Thursday, July 30, 2009

Garlic Harvest

Today Nance harvested our garlic, that fundamental element of so many meals. Its beautiful stuff and will last us through to next years harvest, including enough seed to plant in October. We've planted successions of garlic year to year from our own seed for about 6 years now, so it feels like our garlic is really becoming of this place, a terroir fixed to our land, unlike the other items we grow that are from seed that could be from anywhere. I find that aspect of the garlic particularly satisfying.

If you've never experienced fresh garlic, try to. Its nothing like the stuff in the store. Its damp, soft, robust and oh so pungent.

We used to dry our garlic on racks, but since I built the "sugar structure"* a couple of years ago, we hang it on nails off the rafter ties. I must say I am in love with the beauty of the garlic hanging in this delightful little building.

*The sugar structure is what we've sort of awkwardly named the little post-and-beam open building I built initially as a covered platform for our little maple sugaring operation in the spring. Since then its become much more: an excellent place for meals, a laundry clothes line hanging location (the line is strung through the rafter ties), a bee equipment storage area, and just a nice place to sit, have a cup of coffee or hang out.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Vermont Beekeepers Summer Meeting

Yesterday I attended the Vermont Beekeeper's summer meeting, which was held here in Waitsfield. The meetings are informative, the pot-luck lunch truly tasty, and I always come away reinvigorated to do better at our beekeeping work. Its a neat little world to be a part of. I tip my bee veil to Gib Geiger and Kim Greenwood for all of their hard work organizing the whole thing.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Yurt Move - Interlude

Robin McDermott and Ray Mikulak, known throughout the region as the goddess and god of the Localvore movement here in Vermont, stopped by last weekend to drop off an amazing meal of pulled pork sandwiches, salads, and homemade ginger ale. While they were here, Robin shot a little video. Here you go:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Yurt Move - Part I

On Sunday, a group of friends gathered to help us move the yurt. Our plan going into the day was to elevate the yurt and build a structure underneath on which to roll the whole thing. After some discussion and looking at our options, we made the decision to take the yurt down and then consider our direction once we only had the deck to deal with. Having made the decision, everybody went to it, taking down the yurt in a few hours, just as its designed for. Robin and Ray's lunch was a welcome break!

The challenge then was how to move the deck. It's 24' feet across and fairly heavy. Our friend Aaron had lent us his tractor for this effort and just when we were getting ready to do the big pull he showed up, just back from a weekend away. In the end it came down to overcoming inertia with massive mechanical force. The tractor was able to haul the deck over to it's new place as we continued to put rollers under the deck beams across the lawn.

Once the deck was in the new location it was a matter of jacking it up and leveling it. That took some time and we finished off the day here with a great dinner of grilled chicken and salad that Mom and Felton cooked up for us.

At the end of the day we were just floored by the generosity and dedication of everyone who gave up their day to help us. It struck me that our smart move was inviting people who we had great confidence in to help us with this challenge. With us were Taz, Adam, Kristin, Joe, Alan, and Aaron. Suzanne, Maria, Lola, Jeremy, Liza, Maia, and Solveig all showed up to add moral support.