April 24, 2010

Personal Update

I haven't managed a new post for awhile so I thought I would share a few notes about what's happening in my life at the moment. Maybe you'll accept this as a valid excuse. I hope so.

Firstly, my teaching load is heavier. Most weeks I'm teaching three classes and some weeks there are one or two more. Now three classes may not seem like much, but it's a surprising amount of work.

Secondly, I've been spending a lot of time looking at real estate. Specifically, farm land. I've partnered with a friend and we're going off-grid, or as far off as we can get without completely giving up the Oregon Symphony. Meanwhile, we're having to do a lot of studying and planning.

Thirdly, the garden is going in. Small it may be, but gardens take a goodly amount of labor in the Spring. Later this year I'll be able to report on various dishes created from things I'm planting now. Judging from the carrots grown last year but harvested just a couple of days ago, I'll have interesting things to tell you for quite some time.

Fourthly, I'm getting ready for chickens. I've never owned chickens before, so I've had to learn a lot of new stuff. The eggs had better be worth it, because I'm taking a class in July to learn how to harvest chickens, and if these ladies don't perform well as layers I'll know exactly what I need to do to make them into dinner. Same thing goes for the banty Cochin. I know how to make coq au vin, and if he makes too much noise, into the pot! Expect some photos, and maybe a bit of bragging if the girls do their job well.

Fifthly, there's been a bit of charcuterie happening, but you won't be able to read about it for 2-3 months because it takes that long to cure. And I'm still trying to scrounge what I need to build a small smoke box without actually spending any money, because anyone can buy one. How am I supposed to make an interesting blog post out of buying a smoker?

So that's pretty much what's going on. I haven't forgotten you, in fact, I've been thinking about you a lot. I just haven't had the time or energy to write anything for awhile. I'll try to do better.


  1. Good luck on your ventures!

  2. You have a lot going on!!

    No worries, I will be here reading whenever you are able to post :-)

  3. Chickens are pretty easy to take care of--I'm sure you'll do fine.

    It's always a challenge to find the right place between having enough land to grow your own produce and not being cut off from symphonies and other cultural events...good luck!

  4. Wow, that's quite a load. So much on your plate.. But Im sure your having fun....Good luck on your new business.

  5. Good to hear you're alive and well, Mark! Good luck with your real estate search... my 1.5 hour drive to the Oregon Symphony is a bit much to make it a regular occurance, one of a couple downsides of rural Willamette Valley living. But the upsdies are pretty spectacular. I live by the motto, "You can have it all, just not all at once!"