Week #5

The heat is getting hotter, and we’re all doing our best to stay cool and adapt to the heat. Installing a window A/C unit in the kitchen has made baking much more bearable for me. We are doing our best to move the pigs and ducks into shady areas, but this has been trickier than you might think. We don’t want them to be too stressed from the heat, but we are trying to use their fertility for future vegetable fields, which are necessarily in sunny patches. For now we are putting them in the field, but in areas that get a fair amount of shade for part of the day. Such is the balance of caring for animals as individuals and fitting them into a healthy farm organism.

The past week has given us quite a few new critter tales. Crows decimated a newly seeded corn patch, so Arden and Brian re-seeded and then employed a technique my former boss told me about. You put stakes in around the field, then run string from stake to stake, creating a giant spider web that crows don’t want to venture into. So far it seems to be working, the corn is coming up in rows, even despite the dry weather.

On Sunday morning a neighbor came by to tell us our pigs got out overnight and were in his back yard hanging out with their horses. After splashing in some large water troughs, getting kicked by a horse, and trying to bite the horse’s tail, the pigs were coaxed by a bucket of trail mix (yes, we feed them trail mix) back to their pen. We’re lucky that wasn’t more catastrophic than it was, but the fence is fixed now so hopefully won’t be a problem again.

We’re stoked to have cabbage this week, a crop I have been trying to grow for 3 years now but haven’t had much success with in the past. These mini cabbages include the outer greens, which can be cooked just like kale or collard greens. We also included a recipe for homemade sauerkraut, which is a live-cultured food pre-digested by microorganisms that release nutrients and act as probiotics in your gut! Seeing author Sandor Katz make sauerkraut in college was a huge gateway for me into eating healthier, and it set me on the path of fermentation exploration that has brought me to sourdough baking. Maybe some of you all will catch the bug too! His books The Art of Fermentation and Wild Fermentation are wonderful resources for learning the how-to-make and cultural history of kraut, alcohol, kvass, kombucha, kefir, tempeh, miso, and a billion other fermented goodies.

Be well,

Michael

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