Insecurity Breeds Tomatoes

☆ June 12, 2014

When I last mentioned my garden, I had made a sauna out of fire-heated rocks and tarps to save my tomatoes from an early frost, which kept them growing for another week until it snowed in earnest in early October.  At that point, I transplanted my basil, parsley, thyme, and jalepeno plants into pots and lugged them inside (where they flourished all winter!), and cut the tomato plants at the base and hung them from my bathroom ceiling and enjoyed vine-ripened tomatoes into November.  Heady from keeping a few plants alive through the winter, I decided to start my garden from seed for the first time this spring.

Plants make me very nervous. Put me in a confined space with a coyote or a bull and I’m totally comfortable, but put some seeds in my hand and I start to hyperventilate. I’d ordered seeds in the past from Lisa at Amishland but had been too scared to plant them; this year, I unearthed those seeds from the back of a drawer and ordered a few more: heirloom varieties like Cuor di Bue and Coyote tomatoes, Chervena Chushka sweet pepper and Little Nubian hot pepper, and Astrakhanski watermelon. With great trepidation, I sprouted all the pepper and tomato seeds according to Lisa’s instructions, convinced that some – if not most – would not sprout due to some failure on my part. Nearly all of them sprouted. So I planted all the seeds, convinced that some – if not most – would not grow because of my ignorance and ineptitude. They all grew! And so I now have twelve watermelon and cantaloupe plants, fourteen pepper plants, and sixty tomato plants. SIXTY!

tomchart

It was time to make more raised beds. Last year, I built three beds from 2×8 redwood – they are gorgeous and sturdy and I can walk their edges like a balance beam, but the materials were so expensive. This year, since I quintupled my garden space, I used DIY diva‘s technique with cedar fence planks. Way cheaper, and so easy to build – I knocked out six before noon my first day and another six one evening. The chickies helped. And I’ll have enough tomatoes to share the bounty with them, too.

raisedbeds

The View From Here

☆ June 10, 2014

viewfromhere

I saw a snake & the snake saw me

☆ June 5, 2014

hideandsnake

Poufs!

☆ June 2, 2014

poufs

Star Brand Beef: Info & Update

☆ June 2, 2014

I’ve heard from a number of people who are interested in ordering Star Brand Beef and will be driving significant distances to meet the truck, and are wondering how to safely transport their beef home when it entails a multi-hour car trip. First, THANK YOU! Your support is what keeps this going, and I firmly believe the beef you get will be worth the drive.

The beef is transported frozen, in boxes that measure roughly 18″ x 12″ x 12.”  Standard quarter orders range from three to five boxes depending on the size of the quarter, and my educated guess is that mini quarters will be two boxes.

Past customers have used coolers, dry ice, quilts, thermal camping blankets, and a combination of the above to get their beef home. Last year, I stopped in Rock Springs, WY and handed off a half beef to a couple who lived in Colorado Springs, CO.  We left the meat in the boxes (ie, no coolers used) and set the boxes right next to each other in the back of their SUV and covered it all with several quilts. They emailed me afterward to report that after their 6 hour drive home, everything was still completely frozen.

Coolers and dry ice will definitely keep everything frozen as well.  I would use dry ice over regular ice.  Not much dry ice is needed – if you go that route, I would put a palm-sized piece of dry ice in a brown paper lunch sack, and place two or three of these in the bottom of each cooler (depending on the size of your coolers), then transfer the packaged meat from the delivery boxes straight into the coolers, and then place two or three more of the bagged dry ice on top of the meat in each cooler.

ALSO: Originally, Mini Quarters were only going to be available for Eastern delivery due to scheduling. I’ve rearranged a few things and can now offer a VERY limited amount of mini quarters for delivery West. I’ve updated the shop and you can find them here. If you are interested in a mini quarter for delivery to points West, please place your order ASAP as they are going fast.

Thank you all for your kind words and support!

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