Tuesday, August 31, 2010

when the cat's away, the deer eat the tomatoes

I was downstate this past weekend, and up until now my anti-deer measures have worked all Summer:  the combination of a deer fence and nite-guards (http://www.niteguard.com/) have been 100% effective.  But one of the nite-guards went out while I was gone, and the deer apparently gorged themselves on my tomato plants, chard and mutant carrots - they ate them all.  Thankfully, there are layers upon layers of ripening tomatoes they couldn't reach, so they didn't clean me out completely.  I replaced the nite guard and all was well last night - bastards!

Tomatoes the deer didn't eat

Fried green tomatoes

Friday, August 27, 2010

mutant carrot #8

This morning's mutant carrot - they are starting to look like Victorian sideshow people who have extra limbs

four legged woman, myrtyl parasitic twin

Thursday, August 26, 2010

the community gardens of Detroit

When I visit Detroit, Raquel takes me to community gardens, which are all over the city.  They are beautiful places, both actually and symbolically, exhibiting beauty, renewal and love.  Raquel wrote this poem about them:

I hang out in community gardens
They grow beautiful things that mean to entice you
Please take me. I am from the earth.
And the gardeners say, ”I dare you NOT to take.”
How could you not? They mean to share the secret that they know

sky study #11

August 25, 2010

I post a lot of sky pictures because I've never seen anything like it up here.  Lately the moon stays out until 8:00AM.  It blows my mind.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

euphoria or bust

Just came back from a great weekend in my hometown. Raquel + I saw The Black Crowes Friday night downtown at The Fillmore - the show was great, and our general admission tickets didn't keep us from arriving late, yet walking straight to the front row of the main floor and getting down with the band about 6 feet in front of us. Check out this clip from the show (I got this off YouTube) You can hear the audience singing along - such a great time.  We also drove all over the city, went to some farmers markets, made some great food and drank some great drinks.  I love Detroit, and Raquel and her family, very much.

Raquel took this one 

We went to a farmers market that was selling this jackfruit.  It was enormous, like a baby seal.

Spicy chick peas, quinoa and raw collard salad

Thursday, August 19, 2010

the Tiny strut

Here's Tiny, the chicken who almost died when she was a baby chick, strutting her petite stuff in my side flower bed, the chickens' newest playground.  They have eaten it, bathed in it's dirt, thoroughly trashed it and are calling it home this week.  I don't mind, and it's poor man's fertilizer - the flowers will just come back all the stronger in the Spring.  

sky study #9

my new baby

1971 Honda CB350.  Oh yes I did.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

the poultry butler

My Dad and I installed an automatic chicken door opener today - it's called The Poultry Butler and works with a light sensor.  It seems a little rickety, so I'll check it to see how well it works.  

When the girls weren't helping us with the door, they were chowing down on half a watermelon

Friday, August 13, 2010

free bird

I've been letting the girls out to free range around the farm the past few days.  They love it, running around eating their fill of grass and bugs.  All chickens will return to their coop on their own at dusk.  They are becoming increasingly tame and friendly as the weeks pass, they come running when I approach and let me pet them as long as I move really slowly.  I love my chickens.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Langermannia gigantea: it's what's for dinner

Found this 'giant puffball' mushroom in the grass tonight

Pan fry in garlic, oil, thyme, salt + pepper.  They taste like white button mushrooms but stronger and more 'wild' - yum!

The Northwest Michigan Fair

I spent the day at Traverse City's annual Northwest Michigan Fair.  It was like a small state fair with 4-H farm animals, midway rides and heart disease-friendly food.  We had a great day - here are some pictures

A vintage fair poster

The Fair Queen

Daisy Dad and Llama Mama

Bon appetit

Look at Mom's cool aviators

a beautiful Angus cow

napping pigs

I totally made out with this goat

Canned goods 


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

there's almost nothing I'd rather do than pick berries in the woods

When I bought this farm I knew there were berry bushes out in the woods, but I had no idea there were as many as there are.  Teeming.  More than you could ever pick.  More and more all the time, with each sunny August week, as many as you have the energy to seek out.  Berry picking is hot work, you will get many thorns despite your long sleeves, work pants and muck boots.  You discover a grove, hundreds of them, and when you think you've picked them all, turn around and go back to where you just were, because you missed a hundred more.  It smells like summer itself, there are spiders and bees foraging alongside you, and there is something deeply satisfying about the task.  I make berry jam out of almost all of them, it's seedy and thick, and I will save a jar to spread on my toast on the darkest mornings of next February.  With fifty feet of snow outside and the fruit on my tongue, it will taste like this beautiful day.

sky study #8

August 4, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

mutant carrot #5

Heaven help us

most awesomest summer weekend

Power people and power pets Raquel, Bob, Gabe, Sue, Madeline, Caesar and Betsy visited this weekend and we had a blast!

Kite flying

Lazin' in the grass

Madeline, mid-kartwheel

Maddie's cute nails

Fresh peas

Along with the peas, visiting Chef Sue cooked a feast of whitefish, chard with walnuts, spinach and corn - YUM!

We took a spin on the antique train at the Traverse City marina, which broke down during our ride!  Here is the conductor with the engine up on a jack - he fixed it and we were rolling along again a few minutes later

We went blackberry picking again and found this beautiful birds nest

Betsy napping