Category Archives: Farm life

Anthropomorphic

Word of the day:

Anthropomorphic

an·​thro·​po·​mor·​phic

adjective :: // having human-like form or characteristics.

 

Use anthropomorphic in a sentence:

No matter how long a farmer is in the biz, anthropomorphic vegetables are still funny.

 

Like these asparagus stalks.

What did one asparagus stalk say to the other?

And the comments didn’t disappoint:

 

Or this throwback from my southern farming days down in Florida where the okra grows like trees:

 

And finally…. well sometimes we harvest a vegetable and cannot but notice strong resemblance it bears to the beautiful human body.

 

She got legs like Ping Tung Long Eggplant, know what I mean?!

 

 

 

Rain – April Employee of the Month

Today we salute you, Rain. You are indespensible to our operation and we’d be lost without your dedication to the work we do.

Rain
Our April Employee of the Month

Ya know, I chuckle to remember back over the years. When I first interviewed you for the position here at Enka:ri Farm, I asked you, “What’s your biggest weakness?”

And do you remember what you said? ” I’m a workaholic. I’ll dive in, get so engrossed in my work, and just won’t let up.” I laughed, such a typical, canned response. Well I shrugged it off and hired you on and as far as I could tell, you kept that workaholic thing pretty well in check. That is, until last year right around this time.

My goodness, you were hell-bent on doing your job last spring and like you said, you just wouldn’t let up. At my wit’s end, I called you in for a conversation, and tried to explain myself.

You see, there’s nothing quite like Rain. Is there anyone else who can say without words, “Take the morning off, I’ll cloud cover for you.” “No need to water the orchard saplings, boss. I’ll take care of it.” You’ve done so much for me and now I needed, desperately needed you to take a rest as well. And at last, with all your grace, you did.

Rain, your presence here reminds me of these words from the Tao Te Ching:

The sage never tries to store things up.
The more he does for others, the more he has.
The more he gives to others, the greater his abundance.

We thank you for all you do, Rain.

Join us after work for a Happy Hour to celebrate our dear Rain. The first Mudslide is on the house!

4 ways I’m saving money right now

Since I started farming, I’ve nearly always had some side hustles to fund the dream, and I’ve really come to love the noncommittal ‘gig life.’ When I hear about an opportunity, my first question is, ‘what are the hours?’ and if it fits in with the other gigs du jour, I’ll  more than likely at least give it a shot. The side jobs help keep the farm in  a place where I can make more sustainably-minded decisions, lending some leverage to my bottom line as long as I can give some Uber rides on the weekend.

Enter Pandemic. Exit income.

To be sure, I’m happy to be essentially working out on the farm this spring. Without rushing back and forth to the city to teach classes, I’ve had more time to work on some landscaping and organizing that would normally reside on page 2 of To Do, never to be done.  And like a lot of folks, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen, and high-fiving myself for already having a jar of dry yeast in the fridge before bread baking became so cool and yeast became so scarce.  So, as the thrifty gal I like to think I am, I’d like to share a few ways I’ve saved some pennies this spring.

4 ways I’m saving money right now

 

1. Kombucha Factory

We’ve ramped up the kombucha production here! This jar is about 2 liters and I’ve been brewing constantly. The stuff in the store is so delicious and convenient, but the expense can start to add up. Also, I’ve noticed that some brands are adding seltzer, which I can do on my own, for less.

kombucha
kombucha

I started this SCOBY from a little bit of leftover store-bought kombucha about 8 months ago. It took awhile to grow her out, but now this mama is… I want to say a strong independent woman, but indeed with the same gusto I proclaim that she is a strong symbiotic community!

I flavor the kombucha only after I’ve poured it off into a separate container to chill. It’s great to mix 50/50 with a flavored seltzer (like ginger!) or a chilled tea (Apple Pie Chai was a recent hit). A big favorite is mixing in a bit of Tart Cherry Concentrate.

 

2. Granola Diary

Rolled oats must be one of the cheapest calorie sources around, but add some nuts and sweet and I’m searching granola packaging looking for its master’s degree behind the markup. Making your own granola is a great way to save some dollars.

