Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pluggin' Away....................

Ok -- gardening friends and farmers, bear with me. I'm going to do some explanation early in this post. Often, when I do presentations, I talk about plugs. I have been talking "plugs" for 10 years now and I forget that many don't understand what I mean when I say "plugs".

"Plug" is a wholesale term for tiny plants that are "plugged" into the flats that you buy at garden centers. Plugs can come in trays of 125, 210, 375 anything include trays of over 800. Now that's tiny!!!!

OK -- on the left is Amazon Neon Duo Dianthus. (Love saying that name!!!!!) It was grown in a typical four-pack, known as a 1204. Twelve 4-packs in a flat. This is what most garden centers sell.

The middle plant is known as a plug -- it was grown in a 125 count plug tray. That happens to be Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan) Gloriosa Double.

The plant to the far right was grown in a 210 count plug tray-- it is Salvia Blue Bedder. It is a blue salvia -- perfect for bouquets and easily dried by hanging it upside down.

Here is another picture of the salvia when compared to a quarter. You can see how small they are.

I directly plant into my garden. I have no greenhouse (as much I want to claim Gwen's for my own!!!!!) so nothing gets "moved up" into larger containers. They go right into the ground. I try to order them so they will arrive at the proper planting time. But of course, I order in November so its nothing but a craps shoot!!!!!!

I don't use anything smaller than the 210 plug --- a 375 count tray would be roughly half the size. And that's too little to go directly into my garden.

So why use plugs?? First of all is the cost. The average flat in most greenhouse and garden centers sell between $12-$18, depending on what is growing in it. So if you assume a flat costs $15 and has 48 plants --- each plant sells for 31 cents. The salvia that I purchase was 19 cents per plug.

The other thing is quantity. I am a relatively small flower farmer. But I still need 150-250 of each plant I grow. So I want 200 white Rocket snapdragons...... not just 200 mixed colors.

So why purchase anything from a greenhouse/garden center? I buy from Gwen because she can germinate those items that 1) I can't get from a wholesaler 2) that I need smaller quantities.

For example --- I need eucalyptus in my garden. But I need 50-100 plants, not 375. So she raises them for me. I pay a little more but the plants don't go to waste and poor Honey isn't digging up more gardens!

A lot of our speciality cut flowers are not available at the average garden center. They are too tall -- they don't bloom until later in the summer so they aren't in their full glory at the garden center. Lisianthus is a prime example. I grow Echo, Cinderella and Mariachi lisianthus. Most of these get about 30" tall. They get leggy, entangled, and root-bound in a greenhouse. And unless you know how wonderful they are -- most customers don't buy leaves. They want flowers. And (this is an important lesson about lisianthus) once it is root-bound, it will never bloom.

Melanie asked what I was growing this year. Right now my answer is too much!!! In July -- I might say, not enough!!

So -- here is the list of a few of my favorites and some great things to try in your own garden.

Amazon Neon Duo Dianthus (bright bold magenta and purple dianthus)
Rocket Snapdragons (simply the gold standard for cut flowers)
Bells of Ireland
Eucalyptus (yes, you can grow it in Iowa -- its an annual that will be alive in November!)
Lisianthus (Without a doubt -- the most popular flower in my gardens after the lilies)
Benary Giant zinnia (highly mildew resistant and the largest bloom of almost any zinnia)
Jewels of Opar (great filler ..... I love this in bouquets)
Kiss-me-Over-the-Garden-Gate (and I do grow it over an antique garden gate ... old-fashioned -- aggressive --- Japanese beetles love it. I don't care about its problems. I still love it!)
Sweet peas (not long enough stems --- don't last long enough in a bouquet. Smell FANTASTIC!!! 'Nuff said!)
And finally for today .... Larkspur (annual delphinums.... what could be more pretty than a true blue flower?)

Ok -- there still are many many more that I grow. Lots of annuals -- lots of perennials. I talked two hours a couple of weeks ago and since we got kicked out(!!!!) of the Botanical Center -- it is obvious that I could go on and on.

So if I didn't bore you to death and you want to hear more .........let me know. Otherwise -- you can find me in my very rain-soaked garden today!!!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

This is not my garden.......................

I saw this bit of a garden yesterday when we were coming home from church. And the image of the garden bothered me all night.

