intense CoCo

Just want to say "Hello"

I mostly pop into LJ to see what people are writing.
We are still farming.  I remain frustrated in the endeavour because it is hard and not obvious to the people who work here.

intense CoCo

(no subject)

I am going to do a short rant, then go away.
Farming takes a lot of education.  I've had people tell me over and over, what's so hard about farming.  It just a manual labor.
Yeah. Right. It takes work, for sure, but you have to know what you are doing.  You have to be able to identify want you see.  Heck, you have to see.  Noticing is a huge requirement, yet most people do not notice.  If they do notice, they do not discern the usual from the exception.  Farming is exterior from yourself.  If you live with demons inside, then farm.  The demons will evaporate as you ignore them.  If you don't ignore them, then you are not noticing.
Maybe there will be more.  Hard to know.

P.S. The allergies are as bad as ever.
  • Current Music
    dogs barking, chickens crowing
intense CoCo

GOP future

I read that the number of people in California who voted for Romney and the GOP was so low that they will have to go through the hoops that "3rd Party" candidates go through to get on the CA ballot. I don't know how that works, but just listen to the doors opening to other parties. California voters (and population) is 1 in 8 Americans.
intense CoCo

Another day

Very happy with the election, not because I support every thing that Obama has supported through deed. However, I opposed everything that Romney supported through word and deed. I think that it is time that pressure be put to the Obama administration to do away with the Bush era crap, like the oil wars, Homeland Security, Patriot Act, other wars, and so on.

He needs to be told that we want solar and wind power, We need to make natural and raw foods legal. We need to change the Supremes.

I'm sure you can add to this list.
  • Current Mood
    cheerful cheerful
intense CoCo

moving done for a month, now

The moving has been done for a month. I am surrounded by boxes. I am getting rid of stuff or repurposing things that have been at/in the ranch house for oh so long. It still is overwhelming. Also saw what the renters have done to our house and we are delighted with how they honor it.

We had wonderful help (and I hope I remember everyone)
Donna the duck lady
Suzle and Jerry
Jack Bell
Cathy Sullivan
Randolph Fritz and Kier Salmon
Holy Outlaw (amazing what can be done with 5 1/2 inch floppies)
Marion White
Janice Murray
Glenn Hackney
Cousin Paul was simply amazing
Husband and I are so fortunate
intense CoCo


We are almost done packing up our house in Seattle. Fans with jobs are renting the house. It's been easier than I thought it would be.
  • Current Mood
    tired tired
intense CoCo

I’ve been thinking about farming, writing, and dying.

(I'll skip what comes before, now.)

I find being cut off from a writing community harder and harder to take. It has been gradual, and I have not published any fiction or literary work in a long time. It stacks up on my hard drive, never escaping since I have no readers. I have tried workshops. A couple of years ago, one came through a friend who is a newbie writer with talent and a few sales. The most active member was a woman romance writer who was seeming rewriting Greg Bear’s Vitals. For everyone else it was social. A very uncomfortable group for me, so I was gone. The previous workshop was a nice social group but lousy workshop. Long ago I had been in two workshops that helped me, so I have a basis of expectation. I had wanted to go to Clarion, but one of the unfortunate outcomes of restarting Clarion West was being told I was not welcome to even apply. Yes, there are other workshops, but life went on and I didn’t apply. The week to week workshop workout might be good for me. Unlike Greg Bear (who I am thinking about because of the great party), I never took the full-monty risk to just do it. I’ve known Greg long enough that I remember when success was not certain, but he soldiered away. As you can see, I’ve been thinking about farming, writing, and dying. I’ve been thinking a lot about this since Bob Doyle died.

Today, were he alive, would be my father's 95 birthday.
intense CoCo

The Dark Summer

[Note: I wrote this last year, but it is still current given our weather. I have been asked by a few people to post what I write for an APA. This is one of my APA writings. It is part of a memoir I am writing about our farming experiences. I have not gotten bold enough to start writing about the bad stuff, my fears, and such. Please be patient with newsy things.]

Weather has made us what we are. We make our plans based on it. We talk about it, read about it, and watch it. Weather determines if we are flooded out of our homes or live a mucky albeit safe life in the mud. While you would not know it here in Kitsap County, chilled under the miles-thick cloud blanket, this year, 2010, has been the hottest year worldwide recorded since 1880 when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began keeping records. That does not mean that 1879 was hotter, only that no records were kept before 1880 by NOAA. This year, three areas experienced cooler than normal temperatures: Scandinavia, southeastern China, and the Pacific Northwest.

The food we eat, locally grown or imported from some far-flung place, depends upon the weather. When the temperatures vary beyond of the range we consider normal, our food crops die. For tens of thousands of years, the weather has fluctuated very little. During those years, we humans developed agriculture, domesticated animals, and gave up the nomadic hunter and gather life for one of home ownership, grocery stores, and relative leisure.

Since we became vegetables farmers, our lives have revolved around germination tables. We have built and will continue to build structures to trick our food crops into behaving as though the temperature is warm enough. Because our temperatures in Kitsap have been cool, we build our structures out of plastic in hopes of capturing and amplifying the heat of the day so that our plants think that they are living in Paradise. If the temperature commonly becomes too hot, farmers will be building structures to keep the crops cooler.

The ideal temperature for plants to germinate is between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (F). Vary too far from that temperature range and our food crops do not grow in great numbers and produce adequate amounts of food. Within that range, each plant variety has its own ideal germination temperature.

In many areas of our country and around the world, a salad with delicate lettuce is a rare treat. Lettuce likes to germinate between 65 and 70 degrees. Between those five degrees, the greatest percentage of seeds will germinate, and within that range the greatest number of lettuces will survive to maturity. Lettuce, like most plants, will germinate and grow in less ideal temperatures, but at 32 degrees it becomes a slimy mess, and at 88 degrees it crumbles to dust. Sudden fluctuations in temperature, such as last week’s 20 degree temperature drop, stresses plants and makes them bolt — produce seeds and die — so that they fulfill their biological destiny of next year’s plant. This hold true for all plants including grains we use for bread and livestock feed. Even Okra, which germinates and grows at the highest temperature given high humidity, will die above 110 degrees.

For over half a century, we have been eating off the highway and shipping system, and worldwide weather conditions take on a new meaning. When we read that Summer daytime temperatures hold steady at 90 degrees, we know that the crops are dying. Less food will reach the grocery stores worldwide.

A quick list of optimum germination temperatures
for common vegetables
 75 to 85 degrees F Corn
 75 to 80 degrees F Beans  and Tomatoes
 75 degrees F Carrots
 70 to 85 degrees F Squash
 70 to 75 degrees F Kale, Kohlrabi, Spinach
70 degrees F Peas
 65 to 75 degrees F Lettuce, most Brassicas
 60 to 70 degrees F Onion, bunching

Most plants grow best in their germination temperature range.

I had planned to add something more personal, but all that personal stuff keeps happening and so I don’t have much time to write. In the next issue I will regale you with our big vet day, AKA the castration party.