Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rhubarb and Rain

For the last three years, we have supplied over 200 pounds of rhubarb to one of the largest CSAs in Vermont.  They can grow everything else, from artichokes to Asian greens, but they can't grow rhubarb.  So they buy it from us.  This CSA is as popular as Misty Knolls Farm, who has the corner on local "free-range" poultry, but that's another story.

Our rhubarb patch is about 80 feet long and is made up of plants that we transplanted from my childhood home in East Middlebury (the plants were there when my parents bought the place in 1962), and from some plants dumped on the side of the road that Kyle lugged home after upheaving the FREE! sign.  

Kyle has babied these plants, keeping them weed-free, dosing them with copious amounts of aged manure, mulching them, reigning in my overzealous harvest.  The plants are beautiful.

 So on this day, Kyle and I harvested the rhubarb for that big CSA, who said that a truck would be coming bright and early to pick it up.  We picked 190 pounds of beautiful stuff, the same stuff that we have been selling at Norwich Farmer's Market for the past four weeks.

Four hours later, after it had been harvested, washed, boxed, and weighed, I get a message on my cell phone that said:  I can't find you, you need to meet me at the interstate; I don't have a cell phone.

Who does not have a cell phone in this day and age, whose job depends on constant communication?

Naturally, I 'm freaking out, calling the company that has the CSA, calling the trucking company who is supposed to be picking up my precious rhubarb.   Finally, eight hours later, the trucker finds our farm and gets the rhubarb.

The next day, I get a call from the CSA,saying how they could only use 146 pounds, and could they have a discount on the rest, cuz it took a long time to pick through all of the bad stuff.

At this point, I am just trying to do my yoga breaths and not fly off the handle.  I then explain AGAIN how the driver hadn't found the right address and had actually missed pick up so that he was 7 hours late.  I tell them, that yes, I'll eat the 44 pounds of the precious stuff that is useless, but no, I am not going to do a discount for the time it took to pick through the rhubarb- they need to be equally responsible for the trucker's error.

To date, I have not heard about whether I will be paid at all- $380 worth, and perhaps, the last time that I will be supplying them rhubarb.

All I can say is that the "local" movement stopped treating small farms like what we are very shortly after local,sustainable, and CSA became buzzwords.  I am saddened by the fact that this mega CSA won't stick by their local, small producers (the company spokesperson actually chided me and said that the can only offer quality product to their consumers).  In years past, the truck has come when and where he said he would, and the CSA has been thrilled.

I'm really not sure why I'm complaining about this, other than the fact that our tiny farm now has a tarnished rep as a rhubarb supplier because the buyer gave the transportation company the wrong address.  I guess I thought that local meant Vermont, but maybe I need to be even more local….

Here's a pic of my local supper...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Homage to Lovage

I don't even know where I got my Lovage from.  It was a long time ago, I know that.  And I think I got it just because it sounded like a cool word.  Most people don't know how to pronounce the herb's name, let alone what to do with it.  Lots of people ask me at market what to do with "love-ahhjeh"

Europeans and English folks are much more comfortable using it.  They put it in soups, fold it into egg dishes, toss it with asparagus and green beans, even dry it and combine it with more traditional herbs, like parsley and sage and thyme.

What's best about lovage, like dandelion and nettle, is that it pokes its lime green head out of the soil and announces Spring like one of those first hot days does- even when hot means 60 degrees, and not 16 degrees.

It reminds me of one of those brilliantly colored songbirds, gone for so many months, now back at the feeder, tasting the oranges that we've laid out to lure them close for that fleeting moment before they head off to the forest.  One day last week, I had a rose-breasted grosbeak, a northern oriole, an indigo bunting and a scarlet tanager ALL in the same platform feeder.  Lovage is like that: it's here first, so it begs to be used. Who would think that an indigo bunting would be attracted to an orange in a feeder.

The thing about lovage is that a little goes a long way.  It is in the celery family, but it's spicier- like a cross between fennel and black pepper- and bitter- like arugula or orange zest.  People are scared of it here.  What do you do with it, they ask at market.  And so, I made pesto out of it to show everyone how versatile it is. In the raw, I sprinkle it on asparagus (it tames the sweet), put it in deviled eggs (brings out the creamy yolk), steep it in soup (best with poultry, again, taming that sweetness).

