Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday Farm Photos

It's cold and gray today. We may make it the farm later but I'd rather just be home and drink tea. So I am posting farm photos from this past weekend, when it was also cold and gray, but we had lots of family there to keep it warm and colorful.

Crystal Organic Farm is named after the quartz crystals emerging from the red ground:
While Gillen and Clementine worked at the farmers' market stand with Helen and Nicolas, the rest of us collected crystals in the back fields. Remi:
Christine, Philippe and Julien:

Christine, looking very much like a Mennonite, surveying the vegetables. Like her mother and Nicolas, she has a huge green thumb. She has created a beautiful outside garden in NYC and is an expert at Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging).

The kids have spent days building a big fort in the woods. Here they are loading up bamboo to be used for construction.Color from the market:Beets, turnips and rutabagas. Rutabaga is a favorite word. It always makes me think of this Frank Zappa "Call any Vegetable" song from my childhood - this is the lyrics, not him singing. I roasted these later with garlic, potatoes, onions, oil and rosemary.
Though amazing Dogwood trees are blooming everywhere in a variety of spring colors, still - March is going out like a lion.

Friday, March 28, 2008

New 'Do

I like my new hair. It is still long but has layers. "Frank", Christine's hair stylist, also straightened it for me. I will have to start working out and build up my arm muscles for that endeavor! But on special occasions I might work up enough patience to take out the blow dryer.

New 'do, month-old stye, which is seriously highlighted by the setting sun in this picture. It's doing a good job of keeping me from thinking I'm "all that" with this new silky, straight hair.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Trading the Big Apple for Spring

We flew back to Georgia last night. It's a bittersweet homecoming after such a full week. I feel at home in NY. The diversity of people, food, cultural events and ways-to-not-get-in-a-car-and-drive-yourself makes me feel plugged in to something. It's the way I grew up. I had insomnia the last two nights we were there (back in NY) but that NY energy kept me going. We went to the Metropolitan Museum, the Ancient Playground, Central Park, Chinatown..I got my hair cut with French Frank (yes!) and had late night talks with my cousin Lake. It was good to see so much of our family.

This morning, Gillen came into my bed and described the amazing dream he had about being on a loong plane ride and then going to see Egyptian tombs and getting to meet baby Henry. It really does feel like a dream, as life there is so different than our rural life here.

There is a sweet side to returning home. While we were gone, our part of the world turned intensely pink, lilac, yellow and green.

Plus, we kidnapped the NY cousins and their mom and took them home with us on the plane. Wish we could have taken Damien, Stacy, Henry and Lake. They were busy this week - wheeling, dealing, and learning how to eat cereal.

The farm was filled with young, industrious, clean-cut farm help this morning.

Easter at Damien and Stacy's

We were hoping for snow (those of us from GA anyway) but it turned out to be a beautiful day. We ate abundantly, and well. Everything from a European cheese platter to Coq au Vin to the oh so good Hamentashen cookies one eats on Purim, a Jewish holy day that is described really well in a post by Tamar. I am going to have to make these. Here is a recipe. I ate many cookies and got to read the Sunday NY Times! Reading it used to be a Sunday ritual, so long ago.

It was an exciting egg hunt, even for the oldest, twelve-year-old Clementine. I love that girl,
and have fallen in love with this boy:

The View From "Top of the Rock"

We went to the Top of the Rock to check out the big picture of where we were.

From the bottom of "the Rock", looking up.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Pigeons and playgrounds

The highlights of the big city, for our country boys, are -

Conducting the pigeons:

Playing in really cool Central Park playgrounds:

The Natural History Museum:
The subway:

Bagels with a 'shmear", "uncle" Lake, and good pizza were exciting, as was having our pictures taken by Uncle Damien, who is a photographer at Newsweek magazine.

The guys weren't so keen about the many blocks we walked, nor the end-of-winter winds. But now we are in NJ, with Damien and Stacy and their (new to us) baby, Henry. Henry greeted us with huge giggles and smiles as we came in last night. We are all in baby-love again.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

In a New York State of Mind

I'm on my cousin's computer in NYC. We flew in yesterday. What should have been a three-hour journey took about nine hours. Due to weather, we were forced to circle for an hour over La Guardia and then were finally rerouted to Baltimore for refueling and hours of waiting on the runway there. I was just soo glad not to have to risk a blind landing. Flying used to be a fear of mine. ;) Plus, we met some really interesting people on the plane while waiting for the storm to clear and the kids stayed patient. So no worries.

We had good Japanese food at 10:30pm and then cakes and cannoli at a cool dessert place at midnight. How I do love that NY stays up all night.

Pictures of the Natural History Museum (always our first stop), Central Park, family and of the cold wind to come.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Organic Revolution

Nicolas and the farm are in a spot called "Organic Revolution" that was shown on the weather channel. The message is - we need more organic farmers - the demand is greatly exceeding the supply. It's a good time to get out your broad forks and get dirty. Especially down here.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday Farm Photos

The farm withstood Friday and Saturday's storms well. I'm so grateful for that. The only sign that there was any wind - Helen's fake owl (which lives on the chicken coop to scare away hawks) was beheaded.

Looking down during my daily nit check. Well, maybe the check is closer to hourly. We're still clear to go visiting!

Gillen's Bronze turkey hens are taking turns sitting on their eggs. When "Flamer" walked away for a bit, we were able to count twelve. Gillen is hoping for 18-25 poults from each hen.
The other girls' dorm. There was lots of activity in here this morning. We're having fresh poached eggs over leftover home-corned beef-turned-into-hash for dinner...

The kids' remaining seeds arrived from High Mowing today. Gillen got his peas, Nicotiana and peppers into seed trays. Jesse seeded his peppers from Johnny's. It is too early to seed the rest.

You know that expression, "A long row to hoe" Do I have that right? Is it an expression out in the literary world or do you only hear it on the farm? FOund it! It's from a poem by James Russell Lowell and is, "You've a darned long row to hoe." Here is its' source:Jesse helped:Nicolas snapped this one. Evidence that I was there, weeding for a wee bit. I was fine,'til I stood up. Low blood pressure and weeding aren't so compatible.
My favorite chicken, "Mohawk Dude".
Whistling while he works.
"Our life is like a series of NOT unfortunate events."
- Jesse this afternoon, with some money in his pocket from farm work and a carefully thought out decision that many of our days are almost as good as Sundays.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Backyard Farming

Gillen and Jesse want their own, at-home vegetable gardens. It wasn't too hard to get their farmer father to help dig up the land. After first breaking up the red clay and grass sod with the tiller, Nicolas used a tool that was first created by Elliot Coleman called the broad fork. It aerates the soil.
The second photo is of the soil after two "double-diggings" with the broad fork. Tornado warnings, hail and lightning have kept the kids from doing any seeding. More farming will come with the sun.

In the meantime, Jesse and I rediscovered the game Quiddler and Gillen and I watched a lovely sappy movie called "August Rush". I kept pointing out how unrealistic it was. Yet, of course I was the one who cried intensely and cheered and made an imbecile of myself at the end. I must have been emotional from the joy of so much soft, free hair. ;)