June 26th, 2018
A farm mystery solved!
Since last May we have been hearing a song- we didn't know if it was a bird song or a frog song- down in the marshy area past the sheep pasture. It went Ba-Bo and then would pause and then another Ba-Bo. It seemed to be just one voice, but we didn't make much of that at first. It was a call Els didn't know (I'll admit, I can only identify a handful of bird songs, but I'm working on that). Els' parents are enthusiastic birders, and so we asked who this might be, and they didn't know either. After moving the sheep this week to fresh pasture (we do this every few days) we laid down in the grass enjoy a short break while the sheep munched all around us. Ba-Bo has been a steady backdrop to any time we spend out behind the barn, and so it was that afternoon. But, as we laid looking up at the clouds we saw a Red-winged Blackbird sitting on the telephone wire who appeared to be singing Ba-Bo! This is not their normal call, "purple queeeee", but I guess certain birds can find their own voice. As we looked closer, we could see it steadily saying "ba-bo queeee".
As folks who spend lots of time outside and tracking the weather, the longest day holds a lot of practical meaning for us... the days leading up to and right after solstice have all the plants growing at top speed. And weeds are no exception... often at this time of year our to-do list has 'week the whole farm' somewhere on it. It blows my mind to think that all the days will be shorter than the last from Friday forward... and in about four months everything in the field will have been harvested, and eaten or stored for winter.
Salad Spinner It's important to wash your veggies before you eat them... but I don't want a soggy salad, and I definitely don't want to be washing my lettuce hangry. We wash up as much as will fit in our spinner, spin it dry and store the spinner in the fridge so it's ready to go whenever.
A good quality Chef's Knife really, really makes a difference. Did you know you are less likely to cut yourself on a sharp knife? It's true. I like an 8 inch blade- it is big enough to cut just about everything, but not unwieldily large. I like to have mine professionally sharpened every once in a while (totally worth $2 per knife at Eversharp Knifes in Northeast Minneapolis).
Box Grater the most basic of shredding equipment, but it has stood the test of time. When you make things small, you increase the surface area and the potential to add flavor to any vegetable sky rockets. In this same vein, I also would recommend a spiralizer.
Immersion Blender this is for blending things in their own container instead of in a blender or food processor... but with WAY less clean up.
Large Sheet Pan you can roast just about any vegetable to concentrate the flavor. The best is when it comes out golden brown and a little crispy. The key is not overcrowding the pan. So make sure you have a big pan!
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