Aug 182013

This post is not really about anything I did today but rather my life goals, including those that may be achieved or at least helped along by my time here at Athens’ Own.
I don’t really know what my life goals actually are yet but I do know what I want now for my life.
I think that working here at Athens’ Own is and will keep helping with those things stated in my HG.

Quality of life:
I want good health, both mental and physical. This job is constantly testing my mental and physical health in everything I/we do, therefore making me better at those things.

I want financial stability and to be debt free. Working here at Athens’ Own has and is providing me with more money per week than I had made before working here so I am well on my way to having that financial stability that I want.

I also want meaningful friendships. Working with AO has given me so many opportunities to meet new people and become better friends with the people I already knew.

Forms of production:
I want to pr0duce profit from meaningful, fulfilling and worthwhile work. I am constantly producing profit, both monetarily and mentally from my work with AO. This work does mean a lot to me for various reasons, the first being it’s fun. It’s fun to work at the farmer’s market and to do a bunch of the other things that AO does. That fun is mental profit for me. The work is of course worthwhile simply because of what it is that Athens’ Own does. We are constantly working toward community resilience and sustainability, which I think is very worthwhile. It’s also worthwhile just to see people enjoying the food at the farmer’s market, whether it’s something that I cooked up or something else, like the coffee or the bologna.

I want to participate in activities that are fulfilling and inspire growth and development. Working at AO is fulfilling and certainly inspires growth and development. I am constantly learning new things, things about food, about the business of running a small business among many other things of course. I also think that after writing all these logs, my writing skills have improved over what they were before.

Future resource base:
I want the land to be healthy and sustainable. I am always learning how to live sustainably and resiliently through working here at AO.

I want to be known for high quality products and services. People constantly return to Athens’ Own at the farmer’s market and such because they know they can get a good quality product and a friendly smile when they come.

I want to live in a community where people take care of each other and make decisions with future generations in mind. That’s what AO does.

That’s what I’m doing with AO in relation to my holistic goal, but that’s not all I’m doing. I’m not exactly sure what my goals are from working with AO except that I want to learn. I could probably easily get a job at Walmart or Kroger and those jobs are probably quite easy but those jobs don’t involve any learning, it’s just “Hello, find everything ok?, your total is $__.__, paper or plastic?, have a nice day.” I don’t want that. Right now, I want a job where I can learn things. I want to learn things, even if they don’t really apply to my long term job goals (which I don’t really know yet) because learning is learning, good experience is good experience, and so on. Even if I don’t yet know what I want to do the rest of my life, I don’t think that means I shouldn’t learn whatever I can now. My only known goal now is I suppose, learn as much now in order to become the best I can at whatever I do later. That goal is being greatly helped by working with Athens’ Own.

Aug 182013

Quality of life:

1. I want good health, both mental and physical.
2. I want financial stability and to be debt free.
3. I want meaningful and enjoyable friendships and relationships with friends, family and co-workers alike.

Forms of production:

1. I want to produce profit from meaningful, fulfilling, and worthwhile work.
2. I want to participate in activities that are fulfilling and inspire growth and development.

Future resource base:

Land- I want the land to be healthy and sustainable.
Community- I want to be known for high quality products and services.
People- I want to live in a community where people take care of each other and make decisions with future generations in mind.

Aug 132013

Since I haven’t written and posted any logs recently,  I am writing an update/summary of what has happened since my last log.
I of course don’t remember everything that’s happened but the high-point is the fact that I can package most everything by myself without a hitch. While Alyse and/or Constantine are off doing something else, I can continue and package the coffee, cashews, olives and probably even the cheese. As for today (the 13th) I made my first solo delivery to Seaman’s. Granted I didn’t take all that I could have, just coffee and cashews, but I still did it alone without any major problems. The one small problem was that I didn’t get the calculator from Alyse before leaving so I wasn’t able to double check all my math on the invoice. The inventorying and stock went smoothly though: I went in and inventoried everything, putting their quantities down on the inventory sheet as I went. I then went back out to the car and got out all the products that should be put in the store to bring them up to their usual numbers while also putting them on the invoice. I then went in, counted everything for the guy at the door and then finally put everything on its shelf where it belongs. The only problem in the end was that I had added the total wrong, but it was caught by the man I gave the invoice to in order to get a check.
I think that this can sort of go with my last post about the changing of gears in that since I started at Athens’ Own again and what I was capable of then, I believe I have certainly shifted some gears in my abilities and my speed in existing abilities.

