Category Archives: drought

It Was a Scorcher Today

Standard

Growing up in the Central Valley of California, where summer temps reach the 110° F or warmer, I thought I knew heat.  It was mother loving HOT today.  A friend said last night that when you have a fan going in a blistering hot house that you turn it into a convection oven.  Well, I believe I’m fairly well done now.  “They” said that the temps would be between 105°-107°F, yo no sé, all I know is….what was I just saying?  Sorry, I’m a bit sun-scorched.  One day, I’ll live in a house with air conditioning, but right now I’m putting in my time, on this whole homestead thing…I’m earning my stripes so to speak.  Chime in though, tell me I’m crazy.

See more pictures, of Heidi, Laura and I doing our thing at dusk, because that’s the way we do it around hrrrr.

Visit:  Ozark Alternatives

And thanks : )

Advertisements

It’s a Christmas Miracle!

Standard

Today around noon, I was out watering some green bean plants in the heat, in vain, thinking, I should blog about this…and then thinking no, people don’t want to hear me bitch all the time.  I swear, everything I want to write about is how the weather SUCKS, and is uncooperative in the summer.  It’s depressing fighting the good fight.  It was so hot earlier, that I would spray my feet here and there, because it was too hot to stand on the dead grass.  Occasionally I’d step on a tiny pebble and jump, because the pebble felt like a hot coal.  Too hot to stand on the dead grass!!!!  We took a break around 2pm, to grab some late lunch.  Out of nowhere, clouds rolled in, then rolled through DUMPING RAIN (!!!!!!!!!!) all over this region.  Good thing I watered!  I was so happy, I almost cried.  We needed the rain.  And by we I mean for all of us Northwest Arkansas, this rain was for all of us!  Thank you rogue storm, now my rain barrels are full and the ground is well watered!

Texas June

Standard

 

Dear readers, within the past few days another reader mentioned crying because she had to sell her cattle herd because she could no longer afford to feed her mammas and babies anymore.  Well, readers let’s give this a look-see.  I listen to NPR in the morning sometimes, and throughout this summer, Texas has been in the headlines.  Here in Arkansas, we were included in the high-pressure system that sat directly on top of the Lone Star State.  Now what does this mean?  Why should we care?  We’re talking about ways of lives, lost due to the worst drought in Texas history.  Texas has kept weather record for the last 150 years and this was the hottest, dryest year on record.  I haven’t seen it first hand, but the more I’ve read from news sources it speaks of the burnt landscape, all over Texas, land scorched from the blistering heat, or from one of many wildfires.  Now,I don’t know if you know this, but Texas is big cattle country.  And?  Well, Ranchers, who have built up their herds for the past 40-50 years are having to sell them at auction because they can no longer afford feed costs, bales of hay at record prices $65-$85 a bale.

So what does this mean for you?  Nationally you’re going to see meat prices rise.  The economic impact of this drought so far is 5.2 billion, with a B, and counting.  It’s not only the cattle industry that’s affected, but the cotton industry, and also winter wheat production.  Please continue reading more about this.  It’s something to consider, and our friend Texas June.  I’d like to type out that all will be okay and the universe will right itself, but this is one weather related incident that may have a lasting impact.  Everyone do your rain dance for Texas.

It was so DRY!!! How dry was IT?

Standard

My goodness gracious.  It has been so hot and DRY lately, things are dying all around us.  Lawns are brown, trees are loosing their leaves, the people are wilting themselves.  Team WWOOF is so bored, I can tell.  They spend a lot of time, all day usually, watering.  You see with the CSA, we can’t let things die on us.  Our customers are depending on a crop.  Let me rephrase that.  We could totally let it ALL die and the customer would have to understand, because they signed a piece of paper, and something like drought is part of the liability.  But we’re too nice, and since we have a lot of help and it’s too hot to do much else, we put a hose in their hand.  It’s funny, because as I type this out, it is currently raining.  The rain, which has only been going on for about 20 minutes or so has prompted me to write about the dryness, because I’ve been needing to.  One of our CSA members asked me the other day how things were growing.  I let him know how tough it’s been and how some things are just wilting away.  He totally understood if the bags were empty for the next few weeks.  He shared the story of his garden with me.  He said he and his wife had been gone for three weeks.  Even though they had someone watering it for them, they returned and their garden was dust.  This “heat wave” that the weather man has talked about has lasted for two months now.  It’s more like a heat tsunami!  This wave won’t leave.  I guess my message to you dear reader is respect the fact that there is produce at your grocery store, and there are many, MANY factors that go into its survival.  Uh oh, the rain knew I was talking about it, it just stopped : (