Today, I couldn't help but drive by and take a photograph. "No Trespassing". As I looked at the sign and the garden against the fence, all I could think about was a poem by Edwin Markham, Outwitted.

He drew a circle that shut me out-- Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But Love and I had the wit to win: We drew a circle that took him in!

Gardens, like hearts, should be open to all. A thing to be shared ....... to be cherished ........ to be loved.

I have a lot of flower farmers ask me about my u-pick. "How can you let kids just cut flowers?" "What if they cut the flower wrong?" "Doesn't bother you to have people walking anywhere and everywhere through your gardens?"

Yes....... kids can cut my flowers. They learn respect for nature, they learn how a snapdragon can roar or how to make a hollyhock doll. But most of all, they learn joy.

Really.......... how can you cut a flower wrong? What will happen if you do?? So maybe the stem becomes a little wonky ....... maybe it doesn't grow as tall as it might have........ maybe it dies. I will plant more. And maybe the next one will be prettier yet.

I walk through my garden early in the morning -- looking at that day's blossoms. And I am happy. At that point -- it is my privilege and honor to share that happiness with others. Let them experience the peace, the serenity, the joy. And I move on.

I found it disturbing that "No Trespassing" can't see beyond the fence. When we shut others out --- we don't hurt them, we hurt ourselves.

We live in times that we need our neighbors. We must share our goods, our talents and our time. There may be some that don't deserve our efforts --- we can not focus on that. We must focus on making a difference in one person's life.

So for today -- a cloudy, gloomy day in Iowa --- smile. Spread joy. Be kind. Help another. And don't let a "no trespassing" sign in the garden of your heart.

The Noticer ..... by Andy Andrews

To all my regular readers.......... Hey! You are learning something new about me. I love to read. So to supplement my book addiction -- I am now doing reviews for Thomas Nelson publishers. I'll be doing children's book review with Addie M (her opinion is important) and other reviews by myself. Regular programming will continue tomorrow. Time for the review.

Have you ever met a person, that with only one statement or only one question, can suddenly give clarity to your life? They give you just a little perspective. Another way of thinking or looking at the situation that seems so grim, so over-whelming at the moment. This is the premise of Andy Andrews' new book The Noticer.

A drifter, Jones, enters a small seaside village and changes the lives of many who live there. From homelessness, to failing marriages, to loneliness and despair, to unethical business practices ............ he changes the hopes and dreams of a community with few words.

At first glance, this is a simple read without a great deal of substance. But taken slowly, the seeds of inspiration and hope comes through. I found this to be a book who's ideas are planted ....... and pondered over. A chapter read and then, let it rest in the mind to grow and bloom.

In such uncertain times, with job losses and financial struggles for many, this could be a book of salvation. I think one of the best lines in the book is early in Chapter One "That's what most folks lack-perspective- a broader view. So I give that broader view.... and it allows them to regroup, take a breath, and begin their lives again."

With so many individuals starting their lives again, this may be the book to inspire. I enjoyed the message of hope that was found in lives that were full of despair. Jones' words of encouragement were direct, easy to understand. His life lessons were to the point. And there were moments of "Gee, I wish I would have thought of that!"

I wish there was more depth to the book ----but yet, it is its simplicity that makes it successful. All in all, The Noticer is the right book for the times.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

If you see her...............

This is our eldest daughter, Jill. Jill is working full-time and going to college full-time. She has an amazing amount of friends and she seems to gather more where ever she goes.

She is funny and smart and witty. I love this girl!!!!

Jill chose me to be her step-mom. I am certain there were moments she wanted to throw me back. But she stuck with me ..... training me all the time!!!

I had been single for a very long time. And I had decided that the best place for me to live was a convent. Never mind the fact that I was Presbyterian!! A convent looked like the right place.

I had told Jill that all men are toads. She quickly informed me that her dad was not a toad. And with a little prodding, she set Honey and I up for our first date.

I could go into all the details of our first date. The fact that Jill took her Dad out to buy just the right clothes. And I thought he looked great on our second date with a pair of jeans and a plaid flannel shirt!!!

And I won't mention the part that we were at the little Italian restaurant for 3 hours................. and Jill cruised the parking lot over and over and over again. Fortunately, we were near the mall -- so she could make a quick trip into the Gap before the chef called the police about someone stalking their restaurant!!!!

Nope --- I won't tell you any of that.

I will just tell you ........ that Jill is the light of her Dad's life. Jill makes a room sparkle. Jill is an amazing daughter............... and I'm glad she chose me.

