thank you too!
It’s been a long season, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of strangers, who turn into friends. Thank you to WWOOFUSA, as well as WWOOF, for helping farmers and volunteers connect!
You know it has been a long season, when your plants start producing magical, yet comical fruits. They must be saying to us, sit down and have a laugh, it’s almost over.
Not only are there penguin peppers, but peppers with funny noses:
These peppers are doing their job, showing us that plants can have a sense of humor too!
The weather has cooled slightly, instead of being 100+ degrees, it has dropped into the 90’s! Some people don’t feel a difference, it’s HOT any way you look at it, but for those who work out in it, it makes a difference. Plants hae bounced back, insects are flying around again, and we even got a little rain. We wasted no time and got back out into the field, prepping and planting.
Planting a salad mix, and laying the drip line.
Covering the seeds up.
“Sweet Jane”, came to us all the way from the great land of Long Island. When she left here the other day, she had to return to start school again. I don’t think she was very excited about it, she said that she’d rather stay in the field. I agree, since I too am in school, and would rather be in the field as well.
The chickens are feeling the difference in the heat as well, their egg production is back up.
This past weekend, Paul, Jonathon and I attended the Southern SAWG conference in Little Rock. I believe, without looking it up, that SAWG stands for Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. The conference lasted Friday and Saturday with Wednesday and Thursday being pre-conference field trip days. Our local food CO-OP Ozark Natural Foods provided us with a scholarship to attend the conference. In exchange, we helped at their table at the trade show, marketing organic chicken and goat feed that they now sell. The conference was very informative, offering many sessions of classes. One in particular that I enjoyed was a class on flowers, taught by Mimo Davis. She was born and raised in New York City, and moved to St. Joseph Missouri and started growing flowers. She had no prior experience in growing anything before. I love stories like hers, because she’s so pumped up to let everyone know that they can do it too. It’s somewhat a leap of faith that few take. Just think about it dear reader. There was a strong Northwest Arkansas farming presence at the conference which was nice to see. Everyone was so excited to see each other, because when you farm, you’re always on your farm FARMING…you rarely get out, and you like it that way. There was also a large youth population at this conference, which was very encouraging. Last year, when Paul and I went to the Arkansas/Oklahoma Horticulture conference, it was all old people. Really old. So to see young twenty-somethings, in their puffy vests and dark rimmed glasses, hipster chic was great. These young farm folk identified with the 99%, they said so in a note that they left in an upstairs lounge. Farm advocates, who put up a petition to “FREE THE DUCKS!” at the Peabody hotel where the conference was held. It was eventually taken down…those rascals! There was one woman who was there, her name was Severine, and she was promoting a documentary film she had made called The Greenhorns. She had organized a “mixer” for young farmers in the hotel across the street. When the hotel realized that more than 40 young farmers were going to attend, they cut off the line. So a mass of young’uns came back to the hotel where the conference was and reassembled, and to tell you the truth, their party was probably a lot more fun…but maybe Severine could tell me otherwise. We also had the chance to meet Alice, from BROOKLYN, who was representing Certified Naturally Grown. She organized a meeting of local farmers in our area who are Certified Naturally Grown, to get together for potlucks throughout the season to see each others farms and see what each other are up too. It was a very informal and quick gathering, but everyone who sat down was more than happy to open up their space. For those who lived far out in the sticks, those closer to Fayetteville were opening up their homes (to strangers more or less…does knowing someone’s name for 10 minutes count as acquaintances?) Alice was very surprised, that kind of hospitality was being offered. I just told her “Welcome to Arkansas” and a few people replied “Yep”.
Ozark Natural Foods, our local food CO-OP, sent out some representatives to take our picture to put above the produce section, along with other local farms and farmers who sell to their store. Store Produce Manager, Pauline Thissen, has been a pioneer in publicising the importance of local foods to the area and is a steadfast supporter to many local farms. It’s been a long time coming to get this picture taken, but it finally happened and should be up in the store by next week.
Something tells me Isaac had the camera, but I’m not so sure.
We’re all starting to congregate in front of the hoop house.
(L-R)Jake”Snake”Jones, David Dallago, Marine Champion, Patrick Jones, Paul Chapracki, Amanda Wunderlich; (Front) Jonathan “Disco” Bame, Isaac Chapracki (in lap), Oliver Chapracki (with fist raised), Pauline Thissen, and Laura (I don’t know her last name, she’s our latest WWOOF’er from Missouri.)
Things were starting to get a little out of hand.
I’m sure Paul took this picture. He really wanted them to get some “Depth of feild” and gaze into the hoop house for the shot.
This shot is definitely one of Isaac’s. He is notorious for butt shots.
He also took this picture of Marine.
It was so hot this particular morning, we were all a little batty.
We all had a great time though.
Here are the pictures of the table from the day we sold out of our wares at the farmer’s market. It was very hot this day and also the tomato tasting event held at the Botanical Gardens, by the Ozarks Slow Foods movement. Remember they bought several varieties of our tomatoes for the event.
The sign that mentions “Certified Naturally Grow” caught one woman’s eye who had a few bags full of produce. She came over and asked a few questions about what it meant. She said to me “Thanks for the information, I think I just bought produce littered with chemicals!” I didn’t want to tell her she was right, but we are “certified” to tell you that we DON’T!
Blackberries, Okra, Chocolate Stripes, Peron’s and beautiful flowers.
That’s pretty much all she wrote. Everything flew off the table and it was a great feeling, I’m not going to lie.
Throughout this year I have been a canning instructor to many a WWOOF pupil. This last time I was able to fly solo and therefore speed up the process. I like canning all alone. No offense to any of those I’ve shown the process to, it’s just a nice thing to do in peace and quiet. I brought my computer along and watched the movie Bruno with the commentary on. It’s amazing what that guy was able to get away with. In the end, it was me and 27 jars of blackberry jam.
Thanks Bayard for letting me get your kitchen hot and steamy while you were out of town.