OCTOBER 2014, ISSUE #161

A deceptively normal month featuring emergency vehicles, a big giant claw, foraged mushrooms, monster bugs and another edition of Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, all at home under the clear blue sunny skies of the longest Fall in history.

 

EL JARDIN

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Where fauna and flora abound. This prehistoric looking bug, measuring one and a half inches in length is called a Wheel Bug because of its wheel-shaped armor and is one of the good bugs in the garden, patrolling the pepper plants and ridding them of pests.
On October 4th Bob harvested Jimmy Nardellos, a Bull Nose Bell, Pasillas, Shisitos, Sigarretas and spicy Banana Peppers. This month we found that the Pasillas were made for roasting! Here’s how: Throw them on an un oiled pan, pierce each with a knife and put the pan under the broiler for a few minutes, flip them over and broil for another few minutes. Wearing gloves, cut off the stem and pull the entire skin off the pepper like a sock, then slice in half and remove the seeds.

 

EARTH QUAKE!

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We all heard it the morning of October 9, dropped what we were doing and ran towards the Moncure Pittsboro Road! A long, shuddering screech of tires on asphalt followed by a sickening, earth shaking thud. We reached the street about the same time as most of our neighbors. It seemed incredible that there were no serious injuries. Buffy’s nerves were visibly shaken having just broken her upper arm in a car accident only two weeks earlier. A semi tractor trailer had plowed into a tree trimming truck turning left, knocking over the Edible Earthscape sign and plowing up the lawn.

 

THE PEANUT GALLERY

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Graham and Fred know – when life gives you drama, pull up a seat!

 

A COUPLE OF HOURS LATER

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It took awhile for the all the interviews and paperwork, and more than one wrecker stopped by before the right sized tow truck arrived to drag off the semi.

We later learned that it was the work truck that got the ticket! This is a very dangerous stretch of road mainly because it opens up into a passing zone, going from 45 mph to 55 mph right in front of our house where there are many driveways. Tami got hit here trying to turn left in the very same spot a few years ago and also received the blame.
Fred’s wife Reda reported that her father died years ago in a car accident on this road a bit closer to town and we heard several accounts of a recent fatality just south of here in which the impact sent the motor flying out of the car and into the woods! Camille called the Department of Transportation and requested a survey to determine the feasibility of either lowering the speed limit, rezoning this stretch a no passing zone or both.

 

NEXT!

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As if we hadn’t already had our fill of big trucks, later that day another tree trimming crew successfully made the turn into our driveway, parked their truck in the north west corner of our front yard and took out the Bradford Pear and half of the Willow Oak.

 

SPOT’S TAKE ON THE DOIN’S OF THE DAY

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“Wow! This has been the most exciting day ever! State Troopers and Fire Trucks and Bucket Trucks, Oh My!” – Spot

 

ALOFT AND AFOOT

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Also worthy of note – four helicopters that flew over the Moncure Pittsboro Rd while it was still strewn with trucks, cops and neighbors. We get a lot of military air traffic because Ft. Bragg is only 45 miles south of here. And then there was this strange looking puff ball the size of a soccer ball.

Honestly, the whole day was a bit strange. From the moment we heard the crash, the sight of Buffy running out of her house wild-eyed with her arm in the sling, fire trucks and cop cars parked along the road and in our driveways, helicopter formations, a mushroom that looked like a rock, that huge truck driving across our lawn and the disappearance of one and a half trees.

 

SUNSET WALK

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Feeling the need to shake off the images of the day, Camille walked the mile to the end of Carl Foushee Road and back. The sunlight was sublime and she was joined by a little farm dog who also enjoys late afternoon walks.

 

RETURN OF THE PONIES

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Camille saw these horses, goats and a pony during her walk, the first sign of horses back there since our return from Africa.

 

THE CLAW OUTSIDE OUR OFFICE WINDOW

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Camille was traumatized by giant claws as a child growing up in New York City so was naturally a bit disconcerted the next day by the scene beyond her desk as a crew worked to scoop up the trimmed branches the next day.

 

GRASSROOTS FESTIVAL

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We arrived at Shakori Hills to give our compost presentation at the end of the Paperhand Puppet Parade on Saturday, October 11th.

 

GOOD CONVERSATION

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Later that afternoon we indulged in delicious conversation at Tami and Lyle’s campsite.

 

INDIAN SUMMER

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The asparagus sparkles with morning dew during this long stretch of cool mornings and warm afternoons.

 

IT CAN BE NICE TO FOOL MOTHER NATURE

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A couple of weeks of temperatures in the eighties triggered a second bloom of hydrangea and azalea. These photos are not to scale.

 

MORNING SUNSHINE

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We’ve got the best of both worlds with both Spring and Fall bloomers popping out in our yard.

 

ANOLE

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A Carolina anole peeks out from behind an okra leaf in the late afternoon sun.

 

PECAN WOOD BOWL

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A beautiful gift from our beautiful friends Jason and Haruka.

 

OYSTER MUSHROOMS

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Volunteer, wild oyster mushrooms which sprouted from the Poplar stump. Bob draped row cover fabric over the baby oysters to keep the deer and slugs away and watered them daily. His care and foresight bore the fruit of two flushes which we ate with a stir fry one night and with spaghetti a few evenings later.

 

THE MAKINGS OF A LOCAL FOOD MEAL

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Camille brought home a sizable lion’s mane she found growing on a tree and roasted sweet peppers from our garden and Piedmont Biofarm. Bob harvested shiitakes from his mushroom logs and leeks and parsley from his garden.

 

BREAKFAST AND DINNER

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Sourdough pancakes with home made “Pepperoni” and maple syrup for breakfast. We added far away garlic, farfalle and “chicken” nuggets to the local ingredients above and called it dinner.

 

NOT AN ACCIDENT

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Despite outward appearances, our tasty and nutritious meals don’t just happen – they are planned with the clever use of magnetized white boards on the side of our refrigerator and backed by inventory of the staples we don’t want to run out of. On the menu planner the meals are in blue, what we need to cook in addition to dinner is in red, and events such as the weekly CSA pick up are in Green. The grocery list is on the right, in green with the note that it should take place on Thursday because that is owner’s 5% off day at our local Coop. When we take the last bottle of ketchup or anything else we don’t want to run out of from storage, we put it on the list. This is how we ensure that all the food we bring into the house gets turned into delicious food. Camille enjoys the planning side of our culinary life. Twenty minutes of planning eliminates stress from our dinner menu.

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THIS MONTH’S QUOTES:

“People say we need religion when what they really mean is we need police.” – H.L. Mencken


“The projects would become wrecks, every one of them, because they carried with them the seeds of their destruction. And when they stopped running, no one would be sorry. That’s what happened in Africa: Things fell apart.” – Paul Theroux from Dark Star Safari, 2002


“Over the 1980s the Reagan tax cuts transferred a trillion dollars to America’s top 1%. Yes, voters got the tax cuts they thought were aimed at cutting off undeserving minorities but, in fact, it was politics that was showering money on the very richest Americans.” – Ian Haney Lopez

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[Troutsfarm] * [October, 2014]

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