Tag Archives: fermenting

Farm Apprentice-7/13/18

My farm apprentice goes home on Sunday.  We have had 3 1/2 great weeks with our eldest grandson.  His first full week here he attended basketball camp at Virginia Tech.  His stay has been a blend of fun and work and I am going to miss his help on the work days.

This morning, before anyone else arose, I did get three more of the saplings planted.  It was still cool outdoors.  Using the tractor bucket, I scraped off the grass in patches the width of the bucket and about 3 feet across, then hand dug holes in the bare soil.  After delivering eggs in town, we purchased a few more bags of hardwood mulch and my farm apprentice was given another opportunity to drive the tractor as he delivered the bags to the newly planted trees.


I wouldn’t trust him alone, but he can drive it slowly with reminders.  He did have a glitch with stopping once and almost took out one of the new saplings, but he got better as I let him move it around as we moved mulch and water to the new trees and the extra mulch to the garden.


They are tiny now, but hopefully will grow to continue providing a wind barrier on the west side of the house.

I took over to mow a path through an area that is outside of the hayfields and repeated the removal of the grass layer to make spaces for the two sweet gums trees.  We didn’t want them in the lawn area, having had several in our yard when we lived in Virginia Beach.  He helped dig holes and plant the two remaining trees.  We then spread two of the bags of mulch in vegetable garden aisles over thick paper layers.

Last evening, when I went out to collect eggs, I also collected a hand full of Jalapeño peppers and two pickling cucumbers and started a ferment of them, a half onion, some fresh dill, dried dill seed, bay leaves, and sea salt.  They will be refrigerated once ready and enjoyed later.


The rest of today I will rest and knit. Tomorrow, my apprentice’s Dad will come and Sunday, they will return to their home.

Sunday Thankfulness

Weekends bring the Farmers’ Market and breakfast out. We live near a major university town and university towns have bagel shops, except this town didn’t. You could get a bagel at one of two local coffee shops, but they were made in a city nearly an hour away. Those bagels could also be bought at the natural foods stores, but they are only delivered once a week. You can get Panera’s idea of a bagel. A new vendor at the Farmers’ Market is now selling bagels, I haven’t tried them yet and yesterday was much to cold to stand outside and eat a cold bagel. On Monday, however, the town got it’s first made on the premises, get them fresh bagel shop. Welcome Hello Bagel. We ventured in instead of going to the usual diner which has been so busy the past few weekends that we have had to stand at the door and await a table. Yesterday’s bagel was hot and delicious, buttered with a cup of coffee. They do need more cream cheese varieties, but lots of bagel flavors.
Fueled with breakfast I braved the market while Mounntaingdad sat in the car and finished his newspaper. My favorite meat vendor was back and was saddened to hear her absence was due to the death of her father. She had just left his side to return home when he passed.
A few meat items and a large cabbage were purchased from her, potatoes and almost 4 pounds of Daikon radishes from another vendor. I had kimchi or more correctly, Maangchi in mind.
Growing up, I had never heard of fermented food, wasn’t a big fan of canned sauerkraut, and yoghurt wasn’t in every dairy case. Upon buying our farm we found, with son#1’s help, a Korean Restaurant in a tiny town west of us and I experienced my first kimchi and though I don’t like all kinds, I do love Maangchi, the radish kind, and a turnip one that is similar.  Most all of the fall harvest of radishes were made into Maangchi and it is nearly gone.  Daikon’s make a better version and since they were available, I knew I could have more.




Such an easy process.


Not many ingredients.




Like kraut, the radish mix must be packed down to remove air.  It can be eaten right away or let to sit on a dark shelf for a few days to ferment before putting in the refrigerator for enjoyment later.

I do think that next year the garden will contain Daikon radishes instead of the smaller cousins.

I am thankful for discoveries, for an awesome local market, for good food and as we are leaving shortly for another organization meeting against the pipeline, for “neighbors” who also want t o stop the desecration of our beautiful environment by this abhorrent potential project.





Olio – June 18, 2014

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things

Pet peeves of the day;

  • the trend of semi fast food restaurants to shout out across the dining area “Welcome to …” each time a patron enters any door of the establishment.  Do they really think that is appealing and welcoming?
  • also in a semi fast food restaurant or even a real restaurant for an employee to walk up to your table and grab the tray/plate before asking if you are finished with it and say, “May I take your …”  One literally tried to take the tray with my husband’s fries on it today while he was still eating them.
  • along the same vein, to be in an establishment and have not only your own server ask how your meal is, but anyone else that works there.  We have been asked at one steak place we patronize as many as 4 or 5 times by that many different people about how our meal/visit was while we are still seated and eating.  Let us enjoy our food in peace.

Today was resupply all the critters feed.  We managed to run out of dog food, cat food, chicken layer and chick starter grower all at the same time.  That was a car full.

On our way home, we stopped at a local greenhouse and bought 4 new Day-lily plants, different from the two that I have and also bought 3 more pepper plants as some of my heirloom starts didn’t grow once put in the garden.  Of course that mean garden work when we got home and it is HOT, HOT, and humid out there today.  Two of the Day-lily plants went in the perennial bed in the front of the house.  The garage wall bed had gotten grossly overgrown with grape iris, the purple ones that smell like grape Kool-aid.


That is one of 4 huge clusters when they were blooming.  They haven’t been thinned in a few years, they were overrunning the English Daisies, and the bed had gotten weedy as well.  I dug them all out!  I hate to throw them away, but there are too many to replant.  I am going to load them in the tractor bucket and dump them where we don’t mow.  I bet some of them will come up next year and bloom there.  A few of them were moved to a bed by the deck.  The rest of the bed now has the other two Day-lily plants, two lavender plants, some English Daisies, a yellow poppy, three clusters of Dutch Iris plants that I divided from the deck area and on the opposite side of the walkway out of the garage side door, the Bronze fennel.  The bed is weeded, watered, and mulched with spoiled hay until I can get some more shredded mulch to apply to the bed.


It looks sparse now, but will fill in quickly and have more variety.


The haying is not going as quickly as we had hoped.  Jeff is trying to do too much at the same time.  They tettered the upper fields yesterday then came back and raked it into rows for baling, but the first bale was too green so they left it to mow the lower field and ran out of fuel. This afternoon the have turned the hay and

hopefully will get it baled this evening as we are due for rain for a few days.

The first batch of mustard is so good, there are 3 batches fermenting now to share. Two are Bavarian style and one is a repeat of the horseradish recipe.

I think I am going to have to buy some sausages to grill soon.

Raspberries are ripening.  Tonight I harvested about a cup of them and resisted eating them as I picked.  They went into the freezer.  As soon as I have a quart, there will be a raspberry jam making session.


Life is good on our mountain farm.