Of markets and melons

Ceci n'est pas un honeydew
First melon of the season!

‘The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
‘To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
Of cabbages — and kings —
And why the sea is boiling hot —
And whether pigs have wings.’

We’ll talk of many things today. The farm’s been busy, and this tardy post will cover melons, markets, and chickens all in one fell swoop. (Incidentally, has anyone ever done something in two fell swoops? Would that reflect a difficult task or a less fell swoop? We’ll do it in one.)

Above, you can see our first melon of the season. This was a really exciting moment for us (see pic at bottom of post). It had the proper hollow -THUNK- to it when thunked. It had the right little yellow spot on the bottom. It had a slight floral aroma as the base. And when we sliced it open, we found out that our little watermelon also had an honesty problem. All of the signs pointed to ripe, but it’s actually nowhere near.

So what were we left with? Essentially a watermelon full of rind. It doesn’t taste bad, per se, but it certainly ain’t no refreshing summer treat. We’re going to attempt a little salad with honey and lime, and we’ll report on how that goes.

In better news, the chickens are doing well. They are getting more and more adventurous, recently figuring out that the porch is a really happening place to be.

Chickens invade the porch
Chickens staging a sit-in to protest the iniquity of stairs.

This was a really fun development for a while. We could sit upstairs and watch the chickens get confused by the glass door leading into the living room. It got less fun when we remembered that chickens have no sense of civic duty when it comes to pooping. We’ve since tried to block the porch after a mishap involving walking outside in socks.

Chicken stare down
Kick me off the porch? Kick ME off the porch?

The chicken fighting continues a little, and I’ll relate the most recent issue.

About  a week ago, Little Dick was chasing the brown Polish rooster. A lot. The Polish eventually got so tired of it, that he just kept walking down the driveway. Luckily, we were outside to witness this. We thought, “where will he go?” The answer was (and I kid you not) across the road.

At this point, Nick figures it’s time to go a-chasing. The chicken takes a left turn and starts walking up the road. Now, cars aren’t exactly a frequent sight on our road, but it was only natural that as Nick was frantically chasing a chicken hither and yon across the road, one would roll by, occupants laughing riotously. Eventually the chicken wound up back in the coop, and the chasing has since subsided.

Market stand
Allie, a market stand, and a load of baked goods.

Market’s been going well, too. A new vegetable seller has shown up, and they don’t overlap with us too much. We’re still the only organic-style farm there, so we’ve got that going. Overall, for the market, it’s a good thing — more variety for customers.

Allie also has the baking business up and running, which is great for both our customers and Nick’s sweet tooth. Sure, it’d be good for business to sell out of what we take, but the advantage to food products is that you get to eat what you don’t sell. Note the baked goods corner of the table in the market picture above.

We’ll wrap up this post with some literary enlightenment. It’s a little known fact that Lewis Carroll had, in a first draft, gone on to have the Walrus and the Carpenter pontificate on markets and melons. Unfortunately, they didn’t fit the meter of the poem, so those things had to wait until today to be adequately addressed. Today, we unearth a few stanzas of Carroll’s famous poem, lost to time and character re-writes.

The Walrus and the Carpenter,
They came across a stand,
As they led their band of oysters
Across the gleaming sand.
They were preparing to pass by,
But saw a waving hand.

A husband and wife were waiting
Off’ring vegetables there.
Produce of all varieties,
Baked goods, delicious fare.
The merry band, they stopped to look,
Their options to compare.

‘The time has come,’ the farmers said,
‘To talk of many things:
Of markets — and melons — and mincemeat pies —
Of chickens and their wings —
And why you are just standing there
Not buying our off’rings.’

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Exchanged a knowing glance.
‘Parsley is quite good with shellfish,
It’s how they do in France.
Or so I hear,’ the Walrus said.
‘Have you any, perchance?’

The farmer looked upon his wife
‘You packed that up, my dear.’
The wife replied ‘Of course I did!
It’s in the cooler, here.’
The Carpenter took out some coin,
Said ‘Tasty’ with a sneer.

The last of them the couple saw,
As they all strode away.
The oysters were all babbling
‘Twas parsley, did they say?
And what dish did it complement?’
The Walrus: ‘You’ll learn today.’


Greedily eyeing a melon
Nick had no oysters, but he did have a melon to eye greedily.

3 thoughts on “Of markets and melons”

  1. when is the first chicken due to be…errr…sent off to the chicken afterland? if you need an example killing method, our new puppy made very short work of a nice laying hen this saturday.


    1. Scheduled for tomorrow! Post to come about how it all goes. Sorry to hear about your puppy . . . we lost one chicken to what we’re presuming was a jabberwocky.


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