Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Beauregards Farm Newsletter-Aug/Sept 2008

Kids are back in school, spiders are busier by night, the days are becoming more compressed between sunrise and sunset. The evening temperatures perhaps have us thinking about wrapping up in comfortable sweaters while considering our evening meals with a bit more contemplation. Carrots, eggplant, sweet tomatoes, peppers, squash- all add up to stew accompanied by fat biscuits or crusty bread. For added flavor to compliment the mix of crops mentioned- garlic, basil, thyme, rosemary and tarragon if you're considering placing that stew over the top in terms of a wow! taste.

The summer is drawing to a close, and perhaps a few folks like me are ready for it to cool down, to no longer insist that we carry an umbrella wherever we go. AAAHHH, yes-September is whispering it's sweet sentiments to me already. In the garden, waiting for the changes soon to come are lettuces not quite at their peak of flavor, though the cool nights will bring about such sweetness! And the spinach will be ready by mid September as will the radishes and beets and sweet dumpling squash. The fall garden is one to be savored- it is this farmer's dream come true- less weeding, virtually no bugs munching at my mercy, and the sun's rays are more warming, less heat intensive- feels like a comforting blanket wrapped around my shoulders. This- a second spring - beckons us to look upon the crops with new eyes- see the bold orange of the pumpkins, view the deeper greens in the leaf, savor the sight of fields aplenty. It is all good and hearty and right that we embrace this time as it embraces us with a gentleness that awakens our senses to the beauty abounding in everything.

Recipe~(adapted,changed and completely rearranged)

Garden Patch Stew

4 Medium sized Tomatoes, chopped
(or 1 can Italian style tomatoes)
4 Medium potatoes, cut into chunks
4 Medium carrots, cut into 1/2 in. chunks
2 Medium Eggplants, peeled and chunked
2 med to small squash, peeled and chunked
1 Large onion, cut into chunks
2-3 cloves of Garlic
1 can chicken broth(for healthier, less sodium overload- use your own homemade chicken or vegetable stock)
Fresh Thyme(1-2 TBS.)
Fresh Rosemary(2 sprigs or more....)
salt to taste
3 TBS cornstarch
3 TBS water

In dutch oven, cook down a bit the tomatoes, add broth, add potatoes,carrots,squash,onions- turn to a boil then simmer into almost tender(about 12-15 minutes)- add eggplant and now cook everything until tender(6-8 minutes more).
Add spices and garlic, stew until the smell arrives and says yes, this is good!(from 4-8 minutes)
In a small bowl mix corn starch with cold water well, add to stew, increase heat just until thickening begins, lower heat until thickening levels out, stirring with some constancy, but be gentle. If your stew appears still too thin, repeat the cornstarch step, adding just a bit until the correct consistency is arrived at.
(For a heartier stew, brown chicken, beef or whatever you prefer before the tomato step, adding all the ingredients on top of the meat.)

Serve this with crusty bread and a salad. Follow up with apple crisp. Invite me over.

(***all of the bold ingredients can be found at market.)

See you at the market!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Was it the moon?

Good morning to you. Gee....I really don't have any words of wisdom or some spectacular happening, but much like the great Clint Eastwood, I received some fighting words, so off I go.

Lazy coconut, humph!!! I'll show ya a lazy coconut!!! I'll turn the tables on ya...that's just what I'll do! What have all you coconuts been doing this summer?! Hmmmmm...

Now that I've got my feathers ruffled up nice and fluffy...go ahead. Make my day.
What small, seemingly insignificant happening affected you most this summer?
Was it the moon?

Was it something a child said that melted your old hard heart and warmed it too?

Did you go on an adventure?

Did something happen in the Wal Mart parking lot that made you wonder about mankind?

Did you receive a kiss, a glance, an embrace that made you just darn glad to be alive...and reciprocating?

Did you see a movie that moved you?

Tell it like it is.
(And anonymous if you feel a bit to naked in the telling.)

I'm just all tuckered out, empty headed- and I need your inspiration. Because truly...just writing my thoughts does not mean a thing if I can't hear what you're thinking too. Sharing one's experiences sometimes helps lighten the load of another, makes them feel connected to the world at large. When you get right down to it, yes-there sure is alot wrong with this sometimes too wicked world, but for all the inhabitants on it, it is amazing to acknowledge that it works as well as it does.

Here. Right now. Yes-YOU!!!! Spill it......

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It's The Ride

Good morning...and how is it going? Good, good. I heard from a friend recently, thought maybe we had parted ways after a bit of a disagreement, so glad to hear his voice and know he is doing fine. But..knowing him, he is quite a marvel- the things I take for granted, he has to courageously, diligently work at. He has wheels, and utilizes them with pure guts and grace. He does things as a farmer that I can only dream about, gets his chores down with the ability and agility of an eagle. So-should he find himself reading this, yes- I think the world of you, you're quite a man- bigger and better than most. So smile there cowboy...I've seen your mulched up heart- a composted mix of fears and tears, but mostly loyalty and love for those who are lucky enough to call you friend. Peace...

(And now, for the finale of the post here today, with you in mind-this I wrote way back when...)

Tell me about a life worth living-
A true story of stumbling, falling, rising-
Don't give me a life built on routines of fact based fiction,
That's a life dependent on training wheels.

Give me the riders on two wheels-
The ones who risk the falls
The crashes-
Who face the sun
Propelled by a sincere longing for beauty
The navigators who have made peace with themselves
And discovered , upon their journey-

It's not the race
It's the ride.

