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Friday, April 25, 2008


Will said...' take a picture and tell everyone 'it rained half an inch or worms'! well...Will found these super worms while digging around to plant some perennials. We need worms just about every day and this is why:

This won't take many's kind of self-explanatory; our little black cat, who was dumped off here last winter, has become the main cat. Although this may piss off other cats, it cannot be helped....He had no name.....we called him 'little kitty' because that is how we got him to come onto the carport in the beginning. But, in the end, that is a stupid name for a cat.

He is a talker; this you know if you have been with this blog for a while. He says 'Mouw!' He says it quite a lot. So, I said to Will, 'We should name him 'Mao Zedong' and Will says...'no...we should name him "Mousy Tongue!" so there you have it. He is quite the 'mouser', after all. A real killer.
Every evening, he runs to the little bridge over the ditch, and then to the dock, in hopes that we will take a few minutes out of our lives and catch him a tiny fish. or two . or three, maybe. And here is the daily scenario:



...and there you have it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

This and That; Cleanup Time

I've taken a picture of this and that over the past month; and I wanted to here's the news before I re-format the camera and we move into the late late spring...
we had one day, ONE day, of most excellent kite-flying weather. And I tried to take pictures of kites flying way up high...but they all looked like those UFO this:
So, I just waited until we brought them inside, so you could actually SEE the kites. Will bought me the butterfly kite for my birthday a year ago; you know, around here, we have, like, two days, maybe three a year that are actually bona-fide 'good kite days'.
so THAT.

Also, I have actual PROOF that tomatoes are in the ground and coming along and here you go:
Now...sometimes you just wander around with the camera and you see 'stuff'. I love weeds. Sorry; can't help it. Actually., I was trying to get 'clover' pictures with bees on the clover and that was a heroic effort. Sorry; bees are small and my zoom doesn't work worth a darn and so too bad. But I got a couple of pictures of beautiful weeds along with clover and I just wanted to share.
and the wildness around the pond; letting everything go to seed before we mow it all down.So.. there you have it, or sort of: nothing important, just this and that. We've been looking out of the upstairs window, admiring the dirt, which is something one does in the springtime; Will's been tilling and the dirt is a beautiful sight after months of scraggly weeds. He planted eight rows of corn today, and he said it made him feel like he had a new lease on life. yes, that is pretty cool.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

An Owl and Some Carrots

I had this vision of the day - we all do that; I thought I would spend my Sunday fiddling around with my herbs - I have flats ready to be planted etc. etc....but no. Will asked me would i check out the carrot row....he needed to plow and maybe there were some carrots from the fall and maybe we should check first. So, last night I said ' well sure! that will be my job tomorrow!' Stupid me. Yeah, there were carrots, alright. LOTS AND LOTS.I went out there and didn't see the manure fork, so I got the hay fork, which is kind of the same thing, only not as tough, and has ten prongs rather than four, and I kind of started pulling and digging and filled up the 'muck bucket', and saw that I had only gone maybe five feet down the row and I thought, ' uh-oh'. And I brought my first haul to the carport. Then I washed the carrots and laid them out to dry and realized I had many, many trips ahead of me. Then I started to get worried. I dug carrots while eyeing the strawberries and I knew there was NO WAY I would do all of this AND pick strawberries too. Will was very busy doing a lot of other important farm things. What now?
So I took carrot pictures and went inside and sent an emergency alert to our email list. Thank goodness for our clientele!

By the time I was washing and sorting another batch of carrots, the vehicles started coming up the drive. We had plenty of folks to pick berries and everybody bought carrots too!!!yea!

