Curing onions and potatoes

Red Candy Apple onions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We harvested some fantastic looking “Red Candy Apple’ purple onions a few weeks ago and it is now time to start digging some ‘Yukon Gold’ potatoes and garlic over the weekend; I am so excited about the garden this year because it is performing so well!  We need to wait another week or so to harvest the ‘Sterling’ and ‘Walla Walla’ onions because tops have yet to flop over…. this allows them to store better.  We have enjoyed some fresh green onions and bulbs, but for the bulk of the crop we to want harvest and cure them properly so they will store well.

Potatoes, garlic and onions are staples worldwide partly because of their versatility and partly because of their storage-ability.  Late July and August is when our spring planted onions, garlic and potatoes reach maturity and are ready for harvest.  If you want to harvest some new potatoes, onions or garlic before they reach maturity enjoy them at the table in short order but if you want to store them it is important to harvest them at the correct time. Check your seed packet or variety information for details about how many days are expected for maturity, some varieties may be later.

Garlic is the easiest in my experience.  Wait for the tops to die back completely and then pull up your crop. If you harvest them green you will find that the cloves have not fully formed so a complete die-back it critical. Leave them intact and lay them over a screen, or some similar device, for about 1-2 weeks in a shaded well-ventilated location (I use the garage).  Once the bulbs feel dry braid them all together or cut the stems leaving a couple of inches above the bulb and store in a mesh bag.  A cool, dark storage space with good ventilation is ideal.

The signal that your onions are ready for harvest can be seen above the soil, as well.  The tops of the plants will begin to flop over and die back.  Once about half of the tops have turned brown and flopped over the onion are at their peak for harvesting.  You don’t want to harvest too early because the bulb size will be small, they will cure slowly and will be more likely to decay before you use them.  Putting off harvest too long also increases the chances of decay.  Once the tops flop and have died out, dig the onions.

During the curing process, you want to cut the tops back to about 2 inches and lay them out on a screen in that same dry, well-ventilated, shaded place your garlic enjoyed for about 2 weeks. I turned a fan on in the garage this year because of high humidity.  As they cure the necks shrink up and phenolic compounds accumulate there which helps to stop rot.  Those onions with thicker necks have a harder time protecting themselves from rot so go ahead and sort those out and use them first.  Those that look clean and be can have the remaining tops snipped after 2 weeks of curing.   Onions are most successfully stored at 32 degrees with a low humidity level.  Rot and sprouting during the bulb’s dormant period are more prevalent when they are stored at temperatures above 40.

Other ways to increase your onion harvest and successful storage is to start with the right variety at planting time.  In Kentuckiana we should plant intermediate-day length onions (these onions set bulbs when day-length averages 12-14 hours) including the varieties ‘Super Star’, ‘Candy’, ’Red Candy Apple’, ‘Spartan Sleeper’, ‘Storage King’, ‘Sterling’ and ‘Big Daddy’; and most of these prove to be good storage onions as well.   Interestingly, the more pungent the onion the better it stores because of higher levels of the phenolic compound which helps to keep disease down in the bulb.  I have great success with Dixondale Onions out of Texas (and poor yields if I buy generic!)

Potatoes, depending on the variety, can be harvested early, mid or late season taking as little as 70 days to maturity up to 135 days, but again, for storage wait until the tops have completely died back.  Some gardeners recommend waiting another week or two after this before digging so that the skin has a chance to harden off.  If you do not do this then be sure to let them cure once dug.

Sort your potatoes and keep the bruised or cut ones for eating now; set the clean ones aside so they can cure for 1-2 weeks at 65-70 degrees and high relative humidity.  Once they are cured they are ready to be stored in a cool, moist, dark place that maintains a temperature between 40-50 degrees (ideally) but who can pull that off all the time. A cool place in the basement will suffice; just don’t refrigerate, it will convert the starch to sugar.

July 13, 2017Permalink

Good books on food and farming for 2017

You can now find us on Instagram @SwallowRailFarm

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Yes, I have a reading season, and each year the season gets a little longer as I reject television and radio more and more.  The current state of our news cycle has helped push me back into books and this year I came across 4 titles that I particularly liked because they deepened my understanding of food and farming.

