Lodi by the Numbers

Lodi Historical Building

Lodi Historical Building, aka 1 of 2 de-consecrated churches

Thinking about what the different Lodis of the world might be like got me wondering how our Lodi would stack up in the statistical analysis.

Here are the cold, hard facts about Lodi, New York

Population: 1476
Number of libraries: 1
Number of post offices: 1
Number of bars: 1
Number of museums: 1
Number of ice cream shops: 2
Number of de-consecrated churches: 2
Number of active churches: 1
Number of de-consecrated churches for sale: 1
Number of wineries: 5, Kings Garden Winery, Lamoreaux Landing, Wagner Vineyards, Silver Thread Vineyard, Shalestone Vineyards
Number of gourmet restaurants: 2, Suzanne Fine Regional Cuisine, Dano’s Heuriger on Seneca
Number of craft breweries: 1.5 (Wagner Valley Brewing Company and rumour has it that a store front on Main Street of Lodi is going to be a brewery, but that rumour’s been going on for at least 2 years)
Number of empty store fronts on Main Street: 5
Number of boat slips at Lodi Point State Park: approx. 18
Number of annual bluegrass festivals: 1, Pickin’ in the Pasture
Number of Blue Moon Festival (precursor to Pickin’ in the Pasture) t-shirts my brother owns: at least 4
Cost of annual membership in the Lodi Historical Society: $10
Number of different kinds of meat on the menu of the Lodi Rod and Gun club breakfast: 3
Number of Lodi residents named Jim Covert including my Dad (until a few years ago): 3
Number of sheep, cows, horses, chickens and barn cats combined: hard to know, but my guess is that it rivals the number of humans
Number of blogs about Lodi, NY: 1

Are there any factoids I missed?

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All the Lodis of the World

Lodi, California

Lodi, California

Last night while having a drink with some good friends who visited Lodi in the dog days of summer last year we developed a fabulous plan: I should visit all the Lodis of the world. Ok, fabulous may not be the right word… how about ambitious? Single-minded? Hare-brained?

Lodi is a relatively common name for U.S. towns. I once counted at least 13 in a U.S. atlas.There are Lodis peppered across the country: in New Jersey, Ohio, California. It makes you wonder if that many settlers were familiar with the Lodi in Italy that I assume is the original Lodi for which the rest are named.

I do have a bit of a head start on this project: I’ve already been to Lodi, New Jersey. Sadly I saw no more of it than the road sign on the highway as I was driving into New York City, and perhaps that was enough? I’m not sure that the part of New Jersey near New York City would be considered to exemplify the state motto as the Garden State.

On one of my Great American Road Trips of the last 8 years I’m sure I’ve been to at least one other Lodi, but I really can’t remember where. Ohio? Indiana? Wisconsin? Clearly this Lodi didn’t make a huge impression on me either.

Seeing as it’s mid-January in Ottawa, I’m happy to do some California dreaming and imagine a trip to Lodi, California, that of the famous song. Being stuck in Lodi, California might not be that bad seeing as we have another 3 months of winter ahead of us here. Sigh…

Of course the capper to this whole project would be a pilgrimage to the mothership: Lodi in Italy, where it all started. I don’t know too much about Lodi, Italy, except that obviously a lot of people left it. But the Italian Lodi is sure to be chic, fashionable and replete with delicious food around every bend, at least more so than the Lodis I’m already familiar with.

To be fair, I think I will give myself the rest of my life to accomplish this and thus avoid the pressure of a time limit. That being said, perhaps a summer road trip hitting several of the most *fabulous* Lodis is in order…

Grandma’s Cooking in the Lodi Kitchen

Now that I’m concentrating more on cooking these days I am reminded of the great food that I grew up with. My mum is an excellent cook and I have always learned a lot from her about cooking and continue to do so. But the food that your grandma cooks is always a bit special–probably a bit more indulgent because she’s cooking for her grandchildren. I have so many memories of wonderful food that Grandma cooked in the Lodi Home Farm kitchen.

