Thursday, July 2, 2009

A different kind of farmer....

Happy July!!

I've just spent a full on two and one half hours in the garden this morning -- pruning, mulching, coddling, staking, watering. I couldn't be happier.

First zucchini harvest: one perfect squash. Okra, corn, peppers, cabbages, all coming along. Tomato explosion of both large and small fruits, none yet ripe, but edging toward deliciousness.... Fried green tomatoes for supper, perhaps?

We're shortly off to pick up some seasonal loaner tomato cages with which to prop up the volunteers and other tomatoes which weren't trellised.

Scores of friends and neighbors have headed to the Belcourt this week to see Food Inc. and I, too, would enjoy seeing it, though suspect it will have to wait for DVD release. Have you seen it? Here's the trailer....

My boy, at 3 3/4 (40 lbs, 42") continues to be enamored of our CSA's farm fresh eggs ("Scrambled, please. With toast!") -- they are extraordinary. I do look forward to the day I have my own hens, though think perhaps my Mister will need to come around. Not that he's against them in theory (I wanted to marry him, in fact, when he told me he'd build me a coop), just that he's right about how swamped and over committed I am, how better I need to manage my time, and learn some moderation-- how I have other things to master first. Yes, yes. Patience. Start small.

Like, see me up there so round and peasanty? Next summer, you'll see a similar photograph, me still likely peasanty, though less round. Well, let's cut to it: not so fat. Leaner, stronger, healthier. For now, starting small. Bit by bit, bite by bite.

And, oh, hey! Did you see the stunning article in the New York Times this morning on urban farming?:
“We need 50 million more people growing food,” Allen told them, “on porches, in pots, in side yards.” The reasons are simple: as oil prices rise, cities expand and housing developments replace farmland, the ability to grow more food in less space becomes ever more important. As Allen can’t help reminding us, with a mischievous smile, “Chicago has 77,000 vacant lots.”
Go here for the full story.

Meantime, I'm off to get those cages and play with my boy child in the yard.... I'll be back later for Thankful Thursday.


  1. Oh Paige I do hope you get chickens, and soon. They're really not much work at all; there's of course a bit of set-up time in doing their coop and ensuring they have a predator-proof run but both those things can be built in a weekend with scrap lumber even. Do you have a dump? You can scavenge the materials in their construction area.

    Their daily care is no more than feeding those cats and dog. And they reward you with eggs. Three girls would keep you well stocked.

    That said, don't you love gardening? Today is my birthday (yay me!) and I took the day off and am spending the entirety of it in my garden then the school's garden for our weekly Weed & Feed session. Right now I am cooking up our first potatoes for lunch, with the last garlic scape, with some of our girls' eggs over easy.

    Happy harvest!

  2. Paige, you might be interested in my friend Stasia's blog at She lives in West Meade and has a coop - even a live chicken cam. Her husband built the coop last summer. :)

  3. El, thanks for all good words. Happy Birthday, too!! It's my sister's 40th tomorrow. As for the coop, I'm hoping hoping hoping for next year. Yes, three is all I want. If I can successfully demonstrate that I've become better organized and a better housekeeper, E may relent. I even had chickens lined up from friends and a girlfriend ready to come help me build and tend kids while we readied the coop this year, but... so it goes.

    Rebecca, thank you so much. Hadn't seen the chicken cam! Did you know that Stasia and I know each other? She used to work with Michele (a wonderful chef turned local / sustainable farming non-profit maven (now in Oregon) who just did her master's -- thesis on EGGS. I worked for Michele at her cafe here in Nashville, cooking and managing.... OH, the world is small and lovely! Stasia's Cameron is just older than my Ziggy by a year or so.)

  4. Rebecca, it looks like our worlds intersect in many places.... I note that you follow the Bramble Hill Farm Blog. The young couple running the farm now took it over for my dear friends Nancy & Tony VanWinkle. You know them? They're in Knoxville currently, he's teaching at UT, she's doing recreation and farming at a Montessori school.... Gosh, I miss them. We should get our boys together sometime, lady.

  5. Wow! The world is indeed small and lovely. :) My son Parker and Cameron are best buddies and the same age. I know of Michele but have never met her - Stasia talks about her often. And while I don't know Nancy & Tony VanWinkle, we are members of Bramble Hill's new CSA, so we see Brett and/or Stephanie each week. I would love to get our boys together sometime!

  6. Anonymous8:36 AM

    remember my friend lisa in nc?
    she and her family are doing the chicken raising thing and also have become beekeepers. she would be a great gal for you to speak with and learn from.