Jul 142013

On Thursday morning, Constantine and I started by him asking me what it was that I do that “gets me to the next gear”, as if in a car. I think that he asked because it seems that I don’t really “get excited” or even move fast while working with Athens’ Own. Anyway, I said I thought I “changed gears” when I do something like mowing. I didn’t really know why, but I thought maybe it was because I wanted to get it done faster and finish sooner. I wonder if that means that I don’t really want to finish my current activity with Athens’ Own or what. One other thing that I have thought of since that conversation was airsofting. Whenever I get in an airsoft war with my friends, I really get really involved and active in that activity. Now I need to “transfer” those actions (speed) and mindsets (wanting to be involved more) to working with Athens’ Own. One thing that I should transfer is the ability to take any situation and make the most of it. While mowing, I try to do the best job I can, even if the grass is too long or wetish. It gives me the opportunity to see what works best/worst in those situations. The same with airsoft. I can try out different strategies and work toward becoming proficient with the best one or two. Again, I need to get that into my Athens’ Own work.

Later that morning, once Alyse got there, we went into the the kitchen at ACEnet and saw some cinnamon bread that Crumbs had left out. We of course had to ask if they were freebies. They said they were because they had gotten slightly stale and hadn’t sold out front. That didn’t stop us. We took a loaf of that bread and got some butter. We put the butter directly into a skillet and placed the bread slices right in it and let it sizzle. After a flip or two, we had some awesome grilled cinnamon bread. After the Crumbs guys ate a loaf or so of that up, we made some more, only this time we tried it as french bread. Couple of eggs, cinnamon, some sugar and the cinnamon bread. With some cinnamon sugar and maple syrup, it was just as good.

I think that using that stale bread in those ways was the beginning of making the best of opportunities that we may not like at first. The bread was stale and by most standards, was not usable. But we found a way to make the best of it and turned it into a couple awesome things to share for breakfast. I now just need to find ways to do that in all the other things I do with Athens’ Own.

Jun 212013

Tuesday was a bit different because I had an appointment to go to so I only went an hour and a half to begin with, In that time, we made some new egg salad. Constantine was trying to teach me throughout making it that my obligation is not only to make really good food, but also for the eater’s safety. I’m responsible for creating food that is safe to eat, that won’t make whoever eats it sick. I do that by cleaning everything: sanitizing cutting boards and making sure everything is quite clean for the next time it is needed. I also need to often wipe and clean the cutting board and the table while I’m using it to ensure a clean environment.

On Thursday, we didn’t do much because Constantine decided not to come in to “test” us so Alyse and I did some things on our own. First, we took my list of the menu for field day and got everything ready to order. After we did that, I went and cooked some more onions and sliced turkey for the market and for field day.

On Friday, Alyse and I went to Constantine’s and Kathy’s house for the day. First we talked about the kitchen and how it all connects. We started with just food and the six basic needs.( Food, water, shelter, air, health and education.) We want healthy food. That food should be locally sources, and not just sourced but produced and grown locally too. That food must obviously come from a farm. That farm should be a small/family owned and operated. Family owned should ensure that the skills needed to operate that farm will survive. In order to grow nice healthy food, that farm needs clean air and clean water meaning that the farmers need to be good stewards of their land. Also, they obviously need health to do what they do and education to teach others to continue doing what they are doing. That is somewhat what I am doing right now.

Jun 172013

Last week, Alyse was gone on vacation so Constantine and I were on our own again. On Monday, we started by doing the usual coffee packaging, which I did beginning to end by myself. We did other things that  I don’t remember because  I didn’t write this when I should have. Afterwards, we went to Seaman’s and did it mostly by myself with Constantine watching over. We also went online and ordered a bunch of new hotel pans for use at the market. We got a water pan in order to make a steam table to keep many things warm while using only one burner. Tuesday, the main thing we did (that I remember) was we went to Jackie O’s to pick up more grain. We had gone the previous Saturday but there was more to pick up. I hadn’t yet done a grain pickup  so that was new and fun. I liked seeing how it all fits together in that we pick up the grain, the grain gets delivered to either Redbird Ranch or Regional Pride (I don’t remember which, but I’d guess Redbird Ranch), the grain gets fed to the cattle, the we get the meat from the cattle and then Jackie O’s or somebody else gets the aged meat from us. I liked seeing that circle. On Wednesday, the market went well despite the heat and the fact that I gad to leave early. I didn’t come in Thursday so I can’t really write on that. Friday , we delivered more burgers to Jackie O’s and then went down the street to the bank and made a deposit. Lastly, the Saturday market went pretty well even without Alyse. It was a good week over all even if I didn’t write this log when I should have in order to get down everything that we did.

