Welcome to The Pauley Principle!

The Pauli Principle, named for Wolfgang Pauli, deals with atoms and electron-sharing that results in new, stronger bonds. Think 2 parts hydrogen and 1 part oxygen, a shared delectable (!) electron and VOILA! Water!

Similarly, when you prepare whole food to share with family and friends, especially foods you've grown, something amazing happens. Meals become tastier and healthier. Your soul, not just your stomach, becomes fulfilled. You live life more abundantly as a result. During a shared meal, the bonds that people create grow stronger and become something new: GREATER than the sum of the parts! I give you The Pauley Principle.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Farm Market Offerings

For our farm market this Saturday, I made blackberry jam that is cooling on its rack. 
I also made two pans of black walnut fudge. I had to make two, since  one pan was  a special birthday gift to my husband.

Making black walnut fudge is a labor of love. The nuts are gathered from our walnut trees and stored. Then they have to be cracked and the nutmeats taken out of the hard shells. Since they are very hard to crack, Chris surprised me last Christmas with a nutcracker of his own design. (Yes, he is hoping to get yours finished soon, Granny Sue and dr momi!!! He hardly sleeps at all right now since he is into so many things!) 

 Even with the handy dandy nut cracker, it takes me a full hour to crack and shell out that many nuts! But black walnut fudge is a delicious and rare delicacy and the effort is so worth it!

At the farm market, we have farm fresh brown eggs from the Speckled Sussex hens and duck eggs from the Pekins. 

Each week I replenish  the table with freshly baked breads, cookies, cakes, pies and cinnamon rolls. Wednesday is an easy day. Thursday and Friday are two long days of preparation. I try to provide at least a couple of baked items for the gluten free diet. I'll offer a few surprises. Again, it's worth the work. I love that people come to the farm and enjoy my food! I'm having such a good time with this, and every Saturday has been like a party! 

Before long, we'll be able to offer a wide range of vegetable plants and produce at a price that will make it easier on local household budgets and closer to home. We've started a couple of kinds of heirloom tomatoes that promise to have a delicious, old-fashioned tomato flavor. 

Our farm market is an exciting new adventure and we appreciate that so many people are enjoying following us, shopping and sharing ideas. Thanks!

New Leaves on the Asparagus? Really?

Chris doesn't like asparagus much. He helped me prepare the soil several years ago, and he even helped plant it, but as far as harvesting, cooking or eating asparagus, uh, not so much. So when he said he saw new asparagus leaves coming up recently, I said, "Really?"

Top to bottom: buckeye tree, wild violet, potted strawberries.
Maybe what he saw was mint.

Or maybe he was talking about the new buckeye trees that had sprouted under the old buckeye tree. Hey! We ARE in Ohio!

Maybe he was talking about violets.

Maybe what he was talking about was the strawberry patch. It had cycled out, and I managed to save four little plants. We have 250 new plants to get into the ground SOON.

But I'm pretty sure what he thought was asparagus was something else entirely. It's not that they don't have leaves. They actually produce beautiful lacy fronds, but that's later on when the little shoots have matured and begin to form their seeds.

Our patch had the remains of OLD leaves. In the "before" shot, you see the dead silvery fronds, remnants from last year's asparagus patch. I had broken my leg and just let the patch go after we had eaten or shared most of the asparagus. So today, feeling guilty for leaving the mess and now all healed up from breaking my leg, I pulled out the old fronds, four wheelbarrow loads of old  fronds! I left the grass as you can tell from the "after" shot.  It's good cover against frost and I want my asparagus to be "uncertified organic". Before long, there will be lots of new shoots, but no leaves except the young plants that I won't pick because their root system is in its first year.

Look closely at the photo above, left of center. The little 2" asparagus shoot sticks up its head toward the sun. I found it and a few others today while I cleaned out the asparagus patch, curious about asparagus "leaves". (No leaves. Not yet anyway.)

