Rock & Roll Farm

renee renee renee renee

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Friday! Nov 24 2006 // 5:39 pm // permalink

I moved agian

Now I live near a lake, on the wrong side of the tracks. Still looking for that letter I said I’d send? Maybe I’ll put it in with your solstice card. You should just call :)

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Wednesday! Nov 08 2006 // 5:30 pm // permalink

A show!

Saturday, November 11, 2006
8 PM
Free Show!
Blair w/ Renee Bertsch
217 West Michigan Ave.
Ypsilanti, MI

(after the wedding at the Firehouse Museum, before the White Noise party)

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Tuesday! Oct 10 2006 // 7:33 pm // permalink


Now I’m home. I was sort of stuck in Chicago for a week, and then promplty went to Pennsylvania for four days. So I haven’t even unpacked. And I’ve started working again. Things are a little crazy. If you were expecting to hear from me, you should exhale now. It will be a while.


Sunday! Sep 17 2006 // 2:47 pm // permalink

One week till ‘Cold Turkey At The Eagle’

It’s been a crazy time since last I posted. Trying to shut down the garden and get a compost pile made…all with very little help. Saying goodbye to my students was awful. When I’m not in the garden frantically ripping out broccoli stalks, I’m spending all the time I can with my new friends. Last night I stayed up till 7 at a picking party on an old bus with my newest friends…Clark County, The Grassholes, and other fine, fine bluegrass and old-timey musicians. Boot and I even danced a little in the three square feet of floor space that was left open. I can’t wait to get back to Michigan and assemble my own group so I can bring them up here to play some festivals with these folks. I hope they come to my going away party next week. I’m cooking a turkey and we’re all meeting at the Gold Eagle in Ester. Then I fly out the next morning.


Wednesday! Sep 06 2006 // 7:15 pm // permalink

20 days to go…

Oh man! Twenty more days in Alaska, and just two more days with my students! The latter has me pretty much devastated.

We started our compost pile today, and it kept our minds off the impending doom. We’re making a layered pile which will heat up to 120F in like 24 hours, and will hopefully be done cooking before it freezes. Our goal is to make a pile as tall as Charles, which is like, 5 feet and change. We’re using the pea plants and squash plants for green matter, and will probably dip into Brussels leaves and cauliflower leaves soon. And then I may just mow the lawn at the school…

Our last distributions will be Friday and Tuesday (I’ll do the Tuesday one alone) and the share will be: Brussels, parsnips, celery, potatoes, bunching onions, rutabaga, onions, lettuce, kale, collards, and some bunch of asian greens.

It is Totally Fall here right now. The leaves are gold and orange and should be off the trees by the middle of next week. I’m looking forward to experiencing two falls this year. All my midwestern friends should pencil me in for trips to the cider mill during October.

Alaska is sending me off with a bang. Last week I saw the aurora, and everyone said it was one of the best in recent memory. Then I went on a three day hike on the Pinnell Mountain Trail this past weekend. The tundra is an amazing place. The weather was unusally incredible. I got to see Denali, which was not out the day I went to the park. I’ll put up photos on Flickr soon.

Speaking of photos, I’ll be putting up the whole chunk from the last month or so maybe next week. Definitely not this weekend because I’m going to a cabin with something like nine other women to pick cranberries. Alaska!


Thursday! Aug 31 2006 // 6:54 pm // permalink

My garden on KUAC News

“Pick more weeds! Whack, whack, whack!!”


Sunday! Aug 27 2006 // 11:45 am // permalink

As quick as it began

Ten more days with my students. I can’t believe the season is so close to being over. Five more harvests (I do one by myself after my students are finished) which will be a lot of fall crops, Brussels, parsnips, rutabaga, leeks, celery, etc. The other day I harvested my first potatoes which was outrageously exciting. I was digging up Ida Rose and it was like an Easter egg hunt with their hot pink skin poking through the soil. I took some home and their taste is incredible.

Our open house party went well last week. We were interviewed by someone from KUAC. The broadcast should be this week, I think.

Not sure what my plans are after my time here is up. Maybe I’ll stay in Alaska to see what the winter is like.


Sunday! Aug 13 2006 // 1:11 pm // permalink


New photos are up on flickr, including some shaky photos of my students’ junior division fair exhibits. Here’s what we won:

Red Cabbage - Second Place
Collard Greens - Second Place
Green Cabbage - Third Place
Broccoli - Third Place
Cauliflower - Third Place
Sweet Peas, single color - Second Place
Sunflowers - Second Place
Sweet Peas, multi color - Third Place
Calendula - Fourth Place
Snapdragons, multi color - Seventh Place

Last week, the school had their open house, and Charles and I made bouquets for all the tables. Nobody else showed up for work that day, so it was a quiet hour of flower arranging that was so pleasant I was able to forget the season-long severe understaffing problem. Charles has had no experience in flower arranging (or in any other interaction with flowers, for that matter) and I was impressed with his interest and enthusiasm for the activity. Moreover, I was charmed by his simple arrangements that suggest the minimalism and intention of Japanese flower arranging. He even added a few nasturtium to one bouquet - an unorthodox move that I was skeptical about at first, but I was ultimately won-over. What a great guy, that Charles.


Sunday! Aug 06 2006 // 1:12 pm // permalink

Welcome August, welcome giant cabbages

Things have been rolling along. New students come to work with us almost every day, only to have them quit after two days. But my core group remains strong and has even expanded a teeny bit. Now there are three students who have consistent attendance. And I am crossing my fingers for this new guy that started Friday but I’m not holding my breath. Crossing fingers, not holding breath.

The Tanana Valley State Fair is in full swing, and what a fair it is. Nothing like the Chelsea Community Fair, which I have to say I kind of preferred if only because of the more manageable size. My students entered some vegetables and flowers in the junior divisions and I won’t tell you what the outcome was, yet. I want to get photos of my students with their ribbons (that’s not a spoiler because everyone gets a ribbon for participating). Yesterday was the giant cabbage weigh-in, and our 12 and 14 pounders were nothing compared to the record-breaking grand champion who logged over 66 pounds! He was heard to say something like, “can’t beat that Miracle Grow!” Which saddened me a little because we grew ours with nothing but compost and fish emulsion. And love. Love is good for a lot, but I guess I’ve learned that love isn’t enough to make a cabbage bloat to over 60 pounds.

Stay tuned for photos of my students’ possibly prize-winning produce!

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Sunday! Jul 23 2006 // 2:31 pm // permalink

New photos at flickr

Weeks 8, 9, and 10 of the garden. Photos by my students. Fourth of July parade. Calypso Member Picnic and Open House. A dinner at Megan’s. And…further proof that I am a little nuts.


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