Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Land of Enchantment

My birthday happens to fall at the beginning of busy and the end of sleeping in on Saturdays as the farming season gears up. Before March 17th there's been some seeding but not a ton since we don't do any indoor growing. The work is still enough to where "to do" lists actually get done.


Basically it is the last possible chance I had for a little get away.

Two years I ago I road tripped through New Mexico on my way from Phoenix, Arizona to Austin, Texas and I felt like I needed more time there.

Their licence plate slogan is the "land of enchantment" which I think is right on.

It's striking and vast.

It's where a beautiful blend of Native, Hispanic, and Anglo ways merge to create culture, culture, culture!

Strangely enough I think the highlight of my trip was stumbling a upon a flea market in Albuquerque and getting fruita picada (chopped fruit with chamoy, taji, lime and valentina hot sauce) and totally shocking the girl making it by speaking to her in Spanish.  Why was that the highlight...well it was real. Real people doing what they do on a Sunday...gathering at the market to shop, catch up, and listen to music.

Fruita Picada

I'm not into tourist type experiences and avoiding "tourist type experiences" in Santa Fe takes quite a bit of research and talking to people (like the guy working in Trader Joe's who I cornered until he divulged the best place to get real tacos).

Speaking of NEW Mexican food (it's not Mexican food...different thing! and people in New Mexico will correct you!) I seized the opportunity to eat New Mexican Hatch Chiles at pretty much every meal.

Since my trip two years ago we have been growing Chiles (but we never call them "Hatch Chiles" as we are not in Hatch, NM) and they are loved be military folks who have been stationed in NM, anyone who has visited NM and occasionally I can persuade my fellow, less traveled New Jersian to try them.  But seriously you should try them because they are so damn good. There's a reason why they're the pride of an entire state!

And yes, I went to Meow Wolf. It's the world's most popular art exhibit.  The line to get in was literally INSANE. And why was it insane...well it was spring break in Texas. Fun fact for you...every single person in Texas (and I mean every single one...no man left behind!) goes to New Mexico for spring break. Who knew? It took almost 2 hours to make it in. Meow Wolf is wild and should be experienced. It's art re-imagined. Everything is meant to be touched. What could be further from a classic art exhibit experience?

I also stopped at a Pistachio Farm which was fascinating. The MOST fascinating thing about the pistachio tree, to me at least, is that it doesn't reach full production until 20-25 years! Holy cow!!!! But you'll start getting some nuts at around 8 years. And these trees may be slow starters but can live up to 300 years. How incredible is that. McGinn's Pistachio farm was beautiful and had a super eye catching giant pistachio you could see from a distance. And even though they are literally in the middle of no where! They still had a constant crowd. Admirable!

From pistachio's I trekked to White Sands which was definitely really neat!  It was a weird day in that when I visited it was heavy on again off again rain storms so my trip was brief but still definitely worth stopping!

Taos....I was so ready to channel the spirit of the late great Georgia O'keefe. Sadly though everything I wanted to see was "closed" but opened Monday....but I did stop to make friends with these horses.

In addition to the flea market, the other highlight of the trip is that I did all of the things I desperately want to do regularly at home but have a hard time doing with only a 24 hour day. I worked out 4 days and went hiking the rest.  I ate breakfast.  I watched an entire movie. I slept until 7 AM. I got completely caught up on all wedding quotes and emails.


To me vacation is the prime time to work out, catch up and nourish myself.

Most importantly, post trip I feel recharged. I feel inspired.

And my final take away from the trip....

Sometimes (many times) it takes a trip to anywhere, in this case the "land of enchantment" to make home feel enchanting.

I'm ready for you Farm Season 2019!

mailboxes along the Turquoise Trail between Santa Fe and Albuquerque

I wanted those green cowgirl boots so badly!!!

Albuquerque, NM

Glitter Trash Can From Meow Wolf...I'm making a sparkle trash can for the farm!!!

Meow Wolf mural

Friday, February 8, 2019

2019 Market CSA Enrollment Open and a Note on Getting Creative!

I had the chance right before Christmas to go to a goal setting workshop hosted by one of my farmers market customers.

Through out her goal workshop we were asked to pull out our theme for 2019 from what we had written down.