But if you see her................... wish her "Happy Birthday!"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A plea for tiny babies ..... March of Dimes

The beautiful young woman in the picture is our daughter. When Sarah was born, she weighed 8 lbs 13 oz. She was a big little girl.

She and her husband Jeremy prepared for the birth of their first daughter......... healthy eating, painting the nursery, picking out clothes ......... doing every right.

And then .... complications occurred. Sarah had placenta previa and a blood clot between the placenta and the cervix. Sarah was put on bed rest for over a month and then hospitalized, trying to hold off Addie's birth.

Addie decided to celebrate her birthday on our wedding anniversary. It was a wonderful gift for Honey and me. Unfortunately, that was 10 weeks earlier than planned. Addie weighed 3 lbs 1 oz. Thanks to all the kind, caring doctors and nurses at University of Iowa hospitals and at Genesis Hospital, Addie now weighs almost 15 lbs and is healthy and happy.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars went into Addie's care. Sarah and Jeremy have excellent insurance and all is well with them

Unfortunately, many are not as lucky. And my beautiful loving daughter knows that. Jeremy and Sarah are walking this weekend for March of Dimes. They have made a goal of raising $3100 and they are less than a thousand dollars from that goal.

Can you help?????

March of Dimes was founded during the Great Depression on the gift of a dime per person. We have some had inflation since then. But I know times are tough. So ..... I am asking for Addie's birth weight. Can you give $3.10 to help tiny babies????

If you can help ......... if this was your grand-daughter............... please click here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's here!!!!!!

Yes!! The May/June 2009 issue of Midwest Living Magazine is here. And if you can't guess, I am excited!

I need to know Carolyn Faught of Omena Cut Flowers in Michigan. We could be soul sisters. I love everything she says about her farm........... "Gathering bouquets are far more than filling a vase. It's good for the soul."

How true!!!

The pictures are beautiful -- I love the simplicity of her farm. It is obvious that her farm and ours have a lot in common. Many different varieties...... lots of places to sit and relax. But she has 150 ' of Lake Michigan shoreline!! How wonderful!!!

And I got to share in her wonderful article. So thank you, Carolyn and Midwest Living Magazine. It is a lovely article and Honey and I are thrilled to be in such wonderful company.

It's a good thing it is raining. I am much too excited to work!!!!

Building a Better Mouse Trap

Seven years old and she finally caught her first mouse!!!! Yea........ I need a better mouse trap!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Say Cheeeese.......... take two!!!

OK -- my adventures in cheese making seem to be progressing. Today I made mozzarella again for tonight's homemade pizza. Again, I used this tutorial. I have decided that I like the cheese better without the salt. The moment I knead the salt in --- I get a "gray-ish" product, not as smooth and creamy and white as before.

I have been using sea salt -- if someone has a suggestion, I would gladly accept it!!!

I do like making cheese. I had read this tutorial about making ricotta from the whey left over from making mozzarella. Hey --- duo use milk!!!! I like this!!!

So I set about to make ricotta. Actually, I have spent the afternoon questioning that decision. I really wasn't certain I was going to get any cheese. But after letting it drain away -- I got this.
Its about 3/4 cup of ricotta. Not a lot. But I didn't waste anything and that was good!!! And it should be enough to make some spinach lasagna roll-ups for supper tomorrow night.

The taste is good. The texture is good. And it was definitely worth the limited time it took. Ya heat the whey to 200 degrees and throw in a glug of vinegar........... yea, its really that simple.

Ok -- back to the pizza. The roasted mushrooms and peppers are calling me.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Can you tell we are all busy???

It's been pretty quiet in blog-land. I have decided that most of us farm girls are just too busy to blog. There are reasons.
Mt. Mulch arrived. I have broken it in to two deliveries this year. This is 28 yards. To have the full 50-60 yards of mulch sitting here, was just too depressing!!! We would scoop and scoop and scoop and the mountain would still be there!

Ok -- I've got to fly. And crack the whip ........... notice, Honey is just standing there! That just won't do it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Barn Quilt.............

TA-DA!!!!! The latest and the last barn quilt is painted and up on the potting shed. Which looks like it needs a new paint job too!!! Well --- maybe this summer.

