I am amazed that after such a long lapse, my blog stats are still decent. Who are you people, and why do you keep coming back?
Things have been pretty busy work-wise since we got back from the Feast. This is peak farm trip season for us, so I spent 5 days driving out to Lexington to Fahrmeier Farms. If you’re in KC and looking for a cool place to hang out (or buy some fantastic local veg), this is it. Winery, MU games, the whole deal.
We’re looking into applying for another grant to fund a similar pre-K program called Early Sprouts. It has more of a gardening component and allows the pre-Ks to experience six target vegetables with all of their senses before tasting it. There’s cooking in the classroom, plus sending ingredients home so the parents get involved, too. It’s a very cool program. I hope we get the funding.
I’ve applied to present at a conference in Alabama in April. Plus there’s the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in May in Detroit, and I definitely want to go to that. Hopefully I can have a poster. And I’m also presenting at school health conference at the Lake in December. I’m working on trying to develop a presentation that doesn’t suck.
Our grant funding ends at the end of this academic school year, so we’re exploring how we can integrate my program into our existing statewide programs. There are still a lot of questions up in the air, and I don’t know how it’s all going to turn out. Hopefully for the best.
I’m very interested in developing some actually functional Spanish-speaking skills. I took three semesters of Spanish at Queen’s in undergrad, but it’s been a long time. In a couple weeks I’m going to be starting a Community Spanish course at our local career center. I’m looking forward to that. It’s a bonus that I get to do it on work time. I think having Spanish skills would be a huge career asset.
The garden has been put to rest for the season, but I did plant garlic. We had our first frost on our predicted first freeze date of October 17, which I thought was fairly coincidental. After that, though, the temperatures warmed up to be quite lovely and now I have some top growth poking out of the soil. That’s not supposed to happen until spring, so I hope it doesn’t affect next season’s garlic crop.
I did also build a small outdoor compost pile, using Eliot Coleman’s method of using straw bales for the walls of the pile. That meant that I got to buy overpriced straw at our local hardware store, which made me feel very farmy.
Speaking of composting, I also recently ordered another pound of red wigglers for our vermicomposting system. The half pound I purchased originally just wasn’t enough to keep up with all of the scraps we have. We do have some great-looking castings, though, so I’m looking forward to using those on the garden in the spring. Since I have a 5-tray vertical migration bin, I’m hoping to just use two trays at a time and alternate feeding the two trays.
I think, though, that either the delivery man didn’t knock on our door, or we didn’t see the worm box on our porch when we got home last night. That means that the worms sat out on our front porch all night. I didn’t find them until this morning. 😦 I don’t think it got too cold last night; it was 46 when I checked at 7 this morning. The worms don’t like temperatures below 40, so I hope they’re not a gooey mess when I get home.
A couple nights ago Charlie and I were talking and I mentioned something about having bees. I lovingly harass my husband about having backyard ducks or chickens, but he always says no. I’m only allowed to have animals that take care of themselves. Like worms. When I mentioned that people in France keep bees on their apartment roofs, though, he said, “We could have bees.” Are you kidding me?! We can have bees?? I never thought that he would let me keep bees. So now my new thing is learning about how to keep backyard bees. Did you know you can get 100 lb of honey from one colony of bees in one season?! That’s amazing!
As it turns out, there is a local beekeeping association that offers a beekeeping basics course here in town. It looks like the course is in January, and as much as I would like to take it and have bees in the spring, I think I need to reign myself in a bit. There are so many things that I want to do and so many things that I’m interested in, but I keep having to remind myself (my husband does a good job of that, too) that I can’t do them all at once. So I think for the next growing season I will focus on a) adding another garden bed, b) planting a couple fruit trees and c) building cold frames for next winter. Then the next growing season (2011) I’ll put in the last raised bed and get myself some bees. Yay bees!
House-wise, we have been focusing on trim and doors. Charlie installed four new interior doors a few weeks ago, and since then we’ve been painting the doors, painting the frames, painting the trim that goes around the doors and installing it. It’s starting to come together. I’ll post some pictures later.
Charlie’s been very busy with freelance work, which is a blessing financially but also means that it takes us longer to get things done on the house. But, on the other hand, it does help fund some of the house projects. So maybe we do need both.
Oh, and he’s taking me away on a mystery anniversary vacation in December. I don’t know where we’re going, but I know it’s within the US, we’re flying and we’re going to be away for about five days. How exciting!