Friday, April 24, 2009

Article on Ethical Eating

Siobhan Phillips writes an interesting article on Ethical Eating, where she looks at whether or not people can eat the way that Michael Polan (Omnivore's Dilemma) or Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle) suggest. On the one hand, I am heartened by the fact that she concludes that yes, one can. On the other, I find it interesting that her original perception of eating locally, more carefully, and simply is something that is elitist--rather than something born out of excess and a reliance on people processing our food for us. Still a good article, given her goal of trying to find out how it can be done.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Signs of Spring at Barn Owl CSA

There are signs of spring at the BOF-CSA, especially since the last major planting in March's tsunami-like conditions. Beth and Erik came over and we replanted spinach and transplanted peas (the latter to replace the lovely meal provided to the voles). We also planted potatoes, including the staple Yukon Gold, but also some Territorial Seeds All Blue Organics

and Russian Banana Fingerling OrganicPotatoes.

The sun is out, although who knows for how long, but trees are blossoming. We're also assuming that our barn owl couple is nesting, as they are now very upset when we go in the barn...

Enjoy a few spring pictures

Two indications of spring; the goldfinches have changed color, and the pear trees are in bloom.

Sunrise on the farm...

...and a bit of sun for planting.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Oregon Spring--rain and voles

The week before spring break we were able to get some seeds into the ground, in some ways taking a chance on the weather given that the forecast was for rain. And rain it did. Even with the raised bed, I wondered about whether or not the seeds would be washed away, and some of the lettuce (which is planted very shallowly) probably did. It has been so cold and wet, that germination is taking it's time, and I still have yet to see whether or not some of the beets and spinach will come out of the ground.

We are having a particularly big year for voles, which are a smaller version of a mouse almost, and their holes and paths are everywhere. When I got back from Guatemala went out to the garden and noticed three nice 18 inch wide rows of pockmarked soiling, almost looking as if a golf ball had been dropped onto the ground repeatedly. The voles had gone through and dug up every single pea individually. One of my former students and her husband (Leslie Lukas-Recio and Manuel Recio) run a specialty farm called Veridian Farms (Shameless Plug: check them out at the Portland Saturday Market if you get a chance) took one look at that and said, "yep, need to transplant seedlings." You would think that with two barn owls, two cats and all the hawks around we would keep them down a bit, but there are some real vole hotels around this place.

The good news is that we got our Territorial Seed potatoes; they will be ready to plant this week, and we will get another load of mushroom compost to get the rest of the raised beds filled. In the meantime, some more of that nice warm weather would be nice!