I guess my point is that just because it's different, doesn't mean it's not good.  The songbirds that have travelled hundreds of mile know this when they come to our yard in search of oranges before retreating to the forest.  And we should experiment with learning how to use what comes back to us in spring.  That means to me using one of the first of my perennial herbs to come back to life in the garden.  Here are two great recipes that have passed the teenager's and the midwestern meat-and-potatoes' taste buds.

Asparagus Sesame Soup
serves 4
1 pound asparagus
1/8th cup peanut oil
1 1/4 cups chopped onions
1/4 cup minced scallions
1 large all-purpose potato, peeled and diced

1/2 quart chicken stock
pinch of sugar
2 tbs toasted sesame seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons soy (or tamari) sauce
1 tbs sesame oil
ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbs chopped lovage for garnish

Snap the ends off of the asparagus, or alternatively, peel the first two inches.  Cut off 1 inch of the tips and reserve.  Slice the remaining stalks thinly.

Heat the peanut oil in a saucepan or soup pot that is big enough for all of the ingredients.  Add the onions and scallions and stir over medium heat until wilted and soft, but not browned.  Add the potatoes and the sliced asparagus.  Pour in the stock, the sugar and half of the toasted sesame seeds.

Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until all ingredients are tender, about 20 minutes.  Then pour the soup into a blender and blend until smooth.

Add the reserved tips, the soy sauce, sesame oil and pepper.  Sprinkle individual bowls with the chopped lovage.  
The soup is good chilled or hot, although I prefer it hot.

Adapted from Judith Olney's The Farm Market Cookbook 1991

Lovage Pesto

makes about a half pint

3 large cloves garlic peeled and chopped ( or 4 tbsp chopped wild leeks)
1/4 pound lovage leaves, stems removed
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound (about 2 cups) walnut pieces
2 teaspoons sea salt

Put the garlic or wild leeks in a food processor or blender, then the lovage and half of the oil.  Blend until smooth (I sometimes add a bit of water to help the process along).  Add the walnuts and the remaining oil and salt.  Let it sit for at least an hour before using.  It will stay good for about 2 weeks in the fridge.

From Barbara Kofka's Vegetable Love 2005

Friday, May 16, 2014

Eating Spring's First Weeds

The first time I heard that dandelions weren't native to North America, I didn't believe it.  Then came the hard truth that Vermont's state flower, the red clover isn't a native.  Then earthworms (well most species), potatoes, garlic and all apples except the crab apple fell from grace.  I think I nearly lost it when I found out honey bees had been imported.

To most of us, the dandelion is considered a weed.  Unless you're making a dandelion chain necklace, or playing the mommy had a baby and… you know the rest- game, it's regarded as a troublesome pest.  It invades our gardens and lawns, and those gorgeous yellow flowers turn into poofy,white turbans that stick to everything and fly everywhere.

But in Vermont, where there are literally 9 months of winter, when those first Spring shoots come poking out of the ground, they are cause for celebration.  And their astringent, earthy taste is just the tonic we crave after months of grocery store produce that all tastes like wax boxes and is as crunchy as cardboard.  Like radicchio and chicory, it's a breath of fresh air after weeks of iceberg, or if you're a real purest, no greens at all.

I've used dandelion greens for tea, raw in salads, and chopped in smoothies.  The greens are best before the flowers come out of their pin cushion-like knobs, and they certainly are too bitter to eat after the flowers are in full bloom (though the blossoms make awesome wine).  I chop the base off, pull out any leaves that have hung on through winter's cold (they'll be pale and wilted), and steam them. Then I rinse them and squeeze all of the excess moisture out. I chop them fine and use them as I would steamed spinach or kale.

Besides my pursuit of how best to eat weeds, I am a bit of a cookbook hoarder.  People ask me why I still read cookbooks now that everything can be found on  Dr. Google.  I just like the feel of the book in my hand, and the ability to jump from page to page and back again without getting dizzy when those pages go flicking by on my Kindle or my monitor.

