snow salad (aka farming in the snow)

Hello there.

Some people have asked me to blog about farming more. I will! It’s fun for me in many ways.

It is a really cool thing, being part of an organic farm (we’re certified naturally grown, a grassroots alternative to certified organic). It warms my heart.

Yes, we get to eat some of the amazing food that we grow. Like I am going to make a soup from a jumbo pink banana squash soon. We grew it! It’s huge and pink, but the inside is bright yellow. I am so excited!

But farming is hard too.

Like today, I harvested greens in the snow. It was really cold. And my fingers didn’t fall off, but they were kind of tingly. It was ok, everyone involved is ok. I thought about the request for farm related blogs, and I had to write about this.

It was beautiful. The snow was wet and came down in those clumpy balls, downy, heavy. I guess it was snow showers. Off and on. Out in Warren. It was maybe 36 degrees, and I had so many layers on! Shirts, pants, gloves (fingerless – ya have to feel the greens to pick them right), a hat, a scarf… So I was ok. But cold! We picked chicories, lovely greens that are alright in the cold. And I realized that I might be suited for the tropics. Except that pesky bright sun part.

People have been farming in the snow forever. We have to farm in whatever weather is happening. I don’t think this is written about too often. People still need food, whatever the weather is like.

Farm work is hard. No one ever said it wasn’t, but I think it gets abstracted sometimes. No, we are not sitting and playing in the dirt. We are working hard for long hours.

I think it is really fun! And I love the hard parts, like rototilling by hand, wheelhoeing paths between beds fast until your head is spinning and then quick quick pitchforking up chunks of rooty sod leftover from wheelhoeing. I love kneeling and hacking at weeds with this nice japanese knife hoe thing, and swearing about whatever issue is bugging me. I love pulling plants that have bolted or bloomed, then throwing them in a wheelbarrow and into a compost pile. It’s kind of like dancing, and also like backwards situps while standing up. I love seeding and planting starts, watching things grow. Magical exercises.

But it is hard, physically. Don’t forget. Farmers get dirt in their eyes and blisters and frostbite and, yes, excellent muscle tone.

I just wanted to say this so, if you have romantic notions about farming, you will know. You’d better like to exercise and you’d better have good work ethic.

I am glad to have put in some good work today, even though it was snowing.

Thanks for supporting farmers by eating!



dia: beacon


i just went to dia: beacon today! it was so cool!

the building used to be a cookie or biscuit factory. and now it is vast and there is a lot of art there! the modernish kind. and there is a lot of work by each artist.

it’s not a museum that’s crammed full of art either. there is room for the art to do it’s thing.

it was great!

one room had 4 richard serra ‘torqued ellipses’ (oh, maybe 30 feet tall? hard to tell from down here on these short legs). very nice. also these lovely pits by michael heizer. you can tell i like the rusty metal? yep. i also very much enjoyed the john chamberlain collection.

oh, and the antoni taipes’ were ┬ávery nice! i realized (again… i already knew this, but every time i see this type of thing i am reminded) that i very much like art that is dirty looking, in the most traditional sense. art that looks like dirt is part of it. i heart dirty art!

mmmmm dirt and rust! sigh!

i wish the loise borgeois collection had been larger or more varied in creation date. her language has changed throughout the years quite a bit, which is lovely and interesting to me. they did have quite a few very good sculptures of hers though. i just wanted to see more more more!

we took the metro north from grand central to beacon and walked to the museum. big grounds, huge building. took us an hour and a half each way, along the hudson. gorgeous!

and there is some more walking to do around the area, such a beautiful part of the hudson river valley. there is a dock/sculpture/interactive-community-fishing-area that’s part of the museum to (well, it’s maybe 1/2 mile from the museum, but was funded and organized by the museum), and that is also lovely!

it was well worth the trip.

some day, i tell you what! some day i’ll have art there! damn right!

and then, oh glorious day, we went to b&h and had sauerkraut pierogies and soup! and juice, which they make there for you in whatever flavor you want. oh i am so full and happy now! and the guy at the restaurant recognizes us because we go there every time we are here (at least once), and casey goes when i am not here even. such good food! and the juice we had was watermelon, cucumber, grape. mmmmmmmm.

thanks for reading!

some little island castle on the hudson river, from the train