The quilt block is Dogtooth Violet. Perfect for the potting shed of a flower farm. A big thanks to Jill for suggesting it. I really like it. Now ..... to show them all off to all our customers.

Hope to see you all soon!

Monday, April 13, 2009

In your Easter Bonnet ...

OK -- You have all heard me sing the praises of local farmers markets. I love the fact that the Freight House Farmers Market is so community-oriented. Its just not a place to buy tomatoes but a place to learn, a place to connect with friends and a great family place with lots of activities.

Easter weekend was no exception!! The market board organized a bonnet parade for kids, three Easter egg hunts with great goodie bags for every child, a petting zoo and a bonnet contest for vendors.

I had been asked to man the petting zoo. Tough task! Took me all of two seconds to reply. YES!!! YES!!! A thousand times, YES!!! Any opportunity to play with fuzzy things!!!!!! Bunnies and chicks and a lamb. Yea ..... I was game!!!!! I love having people touch and feel animals they never have touched before! So many were shocked at the feel of the wool on the Southdown Baby Doll lamb, AnnaBelle. And the size and the softness of the angora rabbits. Let alone getting to hold a bunny!!! And after all, you are no bunny till some bunny loves you!!!! (ok ok -- its corny --but it was Easter!!!)

So I'm going along fat, dumb and happy ......... and then I got the email on Thursday. "Clink, you need a bonnet." Yikes!!! So the glue gun springs into action and I came up with this....... Another view. Yes -- the wine bottle has its purpose. It was vital after 5 hours of kids and animals!!!!

Honey wasn't certain about it. Isn't it a little over the top???? But I am a flower farmer so it had to have flowers, flowers, and more flowers!!

I was sooooo not over the top!!!! A few pictures of the Easter chapeaus!!!! We have millinery geniuses!! First is Joe --- this was probably the most creative there. It was a working greenhouse!! Yea -- with soil and live plants and everything!! And in the back is a pinwheel that would spin in the breeze. Too much fun!!!!! In the baskets -- tiny carrots and cabbage and lettuces!! All hand-made of clay by Joe.

Next -- are two of the most creative women that I know and the driving force behind all the great activities at the market. These gals oooooze ideas and creativity and customer service. Love them!!!!
Darcy and Jen. Jen is known as the "pot lady". She was the winner of the contest. Her hat weighed 3-1/2lbs!!!! Jen paints clay pots and glassware. Neat stuff. Darcy's hat is incredible!!! Unfortunately, my photo doesn't show the entire ensemble!! Shoes, belt, earrings and jewelry and the dress!!!!!! Just an explosion of Easter pink and yellow!!! So So Cute!!!!

And speaking of cute, cute, cute.............. this is the kind of thing I got to see all day!!!!!Three adorable little girls sitting on a bale of hay, holding bunnies. The middle one is Mazie ..... one of my favorite flower customers!!!! I'm pretty certain Mazie would take both of those bunnies home. She really loved them!!

It was a great day!! A lot of fun!!! We made lots of memories that day for lots of people. And isn't that what life is all about??? But .................. at the end of the day, I was ready for this!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!!!

I had the most amazing day yesterday at market! And then.......last night ........ I received this---

We just wanted to say a quick thank you for such a wonderful Easter Parade at the Farmers Market this morning! We all had such a wonderful time. Hope you enjoy the attached picture!

Susan, Michael, and Emma
Yea!!! Its things like this that makes all the hard work worthwhile!! Thank you so much for such a delightful gift.

More details and pictures of the day later. Till then ............... Happy Easter from Susan, Micheal, Emma, Darcy, Ed, Dawn, Joe and all the gang at the Freight House Farmers Market!!! And thank you for letting me be part of the fun. I am truly blessed by your friendship.

Miss Effie

Friday, April 10, 2009

She'll have Fun, Fun Fun ........... or the social commentary of seeing the music you grew up with!

This time of year, I'm a little stressed. A little crabby. A little .......well, you should talk to Honey for more descriptive terms.

This time of year -- there is way too much to do. I have two part-time jobs, 30-plus gardens to clean, garden furniture to clean and re-build, and the contents of half of semi full of mulch is sitting in my driveway .... waiting to be spread. And that's a normal year.

This year has been anything but normal! Next week, I have a market gig, three presentations, 2 days of scheduled work, flower plugs start arriving, the mulch gets dumped and there is this little thing called taxes that have to be done! And yesterday, a customer drove out from the Quad-Cities looking to see what was in bloom. Yea. There are no flowers blooming in your yard but I should have flowers???? I'm not that good.

