Skip to content

Farmette1769's Blog

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Category Archives: Plant Produce

Our honey bees were having a great Saturday out and about. And, they let me stand at the front entrance to take photos without trying to sting me.

Bees_092918_A.jpg

These were taken after one of my favorite Saturday outings – The Farmer’s Market. Whenever I go, I usually spend every last penny in my pocket. Everything is fresh and a lot of it is homegrown. You can get meat right from the livestock farmers.

Bees_092918_8.jpg

There are plenty of fruits and vegetables,

Bees_092918_6.jpg

flowers,

Bees_092918_7.jpg

and seasonal items; like this weird pumpkin that is now gracing our front stoop with it’s awesome presence.

It was a nice cloudy day with threatening dark clouds that never produced rain. I got out walking in the humid, yet fresh, air. It was a busy work week and the markets allow me to stretch out some of the aches and pains that I get from hunching over my computer all day.

There is a farmer’s market in our town down the road that I like a lot, but it’s slim pickings after Labor Day when it becomes a tailgate market. I also like the Dallas, NC Flea Market that is not too far from here. There are a few Hispanic run produce hubs at that one that I just adore.

But today it was The Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market. Their website fails to show just how great it is. They have four, huge, covered, open-ended buildings with a few cooked food vendors outside too. If you live in the area, it is a must visit for the Greater Charlotte Area.

Tags: , , , , ,

I just watched Farmageddon, which explains the disappearance of local farms in America. The reason that I can give it a great endorsement is that it lives in the middle ground.

Meat and More

Meat?

Extremism (in either direction) is not something that I am fond of. Honest, fact-based descriptions of obvious issues are the ones that I can relate to. One showing people that take a look at their opposition calmly is another trait that I admire in a documentary.

I agree with their take on small and organic farming. Natural food eating is discouraged by the rich. Corporations are rich. They influence our government, and then our government imposes regulations that are corporation friendly. These rules are the kind that destroy small operations.

The regulations drive costs up in paperwork, licenses, fees, surcharges, workers, equipment, supplies, taxes and so on. This drives the small farmer out of business. Managing regulations has become a full time job and has become a poison to productivity/efficiency. The corporations win by bullying those who do not have the time, money, resources, personnel or energy to fight back.

Health and safety are top priorities of being human. I understand the concerns regarding both of those in relation to food. But the thing is, there is SO much out there to buy that is over-processed, over-salted, over-sugared, over-fried, pesticide heavy, petroleum rich and full of unnatural chemical mixtures. It is all REALLY BAD for your body.

Sauce with Bonus Ingredients

Sauce?

But somehow, edibles raised/grown on the land are being marketed by the media as dangerous (the corporations pay for what news gets to you via advertising dollars). The cost of organic food is driven high beyond the reach of the average family. The availability is scarce. And so we all eat the junk food.

And then we get sick, and health care is BIG business. That system makes a lot of money. And then they use it to control the population by influencing our financial leaders and politicians. And that negative cycle continues on.

Fresh Eggs!

Fresh Eggs

There is risk involved in EVERYTHING. The truth is that FEAR is taking over our society. It is now normal to be afraid of PEANUT BUTTER.

Venison Jerky-  ready for the oven

Venison Jerky- Ready for the oven

And the thing is, the more that we expose ourselves to organic, fresh, unpasteurized foods, the healthier we will be. Our immune system learns how to work correctly by doing so. Most of the ills that now plague the country like obesity, diabetes, cancer, food allergies, dependence on medicines, etc. are becoming more epidemic as we move away from eating the way we really should – directly from the earth.

Live Sage!

Live Sage

We are human. We are mammals. We will live. We will be sick. We will be injured. We will die. Sitting inside a house, eating fumigated, boiled, bleached, test tube food will not cure all these woes.

Dried Hot Peppers

Dried Hot Peppers

We can go outside, we can roll in the grass, we can breathe in the fresh air, we can suck a Honeysuckle flower or eat those tiny, wild strawberries. It is OK. Is it possible to catch something from doing this? Yes. But, it is so unlikely, that we are more likely to be struck by lightening.

Farm Stand and Trader Joe's - for the Winter.

Farm Stand & Trader Joe’s – for the Winter

Do you want to live your life, as fully as possible?

Dormant Peach

Dormant Peach Tree

I am glad that we have fresh chicken eggs to eat. I am glad that we have venison in the freezer. I am glad that we can flavor our meals with fresh herbs and spices. I am glad that we have a lovely garden – that gets bigger every year. I am glad that we have fruit trees. I am hoping to have goat milk this Spring. And I wish that everyone that wants this could have it all too!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This blog has been neglected for a few months. I am now getting back in the saddle again. I thought I might have to give up on the Farmette as pain took hold of my life here. But, after many types of treatments, medications, therapies and a lot of different doctor’s offices, I found a Neurosurgeon that was willing to help repair my damaged neck.

Our Chiropractor, Dr Robert Floyd, had helped as much as possible and the most of anyone in my 2+ years of constant pain. But, in my case, alternative medicine could only do so much. The problem was not one that would ever heal.

