Hello, my name is Thom Marti
My wife, Judy and I thought we would each introduce ourself to you. I am Thom Marti. I am 57 years old. I have never really worked a steady job, but have been a geologist, a navigator, a farmer, a carpenter, a steel worker, a mechanic, a junk man, a janitor, and a few other odd ball vocations. I always thought a job was something you did when you needed some money; then when you had the money, you quit the job. I guess that I’m lucky that I was always attracted to farming, because there is so little money in this job, I have been able to stick with it for 24 years. I must admit, that I have enjoyed living out our youthful hippie fantasy of having a small farm. A lot of my friends have gone off to make big $$ in high stress jobs – it has killed a few of them, and doesn’t seem to have done the others much good. I think what keeps this job so interesting is that the climate keeps changing on us. In 1983 we bought this place knowing we were solidly in Climate Zone (CZ) 6B , in the Pa. Blue Ridge Mountains. By 1990 we discovered that we had moved into CZ 6A, which used to be in the Pa. foothills about 50 miles to the SE. Then by 2000 we found ourselves sliding into CZ 5B another 50 miles to the SE, into Piedmont Virginia. Now with this non-winter, I’m wondering if we just crossed the North Carolina line, heading South? I guess my chore in keeping this new-fangled web site, will be to keep the Farm Journal and Almanac. I will also be working on getting my thirty years of beer, wine, and hard cider making recipes posted. Eventually we will be adding some of our favorite CSA recipes, including “Raspberry Smoosh”, “Apple Sass”, and ” ‘WOW’ Horse Radish Sauce” . Our recipes are not very fancy, but they are just like the ones our great grandparents made, from the produce they grew on their small family farms, when we were kids. Warning! You are going to have to start planning and planting to follow my recipes, since the first step in each recipe will be: “Plant the appropriate fruit tree (or small fruit bush, or perennial root, or annual vegetable).” You see, I’ve got an hidden agenda; I will sleep better at night knowing that all of you are growing some of your own food, just in case something happens to the cheap food supply that Global Agribusiness, Inc. has been feeding this over-populated world with. Some of my friends are waking up worried in the mornings thinking about this. As for me, I say, ” Don’t worry about it – Do something about it! ” Stay tuned… Thom Marti
Hello, I’m Judy Marti
When I sing at a festival or coffeehouse I introduce myself as a farmer, folksinger-songwriter-songcatcher. That says most of it. My folk repertoire includes traditional and contemporary Irish, English, Scotish and American folk music, and it includes a good number of my own compositions. My own music tends to reflect the style of farming and life I’ve chosen to live, with a strong penchant for environmental issues. I play guitar and banjo, and I sing.
In the late 1980’s, I became an apprentice to Ola Belle Campbell Reed, an old-time banjo player and songwriter. She taught me the style for which she became known. This was one of the more memorable projects that I’ve been involved in. I got to know Ola Belle and Bud Reed, and I still play the style of banjo Ola Belle taught me. I recorded the sessions and have written the biography of Ola Belle Reed, with music and banjo tablature in the song section. One day soon it will be published and you can read about it in the Broad Valley Orchard Publications section. This is my first great experience at recording and documenting music as a folklorist would to make available for the public to use. This is what a songcatcher does.
In the late 1970’s, I was involved in public radio, KTOO, in Juneau, Alaska. I also performed a good deal locally in the pubs and at the Alaska State Folk Festival. When we lived in Moscow, Idaho, I performed locally and at the Palouse Folk Festival. There were coffeehouse music gatherings at the University of Idaho and Washington State University that I performed at a number of times. When we lived in Falmouth, Mass., I performed at a few restau