Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ear Candy: The Carolina Chocolate Drops

Michelle, my fellow intern at Appalachia Star this past summer, loved this song - but I never knew who it was until someone at work said I should check out the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Right they were. More here.

Maybe some day soon I'll post something besides music. Not today.

Lots of love,

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ear Candy: Jaymay

Jaymay does most of the soundtrack for Happy Thank You More Please which I saw at the Virginia Film Festival about a month ago. Loved it. In fact, the only unpleasant thing about the experience was the cringe-inducing q&a session with Josh Radnor (the screen writer/ director/ leading male who is also in How I Met Your Mother) that followed; from which many of the questions can be summed up as "I think I love you. Please discuss." yowsa.

Regardless, definitely recommend seeing HappyThankYouMorePlease when it comes out in a theater near you - which I think is happening in February. More Jaymay here.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Charlie the Cheez-It

.... I don't think there's much I need to add to this one.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ear Candy: The XX

Cotty put this song on a mix she made in Feb:::

::: and it's still awesome. AND she's heading this way this weekend. AND I'm posting something on this blog. So many things happening at once!!!

Later loves,

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lucy in a Bottle with Ginger

yum, yum, yum.

So, I can fully imagine that local brewery Starr Hill's summer ale Lucy might be receiving more than its fair share of down-the-nose looks at barbecues this summer.

With coriander, lime and ginger, it might be easy for beer snobs to typecast Lucy as the slightly more wordly cousin to Bud Light Lime; but let's open our minds a little bit.

Lucy is drinkable on a hot day, refreshingly different, and its playfulness is better grouped in with Magic Hat's #9 or Bell's Cherry Stout.

Loosen up. I'm not trying to serve you Smirnoff Ice.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

oh, hello!

so... remember when I used to post things here? haha, yeah. me neither.

Things on the farm are going really well - but also quite busy, hence the drop-off with this here blog. I think my new goal is to have at a least a post every Monday morning.

There was some crazy hot weather for a bit, but there was also some crazy cold weather this winter, and so I guess it needed to be balanced out? Or global warming? Mother Earth having hot flashes? God letting us know what we might be in for?

ohhh, vengeful theories. Can't get enough of 'em. But anyway, it was hot. And now it's not nearly as hot. So that's pretty great.

I took some nice pictures at the Nelson County Farmer's Market yesterday, but I can't find my camera cord; so how about a movie recommendation instead?

City Island starring Andy Garcia. Best enjoyed during 100+ degree weather in full blast air conditioning. Or really probably any time that you want to watch an excellent movie.

Lots of love,

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


photo by Michelle

Monday, June 28, 2010


photo by Michelle

Friday, June 25, 2010


photo by Michelle

Thursday, June 24, 2010


photo by Michelle

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


chickens on parade!

photo by Michelle

Tuesday, June 22, 2010



Woody the goat!

photo by Michelle

Monday, June 21, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010


by Michelle

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Via Ashley: Farm Fresh Wedding

Ashley passed along pics of the lilacs, Maremmas and nekkid goats that all got to hang out at this beautiful wedding:::

More info on the farm at Watermelon Moon Farm available here.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Moby-Dick Marathon

Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.

Got to thinking about Moby-Dick earlier today. Which got me thinking about the marathon reading that happens each year at the Museum of the Sea in Mystic Seaport hosts a 24-hour reading of Moby-Dick on board the Charles W. Morgan which is the last remaining wooden whaling ship in the world.

This year it's happening July 31st-August 1st. Love that this event exists. Details here.

whale image by Tom Neely

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ear Candy: Salt of the Earth

Some Rolling Stones to celebrate the re-release of Exile on Main St.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Via Ashley: Mobile Garden

Have you ever been driving down the highway at 65 mph, and remembered you forgot to water the basil? Have you ever had the luxury of then being able to pull over and water it since it was riding on the roof of your car?

Now you can.

More on this crafty Parisian invention here.

Ashley. Let's call it. At this point you're really a co-blogger.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Farm Happenings: Welcome Michelle!

Appalachia Star's second intern Michelle has arrived and it's wonderful to have another set of hands on the farm! Michelle has done trail maitenance in New Mexico and Colarado, and organized a trip from her college to a local farm on Saturdays this past year.

