Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Darkest Days

The candle shines brightest in the darkest night.

It's a time for introstpection, if not just feeling the way the cold bites so deep. But beyond physical awareness, perhaps it can be a time, even a moment, to take stock of what's inside. Inside the head, the heart, the gut. What are you thinking? Feeling? Eating? Is it what you want? Is it your higher potential or your avoidance of change?

Through all of our inner struggles and outer struggles, we must find a way to accept change...and use it to dive into the unknown/unknowable with trust that we are going to be fine with the new you. Letting go of old habits that don't serve us is surely a wise decision. Clenching the old dusty penny when it's raining quarters is insane. When open, the sands of time run freely through your hands; when clenched, only grit. These are decisions, conscious or not, that we make every moment. Are you aware of what choice you are making? Is it doing you any good right now? Could it use an update? I hope that we can find ways to see ourselves as we are, which could even mean seeing ourselves as we don't really want to be, which leads to a desire for change. Buena suerte.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kvass Kvass Kvass!!!

Lacto-fermented beet kvass is my new favorite thing. It's not the traditional kvass that uses stale bread. Just beets, water, salt, and naturally occurring lactobacillus bacteria (ya know, the friendly kind, the kind that you want in your gut....what? What's that? You thought you were a single organism? You forgot that "you" are actually billions of different little cells and microorganisms, working to keep "you" going).

Ever since I got a sip from Corey B.'s Bubonic Tonic from Fab Ferments, I've been craving it. What better way to keep those cravings met than to make my own. And hey, there are a lot of cravings that aren't as beneficial. This stuff is a great blood cleanser, good for yer liver, and is loaded with those beneficial lactobacilli buddies. It is even used in cancer treatments (likely/hopefully before the radiation therapy). "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." This is wisdom that seems to be wholly ignored by our current medical system. But they are clearly more into money than they are your health and well-being....

I love to eat beets, too. But this kvass kick ain't goin' away soon.That's half the reason why I load up on beets whenever I can. Even better when they are organic and local. I had one or two beets survive the deer grazing so I couldn't bring much to the table. Thank goodness they don't dig up potatoes.

Many recipes call for using whey as a "starter culture." You can also use kvass from a previous batch, even kraut juice, in the same manner, as it contains the healthy bacteria that you want.

 Did my darndest to get all of the dirt off.
These are the same 3 Root Grex beets that I mentioned in an earlier post. Some look a lot like the Chioggia beet.
 After they are all chopped into big sticks (because shreddding them causes them to get too mushy and wet and that can lead to alcohol fermentation, not the desired lacto-bacteria) they are stuffed in glass jars and mixed with some salt and water....and then the hard part. Waiting. I wanted to keep the orange and white beets seperate from the redder beets to see if there is any differenece in flavor.

 And here is where all of the snow is going. The cycle rolls on.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mix up Mix up

Big news for dweebs (like me?) that love Star Wars. Well, its old news already, but for those of you who don't listen to/read the news, Disney bought Lucasfilm. This has given artists a lot of room to make some good dove-tailing comic works. Below is a sample. Here is a link to much, much more. They are good. Reeeally good.

Credit: Will Mottram

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Post Sandy

Here is my greenhouse, now a White House, in a bit of a depression.
Enter at your own risk....and to my surprise, after a week of various important and umimportant-but-fun activities, I cleaned up the broken structure and found many young and healthy plants growing just fine. At least the ones that were not completely flattened. As I often remind myself, it's all an experiment, and the early winter weather sure makes it interesting.

Red Russian Kale going strong.                            

A low tunnel put up with some of the weight, but mostly smashed the lettuces, pac choi and tatsoi below. A good shovel reveals crisp and yummy greens ready to eat (or press onto wax paper for bookmarks???)

Tunnel recovered on the left, flattened tatsoi and the lucky lettuces that didn't get the weight.

Estoria had a lot of fun and was totally safe and well-fed, despite other reports you may have been broadcast by certain fear-filled networks. I heard somehwere that you've got to beware, you can't believe everything you hear.

