Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pickin' in the rain? Probably not! There are lots of pickers scheduled for Saturday, and the weather man is forcasting showers on Friday and Saturday. Even though we are anxious for the rain, as we have so many other crops planted, it will definately put a damper on the strawberry picking. We will be very flexable. If it is not raining Sat. afternoon, we will pick until pickout. If it rains on Saturday then the weather is good on Sunday, we will pick Sunday afternoon, starting at noon. In either situation, there will be mud....... again, so dress your feet accordingly. We will then try to get back on schedule with Monday and Wednesday from noon til pickout. We will update the blog and the answer machine this weekend with information. Phone : 903-429-2319 From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We are gearing up for round 2 in the strawberry picking marathon! Last week was a whopping success, we have realized that next year we will need to plant more berries. We have reservations into the month of May for visitors coming to pick. This week is almost booked ! We do have a few spots left, but we are trying to match the requests with the amount of berries that we have ripened. We were anticipating pickers getting a few pounds, but picking them is almost like an addiction, "oh, just one more, oh just this one, oh, I had better pick that one, it is so big and juicy looking!" When they come to the market to weigh their berries, they have lots and lots of berries. The GUIDLINES FOR PICKERS are simple : Picking days and hours Monday and Wednesday from Noon until pickout, Saturday from 10:00 until pickout. If there are sufficient berries, special appointments can be made at other times. * Dress for picking, closed shoes, jackets, hats, etc. *Baskets available for picking, containers for take home.*What strawberries you pick, you keep, they will not ripen after picking, so pick the red ones. *Samples will be provided that are washed. Unless you crave poop and pepper tea, ivory soap and sand, don't eat the berries in the field until washed. * Berries are picked by the whole stem, gently pulling with the thumb and fingers. * Children are welcome if they behave well. * All under age 12 will require an adult for each. Constant supervision of young children is a must, as we do not want any harm to come to anyone here at the farm. This is a working farm and we have animals, bees, farm equipment, etc. We want your visit to be fun but safe. * Strawberries are $2.50 lb u-pick and $3.75 picked. If there are any questions, just e-mail or call and we will respond as soon as possible, from our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

WHAT A DAY!!! Thank you to all that came to pick berries on our opening day, braving the mud and cool weather. When we have families come from miles around to our farm and are so appreciative of what we do, it makes all of the work worth it and inspires us to keep on plodding along with our planting, and hoeing, and watering, and picking, etc.etc.etc.....I get tickled seeing the excitement children get, seeing ponies, baby goats, and chickens, and the curious questions that are asked like "where are the strawberry trees?" "why does that girl goat have a beard?""What happened the all the feathers on that chickens Butt?""That parrot keeps asking me "What are you doing?" and telling me"I got a problem." ( I have failed to mention that we raise parrots, also.)Everyone was so gracious and treated our farm with reverence and respect. We are looking forward to the next picking day which will be Monday from noon until pickout. We are taking reservations for the next Sat. May 1 and the spots are filling fast. Call or e-mail and leave your name and the number of persons in your group and contact information and we will contact you to confirm your spot. We will start at 10:00 on Saturdays , Noon on Monday and Wednesdays. We will still take special appointments if there are sufficient strawberries to pick, at other times more convenient for pickers.We look forward to seeing you, From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thanks to all that have called to make reservations for U-Picking strawberries thus far! I can compare the anticipation of anyone actually coming , to having a big party with all of the food and entertainment, and inviting anyone who wanted to come, and then worrying that no one would show up! All of the spots for this Saturday are spoken for. We are looking forward to our first day of picking and being able to share our farm with those wanting to visit. Rocky has almost finished the new market, the old barn tin is left to put on the front and the sink and hot water heater are left to be installed, but it is useable as it is, so everyone coming can meet us there. For those that did not find our address on our website, or the previous blogs, we are at 40 Crossroads Rd., Collinsville, Tx. There is a map link on our website Be sure to wear muddable shoes, as the weatherman says possible rain Friday night. FYI we do have rest room facilities on the farm, it is a little walk, but it is accessable. Also we accept cash and checks, we are a little too "back woods" for credit cards. For those that cannot make it this week end we will have picking on Monday from noon til "pickout" and Wednesday noon til"pickout". I already have some reservations for those days as well as the following Sat., so let us know if you are wanting to come, as the spots are filling fast. The season should go through the month of May, as long as the weather stays temperate, the blossoms will set fruit. From our farm to your table, thank you for all of your support!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