Jun 042013

On Monday, we first started by bagging coffee, which I did mostly by myself and I am probably able to do it next time completely by myself. After that I bagged some cashews while Constantine worked on a nice old coffee grinder that he had acquired. After we had finished with those things, Alyse and I loaded up and went to town. We first went to Seaman’s and inventoried and stocked them. I did 99% of everything this time around from marking the inventory to writing the invoice. I do now believe I could, if needed, inventory and stock Seaman’s by myself, which is something that I have been working toward. We also went uptown and while Alyse was inventorying Jackie O’s, I went to Bagel St. deli and gave them a bag of coffee then went up to Salam to check their inventory.
On Tuesday, I started by grating cheese for the market and wrapping/labeling cheese for Seaman’s. We then mixed up more marinade for more tofu and then cooked some up for everybody to try.  Once done with all the of that, we worked on some egg salad, both to eat and to serve at the market on Wednesday and if there’s any left, for Saturday. Again, I did this mostly by myself, and it still turned out pretty good seeing as how I haven’t made any egg salad in probably a year. After that and until I had to leave, I/we conducted a cost analysis for the egg salad to determine what we would need to charge in order for it to be worthwhile for us to sell it at the farmers market. I hadn’t done that before so that was new.

May 202013

We have been asked if we can provide a kitchen and therefore cook at the Athens County Amateur Radio Association’s Field day event and I in turn have been tasked to evaluate that request. First, if you don’t happen to already know, field day is a 24 hour amateur radio event spanning the US and Canada, the goal of which is to contact as many stations as possible in that time. It usually takes place outdoors and with emergency power like solar power or a generator and so it’s sort of a test of amateur radio groups abilities to act in an emergency situation. Our role with the kitchen would be to provide food for all the hams working there and as a test to ourselves for the same thing: our ability to respond to and work in an emergency situation. I do believe that this field day event  is a good test because it is just like a normal emergency in that it is outdoors (not in the comfort of our homes), requires emergency power, lasts for a full 24 hours and we will even be working with the radio group as well which will make the experience even better. All these things are good if we intend to become a good team, especially if we want to perform well in an emergency situation. Above all that, I can’t think of one good reason not to cook at field day.

May 142013

Monday, Constantine and I mainly only bagged coffee and cashews. The difference was in that Alyse was not here because she is still at her camper leader training camp, so Constantine and I had to manage by ourselves. It really gave me a chance to do both tasks without someone watching over and guiding me the whole time. I had to do them from start to finish mostly by myself (because Constantine was busy working with a broken scale) which is good because I now better know how to do them both all the way through by myself. That’s a good thing because if for some reason neither of the mare able to come to ACEnet, I am better able to do these things without assistance, if needed.

First on Tuesday, Constantine and I talked about me making myself a nice little workspace at home to keep all my AO papers and things safe because I seem to be able to lose whatever I bring home. After that, we mixed more cashews because we had used them all up on Monday. He showed me his style of the whole mixing process which was slightly different from Alyse’s. Both styles have their pluses and their minuses. After the cashews, we worked on pancake mix, which I had done anything with before. We started with mixing the flour and everything for the mix first, which was fun. After we mix all 75 pounds of it, we went on to bagging it. The pancake mix uses the same bags as the coffee does but is done a little differently in that the pancake mix goes in a separate plastic bag inside the paper one to keep it safer and so on. The paper bag also gets a single staple in it so that people don’t mess with it and open it. So another fun day with new things involved.

May 122013

Friday, Constantine and I first bagged a few bags of Highlander grog because we had only one bag left, which is not enough for the market the next day. That’s pretty good because that means that means the rest that we had bagged Monday or Tuesday had all been sold somewhere in the community. After we did that, I sauteed some more onions for the markets because we were getting low on those as well. Once the onions were done, we mixed some sauce to marinate tofu in. We made the sauce and cut three packages of tofu and put them in the sauce to start marinating. I also took two sandwiches worth and cooked them as I would at the market; tofu with onions and cheese on a birdseed bun. I don’t normally eat tofu but I did quite like this one as did the Crumb’s people that we gave some to.

After all that, we checked the coffee makers and their progress. (If I didn’t say before, we left the the tanks with the heaters full of vinegar to break down all of the deposits so we could clean it easier.) We opened them up and as expected, one of them was quite a bit better than the other one. The one, the calcium came right off when brushed and so was quite easy to clean. The other one wasn’t so lucky. It had a different  sort of deposit on it and the vinegar did not do nearly as good a job on it as it did on the other one. We cleaned the first one pretty well and then put the second one back to soak more and hopefully when we next check it, it will be cleanable.