It was a good day. There are still bundles of carrots in the fridge outside, but the strawberries are picked AND sold. yes.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ok, Time For A Break

I looked at this blog and goodness what a lot of pictures of bushes and such! Of course, it is that time of year - I mean, that's what there is to look at, after all. But to break up the bush monotony, I thought I would offer a couple of pictures of our cat 'Crazy'. only because I kind of feel sorry for him. He's still crazy and the big bad cat. But his supremacy is being challenged by the tiny little black cat we found in the weeds last year...who has become the king-of-cats around here (for many reasons). So, I give you two pictures of the fabulous Crazy. He still tears up Will's hands and arms when they play. I personally cannot play with him because he is too rough for me. As a matter of fact - Will has to wear an oven mitt when the play gets serious; or when his co-workers may wonder what's up with all of those scratches on his arms. So Crazy's still 'got it', so to speak. And he still wishes he was a dog, not a cat. He lays around in the yard with the dogs..likes dog snacks and likes to be brushed roughly with a wire brush. But, let's face it...his days of dominance are waning. What a great cat. I picked him out when he was running around with a litter on our friend's blueberry farm. I thought ....I'd really like a good orange cat! By the way, does anybody out there know of an orange cat that was NOT a male? Just wondering.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Yes, I Would Like To Sit Right There

In this year of the 'clover mayhem'...I mow, but I just can't bring myself to mow all of the crazy clover. It seems there must be 100 times more clover than usual. Used to be, we would just be really glad about that. These days, the first thought is 'hmmm...things are different this year...hmmm' And along with bird songs you never heard before, and I didn't see the robins, although surely they were here; it's hard to know whether to be happy or worried. So I choose happy. I mean, why not? We can all worry ourselves into oblivion, or we can enjoy what is presented to us. No bees? hey, get some bees! That's what WE did.

P.S. Bee Update: The hives Will moved to the blueberry farm are back home: I don't think he'll be doing that again. The bees were unhappy about being moved around. When they first got home, they would fly around and try to enter the wrong hive, and everybody would be mad! But they have settled down and I think they've figured it out. In the menatime, Will got his 'russian' hive. Because one cannot mix them with the Italians, the new hive is out at the blueberry farm.

Monday, April 07, 2008

ok, Things Are Coming Along

...wet garden and all.
Every Spring, the same story..."it's too wet to plow!" and "We'll NEVER get this field planted!"
And then it dries up some, and then we do.
It's a frustrating time here in south Louisiana. It's been raining JUST enough to keep us from planting. Will did get an opportunity to plow...once...but once of course is not enough. It must be done two or three times, then rows pulled up etc and etc.

In the meantime, yes, we have some strawberries..some days, way too many! I must have picked 1000 of them yesterday (and I kid you not).
But it is hard to let our beloved customers know. Because it's an every two day or so event. And that's all there is at the moment. And we would HATE to have more people want them than we had berries for. So we store and cut and freeze and every now and then a customer says 'are there some for me?' and we say, well sure!
In the meantime, as we wait for the moment when we can go out and actually plant, thank you, I have made many flats, mostly herbs...because i cannot stand the anticipation! I MUST have herbs, the sooner the better! and this is a picture that is probably two weeks old, but here you go..I have the usual suspects: Basil: Italian, Mammoth, Lemon...I have Sage (because you have to replant every two years or so) and Oregano (even thought it never is quite right) and Marjoram (because Will is a new fan of that) and of course other interesting things: Bee Balm and Bergamot (because the herb beds have been plowed (ouch) and Catnip and Hyssop (yeah, right and what is that?) and Statice (see 'your dried flowers') and I would have seeded the Flax, but Will encouraged me to wait and direct-seed and my friend who spins yarn wants to know what type I am planting, but as far as I can tell, it's not about 'type', it's about how far apart you plant the plants....close for seed, (as in flax-seed), far apart for cloth but I wanted seed but now I'm thinking ...hey - linen? So, this and that.
And, finally, the Thyme bed had to be ripped up (R.I.P) because I could not keep the Bermuda Grass out of it, so a new generation of thyme plants is at hand and I have no idea where I'm going to put them, but one must have thyme, right?And so..things are moving along, although slower than we would like. We do have an eager customer ready to bring her kids fishing this weekend and that is a good should be fun.
As we await the 'big planting' we have flowers and things that are being very's a start.