But I get an email from a fellow flower farmer, just down I-80. She had won tickets to the Beach Boys concert in Moline and couldn't go. Would I like the tickets??

I jumped on them! I needed a break! I needed to smell the roses!!

Then the reality rears its ugly head ............ I need to plant the roses!!!

But Honey and I take off for the concert. We are sitting in our seats when Honey says to me --- "These people look like our parents." "Honey, we look like our parents".

Deborah made the social commentary that the internet belongs to the boomers. Well .... it might. But the fashion industry does not!!!!!!! I saw so many Glamor-don't-s, Mary Quant is spinning!!!!! (But I do now know where all the vintage fashions are!) So dishing out dubious fashion tips will be moi'............. I know. That in its self is scary!

OK -- first fashion-don't ............... If you wore it the first time, don't wear it now. Varicose veins and mini skirts don't go together. The blues clashed!

2) Hawaiian/ surfer shirts were meant to be un-tucked. They don't go with belts. And jeans are a better choice than Dockers. And please don't button the top button.

3) If your waist measurement is larger or anywhere close to your bust measurement ...... forget about mid-drift tops. 'Nuff said!!!!!

4) I thought it was sweet for Grandpa to bring his little granddaughter to the concert. But the look-alike ponytails ........... Not so much!!!!

5) I saw a gal dressed in "Surfer" attire. Pony-tail, cut-offs, surfer shirt and flip-flops. The Glamor-don't??? Her cane did not match her flip-flops. And she might have wanted to go for the spray-on tan this time of year!!

6) And finally. There are lots of people out there that need to take the Detrol challenge!!! Back and forth, back and forth and never a second beer!!!!!!!!!!!

So enough of the fashion tips ......... I will post more about the Beach Boys and the opening act later.

But Honey and I saw what life will be at the home in 25 years................ and Honey, it ain't pretty!!!!!! But it does sound pretty good.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Marketing small business................

When you own a small business, advertising dollars are hard to find. I have tried newspaper and television. Unfortunately, the return on both has been small for the expense. An advertising campaign in our local newspaper requires a commitment of $1600 per year.

That's 160 buckets of flowers!!! I sell a lot of flowers but that's a lot more than 2% of my gross sales. (average advertising budget figure for retail)

Fortunately for me -- what I do is considered odd-duck, weird, crazy to the media and most members of my family!!! So periodically, I drop an email somewhere in media-land and see what happens.

A couple of years ago, Meredith Corporation developed a small magazine for small-scale farms called Living the Country Life. Sort of a spin-off of Successful Farming, Living the Country Life focuses on small 2-10 acre farms......... also known as hobby farms. They realized that this is the fastest growing group of farmers in the nation. And most of them, are women over 50!! Love that!!!

So -- I dropped an email to Betsy Freese -- the editor. And I got this lovely note back.

Betsy, if you are reading this, Honey and I would love to have you visit. Cookies and lemonade will be in the corn-zebo for you. I'll even let you try your hand at the spinning wheel!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Retail-Hell and 6 year old behavior.

OK -- you all know that I work retail during the winter to pay for my "eating" habit. Yea -- I know. I've tried to give it up but have yet to succeed.

I like my job. I like my co-workers. I like my boss. I like my boss's boss. And ninety-nine percent of the time, I like our customers.

Yesterday was different.

First of all, I work at a high-end discount/close-out store. We receive limited merchandise when we run an ad. No -- we do not have 17,437 patio umbrellas in our little store for $39.99. We received less than a dozen.

Disclaimer .... we are the little people. We don't decide the price -- the quantity -- the colors. We just unload them off the semi and put them on the shelf.

Nor do we decide how many people will stand in line in front of a locked door at 7:30 am to buy the silly things. Yea .... welcome to Wal-Mart Mentality the day after Thanksgiving!!!!! We had 20 -- maybe 25 --people standing in line to buy stuff!

So we limit the ultra-popular patio umbrellas to one per person. One of our regular customers brought two up to the register. I told her "one per person" and she graciously handed it to the woman behind her.

Then Evil Bitch said "I was in line before you! I want it! It should be mine!" I stood there -- stupid to that kind of behavior at 8 am. People don't act that way over flowers so I was dumb-founded! And she bullies the very kind nice woman into giving it to her!!!!!