So I'll just sit here and sip on my sweet tea for a moment
while I contemplate what that man of mine might have seen. I'll just be happy in the knowledge that, whatever he saw,  it's another little reminder that spring has fully sprung! 
sweet tea with fresh mint

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Prepare the Soil, Then Plant the Seed

Chris says it's my farm market. 
I say it's his.
The fact is, we're both sharing the labor
as we begin this journey,
not knowing exactly where it will end but fully aware that
the journey itself is the destination.
Chris takes a moment on the step of our vintage Airstream to catch his breath after working on the grounds while I've been tending our farm market.   The camper serves as a comfortable base for our work.
The chickens and ducks do a great job of providing the eggs for Old Homestead Farm Market. While I've concentrated on the jellies, jams, breads, cakes, cookies, candies and pies, Chris has done all the  work of preparing the grounds, parking area, making signs and getting the gardens ready for planting--after his day's work.
Then, after dark, he retreats to our loft and tends his little plants. He has turned our loft and deck into a sort of greenhouse nursery, but he's having much better luck with his seedlings than I ever had. At this point, where he had hoped to raise 5 or 6 dozen little white cabbage seedlings, he has around 500! And he has about the same number of red cabbage.
These (broccoli?) plants are crowded and need more room for root development.
Who knew he had such a green thumb?!
Chris is explaining how he needs more room in the loft area of our home because  his germination rate far exceeded his expectation. 

Luckily, Chris just happens to have some old bolt trays that were no longer being used so he's been transplanting.
These shelves should help!

As usual, Chris recycles salvaged materials: old egg cartons that people have traded in but are not our brand, his brother's used garage shelving, and bolt trays that had been thrown in the dumpster when a specialty fastening shop moved. 

As I write, it's 2:30 a.m. and he's planting little pepper seeds. Our hope is to provide not only baked goods but also fresh produce and plants at our farm market. We want to offer a variety of seedlings to encourage others to grow their own vegetables, whether it's in a patio planter of tomatoes, a community garden or a family garden spot. Fresh, homegrown vegetables just taste better!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Market Ready!!!

I love the mini angel food cakes!

Getting ready for this week's Old Homestead Farm Market takes a little bit of this, and a little of that, and VOILA! Magic in the kitchen. No, it's not that simple. I make some weird mistakes sometimes. I should collect my bloopers for a video display!

Besides the angel food cakes, apple pies, cinnamon rolls, chocolate walnut fudge you see here, I also cooked up an assortment of breads, jellies, and cookies! You'd think I'm really into sweets, but not so much. I do love the magic of the ingredients though!

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Chris spent a full day of planting potatoes. Onions and garlic are already planted, and the cabbages, broccoli, and cauliflower plants are just about ready to go into the ground. The tomato plants are still tiny but strong. Before long, we'll have well-chosen garden plants including some great heirlooms to offer at a savings for the locals. Within a month, we'll have some produce to add to the market.
We're certainly working up an appetite!

And isn't there always room for movie theater popcorn? There's magic in that, too! I love watching it pop, and all this smells SO DELICIOUS!!!

Old Homestead Farm Market
     Saturdays 12 to 6

                    2189 Blain Highway
                    Waverly OH 45690

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Flowers are Bursting Open!

 I woke up to no running water. That's OK. I had some free time, put on my running shoes, grabbed the camera and caught spring happening! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Signs of Spring: The Market Sign, Playing in the Grass, and New Plants

Here's our sign on the basement floor.

Same sign being hoisted up.
Notice anything unusual? Notice how the letters just disappear in the light of day? When you drive by, it's like a blank slate. So, the sign has to come back down and we'll make some adjustments. As you can imagine, that won't be easy. Chris will climb back up to the bucket on the backhoe, attach a pulley, and hope the dag-gone thing doesn't slip.

At least the sign was up for the third day of our farm market. The little slat below it says "FRESH BREAD" but, as you can see, that also did a disappearing act. Much like the freshly baked bread on the table did!

