Back Issue Vol: 43-4
Some years back I had the pleasure of reviewing Adam Danforth’s outstanding and astounding volumes on butchering meats. Those titles won him the James Beard Award among others. His newest title, Butchering Chickens, follows in the very same astute footsteps. This attractive, well organized handy 175 page book, subtitled A Guide to Human Small-Scale Processing, is published by Storey.
A great many small farms across North America keep ten to thirty laying hens for home family supply. Some of those folks might be surprised to discover that with a modest investment they could turn, or grow, that ‘sideline’ into additional farm income – but you need to know that it will take planning, an increase in daily chores, and attention to detail. And of course, to further assure success, it would help if you naturally enjoyed poultry.
Fruit color is a factor intimately associated with fruit maturity. The small child uninstructed in the arts is not attracted to the cherry tree until the fruits are colored, and he soon learns from experience to choose the fruits that are sweetest by his sense of color values associated with the perception of taste.
Growing up I lived in overalls – my favorite being the railroad striped ones, but I had them in various colors. I had started to have a hankering for a pair of overalls again. As you can imagine, finding overalls that are comfortable when you are a four to twelve year old string bean is much easier than finding them as an adult. Now it isn’t just comfort that I’m interested in but they have to be complementary in other ways too, of course. So with my expectations set really low, I let them know that I would be interested in trying out their Freshley Overalls.
We’ve been savoring the first forsythia blossoms in the Finger Lakes (yes, they’re edible!) And they inspired me to share our favorite edible flowers with you. (There are a lot!) Edible flowers are the best of all worlds, nourishing us in so many ways with their beauty, well beyond calories.
The first surprise came in the old barn, which had a huge raised level floor and steel beams that spanned its forty foot width without posts. And on that floor were parked three small bright prop planes. Single-seaters — red, yellow, and blue. A look around told me all I needed to know. With his jigs and jacks, saws and clamps he really had built them right here. Did they all fly? You bet.
Harrow or rake the soil smooth as in any good gardening operation. Early spring planting is best for the home garden. If you cannot set the plants on arrival, hold them until planting time in the refrigerator with the roots in moist packing, or put the plants in a plastic bag. Soak the roots in water for an hour before you set them in the garden. Plant on a cloudy day or in the evening, and water after setting.
For the most part, up until the past few years, humans and henbit have peacefully coexisted. But in the past decade, farm handbooks and herbicide ads have come out portraying henbit as an enemy, a threat to productivity on the farm. Because of its sheer commonness, do chemical salesmen see in Lamium a potential cash cow?
What a change just three weeks can bring. Like nearly everywhere else in Europe, here in Britain we have been in near lockdown for two weeks, only able to go out to buy essential food or medicine, once a day for exercise, or to go to work if absolutely necessary. For me, and I guess for many of you who live on farms and ranches [if you also have to stay at home], much of my daily routine has stayed pretty much the same, and that is mostly what I want to tell you about.
They say nostalgia kills. But I don’t for a moment believe it. Nostalgia is story, remembrance, the past cloaked in a warm fuzzy warmth, and what is ours to keep if not our story? And is it a problem if we color our story rose and dwell there from time to time? The truth is, most stories from most days for most people are mostly forgettable. Mine included. We all have a few though, that stick, that are tarred and feathered with the stuff of adventure, heroism, tom-foolery, tragedy, sadness, loss, heartbreak.
If we are among the fortunate, long ago the big, long-simmering pot on the stove, center of the kitchen, gave us that bubbling merger of slowly maturing flavors which each nose was drawn to, which each anxious stomach was urged to pay homage to; gave us those abiding memories. Lift the lid and draw in that ‘love in the mist.’
Some years ago I was involved in discussions at Horse Progress Days about the new cultimulchers that several companies were making. One old farmer, almost as old as I, said those weren’t cultimulchers. His dad had used a Moline ‘cultimulcher’ and it looked nothing like these. While it is true that Moline made a tool called a rotary hoe which they said cultivated while making a surface mulch, is it the same? Well here, straight from their original catalog, we offer Moline’s candidate. You decide.
We bought *six quarters, one each year, *clibs we broke-in and sold on. We often bought from Travellers. That was when Travellers travelled round the country in barrel caravans pulled by horses. Solid cobs they had often crossed with the best blood stock in Ireland. Who knew their ‘secret wiles,’ as they passed the stud farms on The Curragh of Kildare? We broke our horses (if broke is the word) very quietly and over time. The magic of the televisions ‘horse whisperers’ instant results is lost to me. ‘Do nothing sudden and do nothing rash.’ That was our mantra.
The garden Pea is the most important member of the genus Pisum. It is native to Europe, but has been cultivated from before the Christian Era for the rich seeds. The field or stock Pea differs little from the garden Pea except in its violet rather than white flowers and its small gray seeds. There are many varieties and several well-marked races of garden Peas. Whilst Peas are grown mostly for their seeds, there is a race in which the thick, soft green pods, with the inclosed seeds, are eaten.
The top two thirds of these pages features a reprint of the circa 1905 catalog from the Standard Garden Tool company. Across the bottom third of those pages we are running some of the illustrations of cultivator shovel setups from Lynn R. Miller’s Horsedrawn Tillage Tools. This book, originally published in 2001, has been out of print for 19 years. We are pleased to announce that it is once again available.
The coarse texture of many of these bags makes them harmonious when used with simple furnishings and hand-made things. However, the heavy sacks, such as feed, seed and fertilizer sacks, have a commercial value when returned to the feed or seed store. If material could be purchased for the money received from the sacks to make a more suitable and, perhaps, a less expensive article, this should be taken into consideration before using them for household purposes.