Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Motherless dog

I better start out, before I tell you the story about the poor orphaned dog,  the one with the excellent blood line.

One of those pedigrees that seem to go back to the beginning of time.  One of those things with generation after generation  of ancestors with names like 'King Mighty Dog' and 'Prince Bigger and Better than Anyone Else'. (not to mention 'Queen Loud and Very Ferocious').

Only  somehow, somewhere along the line our high born dog went astray and instead of being carried
around in one of those boxes,  or maybe they're called carts.

Anyway,  you've no doubt seen them in movies.  Those things that some important person climbs into and the four servants  hoisting it up, important person and all, with a wave of a hand, set off down the road.

And if its a woman inside the box,  she pulls back the curtain and makes eye contact with some handsome knight or something in disguise in the crowd.

Well, our poor orphaned dog has a lot in common with the woman being carried around inside the box.  They both have those bloodlines.  Long Pedigrees.

But before I overdo it way to much and before I tell you about the dogs adopted mother,  you'll see her if you come out to the farm.  That large Kabota  tractor.  But before I tell you about his relationship with his adopted mother the farm tractor.  let's do something important.

The more or less weekly Open Farm, Tour and Egg Giveaway!

Saturday March 10th (that's tomorrow)  as usual  11-1 or even 2 if you can't get here earlier.

Requirements.  This isn't mandatory but could you please bring all the egg cartons you can get your hands on.  We are now out of cartons and are having to resort to storing eggs in buckets.  (think what that does to the eggs on the bottom).

What else can you do at the farm besides get eggs?

Of course you can collect eggs.  We'll leave all of the eggs that are layed after noon today in the nests so there will be plenty of eggs to collect from right under the hens.

Tours.  If you haven't been out yet it will be a nice day (in the 50's) for a walk around the farm while I play show and tell and answer any questions you might have about the farm,  the vegetables,  the CSA.   What's it mean to be a shareholder.

Things  of note that are happening on the farm right now.

Such as:

The seedlings.  All of the heated tables inside our greenhouse are now full of flats with many seedlings already up and growing.

My guess without actually getting up from the computer and walking up to the greenhouse and counting is that we've planted about 40,000 seeds in 800 flats.  That means we're over half way there.  We've started the first go-round of things like broccoli, cabbage cauliflower, lettuce, arugula, mustard pack choi  and other plants like them with second  and maybe thirds to go (we're talking spring plantings).

We've also started most of the tomatoes. Besides five varieties the expensive greenhouse tomato seeds we've started maybe a dozen other varieties, a mixture of heirlooms brandywines to those tasty orange cherry tomatoes called sun gold.

This year we've spent a lot of time and money choosing  a number of recommended bell peppers for growing inside hoophouses as well as out in the field  (when you go to the grocery store and see all of *  those almost universally are grown in hoops and heated greenhouse.

And speaking of hoophouse peppers and particularly those brightly colored peppers you've seen in the grocery store I might as well meander a little and give you a some brightly colored bell pepper facts and trivia.

One year while driving around Sicily, Along the southern coast we passed literally thousands of hoophouses.

Many of them handmade by bending  some sort of pliable limb or vines to make the supporting ribs over which was put long sheets of greenhouse plastic.

Several times we stopped and jumped the fence to see what was growing inside.

What we found were huge pepper plants (I didn't know it then but peppers if grown in a warm climate are perennial and will live for many years producing fruit every year.

The plants in Sicily  were bearing large bells that had reached the stage where the green fruit begins to turn colors..

Brightly colored orange, red and yellow peppers.

Destined, no doubt, for the markets of the other EU countries and maybe even for US grocery chains.

Hopefully, this year, instead of getting bells that have been flown halfway around the globe, as they do, passing just a few hundred miles south of Greenland on their way to the shelves of Wholefoods or, these days, Walmart.

(several times, when flying home from Europe, I've looked out the window and seen the southern tip of Greenland almost right below the plane's right wing. . I imagine vegetables fly the same route to he US as people do).

Hopefully, this year,  instead of buying colored bells that were grown in Sicily or down in the Peloponnese  (just before the Greek economy fell through the floor) we  toured ruins, and took our rental car over dirt roads that weaved over mountains and several times while stopping to let goat herds complete with boys herding them and guardian dogs, just like our two great Pyrenees, we got out of the rental and looked at hoop houses full of colorful bells.

This year, hopefully, instead of your bell peppers coming to you via the airspace over Greenland we'll grow them right here at home.

(what does a bell pepper, anyway, need with all those frequent flier miles, especially since, with the new rules, they are not transferable).

And seeing the clock, I better finish this newsletter up and get it out to you or no one will be coming out with their own cartons to collect eggs Saturday.

So if you do  (come to the farm tomorrow) that dog, the one that's standing back a few dozen yards and barking.   (don't worry about him,  he wouldn't even dream of hurting a person.  he's actually a real sweet heart and if you stayed around long enough he would finally wag his tail and slowly, getting closer  and closer, would manage to get close enough that he could reach out his head with the hope that you would pet him, or maybe just scratch him behind the ears.

He'd really like that.

And if you come out to the farm, if you want I'll tell you about him and tractors.  Actually, about him and one particular tractor.  our larger Kabota.  And how he's, kind of, bonded with it.  At night, he'll be out there with the tractor.  No matter where we park it.

He'll be there.  Not sleeping.  But protecting.

JC,  that's what the woman at the rescue society/orphanage named him,  spends his nights with that tractor.

Protecting it from harm.  Watching over it.  Just like those livestock guardian dogs we saw in Greece acted towards their goats.

But maybe more on that next week.  The dog with the adopted tractor.

Or something like that.



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