About Our CSA

We are entering the sixth season of our CSA (Community Support Agriculture). What began as an experiment for the creative marketing of our produce has developed into a fulfilling experience for us and our members, one that we so look forward to each year. What you will find below is an explanation of how we operate the CSA, the cost, length of season, expected commitment, etc. We ask that you read it carefully before responding. We have dedicated members that stay on year after year, but for a number of folks, it is challenging to come out every Saturday for nine weeks running and to have time to participate. For those who love the quality of the vegetables, herbs, and flowers – and who like the experience of planting, harvesting, and interacting with others who have the same likes, it is a very rewarding experience. Please read on…

What is Community Supported Agriculture? (CSA)

Community supported agriculture is a movement that got its start in this country in the mid-1980’s, driven by a desire by neighborhood groups to re-connect with local growers and producers. The CSA movement is enjoying increasing popularity and availability with each passing year. The goal of CSA is to involve the vegetable-eating-public more intimately with “their” farm. Why do I use “their” in that description? Because in CSA, members buy a share of the farm which, in effect, provides them an ownership stake in the vegetables produced. In that respect, the farmer and consumer become partners. There are many benefits from this relationship to the farmer and consumer alike. For the farmer, it provides a guarantee of sales so he can plant to supply his contract. It also minimizes the time required to market the produce, freeing him up for what he does best, which is…farm. For the consumer, it guarantees a steady supply of farm fresh produce for a fixed price, encouraging healthy eating, and promoting a sense of participation and community around the farm that has been long lost in the age of industrial agriculture. For both the farmer and consumer, it promotes a bond based on trust and mutual interest. For those interested in information on CSA and farms that have set up these systems, the web has worlds of information available with a simple word search.

Why did Port Hudson Organics decided to become Port Hudson CSA?

For most of you who have spent any time visiting our farm and talking with us, you are aware that Thais and I both work full time, maintaining our little farm, bee hives, yard, and other farm-related activities in our “spare” time. This means that virtually every waking hour that we are not at work you would find us in the field or manning the produce tent (or carport). As we expanded our farm-related enterprises to areas such as biodiesel, berries and bee hives, the farm demands finally exceeded our available time. So in 2009, in order to continue our farm sustainability effort and reduce our time commitment (primarily the time spent selling), we tried a concept that is becoming increasingly popular across the country in the “Eat fresh, Eat local” movement, that is, the CSA farm. In the spring of 2009, we enrolled (what ended up to be) 25 CSA member families, and were blown-away by the success of the venture. Member enthusiasm, assistance, and clear appreciation for the unsurpassed quality of our produce resulted in an excellent experience for everyone involved. Since then, we have expanded our enrollment to approximately 40 member families, which is a comfortable carrying capacity of our one acre garden. At this point in our lives, with regular jobs and other commitments, we have no plans to expand further.

What kind of vegetables are grown and how are they distributed?

We grow a wide variety of Spring and Summer vegetables (generally about 20 different varieties). At any time during the season, you can expect around 12-15 different offerings, and 6-8 culinary herbs. We also grow cut flowers, usually zinnias and sunflowers. Each week members will receive a selection list by email. Members then make 7 selections of vegetables and 2 selections of herbs from the list. Members can check off their first and second preferences and we will make every effort to supply the members with their selected items. In cases where we are short on a particular item, say, yellow squash, we will substitute another available vegetable (for example, zucchini) from member’s second choice selection if at all possible. Members are free to make notes on their list if there is a particular vegetable they do not want (for example, zucchini) and we will try to honor their request. The amounts (pounds or numbers) of vegetables or herbs per selection were based on an approximation of equal value based on the prices we have charged for these items in the past. And as last year’s members know, the amounts of produce on the list are the minimum amount you will receive. Often, when there is a surplus beyond what has been selected, we will throw in some “lagniappe”. Members should note that there are a couple of exceptions on the selection list: a bouquet of flowers, when available, counts as two selections from the herb list; similarly, watermelon, when available, counts as two selections from the vegetable list. Each week, a basket with all of your produce and herbs will be made up with your list attached. Blank lists will be available for you to fill out for the following week, as the mix of produce and herbs change with the weather.

Can I select more than one of a particular item?