I have Judith Olney's The Farm Market Cookbook (1991).  In it, she describes farmer's markets across the country and how they've contributed to bringing the farm back to the table.

Bradford, age 8, enjoying dandelions

There is a recipe for Maggie's Spinach Nutmeg Muffins for which I used dandelion greens instead of the spinach called for, and used smoked gouda cheese instead of Swiss cheese (dandelion greens are amazing with bacon, so the smoked cheese kind of reminded me of that pairing).

Ironically, I googled Maggie Middleton, who at the time of Olney's writing, owned with her partner, a burgeoning bakery business in Carrboro, NC.  She retired from the business just 6 years later, died in 2009, and requested that donations in her name go to LIVESTRONG, Lance Armstrong's charity.   How fickle life is, where we perceive one reality, and it later turns into another.  Perhaps fame, instead of scandal, will some day be the fate of the harbinger of spring here in the northeast, the dandelion weed.

Here is an adapted version of Maggie Middleton's muffin recipe from Olney's book. I made them using gluten-free flour, and they were awesome.

2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup grated smoked gouda cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
10 oz dandelion greens, washed well, base chopped and discarded, steamed and squeezed dry

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

Stir the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Chop the cooked dandelion greens.  In another bowl, combine the greens, buttermilk, butter, half of each of the cheeses and the egg.

Make a well in the dry ingredients, and stir in the the liquid.  Don't combine them to a smooth consistency- they can stay chunky.    Spoon the batter equally into the tins, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and stick them in  the oven.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Remove the tin from the oven, and let rest for 5 minutes before popping them out. 

These are great with cream of asparagus soup.  You'll have to pull out a cookbook or google that recipe.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


 We’ve just come off of seven days of unusual heat, with five of the days being record-breakers.  The spring peepers, green frogs and wood frogs have been singing up a storm and laying eggs.  Bradford held jellyfish-like clusters of eggs in his hands in our flooded fields and pleaded to bring some home to raise.  My magnolia is blooming, as is the redbud, the crab and the flowering almond.  The daylilies are poking out of the ground almost 5 inches high, and the garlic is pushing 6 inches.  It’s the middle of March.

Tonight, I’ll cover what I can, but frankly, I think we’re doomed for a major setback.  All day, since 4 am, the wind has been howling, and the temperature dropping.  I even kept the sheep inside today, despite the sun.  They are freshly shorn (meaning their wool has been removed), and I wouldn’t appreciate being out in this without a winter coat if I were them.

The plants have definitely been confused by this climate change, but surprisingly, the birds are still right on schedule.  I’ve kept a log of what arrives back on the farm since 1997, and they are within a week of normal.    

On the other hand, Kyle harvested horseradish yesterday (we usually do this in the fall, but there were some escapees from the raised bed).  I also harvested wild leeks that are usually blanketed under many feet of snow at this time.  The mosquitoes were out in full force as I put an electric fence around the wrapped hay bales (the sheep are blowing through the single strand fence to get at the lush, green grass), and the ticks are crazy bad.

Did you know that horseradish is actually a Brassica, meaning it’s related to broccoli, cabbage and mustard?  It’s been used since the middle ages, mostly medicinally back then, and its origin is most likely south eastern Europe or western Asia.

We tend not to use it much as Americans, unless it’s on our roast beef, in our shrimp cocktail sauce or as an essential ingredient to a bloody Mary.  The stuff we Americans think of as Wasabi is usually not the root of the Wasabi plant (which although is related to horseradish is generally not found outside of  Japan due to the difficulty in propagating it).  Instead, what we call Wasabi is a mixture of horseradish, mustard and green food coloring.  Still good though.

Horseradish is a perennial and pretty easy to grow.  The best way to harvest it is in the fall, when you divide the roots; older roots will get woody and tough, whereas new growth is slender and spirited.  I like to prepare it with vinegar, salt and a little mustard oil (you can get this at ethnic markets).  It’ll keep in the fridge for months, but when it starts turning brown, it’s lost its zing.  Propagating it is pretty simple too; just pull the whole root out and lop off the top inch or two with the new growth.  Stick it in the soil medium, and water it until it develops new roots.  Then transplant it into your bed outside.

