Monday, February 8, 2016

Time for More Slow Food

Meech's Prolific Quince
Market List;
@the Montessori School 1618 Tower Grove Ave

Lamb, Lamb LAMB- back are all the cuts we haven't had for awhile as well as 4 kinds of Bratwurst.; Plain, Garlic Butter, Rosemary and Thyme, and Jalapeno.

Greens-Pepper Cress and probably Kale and Spinach.

I've been using my time "off " to attend some conferences. You all know that my certifier is Certified Naturally Grown and they put out an offer for a free ticket to the SSAWG (Southern Sustainable Agricultural workshop) conference in Lexington KY if you could tell them why they should send you. I guess I came up with the best answer which included that my friend Karen lives in Lexington. Next thing I knew, they called me to tell me I had won. Part of getting ready to leave the farm for 4 days, if you can believe that, was to finish writing another grant for Slow Food for Infrared Floor heating in my Greenhouse for the purpose of raising citrus and extending my season. We're hoping to be able to heat it with Solar.
I don't know if you remember but I blogged on last years Heirloom Fruit Trees grant repetitively, not only about the entire process but also how long and frustrating was the search for one of the fruit tree varieties that I was looking for; Meech's Prolific Quince.
I finally found one producer in this country but I had to wait until November to get the whips which were grafted after I got the grant. They arrived in the mail from Hidden Springs Nursery in TN late November. Annie Black, the nursery's owner was not forthcoming about much but she did tell me that she wasn't sure how well they would survive even in my high tunnel over winter. They were very new and delicate. So we put them in some potting soil and sat them in a sunny window with my Satsuma Orange tree. As you can barely see from the pic, 4 of the 5 have leafed out and the last is trying right now. I can see the fuzzy green of the leaf showing through the bud. (In case you were wondering, the little sticks in the bottom of the pot are elderberry cuttings I got from the SSAWG conference.) Even though they seem to be doing well, they will not be planted outside until late fall. I will do as I did with the other trees purchased, heel them in the high tunnel so I can monitor moisture this summer and then move them outside about a month before the first frost.
After getting the free ticket to the SSAWG, Mike Brabo called and said that Missouri Organic Association was looking for young farmers to volunteer at their MOA conference in exchange for free admission. I thought...Young! How about a Young at Heart Farmer? So I called up Sue Baird and asked her if Bill and I could volunteer. She said "of course. So I got home from Lexington to a new lamb that was so big it probably walked out of it's mother and immediately started getting ready to leave EARLY on Thursday morning.
This sounds like to you probably, "what's the big deal? It's just a conference" but both of those conferences are around 200.00 each with a chance to garner information that could help you on your next season. Plus there's networking and farm freebies that don't always come from where you expect them. I came home from SSAWG with 18 bells for my sheep collars that they set out on the banquet tables and were going to toss afterwards.
MOA had a thousand packets of free seed from Baker Creek, compost and humus samples in quart bags. I know you are snickering now at what Farmers find exciting but you see, we don't get to leave the farm very often. A little tongue in cheek humor there. Anyway, it's all over and we're tired but pleased with ourselves. A new shovel, a harvest basket, and lots of knowledge on keeping your animals healthy, weeds suppressed or encouraged to go away all by organic methods. Locally prepared food that was extremely tasty, some good conversation with people who have similar interests so what more can you ask? It was a very satisfying time all in all. 
So I understand we will hear the Grant recipient choices from Slow Food sometime next week. I will be staying busy getting ready for Saturday's market at the Montessori School 8-1. Cortney will be there this time. We'll see you there.

God's blessings on you and yours,


Sam and Bill

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