August 2013, mid-summer

Today, August 18th the hot summer sun is somewhat muted by smoke drifting in from a large wild fire to the north. It rose a large red disc this morning and still is orange now at mid-day. Today is also the first day in a month that I have not had the company of  WWOOF-USA helpers. So much has been accomplished while sharing great food and laughter. For three weeks now we have been offering the abundance from the garden and trees at the Plymouth Farmer's Market. We have been busy weeding, watering,and managing insects. We have been eating extremely fresh (just picked) and local (out back) making colorful salads, sauces, pies, smoothies, and even de-hydrated kale and squash chips. Most importantly the compost pile is organized and the collection of the new pile is half way complete! Here is a gathering of images from the past few weeks: August 5th some of the staff from Taste arrived for visit and tour:IMG_0437 IMG_0440   IMG_0448 IMG_0466 IMG_0485 IMG_0492   IMG_0495 IMG_0499   IMG_0509  

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    Joey & Libby arrived at the end of July and helped in so many ways. We did a lot of harvesting and cooking together and had a great time at the first two markets in Plymouth.   IMG_0525_1   IMG_0528   IMG_0531_1   IMG_0532_1   Preparing squash for de-hydrator: IMG_0515_1                                   IMG_0517_1 IMG_0427                                                 So many beets and tomatoes fixed so many ways. Yum! IMG_0429   Before they departed Joey & Libby had helped clear and relocate the old compost pile and set up the new collecting area. I was overjoyed. IMG_0536 And within one day of their departure two very enthusiastic Ecology majors from UC Santa Barbara arrived to help me in the annual gathering of cow dung. A daunting task turned into fun with these two bundles of energy and curiosity. IMG_0539   IMG_0543 IMG_0546 IMG_0549 IMG_0553 IMG_0560 The are a few bulls in the herd but the majority are lactating cows with their calves. This makes for the most wonderful dung as these cows are truly happy free ranging.   I had an outbreak of aphids in the peppers and eggplants so released a unit of lady beetles (most people call them "lady bugs") but they are really beetles and hopefully they will get things back in balance.   _DSC6522 _DSC6524 _DSC6529 _DSC6539 _DSC6542 _DSC6557   Lauren and Stephanie also helped as did Joey and Libby remove second growth green grapes, bottom suckers, and dry leaves out of Betty's vineyard.     IMG_0572 Of course picking blackberries was essential too. Each evening we would pick and create wonderful meals and in the morning after watering we would head up the road to fill the trailer and the pick up with more from the cows. IMG_0578 IMG_0579             IMG_0583 IMG_0588IMG_0601 IMG_0602 IMG_0604 copy IMG_0614 IMG_0617