Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Finding a Farm

Ok - I am now totally obsessed in finding a farm and the way to obtain it. Where, when and how are the three words that keep coming into my mind.

Where? It must be close to people because they need to visit it. When? It must be soon as I'm not getting any older and How? How am I going to finance the whole venture? I should put the HOW first, right?

I have some ideas and need to just keep trudging along until it falls into place.

We are visiting a couple of running farms in July and August and I'll ask a ton of questions. One is a CSA and the other has lots of animals. Both are two different ways of farming and it's a start to my research. The Fundamentals of Farming the State provided helped a lot but I need to visit an actual farm. Poor Bobby. I'm dragging him along with me. He was born a City boy but hang with me and you will be a farmer. HA HA

More to follow - I'm hoping to document the process.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Love this farm - I know it's somewhere in the Alps with a vineyard but it is so beautiful.
I took a Farming 101 workshop this past Saturday. I learned a few things and the speaker on Marketing was very informative. Lots of options. CSA or Agritourism. Or just grow and sell. I know it's in the cards and hope to have a farm in the next 3 years. Research and money. Need to find some funding. I hope to not have to keep the day job but I don't think that will happen. Of course unless we find something too far away. :)

That's all - Farming on the brain today.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Just Soap

Label for my soap! Love this drawing. Sorry - I had to add the Copy protected. It covers up something as well. It was a tiny soap package from a French hotel many many years ago. Can't believe I saved it.

I have been making soap each weekend. Real soap. One batch with Lard - rendered from fat I bought from the butcher. One batch with just oils. I am making a Castile Olive next. Apparently the trace takes forever with just olive oil. We'll see - Lots of stirring on the balcony.

No chemicals except for the NaOH (or Lye). Just can't make it without. One of these days I'll make lye from scratch. Apparently, you take wood ash - like from a fire pit and place it in water. The next day, the water which has soaked in your ashes, is the lye. Hmmmm... sounds too simple. You can't use coal or any kind of fire ash other than straight wood. I'm very curious on how it would work. More research is needed. In the meantime, I bought some Lye and it works beautifully.

Stay tuned. The Chamomile Tangerine soap will be ready in four weeks.


Summer is here! Full force. It's 5am and already warm and humid. Pictures to post soon. I need to take the camera to the garden.

I am reading everything I can on farming. I even signed us up for a workshop this Saturday called "Farming Fundamentals". The Illinois County Farm Bureau puts this together and it's the start of my research on obtaining a farm. I'm not sure what I'm getting into but it's worth it. It gives me a purpose. A goal.

This is a what my German Omi's back yard looked like. A small yard but Lots vegetables.

Many great stories out about city to country people. I think I was born to farm. It must be my German/Italian genes. My German relatives each had mini farms in Aschaffenburg. Chickens, pigs and lots of vegetables. The Sicilian side probably did too.

All I have to post this morning. More to follow.