Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Thoughts and Ramblings

I sit here in the woods, waiting to see the sunrise, 6:28am Tuesday the 21st of June. I am doubtful though, because the sun seems shrouded by a thin layer of clouds. It is good to be back in the woods. I often find some relief from business in the garden, but there is something about being in the woods, in the wild, back with nature. Something draws me to it, like it is God’s sanctuary, a safe but wild place to be. Like Aslan, he’s not a tame lion, the woods are not tame, but I find comfort in them, peace and quiet. While I was on my way into the woods I saw a deer, it quickly ran from me, making a barking noise as it ran from me. I presume that it had another friend/s with it and thus the noise, to warn them of me. Aha, I can see the sun peaking through the clouds. It is not as red as I like my sunrise, but all the same it is there. A bright orange gold, brilliantly piercing through the clouds. I can’t look at the sun any more as the clouds can no longer hold back the light.

I have my coffee, brewed strong as usual. I drink it for the taste more than anything else I have realized. I guess that is a good reason for starting a coffee roasting business. Speaking of which, I spent without the cost of beans $655. That includes a digital 11lb scale, burr coffee grinder, roaster, and 10 bags. The scale was around $42, the grinder, $78, roaster $495, and the bags came out to $.70 a piece. On all these I have spent hours to days researching them, reading what other customer had to say. At the last minute I picked this roaster. The main thing keeping me from buying it was the fact it as $200 more than the other one. The other roaster could roast more, but could not roast them as dark. However, I have talked with several people who say they like a dark roast and, I am very glad I made the switch. I should get most of the items this week or next, and within 3 weeks should be roasting and selling. I am looking into roasting at a Farmers Market. When I upgrade to a better roaster I will be able to bring it to the Farmers Market’s and roast on site using propane.

I have been thinking lately, especially since BWSC; Am I ready to got out and be a man? Sure, I can work hard enough, that is not what I am talking about. More, am I ready to lead a family? Answer the question of my child? It got me thinking about it and I have since started reading some books that seem helpful. I want to be ready to answer the questions of a wife and children and so I have started educating myself in the way of somewhat ‘theological’ books among others. To me the question that the world would put to me: "are you ready?" I could answer yes. Yes I can find a job, or have a job, and if that be the case they would say I am a success. But I am not ready in the other ways, at least not yet. I will be trying to do a bit more reading on these subjects in the years following, preparing myself. I found it quite awakening at this last conference, and I am glad that I could go. And so I go humbly and prayerfully to my God and ask wisdom in these spiritual matters, that I might be ready and equipped for what He has for me.

English Vintner

Monday, 13 June 2011


Here is an essay I wrote recently.

Putting the Compost back into Gardening
Traditionally fertilizer was known as manure, compost, and kitchen food scraps. These were taken to a designated place and allowed to decompose into compost. The result is the best thing you can add to any soil anywhere. It is the foundation of organic gardening.

It was not until the 1800s that a German scientist found out that Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium were the ‘foundation blocks’ of plant growth. Since then with the industrial revolution we have turned to making ‘fake’ Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium and using only those three elements to grow our plants on.

We have depleted our soils of all nutrients and seek to make up for it by adding merely these three elements, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The result is a soil deficient of all but these three elements.

The problem with plants grown solely in soil with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is that plants do not get the micro nutrients and elements that they need. Thus the plant becomes sick and nature does its best to eliminate it. Ever wonder why now we need to use all these pesticides to farm, but for generations before us they didn’t have to? Think back to the big change in agriculture, when farmers went from using manure and sustainable sources of fertilizer to using commercially made synthetic fertilizers. We soon had to come up with pesticides to fight back the numerous pests that inflicted damage to our crops. The more we used the pesticides the more the bugs fought back. The fight continues today.

What can we do about it? Go back a few generations and look at the way your Grandfather farmed. The waste of the animals was collected and composted along with kitchen waste and other sources of compost material. The following year it was spread on the farmland and produced abundant crops.

We have to restore to our soil what has been taken out of it for the past 100 years as we have taken everything out of it and have only added a few elements back to it. It will take years in some cases to restore to the soil what has been taken out, but it can be done.

The solution? Compost. Start a compost pile. Collect the bags of leaves put out by the side of the road. Portion off a part of the farm or garden and grow a green manure crop on it every year. As individuals we can make a difference in the agricultural community.

English Vintner

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Deep Bed

Monday afternoon I went above the fence, marked out where I needed the sweet potato bed and I started digging while my brother Jedidiah hacked with a scythe. I got it started, but it was hard to make good head way with so many roots. Tuesday morning I got up at 6am and worked for 2 hours digging a bed. I started in the middle, dug down 18-24 inches and got about 12ft long by 4ft wide. (Today my right shoulder is quite sore!) This evening I dug another 3ft wider and leveled off some ground and added it to the bed.

I picked my first cucumber Tuesday, and picked 2 more today. I picked 2 more zucchinis today.

My sweet potatoes I planted, most are doing pretty well.

With the help of my cousin (who is incredibly strong!) and brothers we got the fridge down into the greenhouse. Now I just have to dig the hole and put it in.

I picked my first garlic today. The stem was about 5/8". The bulb was close to 3 inches diameter, maybe 2.5". I think I will wait before picking any more though. I want to make sure they are done growing. I am surprised at how fast they grow. I wonder why you plant in the fall, is it for a sooner crop? Do they not grow as well in the heat? I'll do some more research and figure out all of the questions. : )

English Vintner