STRAWBERRY UPDATE !!!!!Yipeee!!! We have strawberries, and better than that they are red!!! And BIG!!! We will be opening for U-Pick on Sat. as planned, so if you would like to come, give us a call or a e-mail and we will hold you a spot. We have several spots still open, so just let us know. We will open at 10:00 AM. Just come to the new market building on the corner of Hwy.377 and Crossroads Rd. We will give you your instructions and picking baskets. As it may rain here on Friday, and we have had some showers this week, wear old shoes or boots. In the Spring on this farm, you either walk in mud or poop! There is a neverending supply of both. Next week, we will have open picking on Monday and Wednesday from noon until pickout or 5:00 pm. And we will open on Saturday May 1, at 10:00AM. If there is a time that you would like to come other than the times we are open, if there are ripe strawberries, we can schedule you a time to come pick. Call or e-mail if you have questions, We look forward to seeing everyone, from our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A watched pot does'nt boil and watched strawberries don't ripen! I find myself consumed by the progress of the strawberries checking several times a day to see if anything red pops up anywhere. The plants have berries and blooms and are growing nicely. Many of the berries are "biggens" as my grandchildren would say. Studies say that one strawberry plant will produce about a pound of strawberries. We planted about 8,000 plants. Oh, My....... thats a lot of strawberry shortcake. We are still hoping for this coming Saturday, April 24 to open for the U-Pick. We will know by Wed. if there are going to be plenty of ripe berries, if not, we will open the following Friday, April 30. As we will allow so many persons in the berry patch to pick at one time, we will take reservations for a picking spot ahead of time. Call or e-mail your name, number of persons, and phone number. Our address with a map link is on our website. our phone # is 903-429-2319. Parking will be designated. Picking baskets and further instructions will be given at the market building. Check previous Strawberry updates for guidlines for picking . We will continue to post updates on the blog. We were able to get all of the crops in this week before the rain, except for the melons, and sweet potatoes and those will go in in a couple of weeks. Rocky gets a little carried away with the planters. His concept is if a little is good, a LOT is so much better. What we are going to do with 10 rows of okra 8 rows of beans, and 600 tomato plants , I'll never know. My canner and dehydrator will be going day and night! We look forward to seeing everyone as harvest season begins. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

STRAWBERRY UPDATE -PART II As the target date of April 24 approaches we will continue to post the days and hours for U-Pick strawberries. Saturdays 10:00 am till "Pickout" or 2:pm, whichever comes first. Monday and Wednesday Noon till "pickout or 5:00pm which ever comes first. We will also accept special appointments at other times if there are sufficient berries to pick. If more than 20 lbs. of strawberries are wanted at one picking, a special appointment is suggested. All of this information is conditional with the weather and ripening conditions. If there are not sufficient berries on April 24, we will postpone the start date a few days. We will post updates here and announce information on our answer machine. From our farmstead to your table thank you for all of your support!
STRAWBERRY UPDATE!!!! The berries are looking good, and we are still hoping to start picking on Saturday April 24. We are suggesting guidlines for pickers to make strawberry picking at our farm a pleasant and memorable experience. We will not have picking police to see if you are following them or not , but we trust everyone will respect our farm and all of our hard work in growing what we do for you to enjoy. * Dress for picking, closed shoes, hats if it is sunny, jackets if it is cool. * Baskets are available for picking, and containers for take home, no extra charge. *What you pick, you keep, strawberries will not ripen more after picked. *Samples will be provided for you to taste, that are washed. Unless you crave poop and pepper tea, ivory soap, and sand, don't eat the unwashed berries in the field. *Berries are picked by the whole stem, gently pulling with thumb and fingers. *Children are welcome if they behave well. All under age 12 will require an adult each. *Parking will be designated, picking baskets given at the farmstead market. There is a small walk to the berry fields, so plan on a little excercise. We do have a golf cart for those who need a ride. We will have juice and bottled water for purchase at the market. The berries are $2.50 lb. or $3.75 lb. prepicked. Any other instructions will be given at the time of picking. As this is our first year with stawberry u_pick we are not sure what to expect, but we will try to make it a wonderful experience for all. We will continue to update the berry progress! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The ponies have arrived! Lovely Capri and her daughter Patches have come to live with us. I am scouting around for a" hot date" that the two of them can share so that we can have some baby ponies on the farm next year. A friend of ours has a very handsome miniature stud that has some foreign lineage that I am sure will impress the little ladies. Hopefully by fall festival time, Rocky will have a pony cart ready so that we can show the children around the farm in style. We have had a very productive week here on the farm, we were able to get the mulched beds put in for the warm weather crops and they will go in this week. The strawberries are slowly but surely making their progress, we are still hoping for April 24 for the start of strawberry picking. I am going to post our guidelines this week so all will know what to expect when visiting. We also added on to the beehives to entice the girls to stick around. We have some very strong hives that we will be able to split this spring, as sometimes there is mutiny among the ranks and the workers start to develop queen cells to produce another queen or two, and when that happens , it usually starts the bickering, backbiting, catfighting, and other nonsense, so to keep the peace, we just separate a few, give them their own queen and their own home, and let them live peacefully ever after until it starts again next Spring. Makes you stop and think, doesn't it?From our farmstead to your table, thank you so much for all of your support!

