Monday, January 26, 2009
Waiting for Spring
Sorry I haven't written for awhile, things have been hectic. This past Sunday I felt like taking a ride. It has been almost three months since I was out to the farm. The farm where we get our fresh organic veggies every week and I get my fresh materials for my artwork! I know it's the dead of winter, but I just wanted to see it. It was a beautiful day, clear, sunny and very cold. We bundled up, Jazzy even had to wear her little sweatshirt jacket ( Mommy insisted), I grabbed the camera and extra batteries and off we went.
The drive was nice, but I was driving west, heading into the blazing sun. When we got there it was cold and barren looking, the ground resting in winter, awaiting the longer days, the warmer air, the sun shining down to gently awaken the sleeping seeds in the earth. You could just feel that, even though all looked 'quiet'. It was a great day to take pictures and late in the afternoon so you can see the warm light of the sun as it is heading down for the night. I never really got a good picture of the barn during the summer, I either forgot my camera on good days or when I remembered it didn't take well.
So here's a few I hope you enjoy. This Barn is one of the oldest buildings on the Rodale Farm. It was built in 1836 by a man named Siegfried who bought it from a man named Casper , who was a button maker ( ironically, to me anyway) from Philadelphia. It housed his livestock. Today it houses a exhibit in the back two thirds on the Essence of Food.
That is the sign on the old barn where we pick up our CSA share. It says, FOOD , the Essence of LIFE! See the large white door with the green cross pieces? That is where we enter to pick up our 'share' of the farms bounty each week.
This is the side of the barn with one of the benches that can usually be found inside that I've used to rest my baskets on as I go around the different tables gathering the bounty for the week. Aren't they cute? They are made with old shovel spades.
I hope this picture is big enough for you to see the farm in the background. This farm belongs to a Mennonite family that helps to farm the rest of the land Rodale doesn't use. How ironic it was that through a friend I started to sell some of my quilts I had made after my accident in the 90's there, by my husband taking them out there. I didn't realize until a year later that it was right next door to the organic farm we joined. So this year when I started to sell my organic artwork at the farm ( in that lower window to the left of the double doors) I thought it was so cool that I was selling my art, both textile and clay next door to each other, but not in stores, but an old farmhouse and an even older barn! Cool huh?
So we took a little walk out in the U-pick area. This is the plot of land that shareholders can go and pick their own, flowers, herbs, tomatoes, beans, edamame, raspberries, strawberries and more. We love this part as it makes us feel like we are part of the growing of our food, even if it just means we are picking it. Here's some pictures of the herbs in winter. Some of them are hardy and can winter over, some will reseed themselves. Up at the top of the page is a single head of garlic chives, still beautiful with their seeds spent and dried and brown. Here's a bunch of them together.
The Sage is curled up, but still full of texture, I even picked some to try to get some winter impressions from~!
Here's a head of Anise, with the seeds still attached. Most people are familiar with the anise seeds used in Rye bread. The leaves of he plant can also be used and later in the season the bulb develops and can be eaten as fennel. Here it is even more beautiful with the seeds off of it.
The Dill in winter just like in summer looks very similar, here is a piece that has been blown over into the snow. I remember the last time I was there and I picked some because they hadn't plowed it under yet. I wish now that I had picked more and frozen it. What I do is chop it up and add it to butter, sometimes also adding the zest of a lemon. I used up our final amount I keep in the freezer a couple days ago on some fresh salmon and Talapia. Yum!
We couldn't stay too long as out in the fields there are no windbreaks and my cheeks felt like they were getting frost bite. We let Jazzy sniff around a bit, she always loves going out to the farm to pick up the veggies and cheese and on special weekends, to go out and run around through the rows, sniffing all the wonderful farm smells. Here she is sniffing where the strawberries will be popping up in no time!
All in all we had a wonderful , if short time there and it has rejuvenated me into getting out my sketchbook and looking through those designs I only had time to quickly record during the growing season, in hopes of making them into reality during the winter months.
Hope you enjoyed a little trip to the Organic CSA Farm with me!
(HEY! did you know that you can click on my pics and enlarge them to see better details?)