The biggest hits at the most recent farm market were angel food cake, blueberry pies, and green popcorn balls for St. Patrick's day! And the freedom and fresh air. The kids loved romping around and touring the farm.

Starting our farm market is a family adventure. In the end, I guess it's all about the kids. As a parent, you pass on a love of food, family, and friends, and show the lasting value in keeping the old friends while making new friends along the way. It is hard  but honest work. Eventually they'll understand that our meaningful connections with the land and with people define us all, and they'll cherish each unique piece of the whole puzzle.

Chris recycles egg cartons to turn the deck into a nursery for garden plants. Before long we'll have plants and fresh produce for the farm market.

I think one slat on our farm market sign should say:

Life is an adventure. Live (and eat) well.

Farming. It's not a spectator sport.

What do you think?

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Week of Getting Ready for Farm Market

Someone recently said, "It must smell great at your house!" 

Oh, I wish I could just show you! Thanks, dr momi! (You can catch her blog, Homesteading at Redtail Ridge, for more interesting accounts of adventures in homesteading. Check out my sidebar for a quick look.)

The aromas of cinnamon, freshly baked bread and spices fill the air all day on Fridays at our house since we started this little adventure called a farm market. I save Friday for the bread-making and baking so that the items I offer on Saturday are as fresh and tasty as possible.

On Mondays I plan the offerings and make sure I have all necessary ingredients. Then I spread out my work for the week. For example, I plan jams and jellies for mid-week.

Next market day is Saturday, March 17 *St. Patrick's Day*, so I'll be offering a few special treats: "Irish Pub Pickled Eggs", Irish soda bread (Thanks for that suggestion, Jenny!), and some green popcorn balls. In addition to fresh unbleached white bread, whole wheat bread, and cinnamon rolls and/or cinnamon bread, we'll also have banana nut bread, angel food cake, apple and blueberry pies, and strawberry jam.

Before long, we'll have seasonal vegetables, fruits and some flowers. Later Chris has plans for expanding with gardening and farming supplies, and eventually Christmas trees, but we're taking baby steps for now.

Our farm market is open every Saturday. We are located at 2589 Blain Highway, Waverly OH 45601. "LIKE us" (Old Homestead Farm Market) on Facebook for all the latest photos and comments. When you come out to our farm, watch for a vintage Airstream camper and a flying cow.

Yes, the aroma is wonderful at our house on Fridays! Even better, it's followed on Saturday by a fun and relaxed atmosphere at our farm market where we share samples of fresh and delicious foods and enjoy the company of great folks! Come and join the good times and the conversations if you're in the area!

We're inventing our own little farm market, as opposed to a farmers' market, so if you have some ideas to pass onto us, we would love to hear them! Ours is a very small operation of homesteading and producing cottage foods. Chris and I provide fresh home-grown produce and freshly baked goods made with only the best ingredients we can find, something that's good for us and for the community. We work hard so that others will benefit, and a share of what we produce goes to charitable causes. Why do we do it? Because we can? It's not easy but fun and real!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Sign for the Farm Market is Getting Made!

This wooden sign, just painted and pieced together to show,  is a whopping 4' by 6', and will soon say

Saturdays 12 to 6

It will be hung from a wooden frame that will stand 12 feet high. Below this sign will be slats hanging from S-hooks that will announce some of our various offerings.
What an adventure this will be! 

Monday, March 5, 2012

First Day at Old Homestead Farm Market

Three days before we opened we knew we had a problem. Chris somehow had twisted his back. OUCH! The pain was not going away, so would-be tasks went unattended. Things that didn't get done: (1) the topsoil that someone wanted didn't get hauled away; (2) the firewood did not get split and stacked; and (3) the great big 12-foot-high wooden sign that is barely more than a drawing on paper did not get made. Instead, Chris got resourceful. He took permanent markers, an old shower curtain, a piece of used plywood, and fence posts to fabricate a quick sign. This will be just fine for awhile. We're jumping the season anyway! As a landmark, I told people to just watch for a flying cow in front of a barn. Kids seemed to love that idea. When the wind gusted just so, it looked like the cow was on the barn.