First Bite: How We Learn to Eat
British food writer and historian, Bee Wilson, might as well have this book referenced in the pre-natal care part of the bookstore.  She explores how the way we eat as adults is shaped by our very first experiences with food (for better or worse).  Indeed, our tastes are shaped by what our mother eats when we are in utero and later breastfeeding.  We may like the taste of chocolate over broccoli only because our Mother puckered up at our first taste of the vegetable and she looked heavenly as she savored a bite of chocolate.  While anyone can learn the nuances of taste preferences I do think that parents can learn how to navigate good eating habits starting at an early age by understanding how we learn to eat. (Basic Books, 2015)

Third Plate: Field Notes on the future of Food
Chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns shares a decade of thoughts and experiences about where the Farm to Table movement might be missing its ecological roots.  I like his writing because he brings together all the elements of the Farm to Table movement.  The expectations of sustainable farming look a bit different from the perspectives of the farmer, the chef and the restaurant patron.  Barber addresses each element acknowledging that what the chef puts on the menu often dictates what the farm will grow and this is not necessarily good for the ecology of the area. Barber is advocating for a more ecologically sustainable menu that reflects what is good for the farm’s soil and its livestock. There are fantastic stories of people farming ancient grains, carrots with a Brix reading of 16.9, bringing flavor back by growing old varieties of corn and wheat, natural foie gras, jamon iberico and much more. (Penguin, 2014)

Pig Tales: An Omnivore’s Quest for Sustainable Meat
This was a superfast read for me because author Barry Estabrook knows how to keep you engaged in a story about pigs and the people that manage them.  His three categories include feral pigs, confined pigs and pasture raised pigs.  Estabrook is on an investigative adventure that describes attempts to manage feral pigs in Texas to the confinement barns of Iowa and the pastures of Vermont and slaughterhouses of Denmark.  My students had it as assigned reading and loved it, particularly the part that documented the pig’s social intelligence.  What I like most about this book is its honesty and how it finds solutions to some of the industry environmental and animal husbandry problems.  (Norton, 2015)

Meathooked: The History of Our 2.5 Million Year Obsession with Meat
This examination of our global obsession with meat was my favorite of the season.  It’s sweeping treatment of the evolution of our social, cultural, biological and financial relationship to meat-eating was fascinating.  Science writer Marta Zaraska has put together a comprehensive look at why we eat meat, why we don’t, why we crave it, why we have taboos against it, and what it says about who we are socially, culturally, economically and ultimately what it means for the health of the planet and of our collective selves.  (Basic Books, 2016)

 

December 28, 2016Permalink

Fall breeding, fall lambing and a new fall menu at 502 Smokehouse!

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The weather is cool and crisp as we prepare for fall lambing on the farm.  I have 8 ewes due next week.

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We  have also sorted another group of yearling and 2-year old ewes for fall breeding.  They went in with the ram on Sunday so we will expect this group to begin lambing in late March 2017.

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We  also have a great new customer in 502 Smokehouse.  This popular Louisville food truck now has a brick and mortar business near University of Louisville’s campus at 4th and Brandeis.  Their new fall menu includes Swallow Rail Farm mutton and it is fantastic.  Give it a try when you are around campus!

 

October 24, 2016Permalink

Swallows glean in flight

IMG_2838Swallow Rail was the name my Dad gave the farm over twenty years ago.  He wanted it to be relevant, reflecting the spatial and natural qualities of his 18 acres in Western Shelby County.  His inspiration came from the swallows that swoop and swerve so adeptly in open fields, catching insects on the fly.  The rail of Swallow Rail comes from the two railroad tracks that flank either end of the road.

 

As we continue caring for his 18-acre dream the name he chose remains as true today as it did twenty years ago.  The swallows still fly and the trains still run.  It’s like generations of swallows have been trained, like a Pavlovian response, to come to the field as soon as they hear the loud hum of the mower.  They know a hearty meal waits if they let me stir up the insects as I do my chores.

 

They fly about in rapid movement; sometimes I flinch because they come so close and at such great speed.  If they were bats catching insects I would be uneasy but because they are the swallows I feel a sense of comfortable familiarity; and that they belong here more than anyone else.  They are doing what they do best, out there in the field catching insects on the fly.  They know exactly how to manipulate their bodies to move this way or that.  Tail forked, pointed or fanned; wings out-stretched or pulled close to their bodies, their flight truly is an aerial acrobat.  Swallows are one of the few birds that are entirely insectivores and they have all the moves to catch as many insects as possible.

