Friday, September 23, 2011


Goldenrod is in season right now.  Here's a link to some great information about Goldenrod and how to use it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wild Foods in the City

A post about hackberries coming soon!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fall Foraging Classes

Fall foraging classes are here!  The dates are September 17th, October 15th, and November 19th.  We will be learning about acorns, black walnuts, hickory nuts, wild grapes, persimmons, crab apples pecans, and wild pears.  You do not want to miss out!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Foraging Inspiration

This article appeared in 2004 in Gourmet magazine.  It was one of my inspirations for getting into foraging.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Farm update

     Lately I have been doing a lot of foraging for wood sorrel, smooth sumac, wild blackberries and dewberries, elderberry blossoms, wild shiso, and loomis mountain mint.  From the blackberries I created some delicious jam, and I made a tasty syrup from the elderflower.  The garlic we recently harvested is now totally dry and ready to clean up for future planting.  I have also been starting the setup/construction of the high tunnel (similar to a greenhouse), but the heat has made the process a bit slower than anticipated.  I am thankful for the recent rain, but unfortunately the weeds have been thriving because of it.  It's especially difficult to stay on top of the weeds before they take over the plant beds, but it is a necessary part of farming. 
Have a great week!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Farm Update

     Little Savannah (in Birmingham) will be featuring the herbs and wild edibles of Hollow Spring Farm at their Community Farm Table Dinner this Wednesday!  We look forward to tasting the wonderful creations from the chefs there!  Yesterday I went out to camp out at the farm in order to rise and shine early and do some much needed weeding out at the farm.  When the weather is especially dry like it has been, it is more important than ever to weed and mulch your crops.  Remember to conserve water during this dry time, too.  If you water your lawn, do it early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid evaporation and water waste.  Today we also picked the garlic that will be used for planting next year's garlic as part of the "seed saving" efforts.  Summer foraging class dates coming soon; it has just been so hot, we are hesitant to put any dates on the books.  We will keep you posted.  Thanks again to all of you for your ongoing support!
Have a great week!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Farm update

I hope everyone is ok from the awful storms of last week.  We lost one chicken tractor and one hen, but we are extremely lucky that there was not more damage and no one was hurt.  This week is shaping up to be a very busy one - a foraging visit with the Waldorf students, weeding winter savory and cutting garlic scapes, several hours of picking wild strawberries, picking up chicken feed and Jersey Greensand which is an organic source of potassium for soil.  I am also experimenting with letting the chickens out during the day so they are not so overcrowded and stressed.  During the day they were fine and seemed to enjoy themselves.  I am going to take out the roosters from the tractors and leave them outside so they will not bother the hens so much.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

This week

It was very windy yesterday with the approaching storms.  That means pollen was blowing like crazy.  The blackberries and multiflora roses are starting to bloom.  I've been working in the garden cultivating cilantro, which is especially interesting because it does not grow during the summer as it prefers cool weather.  I've also been walking all around the woods and hollow with my dog, Wu, checking things out.  During the spring things grow so fast that new things appear weekly.  The mountain azaleas are blooming and all the trees have leafed out now.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

This past week

We have had lots of good rain this past week and weekend.  Spring is usually a wet time of the year.  All the rain now gives us a head start when we get into the hot dry months of the summer.  The crabapple and dogwood trees are starting to bloom.  April is fast approaching, and that means blackberry winter and the start of summer planting.  You might not know about blackberry winter but, it is usually in the first part of April and it is when the blackberry bushes start to bloom. 
This week I will go to Wilsonville to get chicken feed, adjust the chicken tractors, cut wild watercress, and host a Girl Scout Troop who will be learning about foraging.  I hope to get in some more spring planting very soon!
I hope everyone has a great week and don't forget about the next foraging class coming up in April!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This week

     Spring is here!  Dogwoods are starting to bloom, the trees are starting to show new leaves, and the Irises and Tulips are opening up.  I'm pretty happy about the longer days as this time of the year is very busy with planting and planning.  I've finished up another chicken tractor and will be moving half of the Barred Rock chickens in there this afternoon; I've also will be constructing a high tunnel (similar to a greenhouse) within the next month.  It's hard juggling everything, but my days working in restaurants have been invaluable with the farm work I do in terms of making lists, priortizing as I go, and keeping it all organized.

I hope everyone has a great week and don't forget about the next foraging class coming up in April!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Foraging Class

Here is a list of things we will be learning about this coming Saturday March 19th at the foraging class.  You don't want to miss it!

Curly Dock
Broad Leaf Plantain
Field Onions
Field Garlic
Wild Daylillies
Wild Ginger
Pear Blossoms
Sheep Sorrel
Wild Lettuce

A Quote

When you love your land
You want to make it known to as many people as possible
And to make it rich.
Gastronomy is a magnificent way to do all that.
                                                 Jean Giono

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chickens in pictures

These are Buff Orpington and Barred Rock Chickens.  Both are Heritage Breeds.  

     Orpingtons were developed in England at the town of Orpington in County Kent during the 1880s. They were brought to America in the 1890s and gained popularity very rapidly, based on their excellence as a meat bird. As the commercial broiler and roaster market developed, the Orpington lost out partly because of its white skin.
Orpingtons are heavily but loosely feathered, appearing massive. Their feathering allows them to endure cold temperatures better than some other breeds. They exist only in solid colors; are at home on free range or in relatively confined situations; and are docile. Hens exhibit broodiness and generally make good mothers. Chicks are not very aggressive and are often the underdogs when several breeds are brooded together. They are a good general use fowl.
     The Barred Rock is one of the all time popular favorites in this country. Developed in New England in the early 1800's by crossing Dominiques and Black Javas, it has spread to every part of the U.S. and is an ideal American chicken. Prolific layers of brown eggs, the hens are not discouraged by cold weather. Their solid plumpness and yellow skin make a beautiful heavy roasting fowl. Our strain has the narrow, clean barring so desirable in appearance. Their bodies are long, broad, and deep with bred-in strength and vitality. These chickens are often called Plymouth Rocks, but this title correctly belongs to the entire breed, not just the Barred variety.

These are pictures starting in July when they first arrived. More pictures to come!