Teenagers

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The grains are growing up and getting tall! They’re significantly taller than last year, thanks to the El Nino rains that gave us water in the semblance of a ‘normal’ year of times past (which is to say, 4 years ago).

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Spanish Spelt peaking out
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Red Fife
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California Red


All about timing

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Dry farming means relying on rain for irrigation. That’s all. No sprinklers, wells, rivers. Just the rain.

What happens when the weather is unpredictable? You may find yourself stuck in a hail and thunderstorm in the middle of seeding your field.

I planned to plant May 21st for months. I figured I should get an early June rain. The date neared and the forecasts ended up predicting rain on May 21st! That’s too bad because I recently picked up a cold AND started my period. But a farmers gotta do what a farmers gotta do. Especially dry farmers.

I get out there with my housemate, help a farmer friend move straw bales, and then get to my field to plant. Right then, it starts to rain. Then hail. Then thunder and lighting.

We sat in the car hoping to wait this through. The rain began to ease, the clouds parted for rays of light, and we were hopeful for a reprieve from the storm.

But it came back even stronger. The torrential downpour deterred us from spreading straw over the seeds, which helps retain moisture in the soil. I’ll do it once the rain let’s up…for realz.

A Tart, Herbaceous Treat

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I can’t be bothered to heat anything in the summer. With the 100+ degree temperatures, I want food that cools be down and that allows me to keep cool while I’m prepping it. This salad is a burst of flavors and was a big potluck hit last summer. I planted all the ingredients this spring and now it’s time to toss them all together. It’s still wonderful this time around and even better that everything comes from home.

Dressing

3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp maple syrup
Salt and black pepper

Ingredients
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and shaved widthways into thin slices (can replace with cabbage)
1 stick rhubarb, trimmed and cut on an angle into thin slices
4 sticks celery, trimmed and cut on an angle into thin slices
10 basil leaves, roughly torn
1/2 tsp tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp dill leaves, roughly chopped
2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted

Assembly

Toss fennel, rhubarb, and celery with dressing until thoroughly mixed and coated. Then, add the herbs and loosely mix. The toasted fennel seeds are such a crunch delight that it’d be a shame to get them soggy in the sauce!

41 Years Ago

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Do you know what it’s like to have your rights taken away? To belong to no country? To be adrift – in status and at sea? I don’t, but my mom does. She shared her story at the Asian Heritage Awards ceremony. It’s a story she doesn’t tell often or to many, but I’m glad she enabled people to hear what it was like after the Fall of Saigon.

Asian Heritage Awards

I wish I had a recording that wasn’t processed into this over-dramatized form, but the people who put on the Awards made this VIDEO.

I’m very proud to be my mother’s daughter. Happy mother’s day, Mẹ!