Warren said that the girls are picking peas and butterbeans today. He's going to be a mechanic this fine August morning and work on the finish mower. We don't spray, so this time of year there are a lot of weeds. The grass is really tall. Fall planting has begun: carrots, beets, kale, brussel sprouts, mustard and collards. Carolyn the pig went to the retirement home in the country. The nice ladies from SAVE FARM ANIMALS came when they found out she has a tumor on her right foreleg. Kudos to their compassionate work.
So after tiny cut-glass cordials of milk and/or Knob Creek, "where's Mark?" paired with, what else? Warren's chocolate on chocolate 60th birthday cake (it was only 2:30 in the afternoon after all), Warren and Lillie told the UNC/Markay Media/ACLF's team that, yes, of course we want to be on THE TOUR. Details to follow...so many details to follow. I'm swooning about the details #smellingsaltsplease #someonecallphilwoodforme
Today we are digging sweet potatoes. You can start digging them as soon as you like the size...Vivian likes small ones and so does Langley. Harvesting is usually about three to four months after you plant the slips. The leaves might be turning yellow, but we've had so much rain lately (Hurricane Joaquin) that the colors are muddy. You can also leave them in the ground until the first fall frost.
The roots will have spread about 4-6 inches into the soil (ours is sandy/loamy) and so you might want to use a spade fork to dig. Warren uses his hands. Be careful since the potatoes bruise easily.
After you dig them up, shake off the excess soil but do not wash them. They will need to cure...this forms a second skin that forms over the scratches and bruises. Lay them out so they do not touch. Keep them in a warm place (about 80 degrees) at high humidity (about 90%) for 10-14 days (Warren says for a couple of months!). The roots should last about six months if you keep them in a cool place (about 55-60 degrees). (Thanks to almanac.com!)
Be gentle with them! Langley adds orange juice, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar to cooked and mashed potatoes, and then covers them with tiny marshmallows and browns them for Thanksgiving goodness!
If you were four or five, and you got to hang out with Warren on top of his barn, eating figs and talking about pigs, would you be happy? Excited? We were too. Mary Camden and David got to be in the FIG Episode (S3, E3...Season Three, Episode Three) with Flo and Theo. Happy days...
Jane the Pig is a mama again! She had 11 piglets on Monday and still has 9! She is a good mama and is patient with the process. We are grateful to Aislinn Rhodes, physical therapist and yoga instructor, who birthed all 11 as midwife while Warren and I worked the Kinston Chamber of Commerce "Living the Good Life" event at the Kinston mall. Let us know if you want your name on one of the piglets. Three are already claimed. What does a pig say, Bennett? "Oink, oink!"
Warren Clark is my Warren's first cousin once removed. He was 25 on Sunday. He studied philosophy in college and then taught English in Istanbul, Turkey for two years. He returned to the US and gave us a two-month trial period to see if he wanted to farm...and guess what? He is staying. He told Ben Knight that he was looking at fruit trees that wouldn't produce for 7-8 years! YAY! Young people farming! So he has learning planting, weeding, chopping, packing CSA bags and boxes, delivering and going barefoot! Plus, he's remodeling one of the houses on the farm...with his winsome, winning ways and his superlative smile, he is a real addition to the Brothers Farm team.
...so when you put eleven geniuses in our den, and you have to facilitate their retreat, you are in for a #holdontoyourbanky bacon-PIG-pop-sizzle-wicked good time! Esther Ivey sent a pool-table-full spread of Cheshire Pork Heritage Farms PIG! Vivian drew a PIG and Margaret immediately turned it into a t-shirt (hang on Ben Harper and BuyLocal). Many thanks for Caull Exum's Columbian coffee, Sean Lilly-Wilson's Fullsteam beer and beer openers, and Katherine Harper's signature shortbread sunflower cookies! Tequila shots at five rounded out the agenda before a lovely dinner at SoCo in Wilson (thanks to Jeremy and Kimberly, and their lovely farm and food). Grateful to the brilliance that has led to this Hard-working TEAM, Success of Season One,The Peabody Award, James Beard nominations and dinner,The Today Show, Season Two Funding, Chef Vivian's Cookbooks: Little Brown, Cynthia's Sundance adventure and Private Violence on HBO, 94% of the country (out of 96%), 1.5 million viewers per episode, Oprah, Southern Living, Garden and Gun, New York Times, Holiday Special, Marathon, Season Three filming (and Mary Camden and David and Flo and Theo with the figs), Big Press Pending, the possibility of SEASON FOUR…GRATITUDE....
Brothers Farm Blog #barefootfarmer
8/23/14 The Cumbie Twins are four today. (posting on Sept 9)...Happy Birthday, Mary Camden and David! Warren says if you wait long enough, the universe will give you what you want. Thayer gave the twins a lava lamp for their birthday and their mom, Langley, only had to wait thirty years for it.
Possum Silver, painter, came to the farm yesterday and took pictures of all the OKRA picking. He had come to Katherine and Ben Harper's BUY LOCAL Opening Thursday night in Kinston to exhibit his work. I wanted to introduce him to cousin Marriott, but he had met her last week in Manteo. One degree of separation...
Everyone in the OKRA patch (beautiful with flowers) wore long sleeves and gloves, except for Warren of course, who was barefooted, in short sleeves, refusing to wear gloves. Lillie Margaret Hardy, Associate of the Brothers Farm AND the Buttermilk Biscuit Queen, and brother John had to work the Lenoir County Farmers Market by themselves today since I stayed in Raleigh for the birthday. John said that Lillie had a lot of comments about my missing the market. She's keeping score. Warren and cousin Warren Clark worked the Spring Run Greenville Market at the Tipsy Teapot. Warren went to see his daughter Sarah Brothers Vaughn and her three young sons. Then they spent the afternoon putting in windows in the shotgun house.
Josh got to the farm before anyone and set up in the OKRA patch, with time-lapse as the sun was rising. Cynthia and Rex were unpacking their gear. Warren "lolligagged" with Lillie, and the crew picked OKRA. Vivian and Warren talked about OKRA. It's slimy. Prickly. Good with tomatoes. Good with peas. Good with Cajun dishes. Came from Africa in slaves' pockets in the early 1800s. Vivian is a morning person and was in a great mood. They worked about two hours and Vivian lined Lillie up to cook some OKRA...
Warren and Warren are excited about putting all the windows in the shotgun house.
We got the tractor back today, but Warren didn't have time to cut any ground. We have butter beans and string beans for supper.
The birds have flown away...we had the South Carolina PBS folks up for a great time, and they were so tolerant of the birds in the chimney (loud), the wasps on the porch (introverted, thank goodness), the ants on the counter (they didn't eat much) and the flies in the kitchen (shoo, fly, shoo!).
We actually miss the birds now that we're not neurotic about how loud they were, and whether we should try to get rid of them...I asked Warren this morning if he and Warren Clark could get the nest out today, and he said that maybe he should just climb on the roof and put a wire over the chimneys. Then he asked me if I had any wire.