Here's a link to a small video of downtown Red Creek just after the storm.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Future music Now

Beatjazz. This is the real deal. If you like jazz and electronic music, watch this. Even if you don't, watch it to see what live hand-made improv is like.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Be my sweet potato. Whoa, not THAT much sweet tater.

I planted 24 slips of sweet potato in my two gardens and got some impressive yields for planting such a heat- and time-in-the-ground-loving plant. I really didn't expect to get much being that the deer ate most of them to the ground (saved them with low tunnels) and that we have had frost here for weeks. But I was wrong. Very wrong.

That's a shiny old quarter on top of the larger of the taters I dug up. Hope your hungry when you visit.

 This is the alien Burbank Russet potato gun that was unearthed. Weird.

3 Root Grex beets. Go Wolperts! Got seeds from those wonderful people and can't wait to give them a try. Stay away, deer. If you eat them then I am inclined to eat them via you. Got it?
The next step is curing the sweet potatoes. This involves keeping them at about 80 degrees F and at 80% humidity. Sounds like I will dig up the seed heat mat and the old humidifier. Hope it works.
I also got a few varieties of garlic to plant from the Wolperts. Pretty psyched to grow some seed garlic and a little to enjoy and share with others. Nothing like some passion food!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Time goes by:

Tomatillos. They are so delicious and so prolific. A winning combination. I grew green tomatillos, purple tomatillos, and some that were a little of both. The green ones tend to turn more yellow when they are nice and ripe. I combined all of them to make salsa-not-really-verde. It's got a bit more brown in to qualify as green salsa, for those unversed in this lovely Latin American classic.
Minus things like salt and cumin, all the other ingredients were grown nearby, even the apple cider vinegar.

 This is just the beggining of the process. I think we weighed 25#'s and ended up with about 19 pints. Cosmic taste hot and fresh. Not too bad out of the jar, either.
 Glass Rules.
My brother Mogley and I worked at the Mother Earth News Fair two weekends ago. What a tremendous hootarooroo. I met people, animals, insects, foods, bacteria, and all manner of seeds and bulbs. Fab Ferments, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Smooth Ride Smoothies, Hempzels...these people are awesome and worth supporting.
 Livin' the life. These guys got to eat our compost, banana peels, watermelon rinds, coffee grounds. Thus, our potential compost was turned into meat and poo. The circle spins on.
 Another cool early fall morning in Canrain Valley.

Mountain sandwhich on cloud bread. Goldenrod mustard plate?

Freakin' gorgeous awfully invasive pitcher plant.
Destroying Your Cranberry Bog So You Don't Have To!
If you care about native species, you need to watch this (produced by awesome dude Joel Wolpert).
Happy Fall! It is a tool to prepare you for winter.

Monday, September 17, 2012

"Clarifying Values"

From "ZEN and the Art of Making a Living" by Laurence G. Boldt:
Even as the hands of a clock are powered from the
center, which remains ever still, so the universal
values remain ever at the center of human life, no
matter where the hands of time are pointing--past,
present, or future.

"That civilization perishes in which the individual thwarts the revelation of the universal."
-- Tagore

"Most ignorance is vincible ignorance: We don't know because we don't want to."
-- Aldous Huxley

There is no getting away from problems in this life. You're either going to have the creative problems that come with realizing this vision of yours, or the neurotic problems that arise from the suppression of desire. Creative problems, or challenges, test you and spur you to your best. Neurotic problems are simply the murky water of suppressed desire. Let's face it, your deepest desires aren't going away. Talk to the people in nursing homes. See if many don't still have the idea of the thing they always to do but didn't. They are haunted by regret. Their desires didn't go away just because they didn't act on them. Your desire isn't going away either. Honor it, and do your best to give it expression. Keep coming back to it; feed it more and more attention. Let your desire become so strong that no fear from within or obstacle from without can stop your commitment to give your best.
 "When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind."
 -- Seneca

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Trans Form

Light feeds so much. The sun has shone a lot lately. We are surely lucky that it keeps shining.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


987-4   F.49   November 2, 1937.