 

I did a little research on swallows, particularly the barn swallows that follow me in a tangle as I mow.  The barn swallow is the only swallow that has a “swallow-tail”, a term that has come to mean deeply forked.  The colorations also make this bird easily identifiable (which is helpful to me because I am not a very good birder).  As they jet through the air you can catch glimpses of its blue-black back; the underside is buff-colored to cinnamon with a slightly darker throat.  And then, of course, that amazing forked tail.

 

The barn swallow is most common but there are others including the tree swallow that has entirely white underparts; the cliff swallow has a rust-colored rump and a squared tail; the bank swallow is marked by its brown back and dark band that runs across its otherwise white breast; and the much desired purple martin, which is the largest of the swallows and has an entirely blue-black body.

 

Most fun was my “field work”.  I spent about 2 hours roaming in and out of different microenvironments of the farm.  I carried a little stool around with me so I could sit quietly in the nut grove and watch the cardinals; then over by the catalpas in the middle of the field where the Eastern King bird has a perch; and on the side of the dam where the Joe-Pye weed and ironweed are in bloom, providing a meal for the resident pair of hummingbirds.  And the Mockingbirds that so annoyed me this spring with their loud mimicking song at 4 A.M. are now busy with their children in the crabapples. In fact a young one spent last evening chasing mosquitoes on the back patio!

 

We so often don’t take the quiet time to simply sit and observe.  My observations reaffirmed the idea, once again, that there is an extraordinary balance in the natural world.  I do not need to put out a hummingbird feeder full of sugar water if I let the native wildflowers (called weeds by some) grow on the dam or put potted tropical plants on the patio.  The grove of catalpas in the middle of the back field makes it a perfect place for my little Eastern King Bird who watches from her perch for an insect meal. Her tail fans out and she shows off the unmistakable white band that allowed me to identify her.  I am often mesmerized by her moves because she hovers just above the grass with her wings out stretched, fluttering like a heavy butterfly or a papery puppet on a string, until she goes in for the snatch.

July 27, 2016Permalink

Annual Farm Reflections

Reflections on another year of food and farming

 

I like to take time to reflect on the general state of things as one year ends and another begins. Other than a few minor details I like where I am.  I get to think about food and farming as a practical application at home as Andy and I cared for 800 Freedom Rangers on pasture for the summer season; 65 head of sheep at their peak after lambing and 100 layers that reliably deliver the gift of an egg every 36 hours or so (except for this time of the year!)  These animals give us remarkable gifts as mothers and as producers of animal protein. They are pretty awesome companions on any given day, too.

When a problem arises, as they often do, this is where we are taught the lessons of nature.  Owls can silently steal a young broiler from pasture at night that no electric fence will keep out. A fox can jump out of the prairie and snatch a layer in the blink of an eye as the Great Pyrenees is asleep under the pines. A watchful eye is always cast during the rainy, hot season when parasite pressure is at its peak for the sheep.  Lambs are most vulnerable.

Our primary function as shepherd and chicken farmer is pretty straight forward. We provide fresh water, a bit of a ration, and clean grass to move to.  We also provide adequate protection from predators, including parasites.  The nuances of our charge changes from season to season and we have become accustom to a life that mirrors this. I think this is why farming is so satisfying for those who choose the vocation: it is constantly evolving and no two days are the same as new challenges present themselves reliably!

Since 2010 we have built relationships with people in Kentuckiana around food that go beyond just talking about it.  We are now producers.  Yes, I get to teach food related subjects for the Anthropology Department at the University of Louisville; but we also have a customer base that values local, pasture raised lamb, chicken and eggs.  People have very different reasons for sourcing food from local farms. Some do it for their health, some for culinary reasons, and others to keep their food dollars as close to home as possible.  Plus, everyone agrees that you can find community at your neighborhood Farmers’ Market along with some simple, great tasting food.

Food and Water Watch asked me to comment on a few questions for their Ecocentric blog in November and one of them was “what do you want your students to understand most about our food system?” My answer was short: that it is so complicated and it should be so simple.  As you think about the year ahead think of ways you can simplify things.  Grow food, eat real food, don’t waste (or generate waste with pre-packaged foods). Our dismissive attitudes about food have turned us into trash producers. Throw the fast food bag on the ground or out the car window; shovel the leftovers on your plate into the garbage; buy another plastic bottle filled with tap water.  Really?

