Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 year in review

I thought I would write a short one summing up the year in order to clear my mind and get ready for the upcoming year.  First of all I want to talk about bishop our beloved dog who we had to put down a few weeks ago. He was the most interesting dog I have ever met he would actually sit sometimes in the middle of the yard and watch the sun go down. I could never tell if he was just one step away of being a Buddha or maybe he was just slightly retarded either way he was one of the best dogs ever, a valued friend, my husbands co-pilot and a truly singular dog in every way. So for right now we are actually 2 Dogs Barking Farms but I am sure that will change once a new pup finds their way to us. So raise a glass to Bishy tonight he was one great freaking dog. My favorite farm memory of Bishop was the time he got his big head stuck in the cucumber trellis freaking hilarious.

Now about our little micro farm its been quite the year.  From getting flooded and seeing the Hudson come right over the road and make the land look more like a lake than farmland (I of course promptly named it Lake EB) to planting old favorites and trying tons of new things I have never tried to grow before so some successful and some well not so much. Oh well that's one of the things I like most about this new enterprise of ours there is always always the hope and the promise of next year. It wasn't long into this season when I was already mumbling to myself next year I will do this, next year I will definitely NOT do this. We did not make it to market this year with the late start due to flooding it just never came together for us but maybe that was a good thing I think we definitely needed a year of just growing things and not necessarily worrying about the marketing and selling side of things. But we will make it to market this year so Ballston Spa Farmers market watch out 3 Dogs Barking is coming!!!!!

So on the cusp of 2012 I have already poured over the seed catalogs and have decided on what I am going
to put in the high tunnel once the days reach 10 hours of sunlight and I cant wait each day is getting a little longer now that we have put the longest day of the year behind us.  Then we just have to decide on the rest of the crops for the many mini seasons/plantings for balance of the year. Its really exciting to think that you are not just focusing on they typical memorial day through labor day growing season but with the wonderful high tunnel we should have an early early spring crop and late spring early summer crop then onto fall and even next winter not to mention the outdoor plantings starting in early spring and lasting through late fall. I love all the planning lets just hope I can back up the planning with enough energy and physical endurance to make it all a success.

Happy New Year Everyone! Hope its a great year for all!

Monday, December 12, 2011

I wont bother calling myself a young farmer...

Just read a great article on about who the new young farmers are and what their seemingly collective hopes and dreams are. I wish I qualified as a "young" aspiring farmer but I think at 42 I am probably more like a "on the cusp of middle age" aspiring vegetable grower. But I wanted to sit and think about why I wanted to devote a large part of my free time and almost all of my husbands time to try and grow food.

First the practical has been seriously tight the last couple of years and I noticed a disturbing trend when I was at the grocery store...I wasn't buying fresh vegetables because quite frankly they were not in the budget. Well Tommy and I could both seriously stand to loose a good bit of weight and I figured not eating vegetables was only going to compound the problem and also I love to cook I mean I LOVE to cook so it dawned on me that all the things I couldn't afford to buy to cook well hell we have 2 acres of prime Hudson River frontage I forgot what kind of soil but its good stuff I tell ya and forget buying it we will just GROW it instead. So for the first time this year I was able to make stuffed squash blossoms with ricotta and a dash of red chili tempura style and let me tell you it was incredible.

Second the philosophical reasons which where largely covered in the article (I tend towards practical) just seems noble to grow things not only to feed yourself but to feed you neighbor and maybe just hopefully make enough money to cover the expenses but maybe just maybe make a nice little income. I also love the feeling of being outside with my hands and feet in the soil and the wonder and joy of seeing things grow. Its like hatching little babies and frankly its pretty amazing.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

3dogsbarkingfarms: Looking forward to 2012

3dogsbarkingfarms: Looking forward to 2012: The 2012 Johnny's Seed catalog came the other day man it felt like xmas morning! I heard myself saying is that what I think it is? Oh man I ...

Looking forward to 2012

The 2012 Johnny's Seed catalog came the other day man it felt like xmas morning! I heard myself saying is that what I think it is? Oh man I love all the growing and the planting and the harvesting and of course the eating but what I think I love the most is the planning and probably what I am best at (I hope). So here I sit going over the catalog page by page making both mental and physical notes the plans, hopes, and dreams forming for next year. I love how there is always something new that people much smarter than me come up with new strains new products and new ideas it really makes the future and all its possibilities seem virtually endless.
I am still struggling with the whole problem of we are too small to be considered real farmers but I am trying to shake it off and say hey this is what I got this is what I have and this is what I plan to do. I know we can produce a heck of a lot of food with a 1/4 acre of land under intense production and we have plenty to feed ourselves our extended family and couple of markets and maybe even some cool things for my brothers restaurant that he cant normally get or better yet thinking of asking for. But there is always the voice inside my head that says its not big enough or not good enough you have no land you have no animals you don't make your own cheese (well not yet I will figure that out one day) you don't even have a cow.
Looking forward to both the NOFA-MA and NOFA-NY conferences this year Tommy is even going to the NOFA-NY one with me in nearby Saratoga to learn about the things I have no idea about how to preserve the harvest which we really need to do because we had a ton of loss this year because we just didn't know what to do with it all! Cant wait to learn about how to make the most of my small high tunnel, the most of my small 2 acres in the most beautiful spot in the western world (in my humble opinion), and to learn things I did not even know I needed to learn. The best kind of learning in my mind if you ask.
So here's to 2012 with all its unfinished hopes and dreams and the prayer that I find the energy with working a full time job elsewhere to making it work and to making it happen.