Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Common Ground

Merry Equinox y’all! We just got back from Common Ground Fair in Unity Maine, a 3- day event promoting sustainable agriculture in the region. A whole D Acres crew populated a table in the education tent. Lauren sampled maine’s finest horse powered ice cream, JT gave a talk and yucked it up with Elliot Coleman, KatDawg learned the dance of universal peace, J Blye won a wedge with his chainsaw knowledge, Joe stared deep into the anvil, I saw a broccoli as big as my head, and Jessie videographed the whole thing. All in all the fair was a great time to see old friends, meet some new ones, and celebrate our rich agricultural heritage.

Louis D held down the farm while we were away and had to lay down the law on some nonpaying campers trying to sneak off. Luckily their ploy to cheat a non-profit organiztion was foiled by the goose. It is tough to pull one over on LD, I think he has some pirate in him…
We are having a volunteer day this sunday, so come on out to plant some garlic and we will feed you. Take some time to check out the full moon tonight, it should be illuminous! -be

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

First Frost is Here and Snow's a' Comin'

Over the weekend, Bill and I were asked when the first frost generally hits this part of New Hampshire. Our reply was something to the effect of, "Well, the tomatoes are about ripe, so anytime now really..." Sure enough, early Monday morning we woke to a chill in the air and a crunch beneath our feet as we headed out into the frost. Luckily, crop damage was minimal thanks in part to a late-night effort to cover the sensitive crops Sunday p.m. (we tucked the squash, zucchini, and field tomatoes in under remay and blankets, and closed up the greenhouses). We should have a little time before snow falls (and I'm hoping a few more late-season thunderstorms will roll through), but there is much to do here at the farm...our focus over the next few weeks will be on lots of final weeding projects, preparing the garden beds and perennials for winter, and we are beginning our general snow preparations.

My family (there they are, at right, in our homestead...Hi Mom, Dad, and Lisa!) came to visit D Acres this weekend. They spent three days in lovely Dorchester, NH, where they got to see the piglets and walk our gardens, and they met our wonderful hostel guests from California as well as a number of our neighbors at the potluck we hosted on Sunday. We visited the swimmin' hole and some historic sites in Dorchester, and we went out for dinner at the Six Burner Bistro in Plymouth, NH, which everyone raved about all weekend (Thanks to Chef/Owner Rob Kelly for a fantastic dinner once again!).

Bill and I also became You Tube celebrities this past week...check out our interview our friend Ruben, the Urban Healer, who visited our farm from New York City in this video clip, which shares some organic farming and herbal medicine ideas as well as why a visit to D Acres is good for body and soul: Organic Farm Vacation!

Have we mentioned that D Acres is also a FUN place to be...
check out this clip of Ruben on the local rope swing: Mexican Tarzan
Now if that doesn't look like a good time...


P.S. Check out Ruben's web site ( to learn many things about how you can eat and live healthier, especially if you live in or around NYC!

Winemaking and a Visit from The Kid

Bill E. taught a winemaking workshop this Sunday. Lisa (my sister) and I harvested grapes from the vines in the Mandala garden early that morning, and we had a lot of help from the D Acres crew and guests alike in harvesting and processing elderberries in preparation for the workshop. Everyone's favorite part seemed to be the crushing of grapes and elderberries with our (clean) feet (see my foot, covered in the wonderfully medicinal elderberry juice, as I pose with Bill in his chef attire, above), and, of course, the wine tasting at the end of the workshop. We tasted and bottled a white wine that we had made in early spring, and began the fermentation of an elderberry and a mixed grape wine from our fruit. Good times, good times.

We also had a special guest star at the farm this weekend. "The Kid," aka Jeff, was here to visit Louis D. Holland (see those two, above, near the Ox Hovel) straight outta Greenville, North Carolina. The Kid made himself right at home here at D Acres, helping Louie with the oxen and the pigs, and doing a step dance on top of a flaming pile of pallets at the fire pit. And you said it couldn't be done.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Agnes the Mule

Myself and Amanda working on the chassis.

For the last few days we've been taking the chisels and hammers to the chassis of the mitsubishi fuso the farm purchased a few months ago. Preparing the surface of the steel is a good first step towards preserving the truck we've bought. KTM came over Monday night and we rerouted the diesel fuel system in the first step of the vegetable-oil conversion process. We're installing a parallel fuel system that's plumbed with our coolant system to heat the vegetable oil. If we lived in the tropics we'd be all set and could just have one fuel system and put veggie oil in it. Because it gets cold and the hydrogenated fats in the oil congeal into a butter-like substance, we T into our coolant system and heat the veggie filter, the veggie fuel line and the veggie tank. Two solenoid switches control the fuel and return selection between the two parallel fuel systems.

