We have an endless supply of potatoes in the ground her at Ozark Alternatives, and they’re for SALE (*wink*). Marine, Annie, David and I were digging potatoes, until Annie and David broke for dinner duty. We took a little breather when David brought out some wine, we were pretty much done for after that.
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!
After we pulled the garlic out of the ground, the next step was to bunch it together and hang it to let it cure. Once garlic is pulled, it is not dry like the kind you buy from the grocery store, it’s moist, still usable, but for any kind of storing purposes you must cure it. In order to cure garlic, you need to hang it in a shady spot, where it won’t be rained on and that gets plenty of air flow. Proper cure time is two to three weeks. We had a couple of places to consider, one being a tool storage area in the goat barn, the other being under the front porch of the office. We chose to hang it under the porch because it would get more airflow. Mckenna, Marine, Annie and David were the WWOOF team dedicated to getting this task done.
This task looks easy, but it was definitely a learning curve. Last summer, I hung the garlic by myself up in the attic of my house, near the opening with fresh air hitting it. It worked, but I think it was too hot up there for it. Garlic has to be kept somewhat cool…as cool as it can get in the summer heat.
Since these pictures were taken a few days ago, Mckenna has left the farm. She was needed in Arizona a few days ahead of schedule then she had planned for, so like the wind poof. It wasn’t a sad goodbye, they can be sometimes, but we seem to have a pretty good “swing back through rate”. So, like others before, McKenna will be coming back through at the end of July. She plans on taking David and Marine to her native Kentucky, Louisville, to visit and see the sights. She’s even going to bring them back that crazy girl…but I’m glad somebody is, they have a two month commitment here.
Shiori and Keyohei have also taken leave of us after six weeks of service. However, as old friends leave, new friends arrive, to swing a mattock in the heat of the day, all with smiles on their faces.
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.
I was really pleased to know that a neighbor of a friend of mine reads my blog. When I saw him recently the first thing to come out of his mouth was how I had a “buy local” sticker on my foreign automobile. The second thing was “You need to update your blog, and with close-ups of all of your hot volunteers!” I’ll try my best Dale, and for the record I think he meant hot, as in it’s hot outside and therefore they are hot…it’s just a guess. Like I had said before, on day one of the CSA we received Nora and Will from Brooklyn. Shiori and Keyohei were here as well. A few days after Will and Nora’s arrival, Hayley also arrived from Albuquerque.
Everybody, this is Will. He’s planting cucumber seeds.
Crew cleaning onions while Oliver just watches.
These were some great people and great volunteers. Thank you Will and Nora for bringing Brooklyn to the farm, and to any future Brooklynites who are interested, BRING IT!
Today we were supposed to welcome two WWOOF’ers coming from Little Rock area, originally from Japan, Shiori and her friend Kyohei. Unfortunately someone hit her car as they were preparing to leave town. So, we will welcome them on monday instead. In other news, Farmer’s Market take two tomorrow. Paul, the kids and I will b e standing out in GORGEOUS weather hustling. I’m so glad the weather will be nice. Last week, if you read, rained and only a few people showed up. Hopefully the crowds manifest themselves tomorrow. Also, to all of the Mother’s out there, Happy Mother’s Day! I can’t forget to call mine tomorrow, I’ve been so busy, I didn’t even mail a card…I feel bad Mom. I LOVE YOU. It’s because of her that I have a green thumb. What a true inspiration she has been in my life. Shiori, Kyohei, we will see you Monday afternoon. To all of my other WWOOF’ers past, I hope your journeys are going well. Thanks for the post cards ; )
Tomorrow we start the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks Farmer’s Market, weather permitting. There is a high chance of rain, but not until 1pm or so…so “they” say. All day today we have been doing chores getting ready for market. I haven’t gone to this farmer’s market before, even as a patron, so I’m not sure what to expect. I’m full of all sorts of apprehension, trying to drown it with a doughnut and blogging.