Community Philosphy Blog and Library

Archive for the ‘Blogs and web sites’ Category

HOMEGROWN Life: Farmer Bryce’s Hoeing Playlist

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

 

HOMEGROWN-life-bryce-logo-150x150Toil. The word strikes fear in some. It makes others run for the hills. But toil is something that farmers like me must embrace.

Beneath the romantic vision of farming and agriculture lies a lot of monotonous and repetitive labor: hard, physical work. It’s not sexy or interesting much of the time. It’s just something you have to do. This is not unique to farmers. Construction workers, waitresses, factory workers, postal workers, and a lot other professions know the routine. Just do your job and try not to develop anger or resentment or destructive thoughts. Find a coping strategy and deal with it because there are things that need to get done.

HOMEGROWN-life-farmer-playlist

Hoeing, for instance, is one of those farming tasks I’d rather not have to deal with. But it’s 2014. We have something in our toolboxes our parents and grandparents never had. We have podcasts.

So, in honor of hoeing season and my attempts to hold back the growth of early summer weeds that might eventually overtake the vegetable patch, I present my go-to soundtrack. This farming playlist is designed to help you make it through a hard day of otherwise toilsome labor, particularly when you’re not starting out in the morning with all cylinders firing. Here goes.

PODCAST EPISODES

• File under “funny and smart”: For his podcast “By the Way,” Jeff Garlin sits down with fellow comedians. This installment, with Zach Galifianakis, is hilarious at times, intelligent at others.

• File under “still the champ”: Wendell Berry. The man deserves his own category. It doesn’t get any better than Berry chatting it up with Bill Moyers in an old country church for “Moyers & Company.”

• File under “I’d rather be fishing”: I get annoyed by the host of “On Being,” from American Public Media, but she has some great shows. This one’s a sure-fire pick, and it involves three of my favorite subjects: coming of age, fishing, and the joys of humility.

• File under “blow your mind”: Here’s a thought experiment. Try killing time performing a toilsome agricultural task while listening to a lecture on life before European agriculture conquered the continent/s where we live.

BACK TO OUR REGULAR PROGRAMMING

(AKA shows from which I inevitably learn something and smile)

Good Food”: This radio program from KCRW in Santa Monica sometimes focuses on Southern California but often provides a much broader look at food and cooking.

Living on Earth”: Environmental coverage, from Public Radio International.

To the Best of Our Knowledge”: Wisconsin Public Radio produces this national weekend program for liberal arts nerds.

Men in Blazers”: I’ve become a pretty committed soccer fan (Go, Sporting KC!), and this is my favorite wide-angle soccer broadcast.

Dave Damashek Football Program”: A great look at the NFL. Yes, I’m a bit of a jock. Football is a huge spectacle and something I get re-addicted to every autumn.

There you have it. A peek into the mind of a mad farmer trying to prevent the fescue, orchardgrass, and crabgrass from smothering his seedlings. Sometimes music is not enough and you need something a little more substantive. Or ridiculous. Or trivial. Happy hoeing.

HOMEGROWN-bryce-oates-150x150Bryce Oates is a farmer, father, writer, and conservationist in West Missouri. He lives and works on his family’s multigenerational farm, tending cattle, sheep, goats, and organic vegetables. His goals in life are simple: to wake up before the sun, catch a couple of fish, turn the compost pile, dig potatoes, and sit by the fire in the evening, watching the fireflies mimic the stars.

PHOTO: MANDY LACKEY/FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

HOMEGROWN Village Returns to Maker Faire Bay Area This Weekend!

Monday, May 12th, 2014

 

California, here we come! HOMEGROWN.org is headed west this weekend for Maker Faire Bay Area, the ginormous annual festival of all things sawed, hammered, welded, programmed, and—yep—grown. Farmers are the original makers, after all! For the sixth year running, HOMEGROWN and our big sibling, Farm Aid, are partnering with Maker Faire to put on the HOMEGROWN Village, a curated haven devoted to food, gardening, and eating.

Most definitely eating.

Maker Faire Bay Area runs Saturday, May 17 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the San Mateo Event Center. You can snag tickets here—but first, get a preview below of what to expect in the HOMEGROWN Village. Makers, start your taste buds!