Pretty simple. $350 dollars worth of parts (excluding tank) and you can run on recycled waste vegetable oil straight from the fryolaters of your local restaurants. We got our entire kit donated by Wise Guy's Auto Supplies in Plymouth. Tonight (Wednesday) KTM returns to help install some of the coolant tubing etc. I've got to get back out in the garage and whiz wheel/hammer this frame for the rest of the day. We're treating the chassis with a rust prevention and sealer treatment called POR-15, which we've been waiting to apply because the humidity has been too high in the rains we had from Saturday night on thru this morning. The sun is shining now, a gorgeous morning in the New Hampshire mountains.

PS. Agnes the mule is the current name for the truck. It incorporates a female name, Agnes, from the granting agency the Agnes M. Lindsay Trust, which donated $2500 dollars to purchase the Fuso. The animal name, the mule, refers probably to the load the truck will carry. Someone just blurted it all out Monday night when we were getting tired.

Hope everyone else enjoys the day. Morgan

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Hats off to Louie
Bill and Louie chilling at the skinny shack

Chips fly

Bill and Louie discussing proper chainsaw saftey techniques

Today sept 6 started overcast with a thunderstorm in the works...sorta awkward...there was alot of harvesting done for the farmer's market, I focused on the new greenhouse and we were able to set the panes of glass in before a 1pm safety meet...Lauren went to the farmer's market and Bill, Louie and I went to the woods...We surveyed a new section of trail to be cut and then hiked through to the neighbor's to look at a roofing job...then Bill went to cook dinner and Louie and I cut some trail...The trail project is really going welll and we are making good progress towards improving access to the woods....Around dinner i went to a board meeting of the Cardigan Mt Art Assoc, always a hoot, lots of interesting people and conversation...I feel strongly that there is a swelling of the movement of community and localization that is empowering and inspiring as you read this, you just gotta believe, intend and participate!!
tomorrow we are to finish some aspects of the greenhouse roof, do some more trail work and clean house...there is a film in the evening called the Power of Community about the Cuba experience when cheap oil was cut off with the collapse of Communist Russia, a real life example of the transformation we need to make with increasing environmental and economic costs of fossil fuels...look forward to getting some shut eye on these comfy cool nights...looks like a late season blast of warm weather is coming through this weekend, amybe a couple last trips to the swimming holes...see ya there jt

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Tuesday-Wednesday Fall is here!!

The picture shows the view to the north with Mt the foregound is the flower garden and the skelton of the new greenhouse.
Wow, the weather got chilly last night on Streeter Woods Rd. Yesterday was gorgeous i spent the day cruising around the Upper Valley picking up chicken food and flour. I got to have lunch with one of my favorite people, marion settle in white river jct. I went by here new studio space and then we went to the deli at the Jct co-op...we talked about love,

relationships, the street fair in the jct on sept 29th, the pirate party and rise up vermont.....stella conversation..then i went to canvass the area with a focus on the soil workshop with Mark Fulford in November, when i got home i went to a neighbor's on the river rd to get some metal chimney pipe she had lieing around, after dinner of weekend leftovers we went to ktm's catch i walked the oxen and we had a meeting about the class we wanna teach at plymouth in the spring..the noontime we have another meeting on planning for 2008 and then Bill and I will work on grants,then we should take some measurements of the neighbors roof so we can give him an estimate on putting a metal roof on...i also have to cook dinner and go to the conservation Commission meeting this evening...Rebecca (possible intern) is visiting today...tomorrow i am psyched to get in the woods and do some forestry..hasta pronto jt

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

post-labor day

This is Josh, I am the current director and a long term resident of D Acres. We just finished an exciting labor day weekend. There was a lot of outdoor activity with climbing and rope swings. We had campfires and music at night. Sunday was Bill E's (farm manager) b-day and we saluted him with a big log on the fire that was like a flaming phallus, then i caught myself on fire and we went inside for the dance party. Nothing got broke but it was a great party. On Sunday we also met two exciting and inspirational new friends...Margo y Vida are starting a farm project close to Mendoza Argentina and with the D Acres trip to Argentina planned for January the serendipity is immense. It was also great that our NYC friends came back special thanks to Brian, Ann, Dee, Martin, Alli y the Urban Healer (Rubin) for a tremedous weekend...keep the groove alive!!!
Today I am to run errands on the upper valley side to pick up flour and chicken food. The crew is harvesting and preserving apples, kale, beans,...when i get back we are going to meet and discuss plans for a class we are to teach at Plymouth State University this spring...I am also looking to proceed with some construction work on the new greenhouse today...all in all it will be another busy week as we have workshops and a long list of tasks at hand before the ground freezes and the snow falls...