Yes, if you want 6 pounds of tomatoes one week, you can simply put the number “3” next to the selection “2 lbs. tomatoes” on your sheet and pick four other vegetable selections to make a total of seven selections. If we have enough tomatoes to satisfy your request, we will provide that amount. If we are short, we will attempt to at least provide you with one selection of tomatoes and make up the rest of your basket with other choices. We will let members know each week which vegetables we expect to have in abundance. For example, due to space considerations, we have limited plantings of corn and each planting is generally available for only one Saturday, so we will be encouraging members to select as much corn as they can from the list on the weeks that corn becomes available (we try to send out weekly emails on the state of the farm). Of course, members will also be given preference for the purchase of additional vegetables if, for example, you want to freeze a bushel of corn when it comes in and there is surplus available.

How will the CSA Baskets be distributed?

Members choose to come to the farm either Friday evening or Saturday morning each week during the season. Once you arrive, you can choose from a variety of garden activities in progress and lend a hand. This can range from planting and/or picking vegetables; washing, weighing, and bundling produce; cutting and arranging flowers; cutting and separating herbs to order; helping to pack baskets with weekly selections; sitting under a tree with other members and stripping beans off of plants. Occasionally there is a bigger project at hand, such as erecting the cucumber fence or helping to mulch rows with hay. There will be weeks when you are not able to help due to your schedule, but we find that most of our members help out almost every week. The process takes about an hour, and when you leave you bring your weekly basket with you. Many find this outdoor activity in the garden a respite from their work week in an office!

Members are asked to pick up their CSA baskets each Saturday by 10:00 AM. This is probably the biggest commitment you will make as part of the CSA. We understand that it may be difficult to come every Saturday for 9 weeks, but there are a couple of strategies you can employ to make this easier. (1) you can buddy-up with one or more members in your area and go on alternate Saturdays, each delivering or holding the other’s basket for pick up at their house; (2) you can send a family member or close friend; or (3) you can come Friday afternoon to help with the harvest and bring your basket home with you then (we had a lot of members take this option, as we do a lot of harvesting on Friday in advance of the Saturday bedlam).

What if you have a crop failure or natural disaster?

A CSA is a partnership between the farmer and the consumer, and within this partnership is an understanding of shared risk. That said, we do not expect members to bear the full cost of a catastrophic failure, nor have we ever experienced a completely failed season. Should the worst happen, members will be reimbursed a portion of their investment and we will do all in our power to make it right with members through a combination of refunds and discounts on following seasons.

What time commitment is asked as part of the CSA?

CSAs, by definition, include member support. Each week, literally hundreds of pounds of produce must be harvested, hundreds of bunches of herbs must be clipped and tied, and dozens of flower bouquets must be picked. Without member support, this is logistically impossible for part time farmers. Hence, we ask members to commit to help in some fashion (picking, sorting, filling orders, etc) according to their abilities every other weekend or so (we are not rigid on this). We have found that members enjoy becoming involved in the process. Learning about how food is grown and harvested is an uplifting and educational experience. After all, that is why we do it. And it is an integral part of CSA farms across the country. We are assuming that you found us because you appreciate this connection, and we hope that you can find the small amount of time to required to experience that connection.

What is the cost?

Cost of the CSA membership is $350. This covers 9 weeks of farm fresh vegetables, herbs, and flowers of your choice. This comes out to about $38 per week, probably more than you would pay at the grocery store for conventionally-grown produce, but less than you would pay for organic produce at Whole Foods. The quality of the produce, however, cannot be approached by any supermarket, and the experience is priceless. Also, membership in the CSA includes a pint of our farm honey when it becomes available.

In Summary

So that about covers it. If you want to experience first hand the pleasures of seeing, smelling, picking and eating truly wholesome food, please respond quickly to this email. We would appreciate some information on you and your family, and why you want to join the CSA. We will let you know within a few days, and will ask for payment at that time. We ask that you understand that we have about twice as many families on the waiting list as we have openings. However, if you do not make in into the CSA this year, we will give you first shot at joining next year if you are still interested.

Thank you so much for your interest in our little farm. We hope to see you this spring.

Will & Thais Perkins

Port Hudson Organics CSA