Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring is here!!

This past Saturday I worked at Mountain Meadows, an organic fruit farm out in Leicester, NC. Now before I tell you anything about the farm, you just absolutely have to know that the owner's life path has been everything I've ever dreamed of trying to achieve. He was born and raised in Southern California, worked in landscaping, lived in Hawaii working as a school principal, then worked (in I forget which state) for a non-profit organization encouraging schools to start gardens and somehow along the line decided to move to this area a couple years ago and start an amazing fruit farm using California style farming techniques.

His property stretches along the side of a mountain (and probably beyond that) and is cut into terraces for easier maintenance, irrigation, and harvesting. He grows apples, Asian pears, plums, peaches, nectarines, pluots, muscadine grapes, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and all sorts of vegetables, and flowers!

On Saturday I mulched each muscadine grape plant spanning over nearly two terraces taking short breaks in between pushing a wheel barrel full of mulch back and forth across the terraces to do my small part of holding beams in place to build a greenhouse. After that I sprinkled them all with some "love" (organic nitrogen) and by then it was already 4:30 and time for me to make the long trip back home.

It was some seriously hard work but I had a blast. After dealing with children who regularly act like wild animals, some manual labor, sunshine, fresh air, cool mountain breeze, sunburns, and aching limbs were honestly a real treat. The only sounds came from faint echos of other working farms, some friendly dogs barking, wind, and the river running down below. Ahhh...peace and quiet.

I get paid with already enormous amounts of new knowledge and a bouquet of daffodils! What a perfect exchange!

I can't wait to go back! Keep checking for pictures of the farm and news of what projects we're working on! Pretty soon i hope to be driving tractors and bulldozers! haha!

On another note, yesterday was homemade Sushi Sunday! WIN! I even made dessert sushi was mango, cream cheese, and a honey drizzle but we inhaled it so fast that there is no photographic evidence.

Spring is finally here and it's gorgeous! I only wish the weather would stay consistent. I'd really like to permanently move my winter wardrobe to the basement and hope I never have to look at it again!

Here are some photos from our dog walk around the neighborhood:

Check back for more springtime and farming fun!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


A few random photos I've been meaning to put up...

After months of staring at the recipe, I finally attempted my first Piece Montée. Here's a photo of the end result. For my first try I think I did pretty well! Only the spun sugar looks a bit yucky and was left to cook for a little too long so it turns absolutely rock hard, making this pretty difficult (and painful) to eat.

Here's Poof celebrating Mardi Gras. Should of got him some Abita beer.

My cucumber plant, which has doubled in size within the past week.

Poof also likes to sunbathe throughout the house. I meant to take a progression of pictures as the sunlight moves throughout the house since he follows it around. He starts here in the den and ends up in the far end of the living room. Strange creature.

The first and probably only time I will ever beat Tom in Scrabble.

Oh yea.

And I'm off!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the condemned

Life is pretty quiet here lately. The weather is completely schizophrenic. The few days of warmer weather followed by pouring snow and rain makes Spring feel like such a long wait away. The warm spurts are never long enough for me to switch my wardrobe back to Florida clothes. A few weeks ago, Tom went on a ride-along with his cousin Adam who's a police officer here in Asheville. Along with plenty of other exciting things, Tom got to tour the decaying parts of Asheville. So on a cloudy, quiet Sunday Tom forwarded the tour along to me. Here are some photos I snapped of some officially condemned buildings (deemed unsafe; mostly old factories and warehouses)

random rock garden by an old warehouse