Monday, December 31, 2012

Thank you for a great year!

From the North Pulaski Farms' farm family to everyone, thank you for buying Local AND Organic in 2012!
Kelly,Sarah,Danielle & Michelle Carney, David Owens,Jason Hilton, Rose & Michael Holly

While 2012 is ending with Mother Nature reminding us she is undefeated and will remain so, this opportunity to rebuild and restore does not damper what has otherwise been a fantastic year.  We set sales records in most every crop and turned a modest profit for the first time.  A special thank you to Rose & Jason for all their hard work this week especially.  Enabling me time with my daughters knowing the farm was in good hands means the world to me period, thank you.

Sarah,Danielle,Michelle Carney & Amanda Crews 

2013 Should be another record year for our farm.  With the addition of Bamm Bamm to our bedrock family we hope to build upon 2012's success! Bamm Bamm's Beds are about half complete, but when finished should add approximately 20,000 row feet to our production capacity.  The rows below will host Tomatoes, Beans & Squash. 

While the 2013 crop plan is STILL not complete, the Early Girl's needed to get started anyway!

Wilma's tables will soon be full of transplants for spring.  Loosing our winter tomatoes  may end up being a good thing because it frees up space for a few more starting tables.

Good bye 2012 and hello 2013, we look forward to what opportunities you bring.



Thursday, December 20, 2012

Some Days



Wednesday afternoon I called a fellow farmer and we talked about how cool it was to work the dirt. I had just finished turning the soil in Bamm Bamm and was on my way to pick up a bed maker to build next springs beds.


 If their were a scratch and sniff option for this blog and you could get a whiff of Bamm Bamm's dirt, it would plant a farming seed in you for sure.  












With a borrowed tractor and a borrowed bed maker I ALMOST got the field turned and beds made in a day and a half.  But when things work this easy and your an organic farmer, you should duck quickly or maybe buy a lotto ticket because it seems to rarely last for long.

While turning around the front tires punched through a rut and I found out quickly that the 4wd for this guy was not working.  I decided to call it a day and put a trickle charger on MY tractor with hopes of using it to pull this one out Thursday. 


Thursday morning when Rose called to tell me that Wilma had lost her skin I thought to myself...what?  really?  I will check this out myself when I get there in a few minutes.  
   Well it seems that untreated 2x6's will last about 4 years before rotting to the point where they don't hold down the hoops. 



Fred's doors were no match for 50+mph gusts.

Neither was the poly in bay#7. 

The good news is while it will cost man hours to repair, it CAN be repaired and the crops are all OK.

At the end of the day I was welcomed home by Molly's beagle bugle but not a certain yellow lab named Samson. I gave the house a cursory search and called out in the back yard and thought well he is probably visiting Amanda & Claire. The wind had blown open the side door that morning so the dog's already had  one adventure and fear started to enter the equation .  But it's usually Molly who is AWOL and Samson the one who NEVER leaves.  I remembered a speech about never challenging the universe to one up itself with bad news.   I thought as I searched with more focus, no, he is with Claire & Amanda for a visit.  I called & sent text to Amanda, Clair & Vickie asking if they had Samson.  
When I received a NO from Amanda and was on the phone with the pound driving around the neighbor hood my heart started to sink.  I just knew he was dead on the side of the road or that someone stole him (if you offered him a tennis ball he would be yours forever) or something horrible. 
When I got back home I searched the house again and called out his name.  I thought I heard a whimper and called again but did not hear it.  I walked back to the bedroom and called again and sure enough heard his half bark/half whine whimper from the basement.  The basement door must have blown open and closed on him when he decided to check it out.  

Well after getting the tractor stuck, Wilma loosing her skin and Fred loosing his doors and a few bays of poly finding out that Samson was not dead in a ditch, stolen or lost brought a much needed perspective. 

video
 Big fat smile on my face. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What a waste!

As a former data junkie, collecting, tallying and comparing it still occupies my time on occasion.   So needing to take the trash to the dump to free up the trailer to collect a disc and ripper for Bamm Bamm provided just enough reason for me to do some trash talking (OK typing) .

Below is a photo from 2010 of the trailer full of black plastic mulch and the farms other trash ready to head to the Two Pines Landfill in Sherwood.




Instead of burning it, we load up the trailer with the farms waste output for the year and take it to the dump.











The before pic on the inbound scale and the after pic on the outbound scale.
2012 was a record low year with only 460 pounds of waste.
The switch from black plastic to used Billboard tarps has not only paid off by saving money on isle maintenance (less mowing),   but fewer trips to the land fill too.
Less of this:
More of this:


Once a geek, always a geek I guess.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tatsoi!

This fall our Tatsoi has been a big hit at the market.
 

 My favorite way to fix it is very simple.


In a wok, I add a few tablespoons of butter,  some garlic from Rattles Garden and the cut up stalks from the Tatsoi on high flame.  After a about 4-5 minutes of searing the stalks I add the leaves.
Another few minutes in the Wok and its ready!

