thoughts from New England

I need to take this blog more seriouser! July 13, 2007

Filed under: garden,gardening,local,vermont — tim @ 5:27 am

Yeah, I really do. Here’s some good updates:

Garden: the garden so far has a grade of a B. I’m not totally thrilled like I was last year, so maybe the novelty has worn off, but I’m also kind of disappointed by the outputs. The tomatoes are doing well except the Japanese Beetles, the bane of my existence, are loving to eat the leaves. The weaker plants have stopped being sickly looking and, while smaller, are actually producing tomatoes before the bigger plants. The peppers are doing okay, but not awesome. Something is eating the leaves on my purple bell peppers, which I cannot find. I’ve been spraying them with organic soap stuff, and it’s working on everything else but those are still getting chewed up a bit. The mystery squash turned out to be yellow squash, which I’m glad of because they’re easier to use and grow than acorn or butternut. I have about 3 of them so far with more to come.

The cucumbers suck and are just not growing. Well, maybe one or two are. The zucchini are so-so, we’ll see how they come out. Pumpkins are growing so they’ll do well. I don’t think I gave the radishes enough room because I had no idea that they would all actually sprout, so I’ve been thinning them out little by little.

The herbs are doing really well — we have so much basil that looks so healthy! However, this week I’ve been finding a few leaves that look like they’ve been eaten, so now I have another mystery to solve. Crap. Cilantro in its own planter is doing really well, but sharing w/parsley is not helping it.

The mint was great — we made mojitos on Tuesday night and watched the All-Star game and there’s plenty of mint left. The lettuce has also been good for one batch of salad and we’ll be ready for another batch tomorrow today — that makes us a big salad about once a week, which is a really nice perk. Once I have land, I will definitely be planting a good-sized lettuce patch.

We went to a Wilco concert at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont the other weekend and it was Lidia’s first concert. The sunset behind the band made for an absolutely beautiful backdrop for a gorgeous show — I’ve seen them eight times now and they never disappoint. Ever. They were fun, loose, tight, together, and above all, they put on a great family-friendly show. There were soooooo many kids at the concert and the setting was perfect.

I bought the book Buy Buy Baby this past week and I need to start getting into it ASAP. Oddly enough, I had to buy it, but I think that makes sense as marketing to the under 3 set is something that really bothers me. I am a very bad consumer and I need to stop consuming, so I am going to try and break this because what good is it, really? And what kind of example am I setting?

I think that there’s something to be said about getting back to the land; but not necessarily like that. I think that we can use a good combination of neo-Luddite attitudes with some awesome technology thrown in. I do enjoy modern conveniences, but I’m seriously thinking about lobbying to get rid of TV. What’s on that’s so important that the internet or DVDs can’t provide? I’ll do it as soon as the Red Sox season is over, I swear. 🙂

We’re trying to save for a house, but consumption isn’t really helping, you know? I need to figure out a way to get our electric bill down, it’s insane. I need to get on a budget, for real.

Having a kid who is suddenly soaking up everything you do and say really makes you stop and think about what you do and say. What kind of person are you molding? How will they develop and grow, and how much of that is a result of what you’re impressing on them? All things that I need to remind myself and think about.

In the meantime, make a panflute out of tampons.


Organic Challenges October 13, 2006

Filed under: eat & drink,food,vermont — tim @ 10:23 am

These days, the food industry emphasizes two trends: organic and local. I think that many consumers buy organic perhaps thinking that it’s local, but here’s the kicker: it’s not. And by no means is it anywhere close to being even remotely local.This article in Business Week highlights the challenges organic companies face when looking for suppliers. It goes into depth about Stoneyfield Farm, a yogurt & dairy company based in Londonderry, NH. It also talks about Butterworks Farm up in the Northeast Kingdom and their smaller-scale operations. While I knew that organic food isn’t always local, I never knew just how much it travelled. I had always assumed that when I bought from Stoneyfield Farm, I was at least buying from a local company much like Ben & Jerry’s. Stoneyfield’s similarities with Ben & Jerry’s are more than just being a New England company: Ben & Jerry’s is owned by the Dutch conglomerate Unilever while Stoneyfield is owned by the French company Groupe Danone. One could make the argument that while both companies use local products from local farmers and employ local people, the biggest profits don’t always stay in the area.

What do you think about organic? Local food production? Local organic is the way to go, and judging by the difficulty many of the food companies are having in finding suppliers for their organic lines, becoming an organic farmer might be the way to go.


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…and the winner is… October 10, 2006

Filed under: eat & drink,food,vermont,wack — tim @ 5:03 pm

I will make you hold your breath in suspense as they announce the winner of the Ben & Jerry’s name-a-flavor contest.

The kicker is, it doesn’t actually become a flavor — it just becomes property of B&J’s. It’s filed away into the “wacky corner” of the freezer.

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Fall day looking east September 27, 2006

Filed under: fallday,flickr,vermont — tim @ 12:30 pm

Fall day looking east

Originally uploaded by bakebakebake.

The view from atop Mt. Hunger in Hartland