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food + drink sustainable_living Watauga County writing_of_place

Watauga County Farmers’ Market – Weekly Update

I can’t say it often enough, if you are in the area and like locally grown food, swing into the “Market”. Whenever we are in the high country it ranks at the top of our list of must do stops. In fact, I have been known to schedule our visits to coincide with market days to allow us to stock the kitchen with great food at the beginning of our stay.

Watauga County Farmers’ Market has been enjoying quite a successful 35th season this far. There is a new row of vendors between the Horn in the West main office and ticket office, offering everything from garden plants to veggies to prepared foods. There are still plenty of open parking spots for shoppers, so if you have not been to the market in a while you will be in for quite a few pleasant surprises.

The times of the Wednesday markets are also changed for this year’s market. The market will be open from 4-7 starting June 17 instead of the morning times of past years. We hope you will find the new hours more convenient and enjoy the additional events we have planned for the Wednesday markets. The first attraction will be the music of Southern Exposure on the 17th. There will be plenty of fresh edibles for your mid week meals, so do plan to stop by.

One of the things that always made me a bit sad was that I didn’t have a garden in the mountains to allow me to bring home some of the live plants for sale at each market I’ve attended over the years.

via May 30, 2009 | Watauga County Farmers’ Market.

Categories
my backyard nature writing_of_place

Bluejays

Have you ever watched a Bluejay eat an acorn? Around my home in Texas we have Bluejays year round. Actually, we have more Bluejays in winter than in summer but that’s neither here nor there. The Bluejays in my yard tend to eat acorns they find on the ground. Watching them find an acorn to try is fun but the amusing part is the way they approach opening the shell of the acorn…After selecting the best subject for his attention the discriminating Bluejay takes his selection and flies to a comfortable tree limb out of harms way. Once settled on the chosen base of operations the Bluejay proceeds to pound the poor unsuspecting acorn into submission. Once the hard nut has cracked from the pounding, the hardworking Bluejay is able to enjoy the fruit of his labor.

Then the process is repeated…By a multitude of birds on succeeding days. I have never noticed if the supply of acorns runs out or not, but I suspect there are acorns as long as the birds wish to search for them. I would imagine some of the nuts are from the stash the squirrels hide in the yard all fall and winter long.

As I alluded above, at this time of the year, the Bluejays visit us individually. During the winter months they arrive in the yard in great flocks of upwards of half a hundred or more. They appear to rotate through the yard on a regular feeding circuit they share with the Robins that overwinter here as well. Between the two species, they add a touch of color to an otherwise drab vista out my kitchen window.

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writing_of_place

Muses from the middle of the day

My email brought me the latest “News From Vermont” a regular newsletter put out by Burr Morse from the Morse Farm Sugarworks. I stumbled upon a copy of one of his email missives a while back and I enjoyed it so much I was moved to subscribe. I have been glad I did ever since.

Burr has a particular way of seeing the world and then writing about it…
Hello again Maple People,

We have two spring seasons here in Vermont. The first is, of course, our sweet and famous maple sugarin’. Sugarin’s part of my genetic makeup so, you see, it’s not income or livelihood that leads me to the woods every spring but something instinctive and unforgiving. Just as a squirrel gathers nuts or a dog waters hydrants, when spring comes I’ve gotta sugar rain or shine, feast or famine, or more appropriately, snow or snow. Speaking of snow, this year Saint Valentine greeted us with 36 inches of the stuff, three dozen ways to say “I love you”! The day after that
holiday dumping, I would rather have skipped sugarin’ altogether but I proceeded with deep, snowshoe-trudging steps toward the season ahead. This may come as a surprise, since on the outside I look like a happy-go-lucky sugarmaker, but the rigidness of “having to do it” sometimes creates negatives in my sugarmaking life; no drop in the bucket for a “happy-go-lucky sugarmaker”.

Do yourself a favor and go sign up for your own subscription. Or if you just want a copy of this issue send me an email and I’ll forward a copy of this issue…