Category Archives: DIY

A lot of Sowing and Growing

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SNOW DAY!…(again).  Where was this snow in December when I wanted it?  Now that it’s March, seeds in the ground, it’s hardly the ideal weather.  However, it is giving me the opportunity to catch up on…this?  Yes, this and a few other things that I’ve been meaning to do.  We have had some cool volunteers come and go since January, so let me take some time to let you know about them.

1

This is Evan (Ohio). Megan, and John(California).  They were all here around the same time, late Jan., early Feb.  Evan is still around, but will leave us April 1.

2They did all sorts of planting, seen here putting in potatoes.

3

Jennan came here from Austin for her Spring Break.  Although she was only here for a week, she helped on a lot of tasks around the farm.  4

This is Brian, he’s local, but really interested in the farm way of life.

We’ve been planting, and taking time out here and there because this spring it is actually acting like spring!  It’s been a few years, right Arkansas!  The last few years, it got warm very early, good for crops, not for bugs.  Hopefully this will make our summer more mild…I’m no mystic, but I like to be optimistic.  (rhyme time!)  But we are back to our usual up and down weather pattern typical for this area.

 

 

Here it is

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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!

 

Ode to Cilantro

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There are many people out there who DO NOT like cilantro, there are even websites dedicated to those who HATE cilantro.  Well, I’m not one of those people, in fact I’m PRO cilantro.  I’m glad cilantro only grows in the spring and the fall, otherwise my kids would join the other cilantro camp because it would be a part of every meal!  I want to share today my favorite way to enjoy cilantro: Cilantro Pesto!

All you need to make this delicious concoction is some cilantro, a food processor, salt, garlic, and olive oil.  You might be asking yourself, self, is this like making basil pesto?  And your self will answer back, YES!  If you go online, there are many recipes to choose from, and I say pick one.  If it has too many ingredients, skip it, because the flavor of the pesto will be covered up.  Here is how we make it:

Cilantro Pesto

1 large bunch of cilantro

salt to taste

1 cup olive oil

4 garlic cloves

Directions:

Place all ingredients in food processor, blend until incorporated.  Taste it to see if it meets your needs.  More salt?  More garlic?  And oui, là!

Toss this pesto with some freshly prepared pasta, or rice.  We put it on everything!  A dollop on some salad, a smear on a burrito, even on pizza!

Cilantro lovers unite!  Try this tasty alternative to basil pesto, and this yummy way to enjoy the love of my life which is, cilantro!

Hoop House Hoopla

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We’ve been really busy here on the farm, our main project right now, on top of EVERYTHING else is re-erecting the Mothership.  If you aren’t a 2-greenthumbs superfan, let me fill you in.  Last march our hoop house, the Mothership, was blown down in what we later found out was a F1 tornado.  Look back into my archives, there were pictures and tears shed.  But NOW we are putting a new Mothership back up, better than ever.  There were lots of hands involved in this, there are some pictures on my other farm blog Ozark Alternatives and I will add some more here as well.

 

I would just like to add that we also pulled the roof up and over!  There are no pictures of that, because all hands were on deck.  FARM LIFE!

I Like Farm Friends

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The other evening, we were out, and when we came back there was a present waiting for us. A farm friend from down south in the land of Greenwood Arkansas swung by, waited, and left leaving a very nice present.

Thank you David for the home-made soap and the home grow loofah!  Are you trying to tell us something?  For any of you locals, David’s wife makes and sells home-made soaps at Ozark Natural Foods here in Fayetteville.  Her brand is called “Dixie Flower Soaps”  They are exceptionally delightful, for we have received some of them before.  So be sure to check out her products on the shelves.

More, More, More

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More HEAT, means less harvest and more canning!  The ladies kept up their kitchen wrangling and canned more peppers.  This time we used what gloves we had, which were latex, and that was our fatal mistake!  Note dear reader, that when you can any type of hot pepper, you must MUST wear gloves!  But not just any type of glove I learned.  As we started to chop, we all got the tingles in our fingers, then the tingles turned to a burning sensation.  I said “Gloves OFF!” and we went to the store to buy some blue nitrile gloves, but the damage had been done.  I whipped out my handy iPod touch gadget and looked up pepper chopping and glove choice.  Apparently the molecules of capsaicin are small enough to transfer through the pores of latex gloves, so says the internet, and my burning hands.  So, keep that in mind if you choose to participate in the fun that is canning hot peppers.  Nitrile gloves, or rubber kitchen gloves!

Our method was to de-seed MOST of the peppers, so that there would be some heat in the jar, but that they wouldn’t be so hot that you can’t taste anything for a week.  They turned out pretty good if I do say so myself.  What’s that?  You want to know the method?  Alrighty, I too had to look it up and found an ever so useful blog, where the writer said that she has not worn gloves and been fine, but when her kids want to help, she does wear gloves.  Do yourself a favor and wear gloves.  We canned in half-pint jars, so adjust your recipe accordingly if you decide to go bigger.

For half-pint jars, pack the jar full of peppers, leave a head space.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of canning salt and fill with a mixture that is half white vinegar and half water.  So for a full pint, put in a full teaspoon of salt, two teaspoons if you are canning a quart.  You process in the hot water bath for ten minutes.  It’s the simplest thing I’ve ever canned, no cooking involved!  The prep is what will get you!  So remember the NITRILE gloves.

It seems like all I’ve done is take pictures of people working, but don’t be fooled.  I was in there, educating, chopping, and…taking pictures!

I recommend that you give pickling peppers a try, it’s so easy, and they turned out really tasty!

Ozark Alternatives

Spring Has Sprung

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When the weather gets nice, people do some crazy things.  Here in the yard we got our PLANT on.  We tackled collectively the victory garden beds in front of my house.  We planted all sorts of seeds, different lettuces, different herbs, and I’m sure there was something else I’m forgetting : )

This side of the row: REEM.

That side of the row: also REEM.

That one there, with her tounge hanging out is our newest WWOOF’er Alice.  She comes to us from the great state of California.

Plant everybody, plant.

Snake: REEM

Grace: REEM

When you get help that is OCD, they make sure the lines are straight!

Thanks again to all that came and helped.  It was fun having a few new faces appear.

BAM!  Teamwork is awesome!