Moonlight Micro-Farm

At one time, I was a confused and spontaneous blog starter. No longer confused, I now do all my writing over at Moonlight Micro-Farm. I’ll leave this blog up for the time being as I like to refer back to my previous writings when I need a good chuckle. I’ll post a link every so often if I’m feeling spritely. Otherwise, see you on the bad side of the moon.

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Foraging for Golfballs

smgolfballs

I’m finally getting around to doing the foraging that I talked so bravely about at the beginnings of 2008.  I dragged the significant other along for company and we headed over to the Pt. Washington State Forest just a short walk from out house.  I took note the other day of two guys getting out of a pick-up truck, dressed in camouflage, along side the road. I surmised it’s still hunting season and best to don my bright orange bicycling jacket.  I carried a backpack with water, my Leatherman, clippers, gloves, plastic bags and my plant identification books.  The Sig. brought his camera and off we went to forage. Continue reading

Plant Families

oh, there’s just something righteous about harvesting your own food for lunch. The mini-hoop house is working out splendidly. The only exception is that the collards are stressed, though, the peppers are loving it. Today I harvested a head of buttercrunch lettuce, three radishes, a pepper and a salad spinner full of collards. I also started a flat of cress and a flat of rocket, which I’m intentionally calling ‘rocket’ instead of arugula. Maybe ‘rocket’ will become the new must-have salad green. I know, that’s already a reality, it just goes by the name of arugula.

Rocket is in the mustard, cabbage, or Cruciferous family. When learning about plant families, they are easier to remember when you can start to identify patterns of the different families. As example, flowers of cruciferous plants have 4 petal flowers, resembling a cross and the seed pods always form in a radial pattern around the stalk. Anyhow, if you grow you’re own rocket or other greens from the mustard family, let them go to seed and check out the flowers and seed pods.

The Mini-Hoop House

The Hoop House
The Hoop House

We’re ready for cool weather now, except we’re one week into January and it’s not here yet. My goal is to get a jump start on some seedlings. I am also experimenting with over-wintering a couple of heirloom Red Marconi pepper plants. The peppers are in the cages, in the bed just past the collards.

Dogfennel

Contrary to popular belief, I have not abandoned my blog.  I’ve simply found that more of my time these days is spent reading, writing papers and working on community and personal projects.  That doesn’t mean I don’t have material to blog about, I most certainly do.  For instance, the youngin’ is “individuating”, as my dear friend Cynthia likes to say.  That means my only child has moved out of the house, somewhat prematurely.  Another for instance, the mead has been racked and was a big hit at a couple gatherings.  One more, in my move toward a more abundant life, we now have a papaya, a granny smith, red banana and a fig tree planted in the yard. Albeit, a bit crowded in the space I planted, though they are in and seem happy for the moment.  Well, they aren’t ALL planted but that’s on my list of things to do today. Continue reading

Potluck

 

Events, daily happenings and course work  have spurred the blogging hiatus, which I’m briefly interrupting.

The graduation of the child and reuniting of all the various step, grand and parental “units” (as my sister likes to call the respective mother / father and their marital partner) went without a hitch.  Well, except the little one involving me making party arrangements at the wrong clubhouse.

Anyhow, there were other graduations to attend as well as a wedding, papers to write, books to read and projects to complete (still completing).

Among the projects is a Neighborhood Cooperative I’m constructing, loosely following a business plan model, with the intent of reuniting humans with nature and their communal roots.

The Blue Bag program is finally under way and there are talks of a CSA or community garden or farmers market???  I say “or” because it’s in the works and the specifics haven’t been revealed yet.

The Green Meets is attracting the attention of a sponsor, no specifics on this development yet either.

Today marked a culmination of these small events that represent a growing body of local, powerful, eco-conscious minded individuals.  The fringes of South Walton County are starting to infiltrate and with some hope and momentum this small corner of the coast may just prove itself in the green department.

Today a group of 14 of us came together for a potluck luncheon featuring local and regional foods.  The tables were set outside in the southern heat, under a canopy of pines, bound together with prayer flags.  The tables were covered with Sari’s and adorned with pickle jars filled with magnolias, produce props and beautifully mix-matched napkins, chairs, plates and glasses.  The representation of food was incredible: Gulf shrimp & fish ceviche, venison burgers, inkberry tea, blueberry-peach chutney over Mahi Mahi, watermelon water, spinach & duck egg quiche, pepper jelly, lima beans, pasta w/ local veggies, peach & basil tea, black bean & soy bean salsas, lemon balm & kaffir lime tea, zucchini bread,and cantelope & cucumber salad.  There were other samplings, though these were the staples.  Great food, great conversation with the majority of food coming from local gardens, farms, the Gulf, Alabama and Georgia.

 

Radishes Abound

The garden is well on its way to realizing its full potential.  One of my earlier goals for 2007 was to increase the garden size, which has been a success, though I’m already thinking of expanding.  Here’s the latest on what’s growing.

Cucumbers  Bed 1

On the left are miniature white cucumbers that will be working their way up the outdoor shower enclosure.  On the right is the first bed I put in back in November.  This was the one when tested, showed few nutrients and the carrots and beets have been floundering since November.  I’m surprised they didn’t rot away.  Anyhow, this is the hodge-podge bed of purple potatoes, chanterey carrots, garlic, lisbon onions, bull’s blood beets and thyme, all planted a bit too close together.

bed 2  bed 3

Bed 2 (L) consist of Bright Breakfast Radish started from seed, American Spinach from seed and (3) broccoli plants from my neighbor.  I’m trying the square foot method of gardening in this bed, which makes for tidier looking plants.  Bed 3 (R) has Rosa Bianca Eggplants (seed) and Bee Balm in the front (nursery), and Bloody Butcher (seed) and Yellow Pear Tomatoes (seed) at the rear.

Bed 4  harvest 2

Bed 4 (L) has the same tomatoes as bed 3, Eggplant, Rosemary and Sweet Red Peppers, both of these from a nursery.  In the far corner are (2) Romaine babies in one of the EarthBoxes.   Final, the second harvest, a handful of spinach and a radish.  I can’t show you the first harvest because we ate it already.  It was a handful of radishes eaten last night with this delightful butter and cream cheese concoction that you see in the corner.  Also in the garden but not ready for a photo-op are Arizona Cantelopes, Black Beauty Squash and another tomato plant in the Topsy Turvy, a gift from T.  All the new beds are a mixture of peat moss, topsoil and predominantly mushroom compost from Thos. Stein’s.