Saturday, April 30, 2011

another case of the uglies

 So here we are, gearing up for another season of spraying in the cropland below our home. The same fields that are currently flooded...poor soil quality and erosion surely contributing to their lack of ability to hold the water we've been getting. Largely, I try not to think too much about what goes on just a mile away and to focus on my own little plot, thankfully uphill of the GMO monoculture. 
Just about a week ago, though, my mom sent me a link to help out our local FFA chapter by registering our little farm and then selecting the FFA chapter of our choice to receive funding. Having once been a member of such chapter (though not because I was interested in farming - was it that jacket we got to wear? Oh, dear...I hope not!), I was happy to help out.
Until I went to the site and saw that the sponsor for the project was...Monsanto. Now, you can call me paranoid if you like, but there was no way I was going to register my little organic farm with Monsanto, which required me telling them what it was, exactly, I was growing. Maybe I've seen too many slow food documentaries, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. My apologies to the Future Farmers of America in Putnam County...
On a positive note, for those of you in Indiana, I added a blog to the list on the right dedicated to local food in the state. Also, I recently read this article about the potential for technology entrepreneurs in the slow food movement (found via facebook friend and local organic farmer, Mark Apple).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

mostly local: thai beef salad

Tonight's dinner was the first mostly local, "fresh" tasting meal we've had this year...hip, hip, hooray!
Thai Beef Salad
(adapted from a Cooking Light recipe)
local ingredients:
*grass-fed beef; sirloin steak, sliced across the grain into thin strips
*radishes; approx. 2 cups sliced
*cilantro; approx 1/4 c. chopped
*mint; approx 2 T chopped
*pea shoots; approx. 2 cups
*large spinach or lettuce leaves (our variety of spinach is pretty crunchy, so it works well; otherwise, use lettuce)
*honey; 2 teaspoons
*garlic; 1 clove, minced
additional ingredients:
1 T. chili garlic sauce
2 t. grated fresh ginger root
1.5 T fresh lime juice
1 T. soy sauce
Combine beef with chili garlic sauce, minced garlic clove and ginger. Marinate in fridge for 30 minutes.
Combine soy sauce, lime juice, and honey - set aside.
Saute beef in cast-iron skillet 2 minutes or so. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Combine in large bowl with radishes, cilantro, and mint. Pour soy sauce mix over and toss. Add pea shoots and toss to combine. Serve on large spinach or lettuce leaves.
Happy Spring!

Monday, April 18, 2011


A much needed update from the Kendall farm...

We are in full-spring-swing here: eating spinach and pea shoots fresh from the garden, collecting lots of eggs, building raised garden beds, preparing for the next batch of layers (25!) and another batch of meat birds (60!!) four weeks after that. We have successfully taken down a nasty outbuilding that plagued the property and are nursing new trees and seedlings to adolescence. The master plan for the farm is always in the back of my mind...and I am trying to make steps toward that end each week. My hope is that by the end of the summer, we will be well on our way. I've read and read about permaculture design and am really longing to have that characterize that master plan I just I'm learning about all the perennial vegetables that I didn't know existed and interplanting like crazy. The "garden" has essentially quadrupled, which I could - quite possibly - regret...though I doubt it. The icing on the cake: tonight we will eat our first batch of morels...thanks to Wyatt and Elise and their discerning eyes. Life is good again!