Tag Archives: Ozark Alternatives

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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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Penguin Peppers

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You know it has been a long season, when your plants start producing magical, yet comical fruits.  They must be saying to us, sit down and have a laugh, it’s almost over.

Not only are there penguin peppers, but peppers with funny noses:

These peppers are doing their job, showing us that plants can have a sense of humor too!

 

 

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!

Feeling the Fall

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Here on the farm we have been really busy.  We wrapped up one CSA season with good company and tall cans, and rolled on into the fall season with more good company.  I tried to think about the number of people who have shuffled through our door this season with the WWOOF program, or otherwise…and I couldn’t get an accurate count.  To those of you who know that you have been here, thanks.  I’ve enjoyed feeding and gossiping with you all.  I’ve really been enjoying this fall weather here in Fayette-town.  So mild, yet not quite coat weather.  For me, this signals apple season.  Apple pie, apple crisp/crumble, apple turnovers, apple sauce, apple muffins, on and on.

 

Here is a recipe for apple turnovers that is easy, and delicious

Apple Turnovers

(Simply Recipes)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large tart baking apple (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 Tbsp dried currants
  • 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed OR 2 pâte brisée dough recipes (enough for a double crust pie)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, cut into bits
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon milk

METHOD

1 Put oven rack in lower third of oven and pre-heat oven to 400°F. Butter a large baking sheet (or use Silpat).

2 In a medium bowl, mix together apples, currants, and walnuts with the sugar, cinnamon, and corn starch, making sure the fruit and nuts are well coated. Mix in the apple sauce and vanilla.

3a Unfold the thawed pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Depending on the size of your puff pastry sheet you are going to want to cut the sheet into either four 5-inch-by-5-inch or six 4-inch-by-4-inch squares.

3b Roll out your pie dough on a lightly floured surface to a 16×11 inch rectangle. Trim the edges to 15×10 inches and cut into six 5×5-inch squares.

4 Divide the apple mixture among the squares, leaving a 1-inch border. If you are using an already prepared puff pastry sheet, dot the mixture in each pastry with a little butter. (If you are using a butter pie dough, you can skip adding the extra butter.) In a small bowl mix the beaten egg with a teaspoon of milk. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg mixture on the border of the pastry.

5 Fold each pastry into a triangle, enclosing the filling, and crimp edges with a fork. Brush the tops of the pastries with more of the egg wash. Cut 2 or 3 small steam vents in the top of each turnover.

6 Place the pastries in the oven and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Cool turnovers to warm before serving.

If you have extra time (because we all have loads of this right?) try your favorite apple recipe and fill your house with the smells of the season!

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.

10 Degree Drop in Temp = New Perspective

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The weather has cooled slightly, instead of being 100+ degrees, it has dropped into the 90’s!  Some people don’t feel a difference, it’s HOT any way you look at it, but for those who work out in it, it makes a difference.  Plants hae bounced back, insects are flying around again, and we even got a little rain.  We wasted no time and got back out into the field, prepping and planting.

 

Planting a salad mix, and laying the drip line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planting beans.

 

 

 

 

 

Covering the seeds up.

 

 

“Sweet Jane”, came to us all the way from the great land of Long Island.  When she left here the other day, she had to return to start school again.  I don’t think she was very excited about it, she said that she’d rather stay in the field.  I agree, since I too am in school, and would rather be in the field as well.

 

The chickens are feeling the difference in the heat as well, their egg production is back up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s here!

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What’s here?  Where?  The frost dear reader, the pre-cursor to the dead of winter, it has finally made its frosty disposition known last night.  From an unknown source (weather.com), it said that it was only going to dip down to 36°F last night.  However, it dipped a few degrees lower than that.  Paul went out and cut basil by the bunches before it turned black.  We also built a fire.  At first it seemed a bit of a stretch at 8pm to be building a fire, but by 6:30 this morning it made sense.  Brrrrr!  I asked Pat, one of the Missouri angles less you forget how he slept in the RV.  He said it was pretty cold.  Jake was unavailable for questioning, for he just got a job in the produce section of Ozark Natural Foods, who by the way just installed 20 solar panels!