Waste is not the only thing to consider, of course. Consider the lives involved in producing what you do not produce yourself; whether that is animal, vegetable, farm worker, rural community or wait staff.  Value clean drinking water because not everyone has it. Consider the true cost of things not just the cheap price we put on a gallon of milk or buy 3 and get one free (of which we do not need but one to begin with!) truly consider your local food economy by becoming a part of it: grow, preserve, conserve and value the simple things in life like eating real food with loved ones as much as you can in 2016 and understanding the implications.  Happy New Year!

February 26, 2016Permalink

Ewe lambs for sale

This spring’s lamb crop is ready for harvest (for the ram lambs) and for sale as breeding stock (for the ewe lambs).  Various retail cuts are available, along with some lean lamb sausage.  Some folks by a whole or half a lamb for the convenience of stocking their own freezers, on average a half of a lamb butchered to your specifications costs about $200-$225.  Please see the Chicken and Lamb Prices tab for details.  Katahdin ewe lambs for breeding stock are $200 each.
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December 14, 2015Permalink

Reflections on 2014 and fleshing hides

IMG_1060Another year in animal husbandry

I use this annual reflection to track our record of animal husbandry since we began raising a few hens for a personal egg supply in 2007.  Those few hens turned into over 100 in a few short years.  It was contagious, I suppose, as our taste for productivity grew and we added not only more eggs but meat chicken and lamb to the mix.IMG_1061

I think one of the most provocative questions there is for small scale producers comes from folks who say “how can you kill them?”  My answer is that I don’t.  My job is to keep all my hens, broilers, ewes and lambs alive.  The goal is to maintain healthy and productive hens that can range freely and will lay eggs frequently- and not get killed by fox.  The goal is to maintain a healthy flock of breeding ewes and get ram lambs up to 100 pounds before they are processed.  The broilers have 10 happy weeks on pasture if we do our jobs right and feed, water, shelter, move to fresh grass and protect from owls, raccoons, fox, weasel, dogs and hawks.  All of this comes after we have successfully brooded them in the barn. Our job is to keep them alive until they have reached their potential as food.

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Each year I challenge myself to one more task so that I can knowingly speak about the cycle of life that I have come to understand personally raising animals for food- both for myself and many loyal customers.  When you are involved in every aspect of raising animals for food you realize how valuable that animals life was so when it ends there is a sense of urgency not to waste any of it.  I have learned to make liver pate (and truly enjoy it); I can make some great broth and chicken soup from old stew hens culled from the layers.  Andy can slaughter and I can process chickens (but I much prefer it when we pay other local businesses like Faulkner Meats or Marksbury to use their expertise to do it). The dogs get raw lamb bones that otherwise would have been thrown out at the butchering stage.

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I have done almost everything except witness the slaughter of one of my own lambs (which may have to wait another year). Instead this last challenge was my idea but Andy actualized the hardest part of it.  Typically the lamb hides are picked up from the abattoirs by rendering companies that also collect the offal (the viscera).  The pelts are processed into leather goods.  I felt like we needed to experience this part, too, to be fully engaged in the process.  I picked up the hides, salted them and 3 days later we had a plan and crafted a fleshing bar.  I was not grossed out because once you set to your work the focus becomes more about not screwing it up.  Andy felt the same way particularly since he was the one doing all the scraping.  4 hours, four hides.  It was work.

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In Kentucky the infrastructure to support our small scale animal for food production is growing.  Small, family oriented slaughter and butcher establishments will help to maintain a respectful knowledge base for the business of slaughtering and butchering but it will also help to keep the business closer to home so to speak.  No absentee ownership that promotes a disconnect between the farm and the eater; no demoralized workers; no inhumane treatment of animals…this is what supporting local businesses promotes, too.  The consumer has more control then they dare to imagine and slowly our localized food economy will reinvent itself.  Perhaps reinvent is the wrong word; maybe I should say it can recover itself like when many of our rural communities where the greenbelts to our cities- country folks feeding their city neighbors. I remain confident that we can continue to restructure a new kind of food production that emphasizes small and close to home.  I meet people every day that are new partners in sourcing food with a conscience.

