Friday, July 31, 2009

The Farm

Over yonder, about 40 minutes east from our Seattle home, there's the land that grows our food. For 20 weeks we pick up our veggies from the farm. We see, feel and breathe the soil and labor that nourishes us. Our CSA membership is at Jubilee Biodynamic Farm in Carnation, WA.

Now, introducing the piglets. They are a major hit with all of us. Especially this week when it was a freak +104 degrees! We were alone with the pigs one morning and Farmer Erick hollered from his tractor, "Do the pigs need to be watered? There's a hose right there if you want to turn it on!" Oh and did we turn it on. I thought,
Now never having actually watered pigs, do I actually spray the pigs or just fill the water trough?"
I couldn't resist, I lifted the hose arching water into the air until it just lightly squirted the side of some pink piggy skin. They were already running toward us. Oh my! Have you ever seen a pig dance Wilbur style from Charlotte's Web? I'm talking squealing, vigorous-snout-in-the-mud-action, bounding-through-the-air, mud-puddle-flopping, craziness... Alita and I took turns with the hose until the pigs got bored and avoided us completely on the other side of the pen. After a while, my husband returned from U-picking in the fields. I said to Alita, Let's show Papa how we water the pigs. I acted all non-chalant, Honey watch her water them, it's cute. He sits down on a nearby bench thinking she'll just fill up their mud puddle. Not a few moments later are they charging towards the turned on hose. Alita, the pigs and I are squealing in delight and I hear Taho running from the bench, Let me try it! Oh the delight on his face, hose in hand as he sprayed those pigs. Pure hilarity for the humans and euphoria for the swine.

As you can see, this is the kind of thing that connects families with the nature of growing food.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Gardening Together

We live in a condo with almost no green space for gardening. But that doesn't stop me, I use every bit of land I can find. Last year, I dug up the lawn in my next door neighbor's yard and planted a garden (read more in facing the sun.) I planted beets, chard, kale, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and basil. My neighbor has added zucchini and butternut squash to the edges. We use three raised beds along the entry way to the condo building for salad mix, flowers, and Alita's carrots.

The number one thing I love about gardening with my daughter is she actually eats vegetables, but only in the garden. She can go all day turning her nose up to the same exact veggies I offer and as soon as we water the garden, she's happily picking and eating sugar snap peas, chard, and carrots. Eating a lot of them too! Insert a welcome sigh of relief from Mama, she is eating plants. To encourage this behavior, we planted some of her favorites.
Being that this is the second year with the garden, I have to say, it really is as easy and satisfying as it's cracked up to be. I ventured into the world of flowers this year. I planted a few wildflower and poppy mixes knowing nothing about what would result. Ahh, now this amazing. I get really excited about coming home to newly popping poppies and our own little field of urban wildflowers.

New for this year, let the public know this is food we are growing.

Roots, shoots, buckets & boots : gardening together with children by Sharon Lovejoy...a lovely book with inspiring ideas and illustrations.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Camping Trip Numero Dos

When we told Alita we were going camping again she said, "We already did that!" with a bit of disgust in her tone of voice. I assured her there would be no mosquitoes and it would be a different place. Deception Pass was a fabulous trip for our little one (and us) for the following reasons:
  • Only 1.5 hrs. from home.
  • A swimming lake, beaches and forest right next to one another
  • Three kinds of ripe berries in the campground area for the pickins'.
  • Middle of the week campground availability, when the weekends are fully booked.
  • Shelters for that PNW rain
  • Amazing tide pools (future post about that soon!)
  • A statue honoring women that put food on the table for their families. Not really, but I love this statue and that's pretty much how I feel every night when I get dinner on the table.