Category Archives: Isaac

A little Orr-chard maintenence

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Our neighbor, Sir Richard Orr (The lion-hearted), is a certified arborist.  We needed his help the other day trimming trees, specifically the fruit orchard that we put the chickens on.  Those trees had never been trimmed and were in need of serious help.

Richard’s advice was to get Zen with it.  Here he is telling Jake about the exciting world of tree trimming.

Richard let everyone have an opportunity to make cuts.

Phone went ding*

As you can see, these trees got a TRIM!

The Master at work.

Grace is taking a picture of her feet right here.  I found it funny to look over and see this happening.

The chickens were eating the blossoms.  It looked really pretty to see them frolicking among the downed branches.

This was a different kind of tree than the others.  It had a whole new set of challenges, but remember: ZEN.

Almost done with this mad tangle of a tree: zen zen zen zen zen zen zen zen zen!!!!!!!!

And last, but not least, Isaac showed up to hold a chicken.  AAAAWWWWWWWWWW.  That chicken was very zen.

 

 

 

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CO-OP Shots

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CO-OP Shots

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.

Life is a funny thing

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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.

How I spent my 30th birthday

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We started off by playing hookey from the Sunday farmer’s market, shhh.  It was very nice to not have to get up early and schlep everything in the truck and schlep it all back, but it did feel like I was skipping school and quite possibly was going to receive a call from the principal.  Paul did the honorable thing of making breakfast for all of the WWOOF’ers and the family, and we went to work on the farm (not me).  We shared lunch as well, and McKenna surprised me with a cake and candles, then she took off for Arizona.  THANK YOU MCKENNA!  And everyone else for keeping the secret cake in the fridge a secret.  After lunch Paul took the kids and I out to the “country” to visit Mark Cain who owns Dripping Springs Farm.  Talk about one of the kingpin growers in this area!  We had been invited out on several occasions, but those of you who glance in this blogs direction or share the same profession know that the farm never sleeps.  But it was a special occasion, so we went.  I wore my bathing suit, because I had heard of this epic swimming hole and I was ready to wash the 20’s out of my hair!  This farm is off the beaten path, traveling for mile on nothing but dirt roads, did I mention epic?  Mark was very nice, taking time to show us around and talk about all of his goings on, we’re such big farm nerds!  I feel like I didn’t take enough pictures, but I have some to share, I hope Mark doesn’t mind.

Isaac was asking if he could have a pepper.

Mark picked Isaac a ripe one, purple mmmmm.  I’m glad he did, because Isaac might have ripped half of the plant off.

Inside one of his hoop houses.

This is the outside of the structure.

A view from the inside corner.

 

Another hoop full of snapdragons!

Isaac kept thinking this whole process boring, and kept trying to drag me to the creek.  I wanted to go badly too, but I also wanted to finish the rest of the tour.  Don’t you realize where we are Isaac?  This is Dripping Springs!!!

Onions drying upstairs in his barn.

Garlic curing downstairs in the barn.

 

There are no pictures of the creek.  It didn’t occur to me to bring the camera, but for good reason.  The creek/swimming hole was magic, heaven on earth, see to BELIEVE!  So, you’ll just have to volunteer some time to gain access…and it’s totally worth it!

An exciting day of harvest

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On this day, the team harvested potatoes.  Shiori invited two of her friends from Fayetteville to come over and help, their names were L.J. and Hirona.  We also received McKenna, she came to us from Louisville Kentucky on her way west.  I can’t forget our newest recruits, David and Marine, coming all the way from Toulouse, France.

The team found snake eggs

Digging up more eggs.

After I told the boys that they had found snake eggs.

Everybody is interested now.

Roy giving everyone a lesson about snake eggs.

Hirona.

L.J.

McKenna.

David and Marine.

How we spent our father’s day

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Father’s Day, does it always fall on a Sunday?  Sundays are our Farmer’s Market day, so we watched all of the daddy’s with their children, young and old.  Channel 5 news was there, a local news outlet here in Northwest Arkansas and they interviewed Paul, Oliver and Isaac about Father’s Day and what they were going to do for their Dad.  I have a link posted.  We were the first to this market with tomatoes.  Lest you forget we sell at the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks, every Sunday, from 9am-2pm.  Also, I take that back about the first with tomatoes, that accomplishment was shared that day.  Another vendor had tomatoes also, they weren’t quite ready, but it’s important to be first.  The people are tomato hungry right now and I don’t blame them.

Paul and Isaac at the farmer’s market on Father’s Day.

 

Later in the day we sat and prepared garlic to cure.  Here is Shiori doing an amazing job.

 

Action Packed Father’s Day in Washington County

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Action Packed Father’s Day in Washington County.  Here’s the link to our Father’s Day news spot.  The clip at 10pm was much better, they gave a shout out to Ozark Alternatives.  This must be the 5pm clip.