My camera is broken, and other randoms

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I feel like I haven’t been updating because I rely heavily on the images I post.  I don’t know why, my teachers in school always thought my writing held its weight on its own, but since my camera has been broken, I’ve been afraid I guess.  No excuse though.  So, I’m writing today to let everyone know what’s been going on round’ here, without pictures.

We had a wonderful volunteer come and go within the last two weeks, Sarah P.  She came to us all the way from the great land of Bentonville Arkansas, perhaps you’ve heard of it.  I don’t even have any pictures of Sarah, so I can tell you that she was blonde, had a lovely personality and smile, and was a hard worker.  I believe she had a nice time, she said it to my face, so I’d like to hope that it’s true.  Sarah, you are missed, thank you so much for your help!

The old birds have been moved to a new coop out in the orchard, to make way for the new birds to go into their old coop…that sounds funny when you say it out loud.  The new birds have out grown their apartment in the greenhouse.  I for one am glad to see them move, and get the greenhouse back.  I just went out to the orchard to see the new digs.  The chickens seem to be really happy, they have a lot of space to roam, and they are doing a great service to those trees by fertilizing them.  My main reason for going was to see my little angel Spaz.  I had heard from one of the brothers that he was a little escape artist.  Hard to believe with 8ft. fences.  I get out there and watch as all of the chickens run to the fence looking for a hand-out.  Hmmmm, no Spaz.  Maybe he’s in the coop I thought, then I look down and see him standing right next to me!  You ARE an escape artist!  I was so happy to see him.  I’m still not sure if he is a him, but nonetheless, he has feather…

UPDATE:  I had to quit writing just then, Paul had just come home and asked if I had tended to the birds in the greenhouse today.  “No” was my reply, usually the door has been opened by Paul.  Well, at that time i was just past three p.m.  I walk over to the greenhouse and walk in as Paul was walking out to a death scene.  There were a lot of birds dead, some almost dead and some very much alive.  It was horrible.  At first I felt very defensive saying that it wasn’t my fault.  I said “you didn’t tell me to open the doors”.  One might ask, Amanda, do you have to be told everything?  Well dear reader, I guess I do.  You see, I hardly ever tend to those birds.  I tend to things like my kids and the WOOF-pack.  I went back into the greenhouse to wrangle the birds that had escaped their enclosure.  I struggled putting them back in their pen.  I went to Paul and asked for help, but none was given.  Oliver said he would help me catch them.  He put on gloves, but I couldn’t let him, it was pretty bad.  I grabbed a big container and started to pull out the dead ones.  I stopped counting at around 15, at that time Paul came and helped me.  I would say at least thirty perished today due to my negligence.  It was absolutely awful, I was traumatized.  I hauled the container to the driveway and asked Paul if I should dig a hole.  He told me to leave them, I had to go to the nursing home to sit with a friend of ours, Ms. Barbara.  When I got to her place, she told me about her day and asked how I was doing.  I told her not so good, and let her know about the birds.  She said “Oh, that’s awful!” and then asked “Did you get crabbed at?”  I said sort of, if you consider the cold silence similar to being crabbed at.  And she said “Well, that’s just like a man.”  Dear reader, Ms. Barbara is 90, has dementia, but in my humble opinion is still sharp.  Then she proceeded to make me feel better, saying that these kinds of things happen, and could happen to anyone.  I told her I understood, but it had just happened, and my defensive feelings had turned to feelings of guilt and shame.  And being a Christian she said “well, just throw it out there to God then”, and she began to pray:”Dear God, bless Amanda and her family and those birds that are with you now Lord…”  I have no idea if birds go to heaven, or if God greeted them today, but when she was finished she looked at me and smiled and said “there, now the only thing to do is go forward with your life”.  I wouldn’t consider myself a religious person, spiritual, maybe, but by no means religious, however what Barbara did for me today was awesome.  I couldn’t have asked for a better friend to get me through what I was feeling.  At that moment, her cell phone rang.  She answered it and said “Oh, is this Paul?”  She looked at me and winked.  “Yes, she’s right here”, she handed me the phone and Paul said to me “Amanda, I just wanted to tell you that I love you, and that every things all right.”  Barbara had brought me up from 10% to about 95%  and Paul calling made me feel absolutely great.  As soon as I hung up the phone with him, Barbara clapped her hands together and said “See!  There’s your happy ending!”  I love that woman.  I still feel terrible for those birds who didn’t have to die, and the ones who remain have now been relocated to their new home in the old coop…whatever that riddle means.