For me creatively is the word that kept coming up.

So 2019 you are the year of Creativity (and if you were curious also the year of the pig).

Last year was a violent weather year. The farm flooded 3 times to the point where the irrigation (lay flat as it's called) was floating on the water. Crops were completely submerged in water. We lost a large portion of our tomato crop and almost all of our peppers.

So when you have a more limited offering how do you keep your beloved customers excited for the next season? This is a question I rolled around prior to opening up enrollment for 2019.

You get creative.

I've been compiling a list of creative things to bring you fresh inspiration, interest and excitement around being part of our Market CSA.

So here's a few things we're working on:

More recipes. I have put together quite a few recipes over the years but there's a need for more. Especially on those harder to tackle items like escarole for example. I love escarole and I know you will too if you give it a try.

Partnering with other vendors we love to have a few more things for you to pick up at the farmstand.

Creating an interesting new flower concept.

And trying to be more diverse in our offering by trying our very best to have beans this year (sadly deer love green beans as much as I do), more melon options, and a goal of having summer squash/zucchini available each week in August and September.

Showing you more of the farm via video clips on the blog and instagram stories.

And a few other treats you'll be getting delivered to your inboxes.

Interested in getting in on the fresh and fun food?

Click the link to join the Market CSA: HERE

Questions? Please email: robsonsfarm@gmail.com

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Floral Book Review: "Fluent Forever" by Gabriel Wyner

My floral review of "Fluent Forever"
I had a small (actually rather large) mishap when I was checking the first 3 photos I took on my camera the entire arrangement toppled over, incidentally smashing the lillies. So sadly for this review this is my only photo but I still think it turned out pretty good! 

Language fascinates me.

This fascination was triggered by two things.

1. By my many bi-lingual customers
2. The high school I work at during the winter has an English as a Second Language class

There is grossly disturbing view shared by many Americans (especially American young people who are not yet very worldly) that they have no need for another language since they have the gift of being raised in an English speaking nation.  

Everyone speaks English and those that don't should learn. 

Why would you allow your world to be so small when it has the potential to be so vast? 

Yes, I took Spanish in high school and even went on the trip to Spain that they offered. I was even had the incredible opportunity of being raised in an environment with access to many kind hearted native Spanish speakers. 

Alas my Espanol is mas o menos. 

I started doing this neat thing with one of my customers from India. Each week when she and her very patient husband would come to shop she'd teach me a new word in Hindi.

I just found language completely enchanting. 

So I got it in my head to take my mas o menos Spanish to fluency which I am in progress. 

But why on Earth would I shop there? 

After Spanish I will move on to French, Navajo (yes, the language of the native people of the Southwest United States), and Portuguese.  I would also like to have some knowledge of Greek, Italian, and Arabic. 

There is nothing more frustrating then wanting to communicate with someone but having no common speak other than what are usually bazaar hand signals. So, for myself I'm addressing that problem by meeting with the people I encounter where they are instead of expecting them to meet me where I am.

Gabriel Wyner offers his system to help readers learn. This book is thick with information. A completely informative book that I find to be especially helpful.

For example he says that if you encounter a word that looks exceptionally scary start by breaking down the word backwards in small pieces. 

Take  desarrolladores (developers)....start by saying dores then rrolladores and finally desarrolladores. 

Or how about sonrojado (blushing)...start with ado...then rojado...and sonrojado 


He also has this neat ideology that he shares: 
"Make memories more memorable. 
Maximize laziness.
Don't review. Recall.
Wait, wait! Don't tell me! 
Rewrite the past" 

Wyner further writes, "These principles will enable you to remember more in less time. Combined, they form a system that can insert thousands of words and grammar rules so deeply into your mind that you'll be able to recall them instantly.  Most attractively, this system can take what little spare time you have and steadily turn it into a usable foreign language." 

His system is largely based on spaced repetition of flashcards which plays into his advice to not translate but learn using the word in the language you're learning and a picture. I am extremely visual so this picture system is like a dream come true! 

There are also quite a few other tips and tricks and resources he gives. It's a lot to digest but it's so darn exciting. 

Too many people say I'd love to learn another language.

Ok! Great! Start today then.