Tag Archives: community supported agriculture

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

Swing and a miss

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I just pulled out my onion crop, late.  I kept thinking they would do more, they might have one last fight in them.  Sadly, I was mistaken.  They were a fright.  They were such a fright in fact that I won’t even post a picture, some no bigger than the day I planted them in the ground.  What in the heck happened?!  I’m so confused.  Last year I had an epic crop, with little to no attention paid to them by me, or anybody else.  I know you all remember the pictures.  You’ve all been fastidious readers of this blog, keeping up on every detail.  No?  You dont’ recall off the top of your head?  Hmm, let’s see.  Here and here.  Yeah, this crop looks nothing like that.  See how those onion tops are HUGE.  Well, these didn’t even reach a third of that height.  Ughhh.  I’m simply disgusted.  Has anyone out there had a similar experience they would like to share with the rest of the class?  Please leave a comment.  And to the rest of you….well, try growing some onions so you have something to share too.

Hanging Garlic

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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.

 

Garlic all tied together on the ground, and the team trying to figure out the logistics of it all.

 

 

 

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.

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.

 

For Mr. Dale

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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.

 

Kyohei and Nora in the hoop harvesting potatoes.

 

 

Part of the “Take” before being washed.

 

Everybody, this is Will.  He’s planting cucumber seeds.

 

Rose kicking butt as always.

 

A picture courtesy of Isaac.

 

sweatshirts?  Yes, remember I’m behind in posting all of these lovely pictures.  Nora ate as many peas as she picked, if not more.  You would too, they were AWESOME!

Crew cleaning onions while Oliver just watches.

 

Kyohei and Isaac cleaning radishes.

 

You want to know what I love about Jonathan?  He’s a thumbs-upper.  Those are my kinds of people.

 

Hayley keeping it real…and forgive me girl if I misspelled your name.

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!