Q-7. What is my worst fault?
A-7.   What is ever the worst fault of each soul? Self- SELF! What is the meaning on self? That the hurts, the hindrances are hurts to the self self-consciousness; and these create what?Disturbing forces, and these bring about confusions and faults to every nature. For the only sin of man is selfishness!

--Edgar Cayce

"Please enjoy your only life!"  -- Jakusho Kwang

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same."

--Carlos Castaneda

A letter to readers of Free Will Astrology:

"I suspect that none of us has the capacity to foretell the future of the
human race. No one -- not psychics, not doomsayers, not intelligent
optimists, indigenous shamans, no one.

There is a strong case to be made that this is the worst of times, and an
equally strong case that this is the best of times; a strong case that
everything will collapse into a miserable dystopia and a strong case that
we are on the verge of a golden age.

It's impossible to know in any "objective way" which is "truer." Anyone
who asserts they do know is just cherry-picking evidence that rationalizes
their emotional bent. The variables are chaotic and abundant and beyond
our ken.

In the meantime, I'm doing what I can to create a golden age. And you?"

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Greening the Bronx

Just another TED talk to inspire you. Amongst a lot of other things, its about how growing good food can change the lives of destitute urban kids. This guy is a fireball and I had to re-watch it a few times to hear all of his humor and good points. Almost made me cry its so good. Just like good ideas, this video doesn't fit inside the box.

Friday, August 24, 2012

What is Zen?

"Zen is the madman yelling,
'If you wanta tell me that the stars are not words,
then stop calling them stars!'"    

Jack Kerouac

Monday, August 20, 2012


Something is up with the new Blogger that I have not figured out yet. So this next amazing video will have to be a link. Blockhead does the music. Pretty spectacular animation.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Let the #s Speak

One minute is what it will take you to glance over this chart. Take a peek at research from the mid '90's that shows the oftentimes humongous gap between the mineral content of organically and conventionally grown food.

 Maybe this has something to do with, oh, you know, the food choices that make people live well and live not-so-well. Maybe. And it's old news. Thanks to great WV farm blog for sharing the data.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Building All The Time

I admire people's vision being put into reality. This really captures that idea. Yeah!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I once was lost

Dang, I am glad that this little black bugger showed up. My little camera was missing for some time. I was convinced I had left it somewhere, only to be found by somebody that didn't recognize the pictures of my daughter, my garden, myself. Free camera, delete all of those silly pictures and start fresh. But it was just left in my friends car, and he put it in his glove box and forgot to tell me he had it. Then my bro found it and voila, it was brought back to me.

Let's catch up:

 Esty and Dadders like to add bubbles to the bath, but I think she likes the towel swaddle even more than that! Her favorite monkey is a towel and mine is a kid.

Here is the start of a nicely weeded garden...

 ...and here it is cranking away.

 It looks organized, right? Like I posted earlier...well, I'll go take a shot of it now and you'll see why the dang seed packets have recommended row spacing. It's a small jungle now.

 Estoria and her young parents went to Idlewild Park with the local Mtn. Laurel Learning Cooperative. We had a blast and Esty did the carousel more than anything. They should really call it Idle A While know why.

Soon after we got back from the awesome field trip, we were awoken in the middle of the night by some cheep cheeping. Our little buff brahma girls and boys had hatched! One of them could be a mutt mix of brahma and orpington, but a buff nonetheless. Estoria was reeeeeally excited, wiping sleep from eyes and pointing incessantly! But she didn't want to touch them and actually yelled NO! when I picked them up. Funny.

 And this today, our little monkey had decided to wear a shirt and a half, pull out her water shoes, and try to eat her shovel. We had a little lesson in not running around with shovels in your mouth. It could get pretty nasty pretty quick.

 I think that she is already leaning towards Islam. Nothing wrong with that, of course. Right, America? Right. 

