Dune Lakes Local Harvest Blog

  (Moses Lake, Washington)
Meanwhile, down at the farm...
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Unwelcome New Neighbors

Just recently, I was mentioning that sometimes I wished we could just pick up the farm and drop it somewhere...cooler, closer to the ocean, nearer family, or a big city, or an organic haven...then on our way home recently my husband noticed two new signs in our neighbors field, well off the road. So, I and my nosey-ness had to go check them out.

I hiked down the railroad tracks to see what was up...then returned to my car to get my phone to get a picture. I need to document this. One sign said Mycogen 2K595, (blank) Crop Science, the other Mycogen TMF2L538, (blank) crop science. Huh....time to look it up at home.

These fields which sit 100 yards upwind from our farm,  have been in alfalfa for at least the last 10 years, and surrounded by houses and farms on three sides. About 1000 acres of hay. Well, not anymore. They had already baled the first cutting of alfalfa, and had been working hard on it. It was now alfalfa and GMO corn. Roundup ready, Bt corn. Great, a double smack of reality.

We will not have any peaches, apricots, or necterines this year. Only my self-pollinating Asian pear and heirloom pears have fruit. We had bees out early on, then they were gone. The strawberries are a little down as well. As an organic farm, we have battled about everything...leafhopper. .grasshoppers...tree slug...massive tumbleweeds that have broken fences...new weeds...lack of bees...and now... biotech contamination, not to mention herbicide contamination. It looks as if we will now have to plan hand-pollinating pumpkins on a yearly basis.

Mind you, I have always called us an island in a sea of giant corporate farmers. We are only five acres surrounded by giant ag. The idea of moving to an island in not a bad idea...Oh, wait, that is where the bio seed came from thanks to the demand of the giant subsidized corporate farms here that surround us.

Well, off to warn my neighbors to watch their home gardens as well as their animals for the signs of drift. Of course we all live down wind. I think the farm will stay, it's just us who will be....well you probably know where I am going with this....I just wish I knew.



Ruby's Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Ruby's Rhubarb Coffee Cake                          Oven: 350 degrees

1 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, packed              2 1/2 Cup all purpose flour
   2/3 Cup Vegetable oil (Melted crisco)         1 tsp Baking soda
      2  Eggs                                                     1 tsp Salt
      1  tsp Vanilla                                             1 Cup Milk
    2  Cups Rhubarb                              1 Cup Walnuts or almonds, chopped 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 inch round baking pans, or two bread loaf pans. Mix brown sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix dry ingredients together. Stir dry ingredients and milk into wet. Beat until smooth. Stir in rhubarb and nuts. Pour batter into pans.


1/2 Cup Granulated sugar 
1 Tbls  Butter
1/4 Cup Walnuts or almonds, chopped
Mix together sugar. butter, and nuts, and sprinkle evenly over batter.

Bake cakes for 35-40 minutes. Serve warm. Great with whip cream.

We think this cake is better the next day. The rhubarb becomes sweeter and tangier. We also like it cold with whip cream. You can substitute whole wheat flour for the all purpose flour. Just add an additional 1 TBL Oil to recipe.  Enjoy.  Adjust baking time to your moisture preference.


Where to begin...

Finally, 2012 is full speed ahead. We have been trying to get this farm up and running the last three years, but life has seemed to get in the way. But once you finally get your ducks in a row, things seem to begin the fall into place. But family business comes before business business.

We are excited for the 2012 season. These warm winter days make it hard to focus on "inside" business.So I was out testing raised beds with a garden shovel. Which are frozen, which can be weeded, which are good prospects for early row covers? But most importantly, which are getting the most sun.

After reprimanding dogs, who love these warm winter days and are tearing around the garden, crashing through flowerbeds, chasing anything that moves, its back inside. Priorities. Updating seed prospects, adding new ideas to our garden journal. Basically, adding more work to the "to do list".

Then the boys tell me today is Ground Hog's Day. What, already?! How can you already be behind when you haven't even started yet? No biggie. Don't forget, we have our ducks in a row. Right!

Hurray for 2012.

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