It is that time of year again, when we fire up the Ely Farms kitchen and do some serious pickling!
It has been a great summer to raise a crop in southeast Nebraska. While much of the south has been experiencing a drought, we have been very blessed and fortunate here in southeast Nebraska with an abundance of rain and excellent growing conditions. This years Ely Farms bell pepper crop looks to be a good one. Currently, the peppers on the plants are only green. They have not yet began turning to reds and yellows. We will typically have one green pepper picking in early August before the peppers turn later in the season. We had our first Green Bell Pepper picking this week (Week of August 1st) and they were excellent! My family and I will be leaving for a short vacation, but will return back to Grafton, ready for another picking, and the annual Pickling of Ely Farms Pickled Bell Peppers! Time to start getting the fresh bell pepper recipes out! Also just about time to get our Pickle on!
This past week, I had the opportunity to talk with Daniel Delaney over the phone. He emailed me, asking Ely Farms if they would be interested in having our product featured on his webpage. I was not interested at first, as I have an advertising budget to follow, and I like to keep most of this budget local in my hometown of Sutton, Nebraska. However, after I had a chance to talk to Daniel for a while, and check out his webpage (http://danieldelaney.com/wtf/), I became very interested, and more so impressed with what he is doing. You see, Daniel Delaney is a food media producer and entrepreneur, who launched VendrTV, a weekly web video series about street food. He is a young guy, who is creative, and working hard doing something he loves. He has vision, and is following that vision. “On a mission to find the best street food around,” Dan and his crew set out to discover mobile great foods from Maine to California, and everywhere in between. Daniel is currently developing a television show, and working on his first book, both about street food. But what I found most interesting about Daniel is that in 2011, Daniel made his New Year’s resolution to learn about new foods through a daily web series called WTF: “What’s This Food?” Consequently, Dan re-launched his website, www.DanielDelaney.com, to organize all his recent food projects, including his new food blog, Delaney Eats. What’s also very cool, is that Ely Farms is a sponsor on Wednesday, May 25th, and Daniel is working on putting together a video about the history of bloody mary’s, and will wear an Ely Farms T-Shirt, and will use Ely Farms Pickled Asparagus spears in the episode he produces. This will be available online on you tube. I am super excited about this opportunity. I really think Daniel is onto something here!
Wow, what a weekend of basketball. Did you happen to catch the late games on Friday night? The Kentucky-Ohio State game goes to the wire, and then we finish up the night with an OT game of the cinderella stories, VCU & Florida State-game goes to OT and VCU continues their incredible run. So we were down to 8 teams. I was almost sure there was no way Saturday’s games could measure up to Friday night, until the Butler-Florida game. If you didn’t see it, watch some highlights on you tube, because it was crazy. I still don’t understand each team throwing up three-pointers to win the game, when all they needed was a good drive and a high-percentage shot (Floriday), but then again I’m not a basketball coach-and never will be. Maybe Butler can take it all the way this year, and make up for a would be game winner off the rim last year? Or maybe VCU will be the greatest upset team in college basketball history. Personally, as a fan of the underdog 10 times out of 10 (unless is involves Nebraska sports), I would LOVE to see the winner of the Butler/VCU game take home the title. It’s a great year to watch the tournament if you are a fan cinderalla stories, and last second shots. It’s been so good, it will hard to say goodbye to March 2011. But then again, I guess the reason March is special is because it only comes once a year! So until next March, enjoy the Final Four games.
I had an opportunity last night meet Jim Ryun at the 2nd Annual Nebraska FCA Legacy Banquet. I purchased a signed copy of his book, “The Courage to Run.” Jim spoke at the banquet, and had a tremendous message to share with the audience of nearly 500. His message was about the challenges he has had in his life, how he overcame them, and what he has learned from them. If you are not familiar with Jim Ryun, he was one of the running “Giants.” There are certain names in the running world that nearly everybody knows, because of what they have accomplished, and Jim Ryun is one of those names. In 1965, Jim set the male High School Mile record at 3:55.3-a record that stood for 36 years! He participated in three summer Olympic Games in 1964, 1968 and 1972, winning a silver medal in the 1,500 meter run in 1968. Jim also held the world record in the mile, 1,500 meters and 880 yards. After his running career, Jim served as a Congressman for the 2nd Congressional District of Kansas. After hearing Jim’s message last night, I was so impressed! He is a man of trustworthy character, faith, and courage-he has such an incredible story. Jim Ryun has a running camp, and you can learn more about the camp online at http://www.ryunrunning.com/default.asp. Also, enjoy the following clip of Jim setting the world record in the mile in 1967 with a time of 3:51.1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlwS0Fyq8vk. I encourage you to learn more about Jim, his story, and his book.
It is hard to believe that March is already here! There is a tornado outbreak taking place in southern Kansas/northern Oklahoma this afternoon, and I have been following some storm chasers updates online, and watching some of their live streaming video as the wall clouds form and begin to rotate. Pretty cool stuff! This year, for the first time, my friend and I are set up with the computer program and GPS to locate and track tornadic supercell thunderstorms. I got to thinking about this today, and why I am so interested in the weather. Isn’t it funny how each individual has certain interests and passions that make them unique? Some of these unique passions can even be seen in people when they are young. For example, I have been interested in the clouds and weather since I was a little kid. I would be outside watching thunderstorms and the clouds and lightning shows as they would roll across the plains towards our house, while there was nobody else in my family who had any interest in them.
On another note, Nebraska girls and boys state basketball tournaments will be taking place in Lincoln, Nebraska these next two upcoming weekends. High School state basketball tournaments is always a special time in Nebraska. Growing up in a small town, I have learned how communities come together to support their youth. I especially enjoy the first round games that are played in high school gyms in Lincoln. There are entire towns that pack the gyms, and the noise level and excitement just echo’s the tradition, work ethics, and competitive spirit of each community. It really is special!
With spring around the corner, I have been thinking about hitting the running trails, which for me are the gravel and dirt roads in rural Fillmore County Nebraska. Last September I ran the Omaha Half Marathon, which was my first competitive race since high school. After the race I asked myself why I went 5 years of my life (college) without racing! It was a great experience, and it felt so good to be in the best shape of my life. I followed a very basic novice training plan from Hall Higdon, which I found on http://www.halhigdon.com/halfmarathon/novice.htm. It was a great training program for a first time Half Marathon runner, and I would recommend it to anyone who is running a half marathon for the first time.
Last year, I did not run any road races to help prepare me for race day; however, this summer, I would like to run several road races. There are road races all across Nebraska, which can be found on the following webpage: http://www.runningintheusa.com/race/List.aspx?State=NE. Running road races is a great way to get in race shape for a half or a whole marathon. So many people don’t understand why runners, run. To that question, I have the following response:
1) Relieve Stress
2) Physically condition your heart and lungs
3) Health Benefits-Studies have shown the health benefits of running to be enormous, reducing the likelihood of everything from the common cold to cancer. Your stamina will increase. You’ll lose weight.
4) Many say they are at their most creative and lucid, even meditative, during their runs, as the worries of the day slip away. Confidence increases as you push your own limits, meeting goals and often surprising yourself by exceeding your own expectations. Running is a sport of discipline, sometimes of sacrifice, and always of self-reliance.
Because of these reasons, I have decided that as long as I am able to, I will run! Speaking of runs, how about the run the Nebraska men’s basketball is making? Regardless of how the season ends, it has been great to see a well coached team who nobody expected to be on the NCAA bubble with four games remaining, playing with confidence. There is a lot of Nebrasketball energy in the state of Nebraska right now. GO BIG RED.