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So, I am really not enthused that this is what it takes for me to make a post here. I have lots of things to say about my projects, post crossing, month of letters... conventions, you know, the stuff I do to keep busy. ;-)

Talisu and Eric arrived at Eastleigh about 6:30 this morning to find that the cow barn roof has collapsed. Two cows died, some others are injured (4), mostly dehydrated and hypothermic, four more walked out on their own, but are being watched because of the stress. Milking started at about noon. I helped by shoveling s*#t, bringing cows in and out, and feeding them.

Donations are welcome: monetary (there is a paypal button on the web page), but also bleach, ALL Free & Clear laundry detergent (no dyes or frangrances), towels, and blankets.

We ended the day with more snow. Fortunately I don't think there was much accumulation.

Here are some of the news links;, with a quote from Talis.
Channel 5 WCVB,
Channel 7 WHDH
and Channel 4 WBZ.

The Herald and Fox had incorrect information that is just painful to read. The Herald did have some quotes from the owner, but the number of cows dead and what they were doing was incorrect. They were only getting ready for their morning milking, and the reason there were not more cows in that barn was because they are wicked smart, and were already up in the yard outside the milking parlor... I was having some issues with getting the videos tonight; hopefully they will be fixed. I think the transcipts are available, but the pictures are really what fills in the story.

Talis was complimented by a number of people; From someone who knows someone I went to high school with; "Yes! Talis was awesome! She was all over helping get the cows out, giving them meds, totally kept her cool through the whole debacle. A very awesome young lady!" and I was told by the woman who runs the Framingham Animal Control that Talis was pretty wonderful and fabulous and level-headed.

At the time of the quote in the Boston.Com article, T was exhausted, but that was only the middle of her day. She moved the bull out of the cow yard into the next yard (I helped her clear the gate of snow so it could be opened) and she and Cindy milked 60 cows, starting about noon, and cleaned up, and got out of there around 4 pm. Farm management did not cope well with the disaster (the owner was out of state) and she reamed out Talis for various things, too out of control to even listen, then T blew up at her. If I had had my wits about me, I might have told them they should get a grip. As it was, I had left (I thought) to go get the car, but the front door had never been opened, so I was stuck in the outer foyer and heard all the whole yelling. I am not impressed with management at Eastleigh, but I love the cows, and the people other than management.

I have a bunch of pictures over on my face book page... Eventually I will get them over here, but for the meantime, go look there.

It has been a very exhausting day.

And to top everything off, Sudbury Savoyards Pirates of Penzance opens Friday.It should be great! Everyone should go see it, really. David did the lighting design, I am running Front of House.
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I don't know where to start telling you about Eastleigh Farm. I started doing the Cape Ann Fresh Catch fish share there three winters ago. The people have aleays been great, the atmosphere is just wonderful, cows, animals, hard working nice folks, who really care about the farm, and the animals, and anyone who expresses an interest. Talis started milking there this summer, four morning milkings a week (and sometimes more, if they needed her), getting paid in milk adn ice cream. She was good enough that Cindy, the barn manager, gave her her own lime of cows after about three days. Cindy says Talis is a natural. When T was driving home from camp on the West coast, Cindy would ask me when her girl was coming back... she missed her. Having someone who was passionate about the cows and her job is, I guess, uncommon these days.

There is a wonderful video of the cows, and Georgette Jowdy talking about the farm here

So, Eastleigh is in some financial trouble. There is a foreclosure auction next Wednesday, October 23. I have been reading articles in the local-to-Framingham paper and the related articles linked from that one, and all I can tell is that they have a mortgage of $30,000 per month, and the town has rejected buying the development rights (I think they say it is too expensive... ) and is waiting to see if the farm can gain a conservation restriction...

Talis would love to buy the farm, run it differently, add more educational aspects... However... Donations can be made to: Eastleigh Farm Education Trust, 1084 Grove Street, Framingham, MA 01701.

Talisu says I should be praying for a major miracle to save Eastleigh Farm from foreclosure next week. Donate what you can; this is the closest large farm to Boston, and it would be a shame for it to go to real estate. Make it a non-profit, learning center with a working raw milk dairy farm...

I wish I had the hutzpah to raise some unknown large amount of money.

I have other thoughts about the last Thursday farm day of Heirloom Harvest 2013 season. Garlic planting is this Saturday, and the final pick-up is Sunday. Then the farm goes to bed for the winter.

