Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Organic certification time

I am about halfway through the paperwork to update my organic certification.  The price has gone up again, so I just cannot afford any of those late charges.  In addition, if it is postmarked by March 15, I get a $100 deduction, which provides further incentive to stay on it today.

I only have to do the short form this year, for the first time.  I have had good reports for the past couple of years, so now I am on a rotation whereby I do the short form for two years, then the long form again every three years. 

I am getting a new knee on Friday.  Andrew (not Androo, the intern) is here to help me.  I was milking every morning, but I will not be milking at all anymore.  See my previous post about the ultimatum from my surgeon.  Time to hang it up, no more heavy work around here.  This morning Andrew milked all alone for the first time.  I didn't even go out to the milk room and sit at the desk.  It worked out great for me.  It allowed me to stay in the house, the reason my paperwork is moving along for organic certification.

Andrew has had to learn just about everything I do around here.  We each do our own cooking for the most part, but for at least a few days he will be taking care of that as well.  He learned to do face cream and lotion on Monday, and will do two batches of lotion on his own this afternoon.  Androo has taught him the ropes in the greenhouse.  He is learning to build fires, but still has a tendency to let them go out.  He will learn when he gets cold, hey?

Tomorrow Andrew, Androo and maybe Clay will be working in the chicken run.  The hawks got another chicken.  We are going to have to completely cover the chicken run.  It is the only way to keep my remaining chickens alive.  The hawks have found the chicken yard, and they are exploiting it.  It makes me so mad!  I loved to see the chickens running here, there and everywhere.  Oh, well, my shoes are staying cleaner and I am getting more eggs per chicken per week than I have ever done.  We are making it so the hawks can't get in, but those Campines can't get out either!

Thankfully, Ricky Ricardo, Tiny and Goldie still live on.  Andrew puts the chickens away at night now, but last night I sneaked out about a half hour before their bedtime so that I could pick up those three and pet them a bit.  They were all born here last April, and they are the only ones who welcome my kisses and hugs.

Well, you probably won't hear any more from me until after the new knee.  It will be good to have full use of my left leg again!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Greenhouse - we're on our way!

Friday and Saturday were fruit days on my biodynamic calendar.  I rounded up all of the pepper seeds that I wanted planted (they are slow to germinate, so we start them early), found the heating pad to put under the seed trays, got the laptop computer up and running, then met Androo here as I was on my way out the door for market.  He got several hundred seeds planted.  We will do a second planting of peppers, but need to get a few started for those who get VERY impatient in the spring.

I get to sell a second set of plants to a lot of those impatient people.  No matter how often I remind them that peppers really shouldn't go into the garden before the end of May, they try.

I just finished my last seed order.  I have vowed that I am not going to order any more seeds.  If I forgot something, then I forgot it.  Just won't make it into the garden this year.  We will see if I stick to that one.

I'm still waiting to hear from my customers regarding onion plant orders.  I didn't order enough last year.  Both onion sets and onion plants will go in this year, and hopefully I will keep up with the demand.  In addition, my gardening customers buy the plants and sets from me at the market.  It is near impossible to find organic onions for the garden anywhere local, so I do a pretty brisk business.

We expanded the garden - it will be about 70% larger than last year.  But the new part will not be as productive, so I'm really not sure if it will keep up with demand.  We ran out of potatoes last year, so I increased my seed potato order by about 30%.  Most of the same old favorites.  I couldn't get All Blue this year, so I'm trying another blue potato.  They are all the rage.  Seems they are lower in carbohydrates than white or yellow fleshed potatoes.

Well, back to work.  I fully understand why large corporations have purchasing departments.  It is very time consuming.  I definitely did not keep my promise for the last few days to work just four hours a day.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Slow day at market

There is always something to do at market, even on cold winter days when there are not many customers.

A couple of customers browsing.

A game of chess

Coffee & conversation
Lunch counter is always busy!

Scrabble, anyone?