Today's picture was taken in 1903, and shows an old Cobbler in his Shoe Making shop. As we look at all these old pictures, I am struck by the profound change in the nature of our jobs over the last hundred years. I notice that in these old pictures, there is a very tangible nature to the work people did. If you asked this man what he did for a living, he would say, "I am a cobbler. I make shoes, and I repair shoes". Someone else might say, "I am a farmer, and I grow corn", or "I am a blacksmith, and I shoe horses". Very clear, concise, and important work. Today, it is hard for most people to describe what they do . . . "I restructure debt settlements in reverse mortgage arbitrage cases", or other obscure things. When you try and unravel what we are all doing, almost no one actually Builds, Grows, or Fixes things. It is like we are a nation of people sorting paper into different piles.
Things continue to go well out at the Bean Barn. Over Thanksgiving, I got my raised beds built. I have planted onions and garlic in them (two in onions, two in garlic).
The Kubota tractor made quick work out of getting the dirt into the beds. When the garlic and onions start producing, I will have achieved my life-long dream of having a Salsa Garden. Inside the Bean Barn I am growing Tomatoes, Jalapeños, Cilantro, and other spices. So, once I have onions and garlic, I will be able to walk out to the bean barn, gather the fresh ingredients, and make my salsa. If you have never tried making fresh salsa, here is my daughters recipe. It is REALLY good . . . Roasted Salsa. I hope some of you will try it and let me know what you think.
Everything else in the Bean Barn continues to do well. The cucumbers have grown all the way to the top of the greenhouse, and are now forming a canopy along the roof.
If you zoom in on the picture, you can see we are getting cucumbers over two feet long, yet still as tender and sweet as can be. As I mentioned earlier, Mrs. PJM takes cucumbers to work everyday, and sells them to people in the airport. She sells out each day, and there is always a waiting list. The little oriental restaurant many times buys all she has. The Chinese woman that owns the place calls Mrs. PJM the "Dolla Lady", since the cucumbers are $1 each. Just 48,375 more cucumbers, and we will break even on the Bean Barn.
The Broccoli is getting close to being ready to pick.
The peppers grow a lot slower than the other things, but we are picking Jalapeños now. The Bell Peppers are getting close to being ready to start picking.
As I mentioned earlier, I started with a number of different test systems to see what worked the best. Now, I have seen what works, and have the large full scale systems ready to go. I have not installed the large systems yet, as the test systems are producing, and I don't want to take them off-line. One table is growing the most succulent sweet peas you ever tasted, so I can't bring myself to break the system down to make room for the new systems. I have decided that over Christmas I will bite the bullet and change the systems out. With the new system, I will be able to grow 350 leaf plants like lettuce, spinach, and spices, and will be able to grow 60 vine plants like tomatoes and cucumbers.