Evil Bitch shops around for a while and comes up to my register. I ring up the umbrella and tells her that she owes me $42.39. "No, I don't. They are $19.99". "No, I'm sorry. They are $39.99 -- the sign is right over there." Evil Bitch wants to see the advertisement. I show her the ad, the sign and say "That's ok -- I'll just do a void. I'm certain someone else will want it".

No ........ Evil Bitch wants it for $19.99, but will pay $39.99. And she did.

But I have her name (Love credit cards!!!) ........ and know her outrageous behavior. Stuff is not worth it! We are not put on this earth, just to accumulate stuff. And obviously, for Evil Bitch, that is what life is all about.

Selfish, childish behavior and greed are the causes of our current economic struggles. My last post was about being a good neighbor and being a good friend. I wanted to shout it out all morning! We have hundreds of thousands of people, struggling to eat every day, to find a warm place to sleep, trying to find work. And then -- we have those that who's life purpose is to get a patio umbrella for $39.99.

Easter is fast approaching. Maybe she will go to church on Sunday ............. and this time, really listen.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Being a good neighbor -- Being a good friend

As many of you know, I'm not much on "new-fangled" stuff. I live a life based on simple values and practices........... even though, that simplicity may be a bit harder to do and take a bit longer. I swear I was born century too late......... but that discussion is for another day.

Today ........ I'm talking about Friends of the Freight House Farmers Market and why you should be involved. Scratch that!! Let's talk about why you need to be involved in the food you eat.

Most Americans are two or three generations away from the farm. Farms are exotic places on gravel roads with red barns and tall blue silos where men drive large green tractors and have names like MacDonald. I've spoken to women (not young girls) that don't know how to cook a round steak, have never eaten Swiss chard, will never taste a turnip and will never know that not all eggs are white.

Grocery stores are mindless places to shop. You speak to no one. You walk up and down the aisles -- and reach for the product with the most successful advertising campaign. You pick up meat from a refrigerated case -- with no idea what hormones have been fed to the steer. You have no clue that the eggs you picked up came from CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) where 1000 hens can be caged in an area the size of your bathroom.

But your local farmers' market is different. Vendors come with smiles!! Yea !! What a concept!!! They willingly share their growing practices and how they raise their animals. I have learned more cooking techniques from the farmers' market than in the 400 cookbooks in my kitchen.

Twenty years ago -- when I first started attending the market -- I would leave with my seasonal delights -- proud of my purchases. I didn't buy "groceries". I bought food. Real food. With flavor, taste and provenance. I knew where it was grown, who planted it, who watered it and who picked it. I knew where it got its soul.

I remember making my first pesto from bags of wonderful basil -- the spicy smell would permeate my kitchen until the next week when I would buy more. And I would dry tomatoes for the winter salads and can blueberries for cobblers. And I learned that cabbage could be cooked on the grill. And I would share my weekly finds with my friends.

And I learned what community was all about.

And that is why you should be part of your local market. To be part of the most exciting movement in America today -- to know what we are eating. You are eating three times a day. Isn't it worth the effort to taste it??? To taste real food again. You need to know the taste of a crisp local salad. You need to smell fresh bread made without preservatives. You need to eat a strawberry so good .......... your mouth craves another one!!!

And now -- its the "So what" moment. I need help from my local friends and readers. As a member of Friends of the Freight House Farmers Market, I'm asking for your help. We are looking for volunteers to help our market grow and flourish and bloom like the flowers in my garden!!! Can you read to children or sell bags to the public? Are you a writer that could help with a letter or do you have great computer skills? Do you know of entertainment for the market or could you help set up an event? Do you have a couple of hours during the year to help? That is all we are asking.

We are having an organizational meeting on Saturday April 18th at 2pm at the Freight House in downtown Davenport. And we need your talent and your sense of community. If you care about what you eat and the environment around you and your neighbors.......... this is the group for you.

As market season approaches -- I urge you to grab a bag and head for a local produce stand, a farmer's market or a U-pick farm. (Oops! Am I bad??? That was shameless self-promotion!)

Your taste buds will thank you, a farmer will thank you and I will thank you.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What the Heck????

I went out to get eggs. All of my girls having been laying for quite sometime........ no "new girls" in the bunch.

This is what I got.
Hardly seems worth the effort!