Today we harvested some garlic scapes:::

Explanation of the garlic scape from the Washington Post:

Garlic and its relatives in the allium family, (leeks, chives, onions) grows underground, where the bulb begins its journey, soft and onion-like. As the bulb gets harder (and more like the garlic we know), a shoot pokes its way through the ground. Chlorophyll- green like a scallion (maybe even greener), the shoot is long and thin and pliable enough to curl into gorgeous tendrils.

This stage of growth is the garlic scape, folks. If left unattended, the scape will harden and transform from green to the familiar opaque white/beige color of garlic peel. Keeping the shoot attached will also curtail further growth of the bulb. So, in an effort to allow the garlic to keep growing, the farmer is getting a two-fer with this edible delectable that cooks are just beginning to discover.

Also figured it was time for an update on the ducks. Remember these guys?

Because they're huge now:::

And a preview of the apples and plums to come:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why Wooden Boats

Really enjoyed this article on wooden boats as a reflection of nature's beauty. Excerpt:::

The esteemed biologist Edward O. Wilson invented a word that explains our attraction to the forms of nature: biophilia, which he defined as "the innate tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes." Even as babies, we humans tend to be drawn toward living creatures (or their representations) more than to inanimate objects. We're more likely to develop a relationship with a stuffed bear than a ball. This tendency is embedded deep in the human-instinct circuitry as a matter of survival and reproduction.

So the wooden-boat revival was no anomaly. We willingly pour the considerable labor and love into building, maintaining and restoring wooden boats because they lead us to participating in something greater than ourselves. I have nothing against fiberglass, but a boat made of synthetic material simply reflects human culture back at us. It is purely a product of technology. A wooden boat is a partnership. It's not literally a living thing, not quite, but it evinces respect for the life that exists outside the clubby circle of human intelligence.

I love it when people explain things I feel and don't explain well. Thank you, Lawrence W. Check.

Photo by Benjamin Benschneider.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Island Farmers

ohhhh, quotes like this and a paper that will print them do make me miss Martha's Vineyard and its farmers --- from the MV Gazette::

Which brings us back to the Allen family farm, where Clarissa’s husband Mitch Posin sat in the kitchen this week and talked about the state of things. He wasn’t just feeling sorry for farmers like himself, though; his major sympathy was with the consumers.

“Poor America,” he said. “Its food is all [expletive deleted].”

The Gazette just put out a series of articles on the island's food scene last week, and it's a great round-up available here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ear Candy: Rafter

Take a listen to Fruit by Rafter here. nice.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Via Ashley: CSA Rep Tunic

Didn't you know? There's official CSA gear:::

"When you wear this au naturale tunic to tend to your own rich soil and strawberry vines, you'll be representing the farm shares of your hometown in style."

Available for purchase riiiight here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

excited to read this book

Growing for Market review: Every farmer, organic or not, should read this excellent guidebook to increasing farm profits. Wiswall is a veteran vegetable and herb grower who has a gift for explaining financial matters to be relevant to small-scale farmers. He challenges the paradigm that farming doesn't pay well, and shows how to identify profit centers, improve efficiency, get the most from employees and overall improve the bottom line. This book is practical and an inspiration; it will motive better recordkeeping and give you the tools and knowledge you need to figure out how to make your farm more profitable.

uh huh. Sounds good. Available for purchase here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Farm Happenings: Summer Squash and Cucumbers

The summer squash and cucumbers are in the ground as of yesterday, and in an excellent move on Mother Nature's part we've had some rain both yesterday and today.

Lachsa pretended to be annoyed by the rain::

:: or she was actually annoyed that I stopped petting her to take her photo. Probably the latter.

The Journey

by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Go on Midwest - Grow Your Own

Really enjoyed reading this piece from the AP covering an Iowa State Univ. study that looked into the food growing potential of the heartland:::

"The Midwest is known more for growing corn than cauliflower, but if its farmers raised the fruit and vegetables eaten in the Heartland, they could create thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in income, according to a recent study.

The study from Iowa State University looked at what would happen if farmers in six Midwestern states — Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin — raised 28 crops in quantities large enough to meet local demand. It found that if an ample supply of produce could be grown regionally, it would spur $882 million in sales, more than 9,300 jobs and about $395 million in labor income."

