OK, a brief weather update since I have taken the plunge and started to use this sacred page as a venue for complaining about mother nature, no rain. Thunder, lightning, clouds, winds, all of it, but no blessed drops have fallen on our fields, not yet, but we remain hopeful. There is a chance of rain each day in the coming week and I know that one of these times the skies will open right over us and rain will pour and pour and pour, until then…
We have spent a lot of our hours this week putting water on these fields. We are not set up to irrigate, with minimal supplies on hand, the task this week was to save what crops we can realistically save with our time and water resources. First, the swiss chard and basil was mindfully weeded, mulched and a line of drip tape was laid on the bed. Gratefully, the spring fed water system at the a-frame property remains functional with no sign (yet) of ceasing, so we gathered all of the hoses and let the water drip onto that critical bed down below the a frame in field 3. Next day, next basil patch in field 2. We have a well at that site we can use now for farm related needs as we recently connected Grandmom’s house to county water. Day three, the newly planted cucumber bed. A few feet down the field can make all the difference, and this one proved a little tricky, Paul had to find about 15 more feet of hose to reach that spot, but he did so and was able to let the water run there last night. Irrigation is a puzzle of hoses, nozzles, emitters, timing, pressure and dwindling water resources, not a dance we like to do frequently, but the situation is such that we must do all we can to provide water to the ailing vegetables, and that we will do! It felt good to do something.
In the meantime, there is the growing concern about hay and its likely shortage. All of the pastures around the region are dry, folks are starting to feed hay now, way way earlier than usual. That and the likelihood of no second or third hay cuttings as long as the weather remains so dry, means that folks are hoarding hay and the prices are sky rocketing. We are not in urgent need of hay yet, thankful for our rotational grazing and low pressure on our pastures, but if rain does not come soon, we too will be in the same spot as all of the region’s livestock farmers: yikes. I did call our main hay supplier and reminded him that we still want all that he has, just because I haven’t called him yet, he shouldn’t forget me. He assured me, I was hard to forget (?). Now, I have a peaceful Thursday morning session at the office thanks to Grandmom. Yesterday when I complained about how difficult it has become to do office work of any kind with William obsessed with all things electric, she offered to watch him while I did my screen time. A first for them, I know they are having a great play time together and I, finally, thankfully, can type with both hands on the keyboard and a little bit of mental space to spare. Things are looking bright here, despite the dry wind. ADDENDUM yahoo, rain came at around 3:45 Thursday afternoon. We got a total of six blessed tenths of an inch in about 40 minutes. Small hail, exciting but no damage. We could not be more thankful…hopefully more to come!
week ten in your basket:
Cabbage-Beet Slaw with Ginger Vinaigrette
1 small head red cabbage1 medium-sized beet2 tablespoons rice vinegar4 tablespoons oil 1 1/2 tablespoon honey1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and gratedSalt & pepper to taste
Chop the cabbage into 4 wedges. Trip away any any of the tougher core. Cut the remaining cabbage into thin strips. Place in a bowl.
Peel the beet using a vegetable peeler. Using a hand-held grater or box grater, shred the beet into the bowl with the cabbage, being careful to not stain clothes with beet juice.
Make the vinaigrette. Combine vinegar, honey, and ginger in a small bowl. Add oil and whisk to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Toss vinaigrette with cabbage-beet mixture. Allow the slaw to stand 20-30 minutes before serving, tossing regularly. Add salt and pepper if needed, and serve.