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The River Farmer

Postgrad on a Budget

KellseyWell, now it’s the end of summer, and I have no food to bum off of the farm. So being the poor postgrad kid that I am, I get to figure out how I’m going to survive another winter without all the free food! If anyone reading this has tips, tricks, suggestions, recipes, etc., they would be greatly appreciated.

Keep in mind I live in a very small apartment, so I could not can produce from the farm because I have no room for it; I have very limited freezer space that I have already stocked with as much as I think I can without fully irritating my roomie. And I’m sorry, I refuse the typical college diet of ramen noodles/mac and cheese. I just can’t, and won’t, do it.

I will definitely be taking advantage of the bacon my father will be making. At least I sure hope he gives me some. Bacon is definitely a staple in my diet. I should write a whole post about bacon and how important it is. Not just any bacon - I’m talkin’ the good stuff. Uncured is the best. But let’s be honest, most all bacon is awesome. Yea, I’ll write a whole post about it and rant about how healthy bacon is. Oh, I’ve done the research.

Anyway, I gotta figure something out because I won’t eat crappy food. I really cannot wait for the day to have the space for a garden, livestock and a greenhouse. Ideally, I’ll never have to go to the store again.

On another note, has anyone ever planted Lambkin melons? Because we did this year and I cannot get enough of them. We did a late planting of melons galore (cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew). But this Lambkin … The first time we ate some, the other farmhand said he literally wanted to turn around and hug me it was so good. And it is that good. 

Melon and bacon. Yep. That’s what I’ve been eating. Please help.

Summer Dreams

KellseyThe “river” in The River Farmer is the murky and mysterious Kansas River, also known as the Kaw. The river has a constant presence on the farm because it is within 100 yards of where we work every day. I love to start my mornings at sunrise watching the river and drinking my coffee for a few minutes.

The Kansas River begins where the Republican and the Smoky Hill rivers meet and moves swiftly along for 150 miles before joining with the Missouri River. It can be terrifying because many people have died in this river, as I suppose is the case with most rivers. I have heard many stories of children playing on the sand bars, and within seconds, the sand shifts and the kids never seen again. I remember a teacher in high school that died while canoeing on the Kansas River. Harrowing tales indeed.

River at Sunrise

River at Sunrise

But the river invokes a thoughtfulness that I have come to appreciate. There is a lot happening under the surface that we don’t see. An ever strong undercurrent can quickly sweep away anything that enters its seemingly calm waters.

River

As for this heat wave we have throughout the Midwest, it has everyone stuck inside. I have not had to suffer too much because I recently started a new job. I won’t be on the farm quite as much, just a few nights a week and the weekends, and I will also be helping with the farmers market.

I know it will take a while to adjust to the change, but I’m really enjoying it. I love working outside, but I just knew I would have to find a direction to go in for a long-term career. I can’t be a farmhand my whole life. Not that I couldn’t do it, but before I settle into that life there are definitely some other things I want to do. Living on my own farm is my end goal. Most everything I do in some way brings me a little closer to that. Like WWOOF. If I had to take care of my own farm I couldn’t travel to other awesome farms, but doing this will absolutely help me reach my overall goal.

Well, the night that I did go to the farm this week, I weeded and ate peaches. Haha! Those peaches are so good! I ate several. I wish I could freeze them, or can them, like we did when I was a kid. I’ve been trying to freeze as much as I can, to my roommates dismay. He grew up on a farm as well and so appreciates good food. Our only problem is lack of space since we live in such a small apartment. He’s not actually annoyed, but I’ll just say that we definitely have no freezer space left.

Sunflowers My Sister-in-Law Planted

The other day he said, “Kellsey, we basically have a garden in our kitchen.” I looked over, and I couldn’t deny it. Fresh veggies are scattered on the counter and experimental dishes are stuffed in the fridge. I like the look. It makes me sad to think when fall will come, and it won’t be like that anymore.

I love summer so much and everything it’s about: fresh foods, cookouts and plenty of daylight to enjoy late evenings outside just talking with friends. And it’s important to enjoy it while it’s here. Just not these three digit temperatures. They can go away.

Sunflower 2