Well , we are off to the swing set and then to the Yarn show. Thanks for reading and writing and arithmeticin'.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Slow but catching on

As with many things in this fast-paced whirled, I am oftentimes slow to catch on. For instance, Daft Punk. If you like electronic music or dancing or both, then you'd like Daft Punk. They've been ripping my ears open to new horizons. They are awesome. I suggest you check them out if you are any of those three types I just listed. Thanks go out to cousin Matt who is a bit of a music aficionado and who hooked me up with loads of music that has changed my life. I just had to listen to it.

Here's a link to them live, with a crazy amount of lights, camera angles, and their space suits...

I'm hooked.
And an added local(ish) art video from one of my favorite WV artists, Eddie Spaghetti. If you frequent the White Room or White Grass, or many places in Morgantown, then you've surely seen his work. Steeped in nature, beauty, and myth, his work feels gooooood. Hope you like it, too.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I know that I don't know

Our theories of the eternal are as valuable as are those that a chick which has not broken its way through its shell might form of the outside world.     The Buddha

Monday, July 16, 2012

Agua Es Vida

Darned if there wusn't a drought 'round here recently. The past few days have been rainy and partly cloudy, just what a plant or tree needs right now to make strong seeds for the ongoing earth adventure. Every day I feel and know that I am very lucky to live in the mostly moist mountains of Dub V. Even when we are having a drought, it's very relative as its often so wet that even then the creek still has a heavy trickle and the garden is still putting out healthy fare at tremendous rates. I really don't know if I would like to be anywhere else, and that's OK.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Full Swing

Summer ain't slowin' down but I am going to have to. After a great game of the best game on earth, (you guessed it, soccer, or football to the rest of the world) I had  a bit of a soreness in my left ankle. Sure enough, as I began to become less and less active, it began to hurt more and more. Eventually, it was apparent that I had probably sprained it or at least whacked it out enough to be a gimpy hobbler for a while. Great timing with work and booming gardens and loads of evening extracurricular activity. Of Course!
'Tis surely an omen that I need to clean up the clutter mountain in my house, since I can no longer "run away." I know, I know, I can still walk or hobble or crawl away, but its just not as effective as running. Face the flames, hoarder.

Mental Floss:

 "If you think you're free, there's no escape possible."  -- Baba Ram Dass

" A little unlearning goes a long way."  -- Richard Kehl

"I really admire bees' sense of common responsibility...Although sometimes individual bees fight, basically there is a strong sense of unity and cooperation. We human beings are supposed to be much more advanced, but sometimes we lag behind even small insects."  -- The Dalai Lama

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Indy Pen Dance

Celebrate your independence from the 1%. Buy local when you can, the local connection is the best back up plan. While it pleases to have ease, the struggle is a blessing.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Food Doesn't Come From Stores

source: Lauren Nassef//New York Times

And an unrelated update on the outright attack on attempts to protect our environement. Its a sort of depressing list of failed and passed bills from our House of Reps. that makes it pretty clear that business trumps protection.  Read more varietal media and Vote, dagnabit.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

. .

The Master asked: "Do you smell the mountain laurel?"
     "Yes," replied the student.
     "There," the Master answered. "I have held nothing back from you."

Zen Mondo

(A mondo is a dialogue between a teacher and pupil, essentially a scripture in Zen Buddhism.)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Too Cool

I've been excited about shipping container houses/structures before...but this is really upping the ante. Buy a container that contains all of the ingredients to build a house, an office, a studio, a spa, whatever one could think of. Me thinks it is a good way to use a big container.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Community on the Rise

Now that the Farmer's Market is goin' on, I'm bound to be heckled at least once a week by this character, Mac the Knife.

 Esty is as glad as I am to see Uncle Adam again.

Kids snacking at the community garden in Thomas, WV. Hopefully they will be able to add some fresh 'maters to their snack.