HOMEGROWN-maker-faire-kraut3

 

HANDS-ON HOMEGROWN WORKSHOPS

Roll up your sleeves and dig into these hands-on homesteading how-tos! Full schedule below.

SATURDAY

» 11:30 a.m. Kraut-a-thon, with Todd Champagne of Happy Girl Kitchen (Can’t make it Saturday? Get your kraut fix, same time on Sunday!)

» 1 p.m. Chinese Noodle Making, with Mr. Wang (Can’t make it Saturday? Catch more noodle magic, same time on Sunday!)

» 3 p.m. Unraveling the String Cheese Knot, with Louella Hill, a.k.a. the San Francisco Milk Maid

» 5 p.m. Making Marshmallows, with Cristina Arantes

» 6 p.m. Sourdough Starters, with Brandy Reynolds (as in, take home your own starter!)

» 6:30 p.m. DIY Tea Blending, with Christopher Coccagna

HOMEGROWN-maker-faire-kraut

 

SUNDAY

» 11:30 a.m. Kraut-a-thon, with Todd Champagne of Happy Girl Kitchen (Can’t make it Sunday? Get your sauerkraut fix, same time on Saturday!)

» 1 p.m. Chinese Noodle Making, with Mr. Wang (Can’t make it Sunday? Catch more noodle magic, same time on Saturday!)

» 3 p.m. Shake It Like You Mean It: Butter Making 101! with HOMEGROWN.org (Yep, that’s us! Shimmy over and say hello!)

» 3:30 p.m. Ginger Beer with Wild Fermentation, with Jennifer Harris

» 4:30 p.m. We Can Pickle That! with Kelly McVicker

HOMEGROWN-maker-faire-kraut2

 

MAKER SQUARE STAGE

Head here for a jam-packed lineup of food and farming demos! Full schedule below.

SATURDAY

» 11 a.m. Making the Perfect Dip, with Kelly Manzo

» 11:30 a.m. It’s All in the Crust: Making Your Best Pie, with Suzanne Kissinger

» Noon Gastronomy + Chocolate = Make a Unique Dessert, with Vanessa Holden

» 12:30 p.m. Making Pearl Sugar, with Sivan Wilensky

» 1 p.m. Making Bean to Bar Chocolate at Home, with Greg D’Alesandre

» 1:30 p.m. Making Fresh Chevre at Home, with Nicole Easterday of the totally awesome-sauce FARMcurious (She’s a HOMEGROWN member!)

» 2 p.m. Home Coffee Roasting, with Byron Dote of Sweet Maria’s

» 2:30 p.m. Backyard Beekeeping, with Kendal Sager

» 3 p.m. Backyard Livestock, with Dog Island Farm‘s Tom Ferguson and Rachel Hoff, a.k.a. HOMEGROWN’s very own crazy-rad blogger (and a HOMEGROWN member!)

» 3:30 p.m Tiny Homes on the Move, with Lloyd Kahn, author of a 2012 book by the same title, as well as the 1973 classic Shelter. Don’t miss him.

» 4 p.m. Your Place in the World—An Intro to Biointensive Sustainable Mini-Farming, with Justin Cutter

» 4:30 p.m. Soil is Life. Tillage is Death. The Awesome Future of Agriculture, with Paul Kaiser

» 5 p.m. Bringing Home the Grain, with Doug Mosel

HOMEGROWN-maker-faire-shrub

 

SUNDAY

» 11 a.m. String from Sticks! with Tamara Wilder

» 11:30 a.m. Mushroom Cultivation, with Patty and Ray Lanier of the Mushroom Maestros

» Noon Home Kitchen Food Handling & Safety, with Bill Waiste

» 12:30 p.m. Root to Stalk Cooking: Discovering a New Way of Looking at Vegetables, with the James Beard Award-winning author Tara Duggan, who was kind enough to share the recipe for her no-cook fennel-Parmesan  salad with HOMEGROWN last year

» 1 p.m. Lactoferment Just About Anything! with Nicole Easterday (yep, the supercool HOMEGROWN member)

» 1:30 p.m. DIY Yogurt, Greek Yogurt, and Cream Cheese: A Simple DIY Science Project for the Whole Family, with Tyler Henthorne