I’m eating horseradish now, as the wind whips by the farm, bringing with it the sting of a March going out like a lion.  We all knew it was abnormal to have sunburns at this time when we’re usually slogging through mud and snow.  Hopefully the rest of spring will even out in temperament.

Braised Pork with Vinegar, Horseradish and Mashed Potatoes


2 tbsp oil

2-3 pounds of pork shoulder, fresh ham, or chops

Salt and pepper

2 cups onions, sliced or small, whole

½ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup dry red wine

Parsley for garnish

2 tbsp prepared horseradish

In a Dutch oven or covered cast iron casserole dish, heat the oil.  Add the meat and brown on both sides, turning every so often (about 2-3 minutes).  Season with salt and pepper as you do this.  Use medium heat so the fat doesn’t burn.

Take the meat out, then add the onions, vinegar and wine.  Cook until the onions are translucent.    Shred the meat and return it to the sauce.  Serve over mashed potatoes.  Garnish with parsley and prepared horseradish.

Mashed Potatoes:

Russet Potatoes, quartered, scrubbed, but not peeled


Salt and Pepper

Put the quartered potatoes in a pan and fill 1/3 with cream.  Cook gently, covered, until the potatoes are soft.  Mash lightly (don’t mix them too much, or they’ll turn to mush) and season to taste with salt and pepper.   Keep warm.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Power of a Small Storm

I can’t recall how many times I’ve said this summer; thank god I’m not farming this year.  Not in the true sense of the word, anyway, not with apprentices and farmer’s markets on Saturdays and Wednesdays, not filling wholesale and retail accounts on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Fridays.

For one, we’ve had one of, if not the most rainy springs on record.  Our fields were so compacted that when we went to dig up the garlic, Kyle had to double dig them with a spade fork, and then I still had to pull and clean the heads.  They made it, though, and we’re selling all that we can process, just Kyle and I.  It makes for long hours sitting in the dust and chaff of the hay mow, cutting and trimming, then smoothing the outer dried and dirtied skins off.  Sometimes Pat the barn cat or Moomee  the housecat joins me, sashshaying back and forth, looking for attention.  Occasionally, a hen will enter and wonder what I’m doing there, sitting in the dusky light, peeling and humming.

As far as the other crops, most of the gardens have been rotated through cover crops that are intended to suppress weed growth and beef up the biomass in the soil.  Our mustard trials look like they did well:  they held the dreaded Galinsoga  weed at bay while feeding the honey bees and a myriad of other insect life.  Then, the plants contributed a ton to the soil, first mowed, then plowed into the earth.

After the mustard, we planted buckwheat for the bees.  It’s also a great weed smother crop, but there are those that swear cover crops don’t do anything to suppress weeds.

Which brings me to another favorite topic- the very idea of what is or isn’t a weed.  I try very hard to instill in my son the need to remember that destroying some form of life just for the heck of it is not acceptable; the line we draw on what we destroy is a little hard to justify, however.  Why, he asks, is it okay to kill a tomato hornworm, bent on destroying the tomatoes, but not the swallowtail caterpillar, eating through the dill and fennel?

Or how about the topic of the “invasives”, those plants considered a menace to ecosystems, like kudzu vine, or honeysuckle or bittersweet.  They’re taking over the landscape, changing it, altering the rest of the life there.

Then there are the honeybees, non-natives from Europe, who have almost certainly displaced natives here, but who give us sweet honey.  And how about earth worms, also not native, but carried over in the timbers of tall ships from across the seas, that now have permanently altered the soil structure in our forests and pastures and have most certainly added to its fertility.

Today, a thunderstorm has visited us twice.  First, with winds so strong that they brought down black locust trees and our fields of corn, just tassled and ready to begin ripening.  Hail, the size of marbles pelted  the plants and cars and machinery.  Beautiful to look at, but not so much if you’re a zucchini plant.   Or Nancy, the little Modern Game bantam hen, who miraculously hatched out five chicks and has raised four almost to fledging (independence).  At one point during the storm, I looked out and saw her and her brood being swept across the driveway in the wind and driving hail and rain, and screamed to Kyle and Bradford to come rescue them (I have broken my foot and am up to my knee in a cast, so am quite useless).    The two boys found the brood, stashed behind a rock here and a piece of wood there and brought them, dripping wet, into the house, to their cockatiel cage, where they reside at night.