In other news, I've been trying my (clean) hand at hatching chickens. I've got a very simple still air incubator (with about 20 eggs in it), and have about a half dozen eggs that the Buff Orpiingtons are sitting on....the Buff Brahmas have been seen sitting on the same clutch. That's what I call teamwork. I hope to get purebred Brahmas but will likely have  a few mixed OrpiBrahmas, maybe even a Rhode Island Brahma as it seems the neighbors chickens may have been laying eggs in my coop. Probably because of the great furnishings that my girls have...ha. If I have any luck I'd like to try to hatch some guineas and bantams. Oh what fun on the funny farm.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Whoa, Baby!

Not that often that Esty looks this clean. Minus the tatt. We kept it on for her great grandpa.

This is the most organized garden I have ever planted. I hope it works out.

By the way, the Taste of Tucker Farmer's Market has begun. As of now it is every Saturday from 10am-2pm in Davis, at the biggest sand pit in town. By the North Fork Watershed building. Where the coffee shop once was (and one plans to come?). The Market is on Fakebook but its really only in Davis. There will soon be a market on Wednesdays from 10am-1pm in Parsons, at Mill Race Park. And it sounds like there will also be some food for sale in Davis, at the same location, on Friday evenings from 3pm-5pm. Will keep people posted on those opening times.

Support local farms. Eat well and smile.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dancing Makes You Smarter

Research is out that shows the best thing for seniors to do to keep their minds sharp is to dance. It's better than reading, than doing crossword puzzles, and a host of other activities. The gist of it is that when we dance to rhythmic music (even if we aren't that good) we activate a part of our brain that can then rewire itself. "use it or lose it." Nice article.

Find another good reason to boogie!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Low or no tech

Is anybody still reading? I have been far away from the routine of using a computer since mine recently crashed. It doesn't mean that I have forgotten how thirsty you all are to read my blog...and I certainly have not lost my sarcastic edge'.

What have I been doing? Let's see: greenhouse, soil blocks, tilling, planning, reading, grinning, having a blast with a 20 month old, working on some farms, and....not using a computer much. I hope to get a new camera to make this more pleasurable for y'all. With that said, I am off to tend to my 'mater babies!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

TED Talks rock off socks.

Catch that? Our internet replicates natures ancient pattern. Maybe we're not so special, after all?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Let the blind not see

But no, really, its a hoax.

Thanks, Grist.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why Farm?

Here's a comedic answer:

Thanks to Beanie Man Corey of Carolina for this one.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Breathe Green

This video is super rad.

And researchers at MIT have been working on a super green idea: turning cut grass into solar power generators. It turns out that photosynthetic molecules exist in regular ol' grass, and someday soon we laymen and laywomen may be able to toss up some chemicals and make a sort of paint to harvest light. Freakin' cool.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Dub V Small Farmers Unite!

At the end of this month there will be a Small Farms Conference in Morgantown, WV.

Subjects of interest for me include farm-to-school networking, high tunnels, winter farming, beekeeping, poultry production, and cut flowers, to be brief. Hope to see you there!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Onion in My Eye

If you don't read The Onion once is a while, then you probably don't like to laugh, and you likely hate dark humor...or you just don't know what you are missing. Well, its not news, but it sure is funny. This lewd story (***If reading foul language makes you feel weird, then don't click the link.) about a future mother kinda sums up how I felt when Estoria was forming in her Momma's belly, and I wasn't even the mother, duh (Read: sarcasm).

A more general story from The Onion has to do with marketing the America franchise for other nations. I know, I know, America has been trying to dominate the globe for as long as the loonies believed in manifest destiny and all that hooooopla...but this just may be the secret to fulfilling that goal! Perhaps its prophecy, and not news?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Eye of the Beholder

 Kid world, usually a bit blurry.

DJ Esty deep in thought, feelin' the beat.
"A'ight everybody, bring down the house."

 These are the last pictures that were taken on my little camera before I, unknowingly, put the teeny guy through the washing machine. Dang. I hate it when that happens. It still works, though, sorta. I can review pictures on the memory stick but when I tak a picture, it looks like this:

That's Esty standing up on the couch...don't tell her Mommy. I guess the camera is ruined, unless you like plum tone on everything.