Creek Jots ~ 26 Sept

Chicken-of-the-Woods shelf fungus and other market faire

* Good thing we foraged the wild grapes last week. The tame ones within the garden stockade all disappeared in one night, not a one on the ground, every one in a coon belly. I hope they got a belly ache, considering all the hours I spent during the prolonged drought, watering and fertilizing, only to feed the wildlife. And so it goes.

Organic: Not entirely next year. I will have to do something–rotenone at least–to hold back the bean beetles. They were horrible this year. And something ate our usually dependable Swiss Chard to laced doilies. Our soil stays cold so long in this deep valley that we can’t plant early to beat the insect hoards. This is not an ideal place for self-sufficiency. But it is what we have; it is wonderful in so many ways; and we have Sweet Providence and the community market to make up for what we fail to grow.

* The market breakfast was great this year, the first for which SustainFloyd has attempted to do the cooking. We will most definitely be doing this again next year, no so much for raising funds (especially if you factor in the  unpaid cost of all the wonderful volunteered hours) but because it is a great excuse to visit and have a meal with folks you wouldn’t ordinarily sit to table with. It feels like community.

* Last night we had the “chicken of the woods” mushroom that Ann bought at the market Saturday. Some of the mushroom books describe it as “edible choice” and others as “not distinctive” but in the spaghetti last night, the texture was wonderful and its mild flavor very pleasant. We’ll find some for free on a tree near home.

* I was encouraged to go mushroom foraging after talking with a friend at church who has been seeing lots of honeycaps and “slippery jack” mushrooms in his surveying work lately. I didn’t find much, but do have at least an image a day this week to share—after a long dry period with the camera. Stay tuned!

* I keep hoping the single bat over our pasture this summer will gain some companions. Bats do not live singly under normal circumstance, but our lone bat at dusk seems to have lost–or out-survived–his colony. Other folks report normal bat activity in their parts of Floyd County. White Nose Syndrome cause and cure is nowhere in sight. Last night, the migrating green darner dragonflies didn’t put a dent in the swirling population of gnats, midges and flying aphids in their last hurrah.  We need the bats, creepy and unlovely as they may seem to some people.

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Making the Market Better: Please Help

Floyd Community Market in its first season

Dear Floyd Farmers Market Patrons,

On behalf of the Floyd Farmers Market, I would like to invite you to participate in a quick survey. The survey will only take a few minutes of your time, and asks questions pertaining to your perceptions of the market.

The link below will connect you to the survey which is being administered by a team of students at Virginia Tech.  All of the responses are anonymous.  Completing this survey will help the research team figure out the market’s strengths and weaknesses in serving you, the patrons.

Please complete the survey and help us make the Floyd Farmers Market even more of a success!


Sincerely,  Mike Burton, SustainFloyd Director

[Thanks for your help, Fragments readers! ~ Fred]
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Gaining Traction at SustainFloyd

Click image to enlarge, then go "full screen" at Scribd

I’ve spent a dreary (not that we don’t need the rain) morning inside making some changes to the SustainFloyd web site, mostly adding to it materials that have come into being as the result of a recent and lengthy collaboration process between quite a few board and advisory members.

The “donor folder” contents has been allocated to various locations on the SustainFloyd Web page.

To learn more (because I know you can hardly wait!) go to the post today at and be sure at least to give a peek (at Scribd) at the brochure.  This at-a-glance and very attractive document will answer (or point the way towards) most any question you might have had about SustainFloyd’s mission and projects.

Bookmark the site and revisit from time to time, as things are beginning to move along rapidly towards some very worthwhile community projects.

To Market, to Market…

Floyd Community Market from Village Green aspect

… to buy a fat hog. Home again, home again, jiggety jog. So goes the nursery rhyme in the kids books. We used to always quote this upon returning home, but we said “friggedy frog” and Ann and I repeat this to this day. Do you have fragments remaining from your children’s language, the books they read, words or phrases from oft-told family stories that persist into your present?

That is not what I intended to talk about at all, but it being a Sunday morning home alone for the weekend, the dog not objecting, and my fingers having a mind of their own, that’s what happened, so there! And having taken that twig from a diversion off the side road of a segue, I think it might be interesting if my kids are ever together with us in the same room again (sobering to think this might never happen) we should compile rapid-fire a list of words or phrases that nobody else in the world outside our family would understand.

Meanwhile back at the market…yesterday’s official opening of the Saturday morning Floyd Community Market event seemed to have a high level of activity, commerce and energy. There was a steady stream of known and visiting folk, and while I was intending to go to take pictures for various uses and needs, I spent far more time in conversation and eating ice-cream. Turned out to be a marvelous day, weather-wise, after the deluge of the evening before, and my guess is that the vendors had a good day–like those who came to see (and smell the coffee vapors from Red Rooster Roaster to the far right center of the image) and enjoy the community atmosphere.

The Artisan’s Market on Friday afternoon and the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning will be a regular summer and fall feature, so come share! Bookmark the SustainFloyd web site for related creative and agricultural activities in and around Floyd. If you’re a blogger or organization web site owner, consider adding SustainFloyd to your blog roll.

Okay. I’ve got one. “I don’t want no more of that sourcrap.” And which First Child was it that as a three-yr-old confused the name of okra and called it VELCRO?

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