Monday, December 29, 2008

Blogging the holidays...

This holiday season has just kicked my butt! Really. I am finally starting to breath, both figuratively and literally.

We started December by being gone for a week (9th - 12th) for the Great Lake Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo. When there we started to feel a little ill.

By Monday the 15th, with no Christmas tasks done (not even the tree) I was feeling well and truly beat. The wonderful flu kept me hacking all night, going to work on massive amounts of DayQuil, attempting to keep my voice from totally going out, coming home and right into bed. Monday, Tuesday, by Wednesday I was getting next to no sleep. I went to the doctor after work Thursday with a 103 degree temp and a cough that would NOT stop! Antibiotics and home to sleep for the next 20 hours, at least for the 10 minutes an hour I was not coughing

Friday I stayed home from work, and still no Christmas got done. By Saturday I was feeling a little better. Which is good because we cleaned ( a little) and put up our tree because my sister and her family pulled in at 5:00.

On Sunday we finally made some cookies, and my nieces helped. I started to feel better and the next week was the whirlwind that Christmas with family staying with you is. I worked Monday and Tuesday and we went to Stan Hewit, December Days at the Zoo, Christmas dinner for 8, and family over the day after, not to mention shopping, shopping and shopping! My 5 year old niece discovered the cookie boxes and until we found 4 cookies stuffed in her mittens no one realized she had discovered the cookie box.

But it explained so much! 6 dozen cookies into a 5 year old in three and a half days... No wonder her tummy hurt! And that was before her 13 year old sister decided to give her Mountain Dew...

Now that the holidays are over it is time to start thinking about our 2009 season! So much to do and the start of the season's work is only a couple months away. Seeds will be ordered in January and the first started in February!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Personally I'd rather not...

The FDA is getting ready to change it's recommendations that women and children limit the amount of mecury laced seafood they eat. Personally, I'd like to avoid bio-accumlitive neurotoxins in my diet, especially until we have our children. But maybe that is just me!

They say that the benifits Omega-3s and Selenium (among other trace minerals) found in fish may outweigh the damage from the mecury. But given that the levels being found in people are higher then once thought I think I will pass. There are other ways to get these nutrients!

One 3-1/2 ounce serving of tuna has almost 100% of the daily recommended selenium level at 63 micro grams. But just one ounce of Brizal nuts blow them away with over 700% of the daily remmendation!

For all trace minerals you are liable to found more in foods grown on farms that have not been in industrial agriculture for decades, like those grown by farmers you are likely to meet at your farmer's market!

And while you are there pick up some grass fed beef! While it is true that wild caught fish have Omega 3 levels that blow grass fed beef out of the water, most people eat mainly farmed fish! Micheal Pollan points out in Ominovore's Dialmma that it is not so much what you eat but what you ate - ate... If your salmon is feasting on corn you might as well be eating Chicken...

And while you are at it eat some flax seed every day!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

And Obama will change...

Not food policy.

At least not as evidenced by his selection of Secretary of Agriculture. I read a great quote today by one of my favorite bloggers "Let’s see, rabid ethanol proponent…check! Enthusiastic supporter of GMOs and biotechnologies…check! Totally indebted to and under the thumb of agribusiness…check! Yup, it seems clear that Obama really took Michael Pollan’s “Farmer in Chief” piece to heart ;-P. Short of actually appointing, say, Monsanto’s chairman, it is hard to imagine a choice less likely to make real shifts in our food system." (from blog: Casaubon's Book)

Tom Vilsack will be our new Secretary of agriculture. A huge proponent of bio-technology (read GMOs.) While it may be true that he does not have much power himself, it does speak to the new administration's view of the future of American agriculture.

GMO foods, corn ethanol, and subsidizes for the industrial food system? Where is the change?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Such big plans...

Sorry I have not been posting as much recently! It seems like Christmas snuck up on me this year and now I am running trying to catch up! Cookies, decorating, and gifts - none of it is done, barley started!

In the mean time we are planning big things for next year! Some of which I have to be careful about blogging, but come April we will have huge news...

Stick with us and I will try to blog more, I promise...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo

We got back today from the Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo in Grand Rapids. We spent three very informative days learning lots of stuff.

We got into the city around 1:00 on Tuesday afternoon and went right to the expo. As we were walking from our car in the parking garage to go register we over heard the conversation of a couple in front of us. They were talking about a couple they had met who were talking about grass fed beef. They were doubtful of the economics of the system and the women said "I think they were ORGANIC PEOPLE." The husband nodded and the conversation was over, that explained all the strange ideas.

That about sums up our experience. We were "organic people." When you sign up they asked you to identify the type of farming you do and one of the checks was for organic. So our name tags said "ORG," and we were out of the closet as we walked around. Salesmen did not want to talk to us, people sitting near us at workshops ignored us, and we had a pretty strange experience all around.

We attended a lot of educational sessions and were able to glean a lot of information amongst the workshops geared at conventional farmers. The exhibit hall closed at 1:00 Thursday and all the organic sessions were held from 1:00 to 3:00 the last day when most of the people were gone. And that session was interesting! I will post more about that later. Right now we have hundreds of ideas swirling in our heads and it will take a couple weeks to process it all and integrate into our plans for next year!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Protecting us from dangerous criminals...

On December first a swat team entered a private home in rural north east Ohio and held the occupants of the home (adults and children) at gun point for nine hours. During this time they executed a search warrant and tore apart the family's house looking for contra ban. At the end of the day they left with about $10,000 worth of "evidence."

The Lorain county swat team assisted the State department of agriculture in this raid. Department of AGRICULTURE!?!?! Yes.

The search was not for drugs or guns or even counterfeit purses. No it was for food. The Manna Storehouse a local co-op in LaGrange, Ohio. The charge, as near as any seems to be able to figure out has to do with some meat that was found in a freezer at Oberlin college which was not properly labeled (meaning it did not come through a USDA licenced facility.) Although they are not charged it seems likely they will be with operating a retail establishment without a licence, a third degree misdemeanor. For that a Swat team?

I would point you to the following link for more information. The Bovine. Be sure to click on the links at the bottom for more information, there are four posts on this and links to other blogs.

In the end, I fear that this may be a case of the government protecting us from non-industrialized food. And that scares me. Our right to decide what we eat is under attack. Already raw milk, unpasteurized cider, farm processed meat. What is next? Veggies?

I will keep on top of this for everyone and post updates. Things like this send shivers up my farmer's spine.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Coming in January...

Starting in January we will be offering occasional classes at the farm.

There are so many topics, we are still working on ideas, but the first will probably be right after the new year, as my resolution is to start our classes this year I thought what better first class then...

Resolution: GARDEN!

Starting a vegetable garden in your back yard. Learn the steps you can take now to prepare for a garden in your back yard this spring. We will explore the three "P's" of gardening: planning, preparation, and planting.

Class Level - Beginning.

Tentatively scheduled for Sunday, Jan 4th: 1:30-3:30

Cost for class - $25.00

Please email us at if you are interested in the class. It will be offered if we receive enough interest.

Please visit our website for more details on classes. We will be posting these over the coming days. 2009 CLASSES

Monday, December 1, 2008

Would you like melamine with that?

The FDA sets limits on melamine in baby formula... 1 part in a million is OK...

When I first saw this article my attitude was "How horrible! The only allowable level of poisons in our children's food should be zero!" And that may be true. But what does that really mean?

I found this article when doing some more research, an opinion piece from the New York Times.

Like so many issues, it is more complicated then it may first seems...