But wait! There's more! keep reading here.

Photo by ViaMoi.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ear Candy: The Be Good Tanyas

For your Monday::::

The Littlest Birds by The Be Good Tanyas riiiight here because I do - after all - love you so dearly, love you so cleary.

Farm Happenings: Tomatoes and Bees

Well, for starters – I (for the billionth time) re-learned an important lesson: if I want to remember what has been going on – I really need to write it down.

Here’s what I can remember from this past week: transplanting 27 kinds of tomatoes including 13 heirloom varieties, 9 cherry varieties, and the remaining hybrids; weeding the asparagus; spotting the 2nd planting of tomatoes; learning how to use the irrigation system since it’s awfully dry in central Virginia right now; seeding watermelon (yesss); congratulating Kona the cat on catching a mouse; selling spinach, lettuce, radishes, asparagus, tatsoi, mizuna, and kale at the market while not being blown away by the impressively breezy Saturday; witnessing a bee swarm.

wait. what? bee swarm? that’s right. It was awesome. The hive that had been on the farm for the past two years didn't make it, but some bee hive in the area must have needed an upgraded home, because around lunchtime 2 Fridays ago there were hundreds and hundreds of bees milling around, following their queen, and waiting to get to work on their new home.

More info on swarms here.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dream Travel: Morocco

yowsa. I think it's time to faux-go to Morocco and visit Villa Kadiri - the home of Jaouad Kadiri and Priti Paul::

Bhavna wrote all about it, and posted lots of wonderful pics of the home here. Guh-guh-gorgeous.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hopper Pilgrimage

I think I'd like to get up to DC sometime in June to see one of my favorite paintings at the Corcoran::

Ground Swell by Edward Hopper. I basically attribute my having lived on Martha's Vineyard for as long as I did, and having lived on boats to falling really hard for this painting at around age 15.

Other things I'm looking forward to seeing:::

Destiny's Bracelet by Jim Goldberg. --- which I realize is a little more sexy than things I usually post on this here blog -- but it's stunning. So there it is.

And the Eadward Muybridge exhibition::

Plate 640. Jumping a hurdle; saddle; bay horse Daisy

-- but really it's mostly about seeing the Hopper painting.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kaboom! by PES

How about a little stop-motion film excitement?

I especially like the keys as cannons, and circuit board as the landscape. Although the clown heads are pretty well used, too.

More by PES - here - including Western Spaghetti which is also pretty awesome.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ear Candy: Yim Yames

Yim Yames is the solo project of Jim James from My Morning Jacket.

He released a tribute to George Harrison last July, and his cover of My Sweet Lord is really great and his version of All Things Must Pass is appropriately heartwrenching. Check them both out here.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Save the Date: Vintage Virginia Wine Festival

Unfortunately I can't find a full image of the supercute logo for the 2010 Vintage Virginia Wine Festival, but here's at least part of it, ha:

The festival is happening June 5th & 6th in Centreville, and Karl Denson's Tiny Universe is headlining the Saturday night music line-up. I saw Karl Denson play in 2002 when I was lucky enough to work at the Newport Jazz Festival, and he was great then, and so I'm sure he'll be great in June.

More info on the festival from their site here.

I had my first foray into Virginia wines last weekend when I had a couple of friends in town, and we visited a few vineyards. We were all pleasantly surprised with what those Blue Ridge grapes are up to, and so get yourself to Centreville if you can.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Farm Happenings

This week on the farm has included -- transplanting fennel, lettuce and parsley; spotting peppers, cilantro and dill; getting the plastic down and mulch all set for the tomatoes; weeding the cabbage aaaand welcoming a cat to the farm! The cat's name is pending, but her cuteness is firmly intact. Pictures to follow.

In flower news, the irises are blooming in central Virginia::

-- and on an unrelated note, I've decided that Madison County and its bridges might just have to step aside and let Nelson County and its beautiful barns have their day in the sun::

Peaceful, no?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Via Ashley: Eat Local Prints

A WWI poster from the US Food Administration::

available here.

And a sweet reminder from Claudia Pearson's etsy shop that eating a Walnut & Chocolate Rugelach can also be a agriculturally thoughtful act:

Thank you, Ashley!