Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dead-Air Space

I know I've discussed this already, but there is so much waste in packaging. Wrapping and packaging of food is unavoidable. I am not anti-plastic. But some items border on the ridiculous.

I'm more than happy to buy my fish in a plastic vacuum pack for example. But wrapping fruit in individual styrofoam trays is annoying, useless, and a complete waste. It does not help the fruit stay any fresher and it prevents me from actually handling the fruit and see if it is of good quality etc.

Trader Joe's overpackages most of their produce so that you can only buy three little zucchini at a time. And how about those hydroponic lettuces sold in plastic shells?

What is up with the single banana wrapping, it already has the perfect packaging: biodegradable, ergonomic, anti-microbial, and hopefully chemical-free. It's called a banana peel...

So many products justify this by saying the added air in the bag of cereal is to keep the cheerios from getting crushed. How many times have I opened a bag of chips and peered inside thinking "what the heck?" Some companies purposely package certain products to make it appear like there is more inside, it's borderline false-advertising.My kids love the Stretch Island fruit leather bars. They are healthy, great snacks, and cheap when you buy them in large quantities at Costco. Here is my one complaint though, this is what it looks like when you actually compare the box to what is actually inside, there is so much wasted packaging!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


 I guess it has been a few months since I wrote anything, so time to check in again! It's been cold, and muddy, and snowy and frankly I enjoyed my fireplace and my paperbacks too much to want to be outdoorsy.

But my intrepid husband Jim happily kept on being a farmer all winter long. So although Antigua Farms has been hibernating over the Winter, but it has also been gearing up for the Spring.

 More posts to come on some of the last few fall and winter projects, but in the meantime here is a quick recap of the last few months:
October and November '12
In the last few months, the productive Antigua crew has been busy shoveling, fixing, and adding to the farm. Thomas and his Karma Farm crew acquired a new (and quite loud I might add) goat. We also organized a Halloween brush burning and soup sipping evening that included lots of guitar strumming as well. The warm fall weather allowed us to enjoy loads of veggies well into November, with our very last batch of carrots harvested December 7th!

Quick and easy 'recycled-fence' for the corn field
Jim and Silvio building the chicken coop

Water cistern in progress
Anti-Javelina terrorism security system

Last supper

December '12
We (and by we I mean Jim and Frank) spent most of the month of December amending the garden beds with mulch, leaves, and grass. Bags of raked leaves were scoured throughout town and the goats happily pooped all over the winterized garden.

Two full rows of garlic were planted and covered with hay. The warm greenhouse was used to grow grass and sprouts for use as chicken feed. Yogurt pots were saved meticulously for future seed starts. The snow showers could not stop Frank, who planted and harvested winter greens including lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and arugula.

Mini garlic shoots
Dillan seeding bean sprouts in the greenhouse
Baby spinach
Frank putting the final touches on the raised beds
January and February '13
We (and this time I did help) built a fence to separate the farm from the stone house. Although our tenants love the goats they welcomed the extra privacy! Jim finished building the water tank and connecting the gutters so we could take advantage of the rain storms and snowy weather. Muddy and feral kids were spotted on several occasions. Several raised beds were built and amended with mucho horse manure. There was also lots and lots of cleaning, cutting, and raking!

Clean goat pen and new fence!

Jim's think tank

Still in progress are a 'pot garden' for vines and climbing plants, a tree house, a compostable toilet area, an larger corn field, and actual chickens in the chicken coop. Two cute lil' baby goats are due in the Spring too, so stay tuned for more exciting news!