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I would like to thank everyone who has helped us whether it was with technical assistance, moral support, collaboration, purchasing product or just spreading the word.  Our gates are always open to anyone else ready to join in.  I will even show you our untanned, raw hide lamb pelts. Happy New Year.

 

 

December 29, 2014Permalink

Ode to Jack and the turnip

It looks like this late turnip crop is going to be a good one thanks to cool temperatures and adequate rain fall.  I may even have some little ones ready in honor of Halloween this year, too, even though they will only be salad size.  What does the turnip have to do with Halloween you may ask?  Well, they just may be more authentic than that pumpkin on the porch.Finca and Round Bales

Pumpkins have been for sale for weeks and children have decided on costumes but somewhere in the middle of it all is the story of All Hallow’s Eve.   Halloween, as it is known today, has its origins in something a bit more interesting than just pumpkin carving and candy collecting.  In fact, the evening’s festivities marked the beginning of winter for the Druids, an ancient Celtic race.

The Druids were essentially reacting to a belief that the souls of the dead returned to wander among the living for one night.  The Druids would light huge bonfires and dress up to both acknowledge and scare the ghostly beings away from their homes.  When Irish immigrants came to North America they brought All Hallow’s Eve with them; their children brought the tradition of carving the Jack-o-lantern.

Irish legend has it that a drunkard named Jack was the first to carve a “Jack-o-lantern,” back in Ireland it was carved from a turnip.  One day Jack had a run-in with the devil and a legend was born.  After some shenanigans Jack managed to trap the devil up in a tree by carving a cross in the trunk; he then proceeded to make a deal with the Devil and bargained for his soul before he would allow the Devil out of the tree. The Devil promised not to take his soul, so Jack wasn’t going to hell but he wasn’t going to heaven either.  The deal resulted in Jack wandering between the two destinations, in eternal darkness.

When Jack crossed the devil’s path once again, the devil threw a hot ember at him out of spite for tricking him up that tree.  In his cleverness, Jack quickly hollowed out the turnip in his pocket and placed the ember inside.  He now had a lantern to light his way as he wandered for eternity.  The Scots called their turnips “bogies” which gave way to the term “bogie-man” as children ran scared with their turnip lanterns on the night of All Hallow’s Eve.  I wonder if this has something to do with the golf term “to bogey”.  Golf did originate in Scotland and a turnip and a golf ball and one over par……well, you can see where this is going.

Anyway, because of the availability and ease in carving, the pumpkin became the “Jack-o-lantern” of choice for Irish immigrants in the New World and this is the tradition that persists today.  Pumpkins have been around for a long time, dating back to 7000 BC in the highlands of Mexico where they were prized for their seeds.  The flesh of the wild species was bitter so they were harvested as gourds for use as storage vessels, rattles and utensils.  The flesh of the pumpkin was not used until after it had been cultivated for centuries.

The pumpkin became a staple crop, along with beans and corn, for many southwest and southeastern American Indian tribes and its appearance figures into many tribal creation stories.  The Iroquois creation story names the pumpkin as one of the three vegetables that Mother Earth provided for the people in order to survive.  It was grown among the corn that provided shade for the growing vine.  The pumpkin vine, in turn, acted as mulch for the corn and kept the weeds under control.

When the Pilgrims dined with the Wampanoag in the Northeast at the first so-called Thanksgiving they surely enjoyed roasted pumpkin seeds.  So, don’t throw away those pumpkin seeds after you carve your “Jack-o-lantern.”  Pumpkin seeds make a delicious and healthy snack.  Let the seeds dry well before roasting them in the oven.  Once dried, toss them with a little oil and salt.  Spread the seeds evenly on a cookie sheet and roast at 350 degrees until they are golden brown, tossing them about on the cookie sheet a couple of times in the process.  They are best when they are still a little bit warm.