Every time a thunderstorm comes, it fixes nitrogen, and thus it’s instant fertilizer.  That’s why it looks so green after a thunderstorm.  For this, I can give thanks; for my flattened corn, I’m not so happy.

Bradford and Kyle spent the afternoon cutting up the tree that crashed across the round bales of hay .  I swallowed a pit inside my stomach, watching my little son, who is not so little anymore, driving the tractor by himself to the pit with the tree’s limbs, while his father carved up the tree.  

It’s the little storms that seem to mask the big transitions without anyone noticing.   And in one summer, while the farm was at rest, my boy has been growing, fast- forward, toward not being a baby anymore.

Good thing this empty nest needs a wicked good cleaning.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


By the time we Vermonters reach April, we’re usually pretty tired of the raw, cold Northeastern weather. Even more so because the weather tricks us with brilliant days of sunshine and temperatures in the 60s, only to fall back down into the freezing cold 20s and blustery winds that accompany. I always tell people that it snows on my birthday (the 12th). Today, it’s snowing, spitting, not quite sure it’s ready to give up the ghost of winter. A winter, which I might add, is one reminiscent of the ones that I remember when I was a child- snowy, cold and long.

The snowplow knocked the entire western part of our fence down, careening mounds of snow from Morse Road into the adjacent pasture. Kyle spent two hours digging and burying new corner posts, just one small step toward fixing the fence that keeps the animals from jaunting down to Route 14. Which is what the calves (I call them the three mooskateers) learned to do, ditching over the downed fence, and running head-long toward the busy road. The ground was frozen when they first learned this game, so they’ve spent the last three weeks tied up in the barn. More work for us, mucking out stanchions, and less sunlight for them. Yesterday, the ground was finally soft enough that I was able to put up portable fencing to make a temporary paddock (I don’t want them out on the fragile pasture just yet), and out they went this morning.

For those of you who’ve never seen a cow cavort, it’s highly unnatural. Cows don’t tend to run for fun; they run if they feel threatened. So they don’t kick up their heels naturally, like a colt or a lamb would, and they don’t know what to do with their tails. Whoever decided that a cow can’t express joy has never seen one who’s been let outside after three weeks of confinement. They bark low grunts and blow foam from their mouths and bend their backs while trying to keep their feet under them (but they can’t resist the urge to splay them this way or that). They hold their tails high up over their backs, wagging them madly back and forth, like some victory flag. The mooskateers play Daytona 500 around the round bale of hay, not interested in eating just yet.

I fully intend to see them blow through the temporary fencing, because the calves have not yet been trained to electric fence, and the moms, well, they’re too blissed out to care.

Most of the lambs went to the Easter market last Sunday. The barn is slowly returning to normal, without 35 lambs running up and down the aisles and the 300 pound barn-bound calves no longer knocking over buckets and shovels and pulling halters off the walls. By this time last year, we had crops in the ground: lettuce, spring onions, spinach, chard and kale. The animals were out on pasture. In 2009, I remember Shannon and Tyler house sat for us while we were in Maine, and the temperatures soared to the 80s. Good thing I’m not trying to grow stuff for market this year!

Instead, I’m spending my time foraging in the woods for fiddleheads and wild leeks. May flowers are out (round-lobed hepatica), and the trillium and jack-in-the-pulpit are peeking up through last year’s leaves. Make no doubt about it: mud season is still in full swing. But spring is trying, and when it finally gets here, I’ll probably kick up my heels and dance like a cow in the sunlight.

mud season

pot hole

wild leeks

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Switch Hit

I teach Animal Behavior at Vermont Technical College. I have to admit it’s been challenging. Not only have I been out of the formal teaching scene for 9 years, but I feel like my teaching style is still back where it used to be: hands-on, visual, non-Power-Point or Blackboard oriented. For those of you oldies, like me, Power-Point dominates the teaching style. It’s computer-based, and a virtual slideshow with hyperlinks and imbedded images. You slap your pen drive into the main network with your class material, and voila, it magically appears on the screen, and the whole class is mesmerized by a slideshow. BORING.

