I volunteered at the Sustainable Life festival down the road at Wise Acres Farm today; their better known event, the Herb Fest, draws gargantuan crowds, whereas this one (so far) has been somewhat sparsely attended, but it's the first year for it, and I think it will do well when it is better known and people can plan ahead to attend. There are workshops, lectures, farm tours, herb tours, and networking opportunities, and the people involved are knowledgeable and kindly. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, and planning to carry more sunscreen and water!
Last Son came along, and with him, after my shift, I attended a lecture-demonstration of a veggie diesel truck, a farm tour with stops at gardens, an orchard, compost piles, chicken shed, chicken tractor, and a goat dairy. We then spent the afternoon at the workshop of his choice, a hands-on beer-making session. An aficionado of Belgian beers, he appreciated the training but confided to me later that he could have done without all the talk of herb beers (!) -- he's a very basic guy.
Feeling woozy in the afternoon heat and wind, with a fairly stout sample of fennel-lavender beer, or some such thing, in my tummy, I wandered off, thinking to take a nap, and in the herb garden found an elderly woman in a steel-and-canvas glider, swinging gently back and forth in the shade, watching several huge koi in a small pond. She patted the seat beside her, and I sat down and introduced myself, and we "talked of many things/Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--/Of cabbages--and kings--/And why the sea is boiling hot--/And whether pigs have wings."
She seemed to have memory issues; as do I, increasingly. I hope to have them with such grace, should I reach to her years.
for Independence Days,
1. Plant something - A few potatoes in gaps. Sunflowers.
2. Harvest something - Elephant garlic, onions, peas, chard, mustard, lettuce, spinach, strawberries, basil, chives. One rooster. A lot of Japanese knotweed for beanpoles and compost.
3. Preserve something - chicken, broth.
4. Reduce waste - Making more compost from knotweed and grass clippings, and beanpoles from knotweed.
5. Preparation and Storage - Assembled a new wheelbarrow.
6. Build Community Food Systems - selling duck eggs; Sustainable Life Festival volunteer.
7. Eat the Food - From frozen: plum sauce, used to make reconstituted plum juice. From poultry: duck eggs, chicken eggs; fresh chicken liver with eggs and chives. From storage: rolled oats, potatoes, home-dried runner beans and French beans. From garden: Elephant garlic, onions, kale, chard, dandelions, peas, lettuce, spinach, chard, strawberries, mint, basil, chives, still mostly peas.
The volunteering has kept me away from much of this and before that was the illness (which is not over). Hope to have a much better IDC report after the 4th of July weekend!