Farm Ferments: Hands-On Kimchi

I’m just guessing that there may be some people out there for whom having hands redolent of garlic, fish sauce, and gochugaru (고추가루) would be unappealing…but I actually find it rather pleasant. Why? Because I know it means some delectable variety of kimchi is underway. In a couple of weeks, the nascent kimchi – currently salty and crisp – will be perfectly fermented and full of probiotic goodness.

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Haiku: Signs Of Spring

A few days ago, it felt as if spring might never come…that the cold, wet, and gloom were here to stay, seeping into the very soul. The dour gray sky seemed to press downward with indifference for human discomfort.

With the return of the sun, however, the pall has lifted, and the atmosphere is celebratory: birds are singing and making nests, the grass is greening up, chickens and ducks are laying eggs, and Nature seems (like me) to be smiling today. Though it’s technically still winter, just the suggestion of brighter days is enough to encourage hope to rise like the sap in the silver maple tree. Think spring!

Haiku: Twilight Transition

Winter has some of the most striking sunsets of the year. I’d chalked it up to the crisp clearness of the season’s days, and science seems to back that up. The depth of the smoldering hues on the horizon seems, at least to me, to be a sort of swan song: the sun, not going gently into night, leaves its breathtaking impression on the observer.

Experiencing beautiful sunsets one of the rewards of being a farmer. Nighttime chores mean receiving this gift of Nature’s beauty without needing to make special arrangements to see it – fortuitously, I’m already outside! Sometimes the display is accompanied by the soft hooting of owls, a reminder that predators arrive with the darkness and to make haste in getting the poultry secured for the night. And, each night, our birds are settled in safely, just as the sun reluctantly dips below the dusky sky.

Interesting fact: according to Stephen Corfidi of NOAA, “were it not for the fact that human eyes are more sensitive to blue light than to violet, the clear daytime sky would appear violet instead of blue”. Learn more about the science behind spectacular winter sunsets here.