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  • Published Articles - Indoor Seeding - North Country News
    Kale spinach chard arugula lettuce mix the process of choosing how much and which varieties was tantalizing and arduous in its possibilities Here at D Acres we save our own seed when we can buy seed when we need to When it came down to it I had dozens of options before me Originally thinking of seeding ten flats I ended up with twelve and they only exhibit a fraction of the possibilities Luckily the process will be repeated again and again as the weeks unfold Let me say that I ve been doing this since I was a child and yet the act of pushing seeds into dirt fills me with a giddy anticipation a wordless amazement that this process actually works Will these seeds really grow into an abundant larder Sea kale chard New Zealand spinach these varieties are easy to grasp literally and somehow in their tangible size seem more likely to thrive But kale seeds Lettuce And never mind arugula These are so small their minute ness is overwhelming and yet their potential is inversely grandiose Calloused dirty hands must claim delicacy and dexterity for planting these It is these little seeds that are the receptacles of a gardener s devotion and trust Some dirt some light some water throw in some care and attention and these tiny green photosynthesizing stalks of life can thrive Sure we witness the aftermath of life s vivacity all around us but there is something both daunting and gleeful in bearing witness to the process so intimately hanging hope and faith and satiation on the potential of a minute seed The remarkable thing too is that anyone can do this You can do this Growing food is not the imposing venture it is too often depicted as Seeds want to

    Original URL path: http://www.dacres.org/media/articles/ncn/2010/indoorseeding.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Published Articles - Open-Mic Night - North Country News
    baked beans in two varieties breads desserts The air too was full with the sounds of crackling wood and scraping silverware Better yet conversation instruments being tuned and eventually music This night was not just any night here at D Acres Organic Farm Educational Homestead No this was a triple header of sorts a potluck snowshoe open mic combination The cold temperatures froze enthusiasm for the moonlit walk but the rest of the evening was all the more robust With full bellies accomplished we moved on to music poetry and even some acappella Guitars of course dominated but a saxophone and a much anticipated fiddle made an appearance as well And the poems shared were not to be underestimated I ll preface the next paragraph by saying that here at the farm we are busy gearing up for the coming season This means coordinating events organizing workshops lining up interns ordering seeds ad infinitum Through it all we hope for good people to surround us and join with us but that s not something that is manifested with a simple statement A resounding evening with goodwill in the air friends and neighbors sharing in home made food music and laughter talking through the ups and downs of the day and the work with which we each occupy our time No we can t plan for this but it is what I at least relish in particular After all what is rich land satisfying work and healthful food if there are not people to share it with There is a simple beauty in this act of coming together a comfort found in putting aside the hardships or the struggles to seek the joy of a familiar connection It is holding an eye from across a room nodding knowing we each want

    Original URL path: http://www.dacres.org/media/articles/ncn/2010/openmic.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Published Articles - Winter Loging - North Country News
    the warmth we can most readily produce here at the farm is of course through wood To do so we use chainsaws and a wood chipper run on vegetable oil yes there is some mechanization Our other heavy machinery is our oxen team Henri and August however are smart and perceptive beyond any piece of equipment and are incredibly intuitive and strong I ve been working with them for just a handful of months the three of us gradually getting used to each other and becoming familiar with each of our habits and mannerisms A logging day is a good test of who commands the respect between us especially when the hours get long or the logs heavy or the footing difficult Let s just say I ve got room to improve By the time that the trees have been felled pulled cross cut split and stacked the individuality of each piece is lost But while moving through the work of a given day each tree holds its story the perfect fell or conversely the one that just wouldn t acquiesce to our directional preferences the small logs that pulled so easy the heavy ones that tested the oxen s willingness and my fortitude the wood that split on one whack or not Not only does wood warm us multiple times before being burned the stories of its handling color our day weave our memories teach us lessons For the pursuit of warmth is a personal lesson too Logging is about communication between people with the oxen even within oneself When clarity is lost efficiency is muddled at best at worst the woods become dangerous It is a lesson in persistence practice trust familiarity work that demands one to be observant focused and accountable There is the poetics of the

    Original URL path: http://www.dacres.org/media/articles/ncn/2010/winterlogging.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Published Articles - Frozen Pipes - North Country News
    see was busted Water pump frost free hydrant outdoor spigot A variety of names would suffice all of which suggest you can draw water from the contraption This is the primary function and yet this particular Monday morn all routine functionality ceased Presumably something was frozen somewhere At first when the handle resisted being lifted and water wasn t flowing boiling water seemed a reasonable idea But that yielded no results and jimmy ing the handle followed by dismantling its parts proved less than illuminating The prospect of hauling water until springtime from the house to our ox hovel was not particularly appealing But I was resigning myself to it almost before I knew that that was what I was facing About an hour and a half into the hair dryer ordeal I had already ceased to dread the prospect of carrying buckets twice a day for three months I was convinced that was what awaited me But my partner in crime Josh had tenacity for the project The man is certainly efficient and a project that is futile from the start is not a project at all if it s his time being brokered So I had to believe that blowing hot air into the winter wind okay technically onto the pump shaft would get us somewhere But really Yes really Somewhere around the 1pm mark with both of us straining to lift the copper rod out of the pipe that housed it it popped It was half sheathed in ice Before I could regain my nonchalant composure the words spilled out of my mouth I didn t think we d actually get anywhere Yeah I could see it in your eyes Figured I come out here with you Another reminder that the unexpected gets pulled off routinely here