This is a great side no matter what the theme.





Sunday, December 9, 2012

Litter & Lights


This last week ended on a good note.   We got to open the Bernice Garden Holiday Tree Light and Craft Market with some Christmas Music and Bamm Bamm got a much needed boost in nutrients.

Full tables and a full crew showed for the market Thursday eve.  I like the Christmas lights on the tables, too bad we don't have more evening markets this holiday season.

\







We always like entertaining the kids.
The market was a success and we generated some interest in our CSA too!


Friday morning Betty & Bamm Bamm received several tons of poultry litter.  The smell of money was dominant in the air.  

Betty will be hosting our Watermelon crop next year. Watermelons are heavy feeders and this litter should do the trick.

This next week (after it drys a bit) will be spent on a tractor turning the soil and spreading rye grass seed.
Soil is a farms wealth and Bamm Bamm & Betty just got a truck load deposited in the bank.



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pay It Forward

Meet my best friend Scott Johnson.  Scott and I have known each other since Jr. High and we play music together several nights a week at his house we affectionately call Circle J Studios.  Scott not only drove me to meet my oldest daughters mom 30+ years ago, but he helped me record their lullabies in recent years. Scott has a motto he lives by, Pay It Forward.  Whether it's shipping a guitar across the country to a total strangers child, giving away an amplifier to a young singer or a guitar chord chart to a beginning guitar player, he walks the talk of paying it forward.   So it's no surprise that when a fellow worker of his found out they needed chemotherapy, his first thought was to shave his head to show his support.  This is the simple story of that task and I was privileged enough to lend a hand. 
The before shot.










So we start
 out in the garage and I use the shears on him.  My last experience with this kind of hair cut was for my basic Army training in 1982 and it took all of 30 seconds for the barber to do the job and cost me $2.75.
This time it took much longer.

We finished the first step and Samson seemed to approve.











   
Then we moved inside and Scott lathered his head up and did most of 
the shaving himself, I helped with the back side of his head.

This scar from being kicked by a cow when he was a kid just explains so much! Now we know why he is the way he is!

Yes tequila was involved. 

It did not seem to affect his guitar playing. 


The after shot.
Those who have known me for a while know that I tend to be more lucky than smart.
Having Scott as a best friend is proof of it.




Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Easy Pizza!

I have been making these for my daughters most of their lives and made them today for me.
I started with a flour tortilla and sliced very thinly one of my tomatoes.  Then cooked some  Freckle Face Farms sausage and my spinach for toppings.
Then shredded some Honeysuckle Lane Jalapeno White Cheddar on top.
Baked at 400 on a pizza stone for about 10 minutes.
Lunch is ready! 


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Burning Peppers


Almost THREE crates of Sweet Italian Marconi Peppers loaded in the smoker and ready to go.   The last several weeks of sunny days combined with our row covers provided a large harvest of ripe peppers.  Since our smoked pepper inventory was low , it's time to NOT burn the peppers.

 This was the result of my last attempt. Lesson learned is don't start peppers in the middle of the night, you may forget to turn the burner down to low and wake to this wasted effort.    

Samson (my 100lb yellow goat retriever) wont even eat these, but he does like the #3's I toss down for him.

Samson has no issues eating his veggies, peppers, beans and especially loves our "Tennis Ball Cantaloupe"


The smoker is packed with peppers as can be seen in the video.


This Smoke Hollow Smoker has been reliable so far.  
Let's hope the operator can make the same claim with this batch.







Friday, November 23, 2012

Burning Turkey

This thanksgiving I have been challenged with having a lot to accomplish in a short time frame so instead of boiling my turkey in oil to cook it, I decided to use the new smoker for the job.   This post is not about me actually burning the Turkey, most folks who know me know that I have smoked meat all my life and just CALL it 'burning meat' , not actually meaning that it gets burnt.  Starting with a pasture raised turkey from Freckle Face Farm and some Creole Butter marinade I shoot the bird up with the entire jar.

I have used this marinade for years and it's one of the easiest ways to add buttery flavor with a slight Cajun twist to your bird AND keep from having dry meat.  The breasts, legs and thighs got generous injections.

Samson looks on with wishful thoughts of dropped turkey in his head I am sure.

This year my new propane smoker and a half bag of Hickory smoking chips provided the 'burning' needed.
The first hour of smoking was at 275 to seal the outside of the bird. Then I lowered the heat to around 200 and kept the bird in there for another 4 and half hours.

Purty ain't it? 

 After carving the dark and white meat.

The bones along with some Tatsoi, Carrots, Celery, Onions and spices go into a stock pot.
Nothing goes to waste with this fine bird.
 I am taking these bones to the farm to feed my soil.

After freezer bagging most of it, this smaller pot is headed to the fridge.
 

  Soup, salads and sandwiches will feed me this next week fer sure.