 

 

October 22, 2014Permalink

Tall Grass Prairies, Tim Farmer’s Country Kitchen and the Belknap Farmers’ Market

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prairie

This spring we took advantage of our prairie as quality grazing for the ewes and lambs.  It worked marvelously!  Lots of tall grass with no parasites (until they were shed by the sheep, of course. As Dr. Ray Kaplan says “if you have sheep you have parasites”).  The prairie gets burned each spring so we can have a fresh start each year as dormant parasite eggs will be destroyed. The prairie grazing did require some due diligence on my part.  Strips needed to be mowed for the electro-netting; lambs would sometime get lost in the tall grass (not for long, though) and we needed to monitor any foot injury from the burned out wild pear saplings that dot the landscape.  The regrowth of grass was fast once they were moved off a section; but we could not keep them on it once the grasses had reach a certain maturity because if became less palatable to them. With some easier fencing I could get more efficient use of the prairie; I will continue to perfect the system.  So far so good on the parasite load after a recent FAMACHA (monitoring anemia by checking the color of eye membranes) check. IMG_0949

Tim Farmer’s Country Kitchen

We were also featured on Tim Farmer’s Kitchen recently talking about raising sheep and chicken.  Tim and his wife Nikki are super nice; their daughter Kelly shot the video and does post production.  Here’s the YouTube video:  http://youtu.be/vv3mdHKmzMM

Belknap sign Belknap Farmers’ Market

The University of Louisville now has a new Belknap Farmers’ Market located at 3rd and Brandeis on campus.  We are there with lamb, chicken, eggs and fruit every Thursday from 3:30-6pm.  It is a full service market with prepared meals, vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs, canned and baked goods, bread and honey.  U of L’s commitment to community engagement welcomes everyone to the market.  The community, students, faculty and staff make this market fun!  Come see us, it runs through October. Here’s their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BelknapFM

June 21, 2014Permalink

Wiley Coyote gets a run for his money

Tuesday, 4:30 pm, after shedding my city boots for my country boots I head back out the door with my egg basket and a jug of water.  Our two livestock guardian dogs by my side we head back to the barn.  In the blink of an eye Baxter and Finca take off in full defense mode towards our hens and the barn.  Baxter takes the front and Finca takes the back.  And, to my bewilderment, a beautiful coyote is flushed from beyond and the dogs follow pursuit.  Wiley coyote hits the frozen lake and the dogs circle.

At one point Baxter (the Maremma who has remarkable speed) over shot the target and ran over the hill; meanwhile Finca (the Great Pyrenees who has might and determination) sat on the damn while Wiley Coyote sat down in the middle of the frozen lake.  I share the detail because I started thinking that this is probably the same creature I wrote about several months ago when we woke to an early morning pursuit between Finca and something (I was without my glasses at 3 am that morning so could not confirm what was circling a perennial bed with Finca in sleepy pursuit .)

That morning it seemed the creature was playing a game with Finca, a certain kind of Wiley taunt. I could imagine the creature thinking, “I can run in circles and wear this big white thing out!” I saw this yesterday; too, when this beautiful coyote sat down and looked at Finca as to say, “I dare you, again, big lumbering white thing!” at this point I am still an interested observer.  And, in fact, Finca did take the dare, and took to his pursuit on the icy lake.  Baxter shows up and the team successfully chases Wiley away.  At one point, even, Wiley literally tucked and turned tail when Finca got close.  I hope that Wiley understands that Finca and Baxter are not to be underestimated! And, I am happy to report that no chickens where involved in the incident.  Knock on wood, please.

Since it all ended well it lifted my spirits a bit; after all the ice and snow and cold and broken limbs and frozen water buckets- I needed a pick me up.  And at that moment I was glad there was all that snow and ice because I had a map to follow and study.  I compared the huge paw prints of the LGD’s and the small prints of the coyote at its various gates.  I could determine that Wiley was not just there yesterday being chased but I could follow the trail all about the orchard, around the berries and asparagus; and, amazingly, the tracks ambled a few 100 feet from the barn where 80 chickens where hanging out and about.

The next morning the dogs give Wiley a run for his money.  andy and I watched as Baxter and Finca chased the coyote about in our neighbors field.  It was a perfect view:  a northern snow covered slope with a brown coyote trying to evade our dogs.  Finally Finca pushed him far to the southern edge of their precieved territory.

So, if I could communicate with coyotes I would ask that they focus on the rabbit population.  Which, interestingly, next to the coyote tracks I followed were indeed rabbit tracks.  So, maybe some outdoor tracking is in your future, too.  Walk about and investigate and you may be surprised what you see left behind in the snow.  Is it a bird, a raccoon, a skunk or opossum? Maybe a fox or coyote is in your midst, too? I am starting to see nature’s designs everywhere I trek in the snow; it is a good winter distraction as we wait for the ice to melt.  And, I will remember that tracking in the snow is more fun than the mud that is to come!

February 16, 2014Permalink