The WWOOF-Pack

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I feel like I won an award and am giving a speech, so just hang with me everybody, I only have a few moments before they usher me off stage.  Ahem.  Dearest WWOOF-pack, you have been so very generous donating your time, for time is what all of you had to give.  I along with the rest that is Ozark Alternatives thanks each and every one of you…HOPEFULLY I have not forgotten anyone…so here it goes:

To Francky, the first WWOOF’er ever, you said you’d come back, we’re still here, thanks for calling.  Thanks for your help.

Christy and Conner, thank you, hope all is well.

E-Town (Eric), hope to see you soon, thanks for all the help you have given.

Jason, hope you found what you were looking for in the south, thanks for your help.

Shiori, you were awesome!  Thanks for your help.

Keyohei, I hope all is going well in Toronto!  Thanks for coming!

Hailey, where are you these days?  Thanks for keeping it real!

BROOKLYN!  Thanks for coming out you two, this is Will and Nora by the way.

David and Marine, you two were troopers.  It was so hot when you were here!  Hope all is well, thanks for your help.

McKenna, we didn’t say goodbye because we thought you were coming back, but glad to hear all is well in California!  Your picture is still on the fridge.  Thanks for coming.

Alex and Shannon, they stayed one day while traveling through, thanks you two!

Sam and Sally, we didn’t even get to meet, but I heard so many great things about you two.  Thanks for helping out!

Half-Time Zack.  Thanks for helping out when you could!

Alyssa Marie!  Hope all is well, thanks for coming when you did!

Annie G.  Hope school is treating you well, thankyou so much for coming out and helping!

Laura!  You swung a hammer like a champ!  Thanks for coming for the week!  You are forever on the wall at the CO-OP.

Pat and Jake, welcome back…again!  Thanks for the help!

Paul, thank you so much for all of the help, we miss you already!

To this guy on the right, a local Fayettevillian to whom I owe thanks, yet can’t remember your name, you too were a great help and thanks.

Beth Andrea!  Former intern, you were in there also, thanks so much.

Rose, volunteer extraordinaire!  Thanks for hanging out.

Jason B., also an awesome volunteer.  Thanks for your help and you need to come out again soon.

Emily, miss you already!  What a tremendous help you were.  And you’ll never know how much it meant to me that you were on time to breakfast!  Way to go champ!

Karen, thank you so much for coming to the farm to help!

Greg, he came for a day and helped out a bunch.  Thank you so much Greg!  Safe journeys.

Kyle, thankyou for coming to the farm.  Your help is much appreciated!

Now, I bet these girls were thinking as they were scrolling “Where’s our picture!”  Well, I put you at the end, because you know what they say.  Thankyou Courtney and Grace for coming to the farm to help out when you did.  Your help was very much appreciated!

Okay, okay, I think I thanked everyone I could in my alloted time, I’m getting the signal, the stage beauty is grabbing my arm.  If there’s anyone I skipped, please know I thank you too!

 

Bear Trouble, or Kung-Fu Deer

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I talked about the bear that ripped through the chicken fence, that more than likely was a karate-kicking deer.  Well, here are the pictures to back up my story.  Sorry Missouri Angels, but the silver lining is, there’s something to do when you get back.

This was what surprised me the most, this pole bent all the way to the ground!  Maybe it was a bear.

Waking up to this image over our morning cup of coffee was not fun.