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Sunday, August 21, 2011

How to Freeze Cantaloupe

Freezing melon is insanely easy to do. It takes no blanching or any other cooking. All you need are ripe or even over ripe melons, two knives, a chef's knife and a paring knife (my paring knife happens to be ceramic, that is why the blade is white. A stainless steel or carbon steel will work just as well), a cookie sheet or other flat pan, a freezer and some freezer bags (do not use storage bags, there is a big difference in results)
Cut melons in half using a 6" or 8" chef's knife

Take out seeds but leave as much of the placenta behind as possible. the cavity should be groovy, not smooth

Cut into sections, again use a chef's knife. Note the bad parts are still on

Remove the rind and cut off any bad/soft parts. I use a paring knife for this.

Cut into cubes using a paring knife

Put on a cookie sheet or other flat container in a single layer

Put into the freezer and let the melon cubes freeze and than put into a marked freezer bag when frozen (there is such a bag under the cookie sheet)

We use the frozen melons for several things-melon daiquiris, melon smoothies, melon ice cubes in drinks in the heat of summer (Eugene's favorite is melon cubes in iced tea spiked with lemonade), you can even use them thawed in fruit salad, though the texture is a bit different than fresh but the flavor is still there (unless you used storage bags instead of freezer bags, than the flavor may be off/stale from the freezer burn that will happen within a month of freezing. these should last at least 9 months in your freezer.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Farmers and Seed Distributors Defend Right to Protect Themselves From Monsanto Patents

Press Release

New York—The eighty-three family farmers, small and family owned seed businesses, and agricultural organizations, including the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA), challenging Monsanto's patents on genetically modified seed filed papers in federal court on Thursday, August 11 defending their right to seek legal protection from the threat of being sued by Monsanto for patent infringement should they ever become contaminated by Monsanto's genetically modified seed. The Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) represents the plaintiffs in the suit, titled Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association (OSGATA), et al. v. Monsanto pending in the Southern District of New York. Last week’s filings are in response to a motion filed by Monsanto in mid-July to have the case dismissed.

“On behalf of plaintiffs in Ohio and elsewhere who fear being sued for patent infringement if their fields are contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically engineered seed, our attorney gave Monsanto the opportunity to state unequivocally that they would not sue,” said Carol Goland, OEFFA’s Executive Director. “Instead, Monsanto’s response was to try to deny our right to receive legal protection from the courts.”

Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT’s Executive Director added, “Our filings include sworn statements by several of the plaintiffs themselves explaining to the court how the risk of contamination by transgenic seed is real and why they cannot trust Monsanto to not use an occurrence of contamination as a basis to accuse them of patent infringement.”

Plaintiffs Bryce Stephens, who farms in Kansas, Frederick Kirschenmann, who farms in North Dakota, C.R. Lawn, who is founder and co-owner of Fedco Seeds in Maine, Don Patterson of Virginia, and Chuck Noble, who farms in South Dakota, each submitted declarations to the court describing their personal experiences with the risk of contamination by genetically modified seed and why those experiences have forced them to bring the current suit asking the court.

As summarized by the accompanying brief filed by PUBPAT on the plaintiffs' behalf, “Monsanto's acts of widespread patent assertion and plaintiffs' ever growing risk of contamination create a real, immediate, and substantial dispute between them.”

Twelve agricultural organizations also filed a friend-of-the-court amici brief supporting the right of the plaintiffs to bring the case. In their brief, the amici describe some of the harmful effects of genetically modified seed and how easily GMOs can contaminate an organic or conventional farmer's land.

For more information, contact:
Daniel Ravicher, PUBPAT, or 212-461-1902
Carol Goland, OEFFA, or 614-421-2022

Saturday, August 13, 2011

How to Choose a Good Cantaloupe

How to Choose a Good Cantaloupe
(this does not work for watermelon)

Smell the blossom end (opposite of the stem end), there should be a strong, sweet aroma

There should be no stem as a ripe melon “slips” of separates completely from the stem when ripe in the field. If there is stem than the melon was harvested green but could still be ripe if the aroma is strong and sweet.

Skin should have a golden cast to it and strong netting. green ribbing is common in many heirloom ‘loupes and is not an indicator of unripeness

Golden Gopher heirloom melon

Friday, August 12, 2011

2011 127 yard Sale Day 2

Early morning shopper checking out Jules' stuff

Same guy now checking out Carla's stuff 


The Gunn's Display. Note that shopping guy is now leaving the sale (upper left of shot)

Eugene cleans garlic. this is something we do at every sale as the garlic is ready to clean and it gives us something to do during slow times







Rosie Sporting a Boulder Belt 127 Yard Sale Shirt

Robert, a guy we sometimes get honey from, drops off a Doctors Carriage.
Losta Cars




End of Day 2

Friday, August 05, 2011

Day 1 of the US 127 Yard Sale

Early Birds around 7 am, every yard sale has 'em no matter how big

Discussing the Vintage Sears Tractor, no the guy did not buy it but did offer to trade Eugene that tractor (that does not quite run) for a running vintage Gravely mower

Our Port A Johns are one of the most popular features of our sale but this little girl would not use them

Plants for sale

No left Turn. Because of these signs almost no one dares to make a left hand turn out of our drive thus making the sale a lot safer
But despite the signs an accident did happen (the first in 5 year) though this was due to a car slowing down to look at the sale and a teenager texting came roaring up the hill and hit them. Rumor has it that this is the 3rd time the teenager has had this kind of accident. People need to pay attention and not text and drive

Jules Selling Knives late in the day

Evening at the Sale at the Keultjes stand

Thursday, August 04, 2011

127 Yard Sale 2011-Setting Up

The Port A Johns are here!!!
Transforming the store from a produce stand...

To a shop of curiosities

Jules Knives at the beginning

Jules' Knives a little further along (and an outside shot)
The Gunn's set up in front (they were done by around 5 pm Wed) and the Pac's are at the back of this shot under the tree getting ready for the big show

Dan the Tie Dye Man arrives Thursday Morning
And finally the Tillman's with their Fabulous Yard Art, arrive Thursday Morning