My Neurosurgeon, Dr. Gudeman, is not known for his bedside manners, but for being very good at his job. I myself found him pleasant, interesting and happy to answer all of my very particular questions. He was the only doctor in this specialty (that I had met) that had respect for Chiropractic work and other alternative approaches to health care – not reacting to them as a threat. When I found that he also wore Birkenstocks in his free time, I knew I had the right guy. Someone with a sharp mind with an earthy twist was the one to trust to replace a badly worn disc (only 5% left) and fuse two vertebrae together (C5 & C6).

I am still recovering and sometimes have some bad days, but the brunt of the healing is done, just in time for pre-Winter preparations here. We are trying to quickly finish a new equine run-in barn before the really bad weather hits.

Framework for new run-in barn

We will be re-using the siding wood from the old run-in. The original was built in a hurry and has a structural design flaw that is making it slowly bend in half. The new framing is staged next to the garage. We have one more wall and another door skeleton to build. Then we will move the new structure out to the pasture and transfer the covering from the old structure. There will be new roofing material and paint comparable to our top bar bee hive which has a fairly clean (but not manicured) appearance.

Old run-in - in the distance

Since we have a 10 hand high Shetland pony and a 14 hand high large quarter pony/small horse (his proportions are that of a horse), we don’t need to think big on the first stage of this project. It is 8′ x 8′ x 8′ with about 1.5′ extra to the peak of the roof.

Our two equine - Bigs & Rocky

The back wall will be solid and the front wall will be covered to 4′ or 5′ high so that, from the front of our house, we can see the horses inside. Both sides will have a 2/3  door and a 1/3 wall. When snow and ice storms come in, we can close it up. We will also be adding 3 flip up doors on the front wall that will act as shade canopies when open and weather shields when closed.

Run-in Diagram/Sketch

This is the first of, hopefully, many modules that will make up the horse barn area. It will not be too hard to add on to this starter piece. We will eventually have a place for hay and tack/equipment storage, a covered grooming station with cross-tie posts and some individual stalls.

Our lovely & beautiful blind quarter pony - "The Big Man Dakota"

Even though our quarter stallion is blind, he is claustrophobic and knows when he is closed up. On his trip here, I thought he would kick his way out of the trailer. This is the main reason that we will have several different ways to enter and close up the new shelter in the event of nasty weather.

Big Man is very calm in comparison to his arrival here at the Farmette, but we still need to introduce him to some things slowly. We’ll leave the doors open until necessity forces us to keep the freezing precipitation out. Hopefully, by then, he will understand the boundaries of this barn and adjust to the closed space without panic setting in.

Both the Shetland pony (Rocky) and “Bigs” have nice winter coats. Rocky is made for the seasonal changes being that his fur is short & shiny in the Summer and long & thick in the Winter.

Rocky - Head Shot

Big Man has a good coat too, but as much as he likes to stay out pastured day and night, I still worry about him getting cold. North Carolina Winters have days that start off warm and wet before turning to cold and icy. This is the crucial time to keep equine in blankets or in their shelter. Other than this time of year, leaving a barn open and available is a good way to keep your horses happy.

Happy Trails

Tags: , , , , , , ,

We have a square with wood edging that will be our Spice Garden. My handwriting is atrocious, so I will type in the contents: Oregano, Mint, Cilantro, Chives and Basil. These will be great additions to our Italian, Asian and Mexican dinners.

Spice Garden

Since it is easy to go overboard on the gardens, we have made written plans this year. It seems to make sense to limit the crops to something manageable. This is our way of avoiding total mayhem on the Farmette.

Vegetable Garden

This plan is impossible to read, so I’ll explain. To the back of the vegetable garden is a quick incline and plateau. It has a slight curve in it when viewed from above. Corn and plants that grow in vine form will be planted here. The vine types are zucchini, watermelon, cucumbers, cantaloupe and yellow squash.

The illustration is flipped. The main (long) vegetable garden is in front of the plateau. We love tomatoes. Since this is a highly desired crop, we’ll spread it out along the entire length of the Long Garden. Then in front of them in sections will be the green beans, peppers, sweet potatoes, eggplant and okra.

Now that it is all written down , it seems like a lot. I think we’ll be able to care for it all OK though. There is quite an incentive to do the work.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Look at the side bar. You’all will see that yummy basket of eats. One type is a work in progress, while the other is in the making. I suppose that most current successes will always be “in progress” since a farmer’s approach to every day is how to become more productive and efficient. And we are finding that improvements take time and patience.

Our citrus trees are very young, and since they cannot withstand freezing temperatures, will be part of our indoor garden. We are lucky to have sky lights, but any sunny window area will do. The next time you are squeezing a store or market bought lemon or lime, merely save the seeds. If the fruit is fresh, it is likely that the seeds are grow worthy.

Trees

On our way to making lemonade.

The eggs are already made here, right on our Farmette, on the outskirts of Charlotte, North Carolina. See tomorrow’s post for paparazzi shots of their creators…

Tags: , , , , ,