Fall Kale Parties, Farm Hack, and Getting Older and Colder

I’m still reeling from an incredible birthday week and an amazing farm adventure weekend in Ithaca, so please forgive me for jumping all over the place.

Our fall greens are continuing to kick butt. Chelsea and I are picking insurmountable piles of kale. Here are what they look like:

White Russian Kale

Lacinato Kale – aka Dino Kale

Rainbow Lacinato Kale

Winterbor Kale

On a Friday, Chelsea and I (with the help of our compadres once they finish their tasks), will bunch somewhere in the vicinity of 325 bunches of our six different kinds of kale. Then we clean garlic, bunch turnips, radishes and scallions, and clean carrots and other veggies depending on mud levels.

A little reminder that my friends and family love me 🙂

In the midst of all our pick day things, my birthday came and went on Keith’s farm to much fun and enjoyment. I got some great books, a bag of Keith’s garlic for planting stock on Wagner Farmstead, some great winter socks, chocolate, homemade cupcakes and a forthcoming delicious dinner, and a number of reminders that I am loved and missed, which is always comforting and exciting to see. We went out for Mexican that night, and then Friday night after our harvest day Chelsea, Jay and I packed up the car and headed to Ithaca for the our weekend adventure. On Friday night Jay and I saw the Mountain Goats, my potentially second favorite band of all time, and it was an incredibly little evening preceding our two day Farm HACK fun.

Birthday Cupcakes!

Farm Hack Ithaca was my first real exposure to the world of farm innovation – and farm socializing. We spent two days learning about DIY farm projects, farmers-turned-engineers and vice versa, and the amazing new ways farmers are surviving and thriving. If I’m not too tired in the next couple days, I’ll elaborate on this incredible experience – from couch surfing in Ithaca to meeting folks from all over New England who are paving the way for innovative, affordable farming everywhere.

The Farm Hack Adventure was encouraging for a number of reasons. We attended a discussion about “Building Your Farm Shop,” where Rob Rock from Intervale talked about welding and farm equipment and creating and re-engineering your own tractor equipment and tools. And though I know nothing about Tig and Mig welders or anything, I looked at these tools and thought to myself, “man, Glenn Wagner has all of these!” And then I remembered the trailers and go-karts Glenn made from scratch when we were kids and I felt amazingly better about this whole endeavor.

And I had that feeling throughout this whole weekend, especially during an impromptu discussion about rainwater catchment, where this fellow discussed how we waters his 7-acre garden space with rainwater and a bilge pump. You see, Glenn and Donna have been using this very system, handmade, all summer in their garden. I could totally make this work next year.

Alll in all, it was an incredible weekend, week, and real start to fall.

-Farmer Liz

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