    Original URL path: http://www.dacres.org/media/articles/ncn/2010/frozen%20pipes.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Published Articles - Veggie Oil - North Country News
    is moved to our basement The bare necessities a 55 gallon drum some buckets a pump are set in a not too intrusive area Everything is atop cardboard to soak up the inevitable drips and drops of fry o later oil Really considering just how smudged smeared and downright greasy every piece is this ode to take out meals remains remarkably contained But the mess isn t the story in fact the point to be made is how useable the system is how easy it is to learn and how practical a solution it is to the perpetual cost of a gas tank Here at D Acres we pick up oil from a couple of local venues filter it through a series of three filters then pump it into 5 gallon containers and we re good to go A piece of hosing is our gas pump buckets are our oil tankers The cost is merely a little time Granted that s the easy part You can t just pour the filtered remains of a Happy Meal in your engine and expect to take off To convert a vehicle you will need to have a diesel engine and you do have to reconfigure some flux capacitators whatsits and whosits I don t feign to take on the mechanic s role in this here column For more information go to the D Acres website www dacres org and read the article titled Biofuels Call us with questions or queries Also if you have an establishment producing oil and need somewhere to go with it collect it in buckets and let us know please If you ask me there are two particular perks to veggie oil vehicles that go beyond the cost benefits and recycled nature of the system First are the relationships

    Original URL path: http://www.dacres.org/media/articles/ncn/2010/veggieoil.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Published Articles - Local Food - North Country News
    pound plus potato treasure It has an idyllic ring to it despite being true Still we were chopping all the small partially green pitchforked stabbed broken bruised nibbled and or rotting tubers that were unfit for winter storage No amount of picturesque ness could diminish the rather onerous nature of the job But consider the situation from another perspective that of the cutting board It s just potatoes yes but think what stories one of our well worn boards could tell My mind jumps to dull knives or tomato innards soaking into the wooden boards or onion vapors causing perpetual tears Bear with me though what would a cutting board say about the type of food that rests on it what would it reveal what would it prefer Crazy I know But hear me out Our boards tell stories of our own produce Dirty of course but no chemicals no waxes no gases used to ripen vegetables nor genetic modifications in the name of size color or seedless ness D Acres vegetables rarely look perfect but flavor and nutrition are never compromised And our cutting boards live the reality of seasonality There ll be no asparagus until April no tomatoes until August peaches are merely for September and even fresh kale takes a hiatus come December Perhaps by March our cutting boards are as weary of squash and as hungry for greens as we are What would your cutting board say With a mild leap of faith it strikes me as a reasonable question And as 2009 is drawing to a close the New Year beckons with the potential for new resolutions new beginnings new patterns So why not make your resolutions about food We eat every day food is essential for survival and meals shape our time our interactions

    Original URL path: http://www.dacres.org/media/articles/ncn/2009/localfood.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Published Articles - Art and Community - North Country News
    scheduled work Just a day to catch up on assorted odds and ends that s all A list can say so much and yet say so little The challenge of answering questions such as what do you do never seems to diminish What s the big picture I m trying to describe At D Acres we are all about growing food yes We re about sustainable production yes About minimizing consumption yes and striving for fossil fuel independence yes We re about vibrant community and local arts and industry yes and yes We re about people and knowledge culture and health simplicity ingenuity and sustainability yes to each of those We try to share these goals in a myriad of ways The calendar year 2009 quickly coming to a close has been the Year of Traditional Arts and Ecology here at the farm We used this theme to schedule our workshops and guide our major events It was a means for us to draw links between a distinctive local culture and our distinct regional environment Throughout the year a host of skills crafts cottage industries and local knowledge were shared via workshops and events held here at the farm A sincere thank you to all who participated both teachers and learners In these final weeks before the New Year we have one more event that draws out local artists an open mic poetry slam and potluck on Monday Dec 21st Beginning at 5 30pm the event will be hosted at 188 Streeter Woods Rd just up the hill from D Acres Farm Bring a dish to share with friends then enjoy a night of poetry and prose Share your own work or enjoy the literary talents of your neighbors We will end the evening with a performance by the nationally

    Original URL path: http://www.dacres.org/media/articles/ncn/2009/artcommunity.html (2016-05-01)
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  • Published Articles - Buy Nothing Day - North Country News
    behind our far from monotonous bedclothes We re trying to model various interpretations of sustainability here at the farm One manifestation of that is to distance ourselves from our mainstream culture of consumption to the greatest degree that we can We try to reuse and give a second life to whatever objects we can We thrive on picking up mechanical or construction pieces at the town dump kitchen utensils and household items at thrift stores and welcome donated goods of all kinds Sheets included In this way we are able to take a step back from our economy of consumption our profit system of winners and losers and our reliance on short term industry No we re not independent from factories warehouses and department stores but we are re evaluating our culture s love of buying new things and slowing our role in the global marketplace In doing so we minimize waste minimize our budget and minimize our role in the inequality oppression and resource depletion represented by our industrial economy This seems all the more relevant in light of the coming holiday season Reputably based on Thankfulness Giving and Love the next month routinely devolves into buying frenzies corporate profit and continued support for our transnational economy of monopolies So we re opting out And recommend that you do too November 27 for example is Black Friday Instead of lining up outside a department store at 4am however join the movement behind Buy Nothing Day Keep your cash your checks and your credit cards in your pockets Consider what it is you really want to give to your family friends and community this year How you can best spread the Peace and Joy of the holidays Is shopping really the answer Rather than spending buying and gift wrapping consider

    Original URL path: http://www.dacres.org/media/articles/ncn/2009/buynothing.html (2016-05-01)
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