» 2 p.m. Art of Dehydrating: Dehydrating Pineapples into a Hibiscus Flower, with Michelle Francia

» 2:30 p.m. Your Sustainable Home Brewery: Crash Course in Building It and Using It, with Amelia Loftus

» 3 p.m. Aero Press: Coffee from the Future! with Chris Casassa

» 3:30 p.m. Wet Block to Finish Product (homemade jerky!), with Randall Hughes

» 4 p.m. How to Make a Good Sweet Potato Pie, with Charles Swift

HOMEGROWN-maker-faire-bees

 

HUNGRY FOR MORE MAKING?

» Browse HOMEGROWN Village photos from last year’s Maker Faire Bay Area

» Be your own maker! Find all kinds of DIY projects to craft, plant, grow, cook, preserve, and beyond in the HOMEGROWN 101 library!

 

Sneak Peek! HOMEGROWN Skills Tent Workshops at Farm Aid 2013

Friday, September 6th, 2013

HOMEGROWN-skills-tent-workshops


Farm Aid 2013
is right around the corner: September 21 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York. And while Willie, Neil, John, and Dave will headline the main stage, Christina, Sheila, Thor, and more will appear live in the HOMEGROWN Skills Tent.

HOMEGROWN-skills-tent-seedsWhat’s the Skills Tent, you ask? And who’s this Christina? On concert day from noon to 6 p.m., the Skills Tent will host hands-on workshops in the agrarian arts, similar to the sort of how-tos you’ll find in the HOMEGROWN 101 library. The Skills Tent is just one part of the HOMEGROWN Village, a county-fair-style hoedown on the concert grounds that’s jam-packed with interactive food and farming exhibits from groups across the country, as well as a HOMEGROWN stage featuring live music. Not bad, huh?

HOMEGROWN-skills-tent-mushroomsBut back to the Skills Tent: HOMEGROWN is thrilled to have had the help of our barn-raising tentmate and partner in can-do, the Capital Region’s own From Scratch Club, in putting together this year’s workshop lineup. If you’re not familiar with From Scratch Club, it’s sort of like a food swap/book club/cooking school/food blog times one hundred. In other words: AWESOME. We love you, From Scratch Club! Now, without further ado, this year’s HOMEGROWN Skills Tent lineup:

ALL-DAY ACTIVITIES

» Make Your Mark!

Make your mark on Farm Aid 2013! Share what HOMEGROWN means to you in a potato stamp group art project, presented by HOMEGROWN.org.

» Kitchen DIY: Can-Do Projects

Learn how to make your own butter and lemon vinegar! Get the dirt on cold storage! Christina Davis and Co. of From Scratch Club share tips all day in between Skills Tent workshops.

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

12:30 to 1 p.m.
Mushrooms 101: Grow Your Own

Thinking of starting your own shiitake crop? Bobby Chandler of Mariaville Mushroom Men shows you how.

1:30 to 2 p.m.
Makin’ Bacon 101: Cure It Yourself

Curing your own bacon is easier than you think! Erika Tebbens of From Scratch Club demonstrates, using pork bellies from New York’s West Wind Acres.

2:30 to 3 p.m.
Pancakes 101: From Field to Griddle

What’s the story behind your breakfast? Amy Halloran of From Scratch Club and Thor Oechsner of Oechsner Farms and Farmer Ground Flour connect the dots between grain grown and milled in New York State and your plate.

3:30 to 4 p.m.
Cheesemaking 101: Happy Animals Mean Happy Cheese

Good food starts with healthy goats and sheep! Learn the basics of home cheesemaking and goat care with the dairy farmers of New York’s own Nettle Meadow.

4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Fiber 101: Making Friendship Bracelets from Llama Wool

Where does wool come from? Find out, see a spinning demo, and make your own friendship bracelet from llama wool under the tutelage of Saratoga Llamas’ Linda Woods.

MORE WAYS TO GET INVOLVED

Farm Aid 2013 is sold out, but there are still plenty of ways to join the party! Visit farmaid.org/events for details on farm tours, a free screening of the new urban-farming documentary Growing Cities, and more. And stay tuned to Farm Aid’s About the Concert page for news and updates. See you there!