Showing posts from June, 2009

In a different place

No CSA for us this week - we are on the boat for a few days. We thought we would be taking a longer trip on Lake Ontario, but our plans have had to change to make room for a rehearsal and for some business that R. has to do. Our son's GF will pick up this week's veggies.

It's changing here at the marina. Mike, the owner, died suddenly this past winter. His family is operating the marina, but we all miss the presence of the man with a large voice, an endless stream of stories, and a passion for opera.

The radio in the main building is tuned to a commercial station playing popular music, not to the classical music station. Soon there won't be much of Mike left here. It is becoming a different place.

CSA Week #2

There were peonies in my CSA share this week. After a long day of work after a long day's drive the day before, seeing and smelling the flowers as I opened the cooler made me gasp a little, and break into a smile. This is definitely the best purchase I have made this year.

Also included in this week's batch of good things: lettuce, spinach, green onions, garlic scapes, a cucumber, kale, herbs (dill and cilantro), and beets.

I decided tonight on my strategy for eating what we receive: whatever we would be most unlikely to buy for ourselves will be the first item eaten, with adjustments for perishability. That means that the dish for the night is beets, because I have thrown away more fresh beets than I have eaten in my lifetime. Also, the greens are perfect tonight, and they won't stay nice for long. Simply in Season will be one of my go-to sources of recipes. Tonight I am making a whole beet skillet that uses every part of the beet, and seasons the dish with lemon juice, gin…

CSA Week #1

Once again this year, I was not able to get my little raised garden plots ready for planting in time to do serious vegetable gardening. Two years of neglect due to doing grad school on top of a full-time job means a garden overgrown with weeds.

About the time I realized that my dreams of a veggie garden were not going to happen this year, I got a postcard from Farmer Bill and Annie, a small farm that I drive by nearly every day. I have bought a lot of veggies from their farm stand over the years. Their postcard offered me a share in their CSA.

CSA = Community Supported Agriculture. I, the consumer, pay upfront for a share of the farmer's production. The farmer gives me fresh food every week. The farmer has a guaranteed, stable income and can plan what to plant. I have guaranteed fresh food with less work than tending a garden, and I am keeping a farmer in business.

CSAs are being offered by several farmers in my area. Some offer a very wide range of food, including meat, poultry, v…

Applied Chemistry

Yesterday I took a little trip to a brand new type of store for me to frequent: the pool and spa supply store. (Up here, they all sell woodstoves, too.)

The reason: we are installing a hot tub in our solarium tomorrow. And hot tubs require chemically treated water.

I learned quite a bit about our water yesterday. First of all, it will take all this to manage it:

I learned that spa water needs to have a certain level of alkalinity and hardness to stabilize it, so that it is not subject to rapid swings in acidity and doesn't suffer corrosion of metal parts over time.

I learned that our water, which comes from a drilled well that is at least 80 feet deep, is too soft and acidic to be used as is in a hot tub. I didn't expect that. We will have to add calcium and sodium carbonate to the water whenever we fill the tub.

I also learned that there are lots of systems for managing spa water. The store I went to carries four product lines - chlorine, bromine, baguanide (a peroxide based syste…

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