Friday, September 6, 2013

A Wrap on My Week....

I spent part of Labor Day working with Bree, feeding the caring for the alpacas. They get feed, hay and fresh water each day. AlpacasWhite Violet Baby Alpaca create  just a couple of spots in their pasture area where they poop so it's easy to clean up after them (they poop out little pellets). It's important to clean it up so that they don't pick up diseases. Erma Bombeck always said that the grass is always greener over the septic tank...well that's sort of close. Here it's ...The Grass is Always Greener Under the Alpaca Poop". When you have a big pasture, as some of ours our, you look for the tallest grass to find their bathroom spots. It was fun working with them...they are quite the curious creatures and they sure love the feed that they get. One came into the shed, when he heard me scooping it up, and wanted to stick his head right in the can to get some. I had to shoo him out so I could finish getting it ready for them.
totes With the long weekend the tomatoes were sure ripe and ready to be picked on Tuesday. We picked almost 400 pounds ! We pick into red totes and once the product is washed or prepared for CSA or market, they go into blue totes. They are washed with straight vinegar each time they are used to kill any diseases or fungus that has come in from the field. Wednesday was CSA day and I took the orders to our "South" location and handed them out to the members as they came in. When we set up the room to pack bags, here is the set up.


Ann looks at the list of CSA members , hands us a member's bag and tells us what extra items someone might get.

Starting with the heaviest items, we start filling the cloth bags. This week, these totes had onions and apples. Notice that some things are in red totes when they should be in blue. We had so many tomatoes in blue ones that we ran out of them so had to use red ones.


We work our way around the room, and the lightest items are at the end. We also put the items that not everyone is going to get, which this week was ground cherries, eggplant, swiss chard and peppers.

That's the process ! We have 62 CSA members. Some are 1/2 shares so they don't get all of the items. We usually have about 10-12 dozen eggs each week so those get distributed in some manner too. Sometimes I don't know how Ann keeps track of everything. It gets really confusing sometimes to figure out who gets what. So back to my story about being at our South pick-up: I got to talking to one of our CSA members, told him I'm a fulltime RVer and turns out he is shopping for an RV. He would like to go full-time but can't right now. He and his wife do shows (they are artists) and they bought a Smart Car so they can tow it when they buy their motorhome. They want something about 25' in length so we talked a while about that. Then somehow we got to talking about Ithaca, NY. I told him I lived there for a bit and that my son was born there. Turns out he was just there four days ago....went to the bird sanctuary on Sapsucker Woods Rd which is where I used to live. Wow, small, small world. It was fun talking to him...he found an object laying in the parking lot that he wants to incorporate into a piece called "The River" that he's working on. He uses items he has found on the river while boating or kayaking. Love these chance encounters to chat with people !
Oh, here's another neat thing that happened just yesterday.Mobile Market A guy named Norbert came by with this trailer to show us. It was a race car trailer and it has two entrances into it, in addition to the ramp door in the back. The side flaps go up so apparently someone used it as a concession sales trailer. It's going to be used as a mobile market for fresh produce. It will go into neighborhoods in Terra Haute, where low income folks or retirees live who may not have a car to get to the market and sell fresh produce to them. Our interns (me included) will take turns working with Norbert in nearby areas. Sorry I don't have a picture of the inside of the trailer. I was in awe of the whole thing that I forgot I had my phone with me till after he had closed it up. The outer walls of the trailer are lined with commercial storage racks, held in place by tie down straps hooked to the walls. You can see the AC unit on the roof so it can be kept cool
. There are two different refrigerated cases in the front, left corner so things like fresh cheese or whatever could be displayed there. In talking to Robyn, at White Violet Center, there is something being created called The Hub that will be a central place where farmers can bring and sell their produce so they don't have to try and find an outlet for it. This unit will hit the streets next month, I believe, to get the word out. Offerings will be light this year but once farmers hear about it, they can increase the amount of crops they grow for next year. The woman in the picture is Tracy, our alpaca manager.
Well, that's about it. Tomorrow I need to water the chickens and collect the eggs. We have basil in the food dehydrator and the trays will need flipped in the morning. I'm going to start working on my project, which involved crunching some numbers and doing some research. Hope everyone has a great weekend !

1 comment:

Bobbie and Jim said...

What an interesting time you are having and learning so many interesting things. I'm so happy for you.