Buzzy Day Today

Standard

Up with the sun, and we got more accomplished before 9:30am than most.  Early this morning, Paul went up to Lowell Arkansas with a new farm friend Butch Wilson, to pick up a bee hive.  Butch and his wife came to the Slow Foods potluck held here about a month ago and noticed that there was a hive at the back of the farm.  Since he and his wife grow a garden, he said that he couldn’t support what we were doing in that way, but would like to help out in another way.  So, Butch and his wife purchased a bee hive for us, to help pollinate the crops.  Thank you Butch, and your wife, I feel bad that I don’t know her name, for your generous contribution!  Also, a few representatives from the CO-OP, Ozark Natural Foods came by to take our picture to go up on the wall in the produce section of the store, and interview us for their newsletter, or possibly their blog?  I’m not sure, I was in and out of the conversation, but we were interviewed about the operation.  Lastly, about 20 highschool/college engineering students came out for a tour of the farm.  Paul and Jonathan took them around, and with their enthusiasm, I’m sure these folks were wowed.  Then it was lunch time.

 

Life is a funny thing

Standard

So the tomato tasting “contest” was more of a tomato tasting “event”, held Sunday at the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks.  The Ozark Slow Foods Movement is the group that hosted the event, and they purchased Peron, Chocolate Stripe, Mexico Midget, and Grape Cherry varieties from our farm to put into the tasting.  There were 60 varieties for the public to choose from.  Paul says there were well over 200 people who waltzed through the hall.  I say “waltzed” but they had to put in their time in line, which went out into the parking lot.  Paul and Oliver walked over to the Botanical Gardens, whilst Isaac and I wo-manned the farm stand.  There was a woman who walked by and said: “The Mexico Midgets were delicious!”  I thanked her for the compliment and we talked tomatoes for a bit.  She must have talked to Paul inside the venue because they were not marked as “Ozark Alternatives”.  This woman told me of the ones she was excited to taste and was sorely disappointed, and the ones that surprised her like the Brandywine variety.  It was $5 to enter this event to participate in the tasting.  I wish I could have seen the crowd and the line, I don’t know if I would pay the $5 to taste, I don’t enjoy tomatoes enough to want to taste all of them…shhhhhh!  Don’t tell anyone.  I mean don’t get me wrong, tomatoes are awesome, I like them on a sandwich, I feel no need to explain myself any further.  If you come by my Farmer’s Market stall though, I’ll tell you how good they are!

The same day at the Farmer’s Market, we sold out of all that we brought.  It was a good feeling, I must say.  We had pints of Blackberries, several bunches of flowers, several quarts of tomatoes and a few of Okra.  All of it gone.  The crowd was all jazzed up about the tomato tasting so they were in the mood to buy.

I wore my bonnet at the market that day and at least ten people complimented me on it.  I couldn’t believe it.  Usually I get a “that’s nice”, but really they’re thinking of Laura Ingalls Wilder, or Mother Goose.  This day was otherworldly!

I was recognized at a busy restaurant today at lunch, by a complete stranger.  He said: “You look familiar.”  There we were, for what seemed like minutes, me saying nothing.  “Where do I know you from?”

“I don’t know”.  Is my reply.

“But I’ve seen you before”.

I’m shaking my head, I have no idea who this is, not even the slightest inkling.  I’m usually great with remembering faces.  “Do you go to the farmer’s market?” I ask.

“YES!  Yesterday.  You sold me blackberries!”  He says and points at me.  I look down at his little boy, I remembered his face.

“Aaaahh!  Yes.  I did sell you blackberries!”  Ha ha, and I walk away.  It was a very surreal and awkward experience, but flattering at the same time.

Lastly, Paul gets an email from someone who says that he spoke to brothers in a natural foods store in Missouri.  They tell him all about the farm and their experience on the farm.  He’s intrigued, and apparently he has spent time at both Dripping Springs and Foundation Farm.  Hmmmm….I wonder who those brothers could have been.  I don’t know anyone from Ava MO.  Life is sure funny sometimes.

Basil, what to do when you have too much

Standard

We had scatter-seeded basil in the hoop house back in April.  Now, there is so much, that it needed its own space.  So team WWOOF transplanted some in this August-like heat.

Watering in the basil before removing it.

Missouri angels pulling up the basil babies.

David and Marine transplanting the basil to its new home.

Pat transplanting.

El Fin.