On a Learning Curve

Life may not be easy, but it's always an adventure.

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Down on the Farm

As promised, here are a few pictures of how we spent yesterday morning. We set off for Fisher Farm in La Plata after discovering that they had pick-your-own peaches for $1/pound. I took no pictures of the peach-picking process, and that’s probably because we quickly abandoned our picking and left the dirty work to Ryan after the farm owner offered us a tour. We admired his pear, apple, pecan, and cherry trees; asked if the raspberries would be open for picking; and sympathized with his squirrel woes. (Apparently his squirrels are susceptible to lead poisoning; fortunately, the girls don’t understand how squirrels get lead poisoning.) Then we met Tom, Tom’s hens, and six coops of chicks.

Below is Tom, our newest friend. He’s very proud of appearance, as you can tell by his ruffled feathers. And he’s quite friendly, too.


Here I am with Tom. This is as close as I wanted to get to him. Apparently if you get down on his level, he’s very, um, affectionate. (Ragnar friends, this is how I wear my latest Ragnar Swag. I love my new blue Saucony Mirage 3s.)


This is as close as S was willing to get to any turkey. While she admitted that turkeys are soft, “Hamsters are softer.” She has a serious love for hamsters, and very few creatures can compare.


Ryan was a better sport about the turkeys, but he told me that I needed to stop taking pictures of the turkeys and finish picking peaches.

ImageIn all, we picked 32 pounds of peaches and spent just $32. Okay, we picked about two pounds, and Ryan picked another 30 pounds. I dropped off 10 pounds with a friend, and later this week I’ll put up jam and make one of my great-grandmother’s peach cobblers. I also have another reason to enjoy living in southern Maryland.



Off to the Market

There’s a lot that I like about living in southern Maryland: rolling hills, an abundance of shade trees, a slower-paced lifestyle, the abundance of roadside farm markets, and a wide variety of residents. We have Amish and Mennonites, test pilots and astronauts, government contractors and farmers. In fact, these things generally outweigh the parts I dislike: the ridiculous number of taxes, a state government that caters to the central counties and cities, and the dearth of health-care specialists in our community. Oh, and for a county that had the 14th highest median income in 2010, we have no bookstore, no retailer that sells professional clothing, nothing comparable to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, and just one Starbucks–without a drive-thru window. Before you feel truly sorry for me, Sweet Frog did just open a franchise.

Yesterday I discovered something new to like: the Loveville Produce Auction. I had wanted to go for at least a year now and got my first opportunity yesterday. Even from the parking lot, I knew I was in for a treat! Fresh summer veggies, watermelons, cut flowers, and flats of tomatoes abounded. The large auction was already under way, and the small auction was getting ready to begin. And I felt like I had stepped back in time 100 years. Amish and Mennonite farmers and children were everywhere: some were wearing shoes; most were wearing straw hats. My friend and I ignored the large auction because the bidding was on entire wagon-loads of produce. Yes, wagons. As in the things that teams of horses pull.

I marveled at the bounty of the fields, and I quickly figured out how to bid. I even got a small round of applause when I won my first auction: a pint of mixed cherry tomatoes for $1. At auction’s end, I wrote a check for $27.18 to cover my six purchases; the $0.18 covers the tax on the sunflowers that I had to have! Below is a picture of my haul. Much of my vegetables are hidden by my impulse buy: a half-bushel of red bell peppers (that I split with my friend) for $8.50. What does $27 buy? A flat of yellow beans; the bell peppers; one enormous cantaloupe; a quart of red potatoes; a pint of cherry tomatoes; a mixed flat of zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, field tomatoes, jalapenos, and cubanelle peppers; and the gorgeous sunflowers. Will I go back again? Definitely. The Loveville Produce Auction is now another reason why I like living in southern Maryland.


After the produce auction and before the cleaning, chopping, and cooking.

Coming soon are pictures and a post about our peach-picking expedition this morning. Spoiler alert: There were lots of turkeys involved.