Little Helpers

Three little helpers tended garden today.

Mid August


Mid July


                                                                 PATTY PAN SQUASH

                                                           MORE TOMATOES                        CARROT GREENS TO THE RIGHT and NEW BRUSSEL SPROUTS IN CENTER

“…the softly focused gaze of Pissarro…”

Our friend Dave Hopkins sent a note of encouragement and his comments on Camille Pissarro struck a chord.  Dave lives along the watershed of the Deerfield River in Western Mass.  His footprint is light: solar panels on the barn, on sunny days, generate more power than they consume – they are feeding back into the grid – and the humanure is composted into fertilizer, amended back into the soil to nourish the vegetables, and in turn the animals and humans.  It’s an integrated set-up.  His work with the land has inspired us as much as the ideas he has passed our way.  By his permission, we post his comments here.  On a note of serendipity, this work by Pissarro, from 1886, is titled “Apple Picking.”  That works for us.
“Good to hear from you!  I read some articles in your blog and found it very interesting indeed. Love what you and your family are doing to raise your own food.
I’m musing on an article now on Camille Pissarro, the Impressionist painter and anarchist who had a immense passion for agriculture and rural life. Saw a wonderful exhibit of his work at the Clark in Williamstown, MA, and I strongly recommend it if you come to Western Mass. this fall. It runs to Oct. 2. I realize that what you’re doing is, on the surface, different, but Pissarro believed that modern industrial civilization would collapse and we would return to a living, local, agriculturally based economy, without hierarchy and without a central state. I’ll be talking about how the softly focused gaze of Pissarro was a kind of revolutionary act, rejecting the eye-intense, hyperfocused, hypercontrolled  mindset of modern Western civilization. These farm workers have a quiet dignity and are one with the earth.
All the best in your endeavors!

Late June

Feeding the Chickens

Adobo Pepperoni Pizza

Pizza night comes often, and we created this one with various items from around the kitchen, and fresh greens from our garden!  We have heard about grinding the wheat berries for making the dough, but we don’t have a food mill yet so we buy our dough pre-made.  Preheat the oven to a blazing 475 degrees.

Once the dough is stretched to size, we add some Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce – finely dice one of the peppers and add a bit of the sauce. This has a great smoky flavor, not too hot, and you can get it in the mexican section of the grocer.

Next put a thin layer of grated white cheese.  This will melt and help the toppings adhere to the crust.  Then add a layer each of sliced pepperoni (we like uncured, but any kind will do), a handful of diced celery and some thinly sliced red onion, some mushrooms (we love shitake), and tonight we added a layer of arugula and bitter greens.

Then top it with some fresh mozzarella, a bit of dried basil and some smoked paprika.  Maybe a crack or two of black pepper.

Pop it into the oven for about 15 minutes, then rotate the pizza, then let it go til golden brown, about another 10 minutes.

Five Weeks Later (see May 10th posting)

                           Snap Peas



                        More arugula to the left, snaps up top and carrots in center

                         A little green thumb inspects her first carrot tops

                        Some tomato starters from Farmer Martha

Strawberry Moon

With the full moon coming on the 15th, the strawberries are getting big (this photo taken at Farmer Martha’s).  Soon we go picking!