Saturday, May 31, 2008
- Milk, eggs, and asparagus from Sunset View Pastures.
- Scallions, broccoli, buttercrunch lettuce, and spinach from Maple Arch Farms. Spinach was very plentiful and only $0.75/head!
I was grumbling a bit to myself this morning, because Maple Arch Farms is really quite out of the way from my normal routine. But then their produce is plentiful and very high quality, so as I drove away I thought, "maybe it's worth it ... " Then, at Sunset View Pastures, I met a couple spending more than $300 on milk and eggs alone! They come about once a month and buy enough for themselves and their daughter's family. And they come all the way from the Jersey Shore -- about 2.5 hours' drive!
I'll stop grumbling now. We're really lucky to have such abundance just a few miles from home.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Peas in bloom ... nice full rows
We also have raspberries, lettuce, tomatoes and zucchini all moving along, but nothing photo-worthy yet! Stay tuned ...
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
May 17 was International Migratory Bird Day. Chris and I rose earlier than usual for a Saturday, and headed for Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. It's hard to believe we've lived in this area for over 20 years and never visited Bombay Hook, but then again this was also the first time we made a road trip for the sole purpose of birding. We arrived early, but the serious birders were already out and about. We followed the auto tour route, stopping at points along the way to follow a trail or climb an observation tower.
At first, most of the birds we observed were ones we commonly find at home, like red-winged blackbirds and swallows. Then we came to Shearness Pool, an area of salt- and freshwater marshes. The shorebirds were out in abundance! Most were new to us; many were migrating, so we felt lucky to be there before they moved on. Our observations included: Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus), Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis), Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus), Red Knot (Calidris canutus), American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana), Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), Snowy Egret (Egretta thula), and Great Egret (Ardea alba).
My tiny point-and-shoot digital camera can be handy, but proved useless in capturing everything we saw that day. More experienced wildlife photographers wisely came equipped with giant lenses and tripods. We enjoyed the sights and the trails anyway. Returning to the visitor center, we found a raptor exhibit underway, where I could get up close and personal with this cute screech owl!
By the time we returned home, the kids had only just started their day. They failed to appreciate what they'd missed! Well, back in the old days we used to go on "dinner and a movie" dates. Or maybe we'd see a concert. More and more I suspect our "dates" will involve being out in nature, early in the morning. And that's a good thing ...
Saturday, May 10, 2008
- Milk and eggs from Sunset View Pastures
- Asparagus and cornmeal from Oxford Farm Market, an Amish farm cooperative dealing in bulk grains & spices, baked goods, and fresh produce. This week, very little of their produce was locally grown. We might have better luck with the weekly farmer's market, where local growers bring their goods into the town ... unfortunately it's held on Tuesday afternoons which isn't very convenient for us.
About 2 weeks after sowing, the lettuce is just peeking out of the ground. And the potatoes are producing nice leafy bunches nestled between mounds of dirt , which stand at the ready to form hills around each plant when they get a bit larger:
Sunday, May 4, 2008
- Milk and eggs from Sunset View Pastures; now part of our weekly routine.
- Lettuce, asparagus, and scallions, along with a jar of hot chili peppers, from nearby Maple Arch Farms. This Amish market has just opened for the season and the selection was somewhat limited but oh, the produce is gorgeous!
Thursday, May 1, 2008
The couple returned the next day, but one of appears to have an injured leg. A fox, perhaps? We don't know, but I'll really miss watching them raise their young this spring.