Blackboard, or Moodle are online campus communication systems that allow the students to track their grades and assignments online. People don’t go to the library to read reserved material anymore; it’s on Blackboard that they just magically log into on their PC or tablet or iPhone.

Every part of the syllabus and class is virtually uploadable, so they can see if they’re failing or passing. Of course the input provided by the professor needs to be accurate: it wasn’t until week 9 that I realized I was loading quiz scores as assignments. When I made the switch, the grades changed dramatically. Whoops, sorry students…

One time I went to class and realized that I had attached the wrong lecture on the Blackboard, so they hadn’t studied for the correct material (major grade curve).

Another time I tried to explain the difference between positive reinforcement and negative punishment. Several students had the courage to point out the fact that I had completely reversed them. As a result, we have dropped this subject line completely until I have the gumption to try and explain it again…

Teaching is like farming, in the fact that there is a lot of switch-hitting going on. The difference is that in farming, when your plan falls through the floor, most of the animals and plants don’t know that you just bluffed your way through the day. When fifteen pairs of 20- or 30- something year-old eyes look at you and say: Really?- there’s not much you can get away with (if the corn doesn’t get weeded when you say you’re going to weed it, it’s usually a little more understanding).

Eleven year -olds don’t expect switch hits. In fact, my eleven year-old detests them. He would much rather have a routine than my potpourri of surprises. But I am about to embark upon the greatest switch hit I’ve made since graduating at the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Wildlife Biology. Back then, I noticed a job notice advertising for a volunteer seabird biologist on a remote Hawaiian Island; room board, airfare paid for, student loans deferred.

I lived on Tern Island in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands for almost four years, first as a volunteer, and then as the refuge manager. Five hundred miles northwest of Kauai, on a remnant volcano, surrounded by aqua-blue water and seabirds, seals and turtles, I had an experience that changed my life- for the better. If I had stayed in Vermont and assumed my job as interior decorator in the local store in Middlebury, I think that my life would be vastly different- and boring.

My eleven year-old is wired in. DSL, PSP, Wii, Dish, I can’t even keep up with it all. He doesn’t have any of those things, but I hear about them every day, and how boring his life is without them.

Still- he is ecstatic when the moon is so full and bright that it fills the entire backdoor window. He coos at the sight of the first gray squirrel we’ve ever had on the farm when he catches it gathering nesting material (there’s another squirrel in the area, apparently). His love of birds is growing, and he now has a flock of laying hens that is so productive that we supply a major grocery store in Norwich.

And so, it’s time for me to change it out. I’m taking the summer off from retail farming. Yep, it’s true. No pigs, no meat birds, no 2 acres of vegetables in production. Fallow fields with cover crops and green manures, fallow hoop houses, fewer sheep, and fewer bales of hay. I’m going to construct a Facebook event to barter the cows to a new farmer, with the stipulation that I get something back in the end. No turkeys, no Guineas, geese or ducks. No farmer’s markets. I’ll still have enough for us and for our small CSA, but, nope, nope and nope, I’m spending the summer with my son.

I feel as though I have an opportunity to do something with him for one last time as he changes from eleven to tweenager, and what I’d like to do is hike the Long Trail in Vermont.

Is this crazy? Some people think so. The majority of people I tell look at me, worriedly, like I’m giving up. But I’m not.

I have four freezers full of meat. I have shelves lined with canned vegetables, fruits, juice and jellies. I am farming, but I am concentrating instead on soil-building and conservation.

Is there the chance that I’ll lose my customer base? Yes, but I got it once, and I am confident that I’ll get it again. What I’m not at all sure of is that I’ll have a working relationship with my son for the next five years unless I take the effort to interact with him now.

I’m still a certified organic farm inspector for North Eastern Organic Farming Association, still a vet-tech at VT-Can! in Middlesex, and still a farmer. Just a different kind of one for the summer.

Today the hiking boots that I bid on through eBay arrived. Tomorrow, a high-tech flashlight will come in the mail. I have the tent and the sleeping bags. Now, just to convince the boy…