(by T.L. Starks)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Words to live by I am, sitting-pecking out a note of boredom with a bit of melancholy mixed in along with some old fashioned stupidness. Yep...that's right, I have a tale to tell...and you have come along for the ride.

Yesterday was hotter than Hades and probably just as about as uncomfortable too...though that's one mystery in life I hope I never have firsthand knowledge of.(Though I have meandered in the shadows there...)
We arose early yesterday morning, the intern and I (factually, he about an hour or so after I did...young people.) and began a myriad of chores that had to be done because:

A. It was not raining.
B. The ground was dry enough for some minor planting.
C. The temperature was hovering right around sweltering and fixing to rise.
D. Rain was forecast for the next several days, so we had to beat the band to get it* done. (*IT-Mowing,planting, weeding, harvesting,fixing the mail box, fixing the chicken coop, much to do, "it" was all paramount.
E. The tractor was leaving for a check up and oil change soon.

So, with this in mind I leapt at the opportunity to use my wheel hoe like a Samurai wields his sword. Weeds had not a prayer, for I was quite merciless in their exemption. And say what you like about weeding, it is just about the most therapeutic thing one can do on a farm...and it is alright to cuss while doing it, I have aligned. Cussing can be like is a most sincere form of communication I find, when dealing with weeds and...

So- off I went on my little do-ten-things-at-once phase and I realized that the mail box *(see "Darn Kids" post...)had not truly been fixed properly. As the tractor was warming up (even in the heat, my manual says "let it get to one bar on the control panel before utilizing tractor") I thought to myself, "I'll just take 5 minutes with the drill and screws to really fix that thing proper!" So off I ran, Nicolas was by then mowing, Lily was emptying the clothes line for the next load...and I was going to conquer the mail box dilemma of falling over in it's current state if I didn't attach the box to the post more securely. As I was securing the last screw, I realized I had only been born with two good hands...and I really needed another to hold the damn mail box down for just a moment- but, the other hands(Lils and Nic) were doing their thing...didn't want to end that beautiful sight! In my infinite wisdom, I thought- Well hey! I've got two good strong legs, I'll just swing one over the top of this thing and hold 'er down and put in that last screw and by golly, I'll have this whipped! So over the top my long strong leg went, and in went the screw into the post and I was quite marveling at myself and this stroke of pure ingeniousness- I am woman, hear me....scream! Down I went, laughing-thinking Oh well, that didn't go at all like I planned! By then I realized- much like the victims of the Great White Shark in Jaws...Hey! Something hurts...and is bleeding... and is, oh my gosh! That looks like meat, and bone?! And oh what an idiot! I cannot afford to be hurt right now...I have too much to do...and I have to somehow get up there on the porch and act like everything is cool. But eagle eyed Nicolas saw the plunge...saw the smile...saw the dread...saw the blood...and then turned off the mower and chaperoned me right up there to the swing. Needless to say, a towel and pressure were applied to where the screw that I had just placed...ripped down my leg as I tumbled...a peroxide bath, and antibiotics and no feet business for awhile, only "bum" in bummer. And then the downpour came, not from the clouds- but from my own "I am woman...hear me cry" not because I hurt, but because I hurt myself in more ways than one.
Stupid. Reallly. Not terribly clever. Knew better. Did it anyway. Yep. There's one for the books...
Maybe there's a reason we're bountifully blessed...with two good hands or a voice that can call out to another in time of need in deeds. Hands are to steady and fix a thing- and the two good legs?! That'd be the balance center, suppose to keep them firmly on the ground when using drill with big screws and wood. Yep.
Here's the moral of the story, heard it here first:

Hands to work, hearts to God...and keep your big feet under you, dumb ass.
Hmmmph! Take care-

(One more thought favorite determining factor sometimes in deciding whether to do something or not, usually begins with the phrase, "OH WHAT THE HELL!" And I personally feel those are words to live by...except when power tools are involved-so remember...when facing a puddle, wondering whether you should try to jump over it...OR....when asked if you would like dessert, it is homemade...Or...the margarita's are buy one get one free, your legs look really great in that skirt, you should buy it...Those are all symptoms that require a sure cure of...Oh what the hell!)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

beyond comprehension...Stuebs Family

"...this I know and know too well-
love never really dies.
Happily, sadly- hand in hand,
it gets us though the darkest times."

I feel compelled, as so many do at this time, to bring to light the tragedy that has befallen a local Springfield Illinois family. While on a camping trip, the Stuebs family encountered a devastating storm that blew a tree limb onto their tent, killing their beloved son and now as of this writing, taking also the life of their toddler daughter. The community as a whole has reached out, fundraisers and prayers to attend the family as they try, one small inch at a time, to get through this nightmare. Here is a link, should you have time, money, talent or gifts to contribute to the Stuebs family, whose burdens are beyond comprehension. They have no insurance, several of their other children have also been injured, though I understand through reports, physically- they all will be well. The Stuebs Family Benefit will held at The Field House in Springfield.

The absolute sun has been eaten by the darkness of death for this family, their only way through is hope, their only light now must come from For now, I cannot imagine how they can begin to heal- it will take many hands and many hearts to once again instill a glimmer of hope for the Stuebs.

If you read this blog and work at a business that the public frequents, won't you please put out a canister collecting more much needed funds to see them through? Or perhaps in church tomorrow morning, request of your congregation to add prayers for the Stuebs?

Thank you dear readers...this family needs our strength, our prayers, our shoulders, our utmost compassion.
If you have it to give, I humbly request that you do...
Take care.