Monday, March 10, 2008

Hot Peppers, Cold Night

Monday, March 10, 2008

5:45 PM and I haven't begun to adjust to daylight savings time yet. It's so nice to have sunlight, especially in late afternoon for trips down ice laden walks and down the road with Karl the wonder dog pulling after hyperactive red squirrels and slow-to-fly mourning doves confused by evening. I'm tired today from fighting off a virus and too many consecutive hours on the computer at work. I'd rather have physical tiredness from a garden hoe than eye strain and a mind that can't shift past first gear.

Since the snow did not leave this weekend despite inches of pounding rain, temperatures in the forties and strong winds, we are left with only a mental journey into spring. To me there's nothing like fresh garden vegetables and although it's a long time until garden produce will be ready from Vermont soil, we can dream.

As I was just looking for some zinnia pictures I had stored who knows where on distant external drive "k", I came upon some pictures I took years back of a pepper project Alex had going. I can't remember now what the exact story was but he had a few of this and a few of that and it was the summer of drought and high temps in August and the peppers did well. They did very well! We had bowls of peppers in the kitchen all winter and strings hanging here and there that lasted until one dropped to the floor and then Karl grabbed a mouthful of Thai hots and some other fairly mild pepper that still made him talk nasty dog talk for a while. In the interest of good dog health, the strings of pepper were relocated to Never Land and we made it to the next planting season.

Thoughts of vegetables made me think about community supported agriculture farms and how great they have been for many. We have one in each direction and although we don't belong to either, I can recommend both with the highest of recommendations. Just looking at their websites make me feel good and the social and educational relationships they cultivate are equally as rewarding as the baskets of fruit and vegetables you take home every week.

Down the road from here is Wellspring Farm CSA We have had the opportunity to watch this farm grow from the very first year when Mimi and Parker stopped by here to introduce themselves. They have done a great job marketing their CSA, and their website is fun to look at. At the end of each year they have a members party and they record the festivities on their site. This past year they added a video that's fun too. One thing I like is an agriculture poster they found somewhere which mentions homeland security. There is no doubt that locally produced food is our real security and there's nothing better. Neat thought and a good reminder to why CSAs are the way to go.

On the other side of us, as in beyond Peacham Pond two or three mountains and a couple valleys is Old Shaw Farm and their Down on the Farm website. I've been reading this one almost since it started and this CSA is growing just like the two kids. Peter and Maryellen chronicle the events in a very nice blog with good pictures of their kids and farm and some good sounding recipes.

Finally there is Walt Jeffries well known blog, Sugar Mountain Farm. I have been reading this since we began home schooling Alex. I was going to add the link here for a long time and just never got that far. Walt wrote the other day inquiring about agricultural greenhouse structures for raising animals and that encouraged me to get with the program. Since pigs have always been one of Alex's favorite animals, he enjoys the blog too. Today we learned how to estimate the weight of a grown pig. The instructions are easy to follow but I sure would like to be standing there with a video camera watching someone wrap a string or measuring tape around a sow's belly to get the girth measurement. Click on "estimate" and see what you think!

There's still a bunch of winter left but it's not too early to think about spring and insure that you have a good garden plan and either have your seeds lined up or a source for plants. I have one order left to place myself with Johnny's Selected Seeds, Albion and Winslow, Maine. This company has been around since 1973 and it's one of the best.

One last thing. If you find a good source for Russian Banana fingerling seed potatoes, drop me a line. This is a seriously delightful potato and I haven't planted any for a couple years. Try some and you'll know why I'm looking.

A second "last" thing:

"Don't waste time trying to teach a pig to sing. It wastes time and it annoys the pig."

From the mountain about Peacham Pond where Gail just left with a neighbor for a basketball game in Danville and I'm left with dinner duty and a sink full of dishes left from....where?

Good gardening thoughts.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
and don't forget Vermont Gardens
or Vermont Flower Farm


Frances, said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cabs said...

Do let me know if you find any of those Russian banana potatoes! I want to try some

joey said...

As always, I certainly enjoyed my visit on your descriptive site, George. Your colorful veggies and flowers are a feast for the eye. Do hope you are feeling better. Please know you are not alone ... we woke to a winter weather advisory this morning ... the advent of spring is well hidden here also.