Friday, April 9, 2010

STRAWBERRY UPDATE!!!! Our little plants are making lots of berries, we should have a bumper crop this year. After mulling over the hours we had set, we decided to make a few changes, we have had several calls from families that want to come pick, but our hours through the week conflict with school, so we are going to change the time on Monday and Wednesday from noon until 5:00pm, so we will have some after school picking. Saturday will be from 10:00 in the morning until "pickout".If we have sufficient berries we will accept special appointments at other times. It would be advisable to call ahead or e-mail and check on availability before you come. We will allow so many persons in the strawberry field, if you call ahead we will put your name on a list and make sure that you have a picking spot when you come. Next week we will post our guidlines for pickers so that you will know what to expect when you come. The price of the berries will be $2.50 per lb. We will have some already picked for an extra charge. We will provide the picking baskets . All of this information is weather dependent. Naturally we will not be picking in the rain, or if there are few berries to pick we will close until more are ripe. We have a habit of flying by the seat of our pants, and as this is our first year with the u-pick strawberries, and we will have some kinks to work out, you will all be flying with us! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

If you have never had the opportunity to see a goat baby circus, you have really missed out! We have our own acrobats, tumblers, high wire walkers, dancers, and clowns. We do not have to leave the farm to see first class entertainment at its best. The only thing we lack is cotton candy! As Spring progresses and we watch everything growing, we are getting excited as to what we will be producing on the farm. We weathered the cold and snow pretty well, so the fruit trees should have a chance to bear fruit. The strawberries are blooming and setting fruit and it is such a sight to look across the field and see the dainty white blossoms polka dot the leaves. Our target date is still April 24, which is a Saturday. Next week we will post the guidelines we will have and more specific information for pickers. The dairy has been busy as we now have plenty of milk, so we are able to start making cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, soap etc. We are entertaining the idea of a CSA in certain areas to help those that have a long commute to the farm. We will deliver a basket of "Farm Goodies" a couple of times a month to a central location, where it can be picked up during certain hours of the day. Since we have dairy, produce, meat , baked goods, honey, sundries, it would be convenient for some. We will keep you updated on that idea. Our next big project is to requeen some of our beehives.(It always comes back to the bees!)Did you know that when the queen gets a little older, she gets the wanderlust , decides that her digs are just a little too crowded, so she rounds up about half of her daughters and decides its time to look for a more palatial home.....and leaves. She usually ends up in a tree trunk, or between the walls of a house or in someones attic..... It makes you wonder doesn't it? We try to stay one step ahead of her and just add another story onto her house.From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

As I am waiting for the sun to rise, to go cut asparagus for the market today, I reflect on the season and the celebration of life and the many blessings that each day brings to us here on the farm. The work is arduous and never ending, shoveling poop and picking up afterbirth in the fields to deter coyotes may seem a little gross to some, but it is just what we do. Our date night consists of a stroll around the farm after everyone is fed and tucked in for the night to make sure no one is stuck in a fence, or lost in the pasture. We check to see if the animals and the crops have plenty of water. We make sure the gates are all locked, as animals are natural born escape artists....... we end the evening with a bowl of home made ice cream. Our lives are simple but so complete. As we find it necessary to venture to the city once in a while or go "out in the world" as we call it, we are so grateful to come home to the special peace and quiet that exhists on a busy, working farm. We are happy to share our little piece of heaven with you, and welcome you to our world. We know that we have been given stewardship of this land and the animals to nurture and cultivate, and we will do our best. Hopefully we will be able to sustain our selves and our animals and give back to those who have supported us in our efforts. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!