It’s canning time at Black Sheep Farms. We are up to our eyeballs in mulberries! After successfully making strawberry jam a few weeks back, I decided it was time to try my hand at something else. Lucky for us, we have several mulberry trees to provide us with oodles of juice for jelly making. We’ve made three batches so far and have not even used half of our juice! But we’re calling it a night. This farmgirl is too tired to make any more. Our jams and jellies will be available for sale soon, so be the first to check it out!
Comet's Purple Toes
Posted by blacksheepfarms on June 26, 2008
The farm was quite sweet today. As soon as we arrived, I detected a deliciously sweet scent in the air. It was the same sweetness I encountered last week. It wasn’t the apples growing in the orchard, and it wasn’t Brian (although he’s such a sweetie . It was the delightfully sweet German Chamomile. We planted lots of Chamomile this year. Mixed with lavender, it makes a fabulous beverage on a cold autumn night (and a pretty nifty iced concoction as well.) The first harvest was last week. If you excuse the mosquito swarms, it was one of my favorite farm chores I’ve had to date. The smell was intoxicating! Think the sweetest apple, with a slight floral scent thrown in for fun, and then you have captured the scent of Chamomile. We also have wild chamomile growing all over the farm, so you can smell it all over the place. Yum!
Posted by blacksheepfarms on June 23, 2008
Today was harvest day at the farm. While picking peas this afternoon, I was reminded of my Grandma. I have fond memories of sitting on Grandma’s back porch shelling peas. It is the perfect project for kids! I’ll have to remember to plant extra next year so the boys will have plenty to do to keep them occupied on hot, June days. I couldn’t help sampling some peas as I picked. Why don’t people eat raw peas more often? They’re delicious!!!
Posted by blacksheepfarms on June 20, 2008
At the farm, we are eagerly anticipating the arrival of fruit. We have Alpine strawberries, apple trees, apricot trees, Concord grape vines and raspberry canes. While they are not close to ripening, the growing fruit gives us the chance to dream… homemade jams, pies, juice, maybe even some cider and apple butter.
Concord Grape Buds
In eastern Nebraska, we have been experiencing many thunderstorms and more rain than usual. According to Weather.com, the official rainfall so far in June has been close to 7 inches, which is twice the average. While this has caused flooding in some locations and has delayed our work, our plants love the attention. Rain is the result of seawater evaporation, and it contains trace minerals that groundwater and tap water lack. The soil and plants crave these minerals, and they grow better when Mother Nature sprinkles them.
Posted by blacksheepfarms on June 12, 2008
Recently, the media buzz has been focused on another food recall. This one is about salmonella contamination of tomatoes. The problem is not with the food itself but the handling of thousands of tons of produce. It is not practical to expect clean food at industrial volumes.
The recall extends back to mid-April. It’s nearly mid-June. The government cannot protect you from contamination by asking for voluntary recalls two months after the fact.
In the history of the United States, there has never been a recall from products sold at a farmers market. Do you want safe food? Get out of the grocery store.
Posted by blacksheepfarms on June 11, 2008
As I have been preparing my presentation for The Nature Conservancy, food has been on my mind. An enormous problem with our food system is that no one really knows what they eat or how it is made. It is a shame that we have relinquished control over our food system to companies who create foodlike products with “commodities” like corn and soy derivatives. Healthy local food produces healthy people, healthy economies and healthy communities. When we gave away our traditional foodways, we sacrificed everything else.
Like the cartoon? Check out http://www.NatalieDee.com for more.
Posted by blacksheepfarms on June 2, 2008