Right now, I’m in a contemplative mood. The farmers market is winding down, and we’re getting ready to move onto the farm full-time. Our family is making a huge transition, and it reminds me of why we started this journey in the first place.
It was largely intangible. We were drawn to become farmers because it felt like what we needed to do. Kelly and I wanted to have a deeper connection to our food, to Nature and to develop a sense of peace in our lives. We wanted to commit ourselves to learning and teaching about local food. We wanted to develop self-reliance, both for ourselves and our boys. We needed a change in our lifestyle.
We only decided to pursue this a year ago. There have been many new experiences, a lot of confusion and a sense of disbelief that this has actually been happening. Two years ago, I was a shopper at the farmers market. Last year, I was a volunteer. This year, my family and I were vendors.
Our journey from the city to farm is nearly complete. Our first year of planning, growing, harvesting, selling and learning is nearly complete. Thankfully, there is no end in sight. We’re planning for the next few years, and they look exciting.
Posted by blacksheepfarms on September 21, 2008
Today, the high temperature is supposed to be around 66F. It feels wonderful to wake up to a cool morning and anticipate the changing of the seasons.
The cooldown means a lot more to farmers, though. Our tomatoes are done growing for the year since they are a hot weather vegetable. No more making fresh salsa or tomato sauce. The apples are coming in, and the grapes are ripe, so we are juicing and making jellies.
The change also means that we’re planning for next year. We have a lot of plans inspired by our adventures in 2008, and we’re eager to share them with you, our friends.
Tonight’s menu is chili and cornbread. It seems like the perfect meal to compliment the cool weather.
Posted by blacksheepfarms on September 14, 2008
This week, we had a visit from our new friends, Matt, Sara and Bella. They live in a veggie oil-powered RV and travel the country as the Live Lightly Tour. They stopped in Omaha for a few days, and I coordinated a benefit concert and an appearance at the Mid-American Music Festival. I thought it was important for our community to hear their messages of “alternate living.” They speak on raw foods, consumerism, downsizing, life on the road and the engine conversion.
One of the highlights was visiting the Hot Shops Art Center with them. Four year-old, Bella, got a drinking glass that was blown for her by Ed of the Crystal Forge. When she showed it to me, it was still warm from the oven.
At the farm today, we discovered a full Squeezo Strainer set. As I write, Kelly is hard at work making applesauce and Concord grape jelly. Can’t wait to eat it all!
Posted by blacksheepfarms on September 5, 2008
Last year, a fellow farmer told us of a magical machine that she used to make tomato sauce. “It spits the skins and seeds right out,” she told us. Yeah, right.
Well, we stand corrected. Our friend Lisa lent us her Squeezo strainer this week. What an amazing machine! You put food in the hopper, crank the handle, and it mills the food, separating the seeds and skin from the good stuff. Kelly and I made applesauce, and it was so easy.
We’re looking forward to getting our own. It will come in handy for making jelly from our Concord grapes in about a week. Next year, no “mulberry hands!” Can’t wait!
Posted by blacksheepfarms on September 1, 2008