But it is late, and I have a full day tomorrow, so, good night, all. Please pray for our farm, and the cows. It is very sad just thinking about them.
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Last weekend, I finally managed to pull enough spoons together to make two batches of hot pepper stuff using mostly Serrano, some Fish, ans some Czech Black: 7 pints of a generic hot pepper jelly (apple cider vinegar, sugar, peppers and pectin), and 7 pints of Singpore Chili Sauce (white vinegar, sugar, garlic, grated fresh ginger, raisins, and peppers).

Today was a very long day on the farm, with a 20#/17 item share not including all the take somes or all the PYO's. More on that later.

Today's share included a bunch of scotch bonnet peppers, some black Czech, a few Fish, and some serrano's. I am planning some hot pepper jelly, using the scotch bonnet's. Should I seed or not seed, and who is interested in which? I think I have enough to make two batches. Oh, and which size jars? Small or medium? or some of both?

Any one interested (I know some of you are hot sauce fans)? or should I give it up as a lost cause before I even start?
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19 July was a lovely day to harvest; not too hot, nice breeze. I harvested squash, eggplant, peppers.

1 red cabbage,
3 cucumbers,
1 green squash,
1 yellow squash,
3 green peppers,
1 Asian eggplant,
1 black bell eggplant,
3/4# beets,
1 bag shiso (Japanese herb),
3/4# basil,
12 stems green kale,

Take some: tomatillos, hot peppers, okra

This week's fish: striped bass. Yummy with a light marinade of fresh herbs from the farm, lemon juice, garlic, and canola oil.
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I seem to be a week behind... and I can't find my list, so something is missing and will have to be added later.

1# carrots,
2 cucumbers,
1 head green cabbage,
2 green squash,
2 yellow squash,
12 stems green kale,
1 bunch scallions,
1 Asian eggplant,

Take Some: hot peppers

PYO: herbs (oregano, parsley, summer savory), green beans

I harvested squash, eggplant, 12 quarts of green beans and 12 bunches of oregano for the Attleboro pickup.

Fish this week was pollock.
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Last week, 5 July, 2012:

1 head lettuce,
1 bunch swiss chard,
1 bunch beets,
1 green cabbage,
1# carrots,
1/2# pac choi,
2 green squash (zucchini or Kusa)
5 yellow squash (yellow straight neck, patty pan),
3 cucumbers,
1 bunch green onions

PYO: 1 quart green beans, peas, herbs and flowers

Take some: chinese cabbage, basil tops, hakurei turninps

I seem to be the squash queen again this year. I harvested 212 patty pan from ONE bed, and 288 yellow straight neck from 2 beds. Found triplets in the kusa bed: overlooked squash hiding underneath ended up almost as long as my forearm, and weighing a lot. There are 8 total squash beds right now, and the other days don't seem to be remembering them all every week. Hopefully they will learn.

Fish this week was BLUEFISH, yummm. Right now I am really liking everything I try from Jane Brody's Good Seafood Book

Sad news on Eastleigh Farm, one of their workers and staunchest supporters, Edgar Pless, passed away in his sleep on Tuesday July 3. They were reeling from this and still floundering a bit, as Edgar had been at the dairy since the beginning, and although he kept small notebooks, had an awful lot of information in his head. He was 65.

Yesterday was an especially busy day, as when Talis called Sunday (in tears, she was missing Winnie, us (Mum and Dad), Dakota (except he was not picking up his phone AGAIN this week) and her knees really really hurt, but through the tears she also said she was having a good time. And said that there was a space opened up on the extension part of the trip (sailing the boat back to St. Maarten from Trinidad), so I spent a bunch of yesterday finding out about costs and changing tickets (impossible from an international departure for a one-way ticket, but I can get a voucher for the ticket amount that she has to use within a year). SO, she;s all set, now returning home on August 1. :-) It's a good thing I do not have work outside the house, as Winnie really likes being with people.

But in and around doing this trip work, I got an incredible amount of stuff done yesterday, not necessarily in order done: emptied dishwasher, cooked breakfast for 2, ate for 1, walked dog, spent loads of time on hold trying to work something out for Talis (finally resolved at $450 for the additional 6 days, plus return flight investigation), ate lunch while on hold, balanced 2 auctions from ConCertino weekend, tended 2 hives, put honey supers on both (yes, I know it's late, the hive bodies are HEAVY), cut pine branches away from blue hive in back, dragged away said branches, swept downstairs linoleum (front hall, kitchen, dining room)... made Interfilk deposit, went to large puppy play, walked dog again, made dinner for 3, washed dishes, made plane reservations (booked return ticket from St. Maarten, yes, on Jet Blue again, as there are 2 hours between flights) and paid for extension...

