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Monday, May 12, 2014

Farm photos from Weekends in Carolina Research Trip

My June release, Weekends in Carolina, is set on a farm outside of Durham, North Carolina. I've been a member of a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program from Elysian Fields Farm for about seven years and researching this book gave me the excuse I needed to spend several hours over the course of the summer talking with Elise (my farmer) and getting to know her farm.

I have nothing but respect for farmers, especially small farmers like Elise who produce beautiful, organic produce year after year with a small staff and lots of hard work. And a love of the land, let's not forget that!

Here are some of the many pictures I took while on my research jaunts. When you read Weekends in Carolina, you may recognize some of the scenes.

Here is a hoop house filled with onions that are drying so they can be stored throughout the winter. After they are pulled out of the ground, the onions are cleaned and then laid out to dry. The air around the hoop house smells of onions. It was incredibly potent and too powerful not to use in my book.








This picture isn't actually from Elise's farm, but from a Piedmont Farm Tour I went on. It's red clover and it's used as a cover crop to return nitrogen back into the soil. A field of it is incredibly beautiful, as you can see in the bottom picture.


















One thing I found interesting is how messy (for lack of a better word) all the rows were. Grasses and clovers grow between the rows to keep the weeds down, as you can see in this picture of eggplant.

It's difficult to describe how wonderful my visits were. The fields buzz with bees, birds, and butterflies, but there is wonderful peace. I won't say stillness, because Elise, Beth, and the rest of the Elysian Fields crew was always working and they were never still.

Not all of us can be farmers and some of us (myself included) can't even garden. Do you garden? What do you grow? Flowers? Vegetables?

I'll be giving away a print copy of Weekends in Carolina. US winners only. Void where prohibited. Comment to enter. I'll run the giveaway from today until May 19th, posting the winner on the 20th. Please include your email so I can contact you about your prize.

9 comments:

  1. I have a few pots of vegetables and flowers on my patio

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  2. That's more than I can manage. I hope you get good veggies!

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  3. If I won the free copy I'd donate it to NHCPL as a n extra copy. :-) I already pre-ordered Weekends in Carolina for NHCPL.

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  4. some flowers

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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    1. Flowers are nice. They are one of the few things I can grow--mostly because I planted a bunch of perennials and I haven't killed them yet.

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  5. We had real weeds between the rows in the vegetable garden. And what a treat it was to get back to the house after picking snaps, butter beans, or corn on a dewy summer morning and change into some dry socks!

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    1. Putting on dry socks can really change your entire outlook on life, I think.

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  6. Neva Dew, you are the winner of a free copy of Weekends in Carolina! I'll mail one out to you soon.

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