Number 2 in the Bear Canyon Series.
Today snow comes to Teton Valley, plans change in an instant.
I know, I know. I have seen those videos on Facebook, too. But I promise you don’t look like them with the booties on. And you even wore them once before when you were much younger and it was super cold outside, like today. You want to go skiing, right? OK! Lets go….
“Really?” she says, “these don’t fit so well. And the snow is collecting around the ankle. And they kinda’ hurt…..How about if I just lay here in the snow and wait for you to come back this way?”
the fall days are here. As a matter of fact, they are glorious days in October that are warm and sunny. Anyone a local, knows these days are limited. They will come again, but not before a long stretch of cold, white winter. For me, the coming cold also means shutting down my bambi airstream. Its a sad day that suggests I won’t be rolling down the highway with camper in tow any time soon. But there is always that dream that some free time will show up along with clean roads. And I will hook up the rig and head out….dreaming is important. Dreaming is where magic is born.
So, until the next time, I will dream of the next trips, and love the day I have today. Golden leaves blowing from branches across the yard and a dog that really, really wants to go out and hike.
In my last post I talked about the looming threat of wild visitors to my Apple Tree. Yesterday I took a hike up the local trail and upon my return the tree had been visited. All the apples were stripped from the bottom branches ! Ha! Time to harvest. So, here is my share of the apples. I left some on for any wayward visitors who really need an afternoon snack.
By the way, I’m still hoping someone will send me their favorite recipe for an Apple Crisp!
Apple season has arrived in my yard. Almost overnight the leaves on the Amur and Cottonwood are turning bright yellow. And I am not exaggerating about the “overnight” aspect. Come and see for yourself if you want. In addition to the bright light of leaves glowing in my yard I think the apples on my single apple tree are ready to pick. And as I noted in a previous blog, that means I need to pick them before the Moose or Bear get them.
One came off the tree the other day, and I decided to give it a try. They are smallish. Like a plum. They are mostly yellow with a beautiful overlay of reddish streaks. But I don’t know which variety they are. Looking on line it seems like it may be an Empire.
Here is what they say about the Empire Apple:
Introduced in New York, 1966 (McIntosh x Delicious).
Ripens in late September, (two weeks later than McIntosh).
Fruit is medium; skin is red-on-yellow to all red. Flesh is crisp, juicy, aromatic and slightly tart.
Sweet, spicy quality excellent for eating fresh, in salads and fruit cups
Take a look at the pics and let me know what you think. Am I right? Or is it another variety?
What I know, is that the one I tasted is sweet. very fragrant, and slightly soft. Delicious, and wonderful considering I got to watch it grow from sweet pink blossom to edible fruit!
I think I need to pick some a make an Apple Crisp. Anybody have suggestions for a recipe?
In early April I visited Cloud Nine Farm near Wilsall, Montana for the first time. The ground was just thawing at this high-elevation farm that bases it’s growing techniques on Permaculture. Despite the fact that there was nothing sprouting green in the land that surrounds them, Allison and Seann, owners of Cloud Nine, were following their daily farm activities. In order to make Cloud Nine profitable the farm is a year round operation. Green houses, chicken and duck eggs, and micro-greens help extend the seasonal potential for the farm. Cloud Nine is an organic minded farm and in the past few months that we have been planning the Remote Studio project for them they have been working through the process for gaining full “organic farm” status. This status not only is a great personal goal it also assists their product commitment with the CSA they work with, Market Day Foods in Bozeman, Montana. As the organic reviewer told them, they have the most diverse farm requesting organic status she had ever seen. Which means that the farm had ultimately more paperwork and verifications to deal with , because their application for organic status extends beyond a mono-culture farm, and instead operated as a holistic entity. The holistic condition is representative of the permaculture farming that they have adopted. It is a best case operation that organic farms can reach toward. In May they gained their full organic status!
The concepts of permaculture farming are not so different than the architecture profession’s goals seeking to design their buildings to work with the environment of their buildings. Consideration of land, orientation, weather patterns, and best conditions for employing the “energy” and “productivity” of the place. While this may sound straight forward, its not simple. Certainly not simple if you are farming in the high elevations of Montana with land that had been previously overgrazed. And if you want to develop a closed-loop farm as Allison and Seann do, the challenges can be even greater. Closed-loop (just as in architecture) means that what you need you gain from your “ground” and what you produce in by-product stays on the land, and is not hauled away.
Artemis Institute is interested in supporting practices and experiences that recognize the relationship between nature and culture. With the Remote Studio program we focus our design/build project on community structures that assist this relationship. This year we are committing the Remote Studio project to Cloud Nine Farm because we believe that the food that they produce for our community helps ensure that we have healthy “connected to the land” choices. We are overly impressed with Cloud Nine and other such small organic farms who commit to find a way to grow healthy food, in less than simple environmental and economic circumstances. These young farmers work long hours, reinvest their meager profits in bettering their ground, seldom have time-off, and little financial opportunity to build the simple support structures we all imagine to be in place on farms. For these reasons, Remote Studio Summer 2014 students will be designing and building a multi-functional support structure that enables the farm to store their implements out of harsh conditions, hang their garlic and store their onions, better rinse their vegetables for market, and store their young plants in a more protected environment.
To achieve this new support structure Cloud Nine is providing the funds for all construction materials, and Artemis Institute/Remote Studio provides the design, construction management, drawings and construction of the structure for free. There is one more component that is on their list, but not in their budget: a refrigeration unit with a high-performing “cool-bot” that would allow them to extend the storage and delivery season of their products. We have estimated materials and technology for this portion of the structure at about $5,000 for Remote Studio to incorporate into the design and construction of the new structure. If supporting our developing American Organic Farmers seems like an important and necessary thing to do, then consider helping Artemis Institute build the new Refrigeration Unit for Cloud Nine Farm. Artemis Institute is a non-profit organization. Your donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. To make a donation click here.
Remote Studio students start designing the Cloud Nine structure June 16!
Next morning. No internet. No water. No heat. No phone. The culprit is electricity . No power at my place means that the link I have to most modern conveniences are gone. At least temporarily.
The exchange for this temporary loss is the magnificent and powerful experience of the forest that surrounds me. Last night we had a huge wet snowfall. It came so fast in fact, landing on what remained of winter’s crunchy snow that the build up caused avalanches in the mountains behind my house. I have seen large avalanches in the mountains. But to hear them from your own house while you lay in the dark is a bit un-nerving. Loud whamps, growling swooshes, and then the pressure build up hits the face of the building. Like I said, un-nerving.
We survived the night. No trees down on the house or wall of snow. Instead beautiful, deep snow surrounded the house . What was slushy winter on its way out was replaced with heavy white spring snow covering all things.
Unlike a satellite dish that simply can be swept off to regain communication with the rest of the world, nothing can be done but wait for the power lines to be repaired. Which is not such a bad thing when you have 12″ of new snow right outside your door….but before that I need a cup of tea.