Here is the Broadreach link to Talis's trip journals. It links to the one Talis wrote about the 4th of July, about their day doing community service on Montserrat. You should read them all, and look at the pictures. Please let me know what you think about Talis's writing ability. [I think she does a pretty good job, is much more detailed that almost all the others, but I may be slightly biased. I think I should cut & paste this into a word doc so Talis can use it as an example of her writing...]

This morning, I took David to the 6:23 train (there is something just magical about mist rising off the lakes and ponds early in the mornings, makes me smile), and decided to go over to the farm to drop off the boxes from the back of my car. I had made arrangements to pick up some used honey supers later in the morning, and needed to room in the car. So, Winnie and I arrived, he got out while I transferred boxes to the barn, finding all sorts of new and wonderful smells to explore. We went out into the fields to pick green beans, and peas (whatever we could find of snap peas, mostly gone past, but still enough to make it worthwhile), and herbs and flowers. Got some nice summer savory and oregano, Winnie had lost patience and wanted to walk, so flowers will have to some another day.

Must make another post to cover ConCertino, Talis's trip and extension, Winnie, early morning mist over ponds, social, Harvard Square Theater closed... Readercon, death and dying and what we leave (or don't leave) behind; I know there's other things that I have been thinking of writing about, but never have the time to sit and just write.
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Last week's haul:

3/4# pac choi,
1 green cabbage,
1 Chinese cabbage,
2 zucchini,
1 yellow squash,
1# carrots,
12 stems green kale,
2 heads broccoli
take some: garlic scapes.

Fish share: blackback flounder,
Neptune's Catch: lobsters (boiled Friday, eaten Monday for lunch after ConCertino).
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Last week's haul:

1 head lettuce,
1 bunch Swiss Chard,
1# spicy greens,
3/4# mizuna,
1 Chinese cabbage,
4 zucchini (2 zuccini, 2 kusa squash),
1 yellow squash,
17 garlic scapes

Fish share: hake. Yummm.
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Farm Share, 14 June 2012

bunch beets,
bunch radishes,
1 kohlrabi,
1# spicy greens,
3/4# mizuna,
4 heads lettuce (today, all green),
12 stems green kale.

Fish share, 15 June
yellow tail flounder.

Kale chips seem to be the best option so far for me for using up the kale in a timely manner. They are easy to make, they disappear when I bring them to parties, and I like the brilliant green. :-)

Roasting beets, cauliflower and kohlrabi gives some nice textures. I braised the last of the Hakurei turnips with Auntie Arwen's Fines Herbes and garlic, then threw the greens in at the last minute to wilt; they were also consumed at Sunday at the Park today. For the rest of the week, I foresee lots of green salads. :-)
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Summer fish share began today; 2# grey sole fillets. Yummm. :-)

I broke out the dehydrator full time again tonight with the summer's first bunch of green kale chips. Garlic, fines herbes (Auntie Arwin), lightly salted, with olive oil.

Yesterday's farm share, x2, as I also prepare and drive boxes to Attleboro: including Hakurei turnips that took the ENTIRE morning to harvest. If they were bigger than my thumbnail, it was unusual. I kept thinking that we should be thinning the beds, but then I remembered that the last few years, we got bunches of turnip greens in the share, and actual turnips a few weeks later. It has been a *very* early spring.

bunch Hakurei turnips,
bunch beet greens,
bunch swiss chard,
bunch collard greens,
bunch red Russian kale,
3 small heads cauliflower,
2 heads lettuce,
1# pac choi.

And yesterday was definitely one of those "if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes" kind of days. Brilliant sun, then pitch black clouds, rain, sun, lather, rinse, and repeat... not like todays' downpours and thunder and lightening, but still...

I asked about rhubarb, as one of my tasks the first workday was to walk the rhubarb bed and cut down the flowering has been an early year. Farmer John said the rhubarb is not sizing up well this year, and he got more complaints about the rhubarb being too skinny that he is note going to harvest until it is of decent size.

I am feeling in need of dinner parties. After this weekend, which will be NSECE both days, I have 2 cases for my other project, and that will be it, unless I want to travel. I should know when/where sometime this week. Otherwise, it's back on unemployment until PISA starts August 23 with training in Rockville, MD.
persis: (Owl)
This is one of the reasons I love working on my CSA.

Not only did I harvest wonderful broccoli, but I have awesome people to work with.

There was this baby snapping turtle, walking in the road today as people were coming in from the harvest. Loren took him back out after we finished looking at him. I wonder how many other turtles hatched with him; he is so small I think he is barely out of the nest. Unfortunately, he is excellent great blue heron food.

Does any one have any tips on how to add pictures here on DW? I am trying to add pictures of the snapping turtle, but no luck. DW does not appear to be able to add pictures from a file instead of a URL...


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