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Reinventing Troutsfarm

This is my first post on our newly-migrated blog, using a new WordPress Theme and photos from our new camera.

I step onto our new blogging platform, pale knuckled from a week of standing in the wings while our good friend, Steph, of Warm Reptile Designs, worked her behind-the-scenes magic. Should you need a web designer or someone to help you stay up to date, look her up. Steph delivered everything I asked for while fielding my uninformed questions with the patience of a saint.

Bob and I discussed at length the future of our digital world and decided to move only a portion of Troutsfarm to SiteGround. The old site was an unwieldy patchwork created across two decades using a variety of software, much of it unsupported. Rather than keep 228 monthly photo essays out there on the web, we’ll turn our most cherished photos into coffee table books. In the same way that restaurants are resurrecting as caterers, we are re-imagining our photo albums.

And then there’s the camera. My brother, John, a professional photographer, was smart to point us in the direction of the Sony 6100 series. He liked that it was mirrorless because that made it small and lightweight, quick and quiet, and capable of taking in a lot of light. To keep us from floundering, Bob purchased a 362-page guide to help us navigate the menu settings.

For this post, I’ll take a walk around the garden, beginning with the ground cherries, or pohas as they call them on Maui. Their flavor is unique, a buttery cross between strawberry and vanilla with overtones of pineapple, or, as our friend, Rose, described them, “If buttered popcorn were a fruit.”

I see the edamame pods are growing fatter every day. When they’re ready, we’ll boil them in salted water and suck the buttery beans from their fuzzy pods. Yes, we have a butter fixation. I think back to last year’s August edamame feast with Haruka and Jason, about how we ate until we couldn’t eat any more and left food on the table.

I zoom in on the picture and am astonished by the detail. What a fantastic camera!

On to the squash, which is dutifully climbing a makeshift trellis, but has a long way to go. We started three varieties from seed this year and Kabocha, pictured below, comes highly-heralded by our friend, Linda Watson, of Cook for Good. Linda wrote about discovering Kabocha here.

I also have high hopes for our brown turkey figs which should start coming ripe in late August. Bob is not a big fig fan, but I love them and so do most of our friends.

And our coveted persimmons. More hand-wringing here. Our yard is lousy with squirrels, or “rats on acid” according to Bob. A mockingbird pair have made a nest in the Asian pear adjacent to the persimmons, and every time a squirrel climbs the tree to pinch another green pear, the mocking birds swoop down and attack. It’s funny to watch, but when we began seeing unripe persimmons on the ground, we started chasing the squirrels, too.

Last year we harvested three Asian pears and no persimmons. Three years ago, the new trees yielded a bowl of fruit while still in their pots. Last year, we planted them in the ground and they were too mired in transition to bear fruit. This year we wait with fingers crossed.

There, that wasn’t so bad. I defined my deliverable — a hybrid between essay and photo album — and got started. It feels good to be posting on a secure site (the old site was not secure) and with that dark tunnel of transition behind me.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

6 replies on “Reinventing Troutsfarm”

I absolutely love ground cherries. I buy them from my favorite local Farmers Market vendor.
And, yeah, migrating to different format is a huge job and can be daunting, but you did it! Congratulations!

Gorgeous new site and photos! Congratulations on making such a big change so gracefully. I want to grow some “buttered popcorn” now! Thanks for the shout-out. Hope you adore the kabocha as much as I do!

Thanks for chronicaling the power, nurturing, and beauty of organic gardens. May your new blog inspire many! ??

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