Today I went to work for a half-day over chez our farming mentor. (English has no good word for “chez.” It means approximately “at ____’s place” and it is pretty handy.) I have reduced my hours to part-time for the summer, which is really pretty much awesome. It is giving me more time to keep up with farm stuff and also sleep and just general stress reduction.
So I am using some of this newly-acquired time off to spend a few hours a week on a real farm, learning … stuff.
Today I learned about grape vines! The farm grows wine grapes (and makes wine with them). The vines are starting to grow, so there are little leaves and buds and nubbins of growth on the vines. In this climate, if there is too much growth in the center of the plant, it can get diseases — molds and mildews and such — and also the grapes need more light than they’d get if it’s all tangled in there. So we spent the afternoon breaking off all but 4-5 nubbins in the center of each grape vine, to open it up and let the plant spend its new growth energy on branches that will be healthy.
Also, crap-from-the-freezer soup for dinner turned out really well. Frozen chopped celery, carrot, and shallot; frozen garlic sausage; frozen homegrown dehydrated tomatoes; frozen homegrown turkey stock cubes. White beans (from pantry, not freezer). Stirred in a couple spoonsful of frozen homegrown basil pesto towards the end, as well as some shredded fresh leaves of kale-broccoli hybrid plant from the garden. Delicious! Cooking the beans in the broth makes it super tasty.