Now the kitchen in the Home Farm in Lodi leaves a bit to be desired by today’s standards. There is very little counter space and the storage space is cramped and fractured. Cooking or baking in the kitchen can be frustrating when you’re used to more modern kitchens–you don’t have enough room to spread out, things can’t be found easily and if there are more of two of you in there you will knock into each other so many times you want to throw everyone out of there so you can finish cooking.

One of the features of the kitchen is the huge old fashioned enamel double sink that greets you when you come in the back door. I think this sink is the same one as was installed when the house first got running water. It’s old, it’s rusty, it’s chipped but the water runs out of the tap and drains out the bottom so at least it’s doing its job.

Grandma was a great cook. I remember so many of her delicious meals, especially her scalloped potatoes that we would often have at the holidays. Grandma almost always served a side salad with all meals, and that would often be a lettuce leaf with a dollop of cottage cheese on it topped with canned fruit–heaven!

My dad was always a big fan of my Grandma’s cake and jello–a winning combo to be sure. The cake was often a single layer of cake baked in a rectangular pan and iced on top. The jello often contained delicious items within like canned fruit, raisins or shredded carrot. The art of really great jello-making I fear is lost on the current generation. Sigh.

One of my absolute all-time Grandma faves were these special cookies that I just loved. They were chocolate cookies with white icing on top and though it’s a pretty straightforward recipe, the fact that these were cookies with ICING on them pretty much blew my little mind.

But the very best of all was that when we visited Grandma we would have cookies for breakfast. How great is that?! I’m not sure if this was a grandchildren special event or if she always had cookies for breakfast, but I’m inclined to think it was the former. Now these were definitely nutritious cookies–they had raisins and nuts in them, which makes them like muffins or something, right? I’m not sure many current nutritionists would endorse this, but I guess that’s what Grandmas are for.

Lodi Resolutions 2010

Garden Bounty

Garden Bounty

Well this is the time of year that we make resolutions and set goals for the year to come, and I thought I’d jot down some areas of improvement for our various Lodi projects for 2010.

First of all, this blog was a New Year’s resolution for 2009 but I resolve to continue to blog about Lodi because I get a lot out of the experience. Plus I think I enjoy a pretty special niche in the blogosphere as one of the very few Lodi bloggers. 😉

Here are a few other goals for Lodi projects in 2010
1) The Golding Farm. This is a big one, but the improvements we made to the Golding Farm property last year were so great that we need to capitalize on this momentum and push through to get things up to a level of being able to rent it out for vacationers. This is no small feat and will take more strategizing, investment and elbow grease, but suffice it to say that Golding Farm improvements are definitely a big goal for 2010.

2) Garden goals
-better organization of garden plots: I want to apply a little more logical structure to the garden next year and plant things in cohesive rows instead of amorphous blobs.
-better labeling of everything we plant in the garden, by name and variety
-better assessment of garden hits and misses (i.e. this variety of tomato is better than this other one) in order to make more informed choices in the future
-grow tomatillos. I got hooked on salsa verde last year and so really want to grow our own tomatillos to keep the supply coming!

3) More and better canning and preserving. One thing I learned as a byproduct of doing the actual gardening was what to do with the stuff you grow. In 2010 I want to be even more strategic about dealing with the fruits (ahem, pun intended) of our labours and improve the ways we preserve the great food we grow. More sauces, jams, salsas, chutneys… here we come!

4) continued improvement of Home Farm grounds. In 2010 I want to continue the work we’ve done on some of the perennial patches on the grounds. We need to tame the raspberry/fern/lily patch right outside the back door of the house in the first set of improvements. I also would like to work my way around the property identifying areas of healthy perennials and removing the weeds to let them grow. This may be a long term project… but we have to start somewhere.

5) create a tame raspberry patch. There is a lot of wild raspberry around our property and I have a theory that if we can tame it and tend it properly it will actually yield delicious raspberries. I will test this theory in 2010 and maybe by 2011 there will be crazy amounts of fruit to allow for Resolution #3.

Ok Coverts–any other Lodi Resolutions you can think of? Getting the tractor going this year, perhaps?