But try comparing recipes out there: oven temps range from 250F to 375F and times range from 15 minutes to an hour. Do I need parchment paper? So I’ve started a Granola Diary to try a bunch of recipes, tweak them of course,  and see what I like. I’m using up all kinds of little tidbits in the pantry. We’re past hot cocoa season (or are we, Rochester? I see snow in the May forecast) but cocoa powder can flavor a nice chocolate granola. Chia seeds, slivered almonds, shredded coconut, the kitchen sink, you see? Have fun, but no crunchy granola hippie jokes, ok? I’ve heard them all.

Stay tuned for my very personal Granola Diary release party.

 

3. Yard Wraps

I’m eating the yard. Whatever. Official spring green harvesting for the CSA  members is a couple weeks out yet but here’s my new favorite lunch wrap:

dandelion greens
Spring yard wrap

Dandelion greens
Dandelion petals
Mint Tips
Chives
Neither pictured nor found in the yard but awesome to add:
Cheddar Cheese
EVOO, honey mustard, balsamic, any old sauce you like!

Roll it up and chomp chomp it down like the rabbit that you are.

*Be safe eating from the yard. Don’t do it if you or your neighbors spray chemicals. Don’t eat anything you can’t absolutely identify as edible. Wash it all before you eat it. You know, basics.

 

4. Dry Beans

With more time at home, soaking and cooking dry beans has become quite easy to fit into my schedule. We are blessed here in Rochester with Lori’s Natural Foods’ amazing bulk section for a wide variety of dry bean options, many organic, at an excellent price.  I find that dry beans often have more flavor and better texture, and are definitely cheaper than their canned alternative. I can cook up a batch of white beans and have them at hand for soup at a moment’s notice, or just tossed with butter and salt for a snack, or thrown in with some chopped veggies and vinegar for a side dish.  I’ve mentioned that french lentils are a great salad topping  , and any of these legumes can match that purpose.  Now the only concern is where to find cool classic jars like this with thrift stores closed. Will garage sales happen this year?!

dry beans
Legume Collection

Gotta spend a little, too.

While I’m trying to save money here, I really want to support my local businesses, too. We’ve had some amazing takeout from The Saucey Chef and Le Petit Poutine, and Salena’s recently reopened thus, being one of my dad’s favorites, is up next for sure, probably when he and I can safely picnic outside.

 

What tips do you have to share?

Robin – March Employee of the Month

Today we honor Robin as Enka:ri Farm’s March Employee of the Month.

On a frosty March morning, when I’ve rolled open the barn doors but am feeling too cold to set down my coffee mug and move about, I see Robin. He greets me lovingly as he swoops in and hops about with that untiring positive attitude. It’s contagious; I can’t help but smile, greet him in return, and do my best to start my own little swoops and hops about my duties.

I asked Robin his take on punctuality to which he responded, “If you’re not early, you’re late!”

Not only is Robin the first one clocking in every morning, he gets right down to business, you won’t catch him reading the paper over a cup of coffee as seems to be the status quo these days. There’s work to be done, and Robin leads the way energetically, chirping in his famously sing-song way as he goes. I asked Robin his secret to being so joyful on the job.  He looked at me with great intention and said,  “To love life through work is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.” As I paused in awe of this wise token, Robin smiled and informed me that it’s a quote from his favorite book, The Prophet  by Kahlil Gibran

Robin, I’m grateful for you. My world is better with your song in it. Thank you for all you do.

Now if you’ll all follow me to the barn, we will celebrate Robin with dirt cake and coffee.

Lean in

 

So you want to be a butterfly?
Lean in little caterpillar, listen closely. I’ll share the secret my grandmother whispered to me through the wind.
You must find a place that is not disturbed by man’s rush for more more more.
More control, more money, more stuff.

Find a place where the natural rhythms still prevail. Where you can listen to your thoughts and hear your own mouth chomping on a frond of dill. Where you can hear a bird singing, if only for the warning that Mama Wren may be swooping in to gobble you up.
There may be humans there, but in a good space the humans are mindful enough to be on the lookout for a little bugger like you or me, and may gently relocate you to another delicious dill if they’ve gone and cut the frond you were nibbling on. Good luck little one. Eat up, chomp chomp, see you in the sky!