Monday, February 25, 2013

Red Wigglers

"Dad, I think the worms are worth immensely more than the compost", said Reed our high school freshman.

We had an amazing amount of Red Wrigglers in the compost pile this spring. As we were making our potting mix we would sort out hand fulls and hand fulls of red worms.

We don't do much fishing so what to do with our abundance?

A Farm For The Child In All of Us

Clover - Just Like Ice Cream

When she was two, very early in the spring, Jenna found a white clover bloom that caught her eye and she asked me what it was. I explained that there was nectar in the blossums that the "buzzes" (bees) liked. I told her clover is their favorite.

The next day Jenna found another clover blossum and explained to Andrea that "Buzzes love clover, it is their favorite, just like ICE CREAM".

The old farm saying "were in clover" has the connotation that life is good and the living is easy. The next time you are stressed just think of Jennas ICE CREAM analogy.

Pollinators are the back bone of the diversified farm. Vetches, clovers, fruit trees, and wild flowers keep a constant supply of pollen available to for the pollinators, especially honey bees.

We have also noticed a great profussion of pollinators around the squash and pumpkins. We don't use any chemicals on the farms so this is a safe harbor for all kinds of bees and other pollinators. It is interesting to note the these bees are typically ground bees or bumble bees. These bees have stingers as a defensive capability but they are typically very happy and contented. We almost never get stings even when we brush against them, shake them off of the blossums or pick them up with our bare hands.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chamomile and Tea

When the chamomile are blooming in great profusion they look like miniature daises during the day and they fold their blossoms during the night. The blossoms have the wonderful smell of warm apple pie and Jenna rarely passes an opportunity to pick a blossom and tickle her nose  Some european gardeners plant low growing varieties in the paths of their gardens to flavor the air with their fragrant aroma.

When she was three, Jenna observed the behavior of the chamomile blossoms (or Corolla, Greek for "to fan out") folding up when the sun starts to wane for the day. She asked me if the flowers were hiding and I told her the petals were folding up. She thought about it for a minute and then said, "DaDa are they folding their hands to pray"? After reflecting on that, I think she was on to something. From great to small all of creation acknowledges the creator, especially the chamomile.

Chamomile is a great herb for making a relaxing tea in the evening.

Now that she is older Jenna makes some very creative herbal teas using herbs like mint, rosemary, sage, cinnemon basil, and oregano.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Path of the Expert

I have heard that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in most fields. I thought maybe this was an urban legend, but turns out there is some solid research to back this up.

Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell mentions the "10,000 hour rule". The 10,000 hour rule states that the key to success in any field is related to practice for a total of around 10,000 hours.

The Making of an Expert, a Harvard Business Review article indicates a similar finding in Dr. K. Anders Ericsson's research (see link below to the article). The things that Dr. Ericsson found to correlate to the success of superb performers were intensive practice, devoted teachers, and  enthusiastic support from their families. His evidence showed that experts were always made, not born. The journey to superior performance required tremendous diligence and tenacity. The process takes at least a decade in most instances.

A genuine expert has the following attributes:

Monday, February 4, 2013

We Want to Be Your Farmer

"We want to be your farmer"

Not only our purpose statement but also articulates our goals and dreams.

Wouldn't you want to work with and buy from a family that pledges their allegiance to the health of your family?