Roosti guards the flock.
Kids also loved going out to see the ducks and the chickens. Roosti-roo crowed incessantly! I guess he was a little excited, but he didn't try to get mean so he hasn't ended up in the pot yet!
Friends Tracy and Caitlyn came just in time to get the last of the bread.

I am so grateful to Pam Pauley for making this sign!
Sales were amazing! We sold out of most things fast but, oddly, after so many people had told me in informal polling that they thought no-bake cookies were a MUST, no-bakes that day didn't sell well. Still, I was incredibly pleased with what did sell! Bread sold out in less than 2 hours! Eggs sold well. The jellies and jams sold well. The pepper jelly was a hot item and has to be replenished. Brownies and chocolate chip/walnut cookies went fast. Cakes, I didn't make. I wanted to but ran out of time because of making ALL THOSE NO-BAKE COOKIES!

Here's the story on the ONE cake. I made a huge angel food cake. 14 medium sized egg whites! I didn't have packaging for such a large cake, but it looked so GOO-O-OD that I didn't want to part with it anyway. On the other hand, eating it all was out of the question. So Chris thought, let's give out samples and see if people like it. Great idea! They loved it!!! So I will be making angel food cakes in the future, smaller than that one, with proper packaging.

Our first day was windy, too windy for the awning, and cold. But  no tornado!!!

My son Josh wants a lifetime supply of the pepper jelly.  He says he's gotta have it!

The farm market's first day was like a party atmosphere! Several people took the farm tour, and I think we all had a ball! Chris and I deeply appreciate the friends, family and newcomers who came out to it, some from Cincinnati, Gallipolis, and north of Columbus. We had a drawing for a free item. Danita Milliron won that!!! YAY for Danita!

What I learned:  (1) It's easy to run out of breads and (2) Preparing for this was hard work but fun, but not as much fun as actually seeing all the people enjoying their outing!!!

I will be making more artisan and gluten free bakery items in the future as well as some different novelty items that we will announce each week on our FB page. For example, St. Patrick's Day just begs green popcorn balls, don't ya think? And we're doing this every Saturday through September, so there will be different items as the seasons change. We'll have fresh veggies on the table as soon as the crops come on!

Even with Chris being out of commission on our first day of the farm market, he set up the camper and table, came out and visited, showed children and adults around the farm, and saw that everyone had a great time! For that I am so very grateful and ever amazed! I want to thank Pam for the egg sign. Thank you, thank you, Pam! And thanks to the elusive but lovely Jessi for putting the Facebook page together and clean-up! And of course, a big big THANK YOU to all the people who came and liked the food I have to offer!  Thanks! I had a wonderful first day!!!  It was like, like, like...
 a PARTY!!!
Follow us (click LIKE on Facebook at Old Homestead Farm Market) for more photos, a video, and upcoming offerings. We'll have a drawing each week. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Day Before We Opened our Farm Market

If you looked at the farm today, you'd know it's not ready for a farm market! There's no sign up. The weather is NASTY. Oh, but the goods are being prepared just the same!!! And I'm having so much fun! We can move into the camper or the cooler if weather is unkind. There will be plenty of delicious things to offer! And brown eggs!

Jellies, jam, some squash are ready to go. The pepper jelly is expected to be a big hit! It's unusual and so tasty and will had a delightfully spicy lift to meals such as in sweet and sour dishes, meatloaf, or as a dipping sauce. I made two batches to start.

a bread ball that is ready to go into the bowl to rise

Our farm market will be on Saturdays from 12 to 6. As the season permits we will also offer fresh garden vegetables and maybe fruit, if it's a better year than 2011!

Look for us at the
Old Homestead Farm Market, 
2589 Blain Hwy about 2 miles from Route 23, just north of Waverly Ohio.
some of the 18 dozen cookies I've baked so far today

 one of many loaves of bread for the farm market