Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

what I've been doing at night

She is going to be auctioned off tomorrow night to benefit the kid's school.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


The cosmos and sunflowers are above our heads, and the goldfinches are eating sunflower seeds all day. Soon, this will be the chicken's daytime run until spring. We have a few watermelons left to eat and a few more pints of pesto to make.  The hyacinth beans have met at the the top of the gate.

We had our first scattered frost night before last.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


We went to the farmer's market today on a family outing, and then this afternoon the children went out to "harvest" tomatoes, basil, sunflower heads, onions, and all of my zinnias.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

things I love

John and I camped at a music festival in Pinnacle, North Carolina this weekend. Just the two of us. We sat in chairs for whole sets. We saw all the music we wanted to see. We drank cups of coffee to the bottom and held hands. I loved the workshop sets, Del McCourey, Keller Williams, and the Yonder Mountain String Band. I liked Patterson Hood from the Drive By Truckers. Our next and last festival of the season, Shakori Hills, is in two weeks, and we are hoping to sneak in a fall trip to Grayson Highland's State Park for the wild ponies and amazing vistas on the Appalachian trail at it's highest point in Virginia.

Now back at home we've had rain and cooler weather is setting in.  I made delicious Concord grape jam a few days ago, and we may never buy jam again. I want to pick raspberries on Sunday, and I have a big bowl of apples ready to make applesauce.  Last night I made my first fall inspired pot of soup with potatoes, carrots, porcini mushrooms, and cabbage.

I met the truck from Countryside out by the highway yesterday to pick up a hundred pounds of organic chicken feed. No one in town sells organic feed, but I met a group of people dedicated to feeding their chickens wholesome unprocessed food.  It truly is "chicken granola".

I just discovered Whole Larder Love.  For the first time in my life I thought I might want to hunt something, chop down some trees, and build a smokehouse. Or maybe go fishing.

Eight years ago we were living in Portland, Oregon and spending much of our meager paychecks at the Portland Farmer's Market. We could see it from our apartment. There we found Ken's Artisan Bakery, and from the farmer's market we followed him up to his bakery/ restaurant in northwest Portland.  Last night I went to bed at eight o'clock with the kids, but my mother called to say that she was ordering me a copy of Ken Forkish's new book Flour Water Salt Yeast.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

lake's chickens

This is Lake Long Smith, and I would guess this is from the fifties. That is our back porch, the original front of the first house. I love that there was a chicken picture. The family also had horses, pigs, cows, and horses, and there was a working blacksmith shop on the property. Lake kept a large garden and the family had an orchard. It was said that she fed her own family as well as "all the poor people in the the county".

other voices

We heard a lot of stories when we moved into this house, and now I have some pictures to go along with the stories. The original house last built in 1876, and before that the family lived in a cabin out near the big catalpa tree in the backyard. The original farm was eighty acres.

Last Easter Sunday a man knocked on our door and told us that he had grown up in this house. He was a foster child taken in to work on the farm. His mother was unmarried, and social services placed him with the family in this house. He spoke highly of them and was happy that they helped him maintain a relationship with his mother. He recently bought a neighboring house, and his birth mother will celebrate her seventy fifth birthday there.

The top picture shows our neighborhood without the modern road. In the middle is Lake Long Smith as an older woman. The middle right is from our front porch.  The bottom photo is from the sixties and shows the farm outbuildings that are now gone.

Below is a picture of Lake Long Smith, her father in law, and Lake's daughter Norma. I think this picture is from about 1935. Our house was built by the older gentleman. Many people have told us about Lake Long. She was born on a farm on Brooksfield Road about a mile away. Norma, the young girl, was well known by many of our neighbors. She sold the farm and died in February 2007 at the age of 81.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012


This was really the only way to cool down this weekend.


three days in a creek

We spent the weekend camping down in Catawba with friends, kids, coffee, delicious food, and crackling thunderstorms.