Garlic, the Bunkhouse, Weather, and the Hunger Games
Vinny says hello! (and check out my garlic!)
Welcome back to the Muddy Pumpkin Farm Blog as we begin the 2012 growing season, albeit earlier than we thought. Spring came to Muddy Pumpkin Farms early this year, as it has across the midwest. For more information, check out Jeff Masters' weather blog where he has highlighted our close neighbor Winner, SD for nearly hitting the state's all-time March high and gives some insight into why. We'll be doing our part to monitor the weather here at the farm from now on with our new weather station (we'll even try to integrate it with this website so you can see real-time what our weather is like: expect lots of wind).
For us, an early spring and mild winter has allowed us to make good progress on the bunkhouse we're building. Matt and Hal have stayed busy since they got the footings in the ground in January, and now it's starting to really look like a house. We can't wait to show you the view as things begin to green up a bit.
The newest member of the family is Emma, a puppy from our cousin Heather, who is friendly, stocky, and excited to meet everyone. Charlie (the older dog) tolerates her well enough, as does Burt the cat, and we all like having a young pup around the farm.
As you can tell, both Vinegar (Vinny, up above) and Emma enjoy patroling the newly sprouted garlic, our Montana Giant variety that came up earlier than we had expected. The garlic is probably the most interesting garden-related news have, but it's good news since at least in the short run, an earlier spring means earlier produce. Our tomato and onion starts are coming along nicely, and we'll have more news soon.
One last note, that might be a little bit trendy, but also is quite important, close to home and further away.
Last night I was watching "The Kennedys" on PBS's online American Experience archives, which by the way, are amazing. The documentary was well done, and one of the important storylines (for me anyway) was the time Robert spent on the Mississippi Delta among poor, hungry Americans. And it was striking and somewhat relevant in light of the upcoming release of the movie Hunger Games, which offers a heroic tale of not just a dystopian future, but also a disturbing present. And hunger is not something far off in time or space, weighing on distant others and fantasy-obsessed young readers. Because of a variety of background economic conditions and streamlined, even threatened, school food programs, hunger is back on the Mississippi delta 45 years later, and prevalent across the country.
Here in South Dakota, we hope that you'll support food banks and pantries. Support organizations that are working to improve and fund school lunch programs, including farm-to-school programs like those coordinated by Dakota Rural Action. And lobby your congressional leaders to make sure that tax dollars are getting spent on important programs like keeping children healthy and food secure.