Thursday, May 24, 2012

Not so quick

I am apparently giving up on the quick part of my blog (not that many of my recipes have been very quick). But am fully embracing the cheap and local parts of it. Shaun and I decided to spend the summer WWOFFing. We have had a small garden for several seasons and are hoping that spending almost an entire growing season working with someone more experienced will help us improve our own gardening skills fast. Well, faster than several years of trial and error. We currently live in an apartment in Minneapolis so I am not sure how much of what we learn will but into practice within the next couple of years, but eventually we hope to grow a significant portion, if not all, of our fruits and vegetables (and maybe our eggs and honey as well)

As a plus we are hoping that WWOOFing in the northwest will give us the opportunity to spend some quality time with friends and family. We have returned to my native Willamette Valley to spend the next six weeks on a small farm outside of Monmouth and then the six weeks after that near Shaun's hometown in NE Washington. The picture on the left is actually neither. On our way to the Willamette Valley we stopped off in the Grande Ronde Valley to spend a wonderful weekend with some great friends and that's the view from their deck (Why did we move to MN again?)

I don't know how many recipes I'll post but I thought this would be a good place to track the things I am learning about farming.  We are finishing up our second day on the farm. So far I have learned that fava beans are a good dry bean for small spaces they are really big and you can use them in tasty dishes like fava bean hummus which needs lots of sauteed onions to mellow out the strong flavor of the fava beans. You can make your own tahini by blending 2 cups of sesame seeds with 1/2 cup of oil. The farmer also recommended the book the New Organic Farmer by Eliot Coleman which apparently has a lot of good information including her favorite recipe for potting soil. Also, black forest squash over winters the best, but the seeds are very tough and you can't eat them.

I consider myself pretty healthy, but the diet here is predominantly vegan, includes VERY little sugar, and no coffee or alcohol (there are no rules about having these things they just aren't provided). It is amazing how much I find myself wanting sugar and cheese. I also think I am getting caffein headaches which I previously thought I was imune to. It is interesting feeling how my body adjusts. We are still very much adjusting to life on the farm. The schedule is very relaxed, 10 to 5 with a long lunch, and it is amazing to have time to read, knit, meditatie, run and do yoga all in the same day! Though I have to admit I haven't actually done all of those things in one day yet. It also turns out there are parts of farming that are a bit on the boring side, four hours weeding blueberries for example. It has been fairly rainy and cold which has made me a little cranky, though I have been trying to hide it. But like I said, it is only our second day. The people we are staying with are truly inspirational!  They are so committed to living sustainably and in harmony with the land and are wonderful teachers.

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