Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The days are flying by and summer is approaching! On the farm warm weather means tomatoes, peppers, corn, okra, black eyed peas, eggplant , green beans, garlic, and ........ flies. We have had a good showing of new potatoes and onions and the sugar snap peas have gone crazy! The cucumbers are finally making themselves known, as well as the summer squash. Even though the lettuce and spinach have slowed down a bit, the swiss chard has been valiant in growing quickly after cuttings. We picked our first blackberries and they were delicious. The raspberries will be a couple of weeks. We will probably harvest the first peaches next week. The green beans are a little slow, as we were not able to get them in as early, due to the wet weather we had. Our market is open on Saturday from 10:00 am until 4:00pm. We will try to have a good supply of vegetables picked, so everyone will have a good selection when they stop by. We will post what will be available for u-pick . We are not sure about the blackberries, as this is our second year and we were not supposed to get many berries, but the bushes have berries -a-plenty. We will certainly have some in the market, and if there are more than we can sell, we will go ahead and start the u-pick blackberries this year. Also we now have farm raised ground beef @ $4. 00 per lb. It is delicious,and very lean . From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!

Friday, May 21, 2010

With great sadness and heartfelt gratitude, we announce the closing of our strawberry picking season. The heat has taken its toll on the cool weather berries. We have picked a few and will have them for sale in the market along with the seasonal vegetables that we are harvesting now. Our market hours are from Saturday 10:00am until 4:00pm. We will have new potatoes, onions, sugar snap peas, beets, carrots, various squash, a few cucumbers, garlic, cabbage, lettuce, rubarb, fresh herbs, and whatever else we can find. We are looking forward to tomatoes, eggplant and peppers in a couple of weeks. Our goat milk supply is plentiful, but we do have a waiting list for cows milk, as we have a limited supply of it. Yogurt, goat milk cheese, kefir are also available. Call or e-mail if you have any questions, from our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!
It has been an eventful week here at the farm! We are still having a few stragglers having babies, the tomatoes are finally setting fruit, the okra has decided it is warm enough to emerge, and we lost our herd sire, to injuries he sustained while trying to prove he was the biggest and the best. Goats have a pecking order in the herd. If a new member is introduced into the mix, it is made evident immediately who is the leader and who is the follower. We raised a new buck this year to help with the breeding, as our herd is growing and we needed to explore a different lineage of dairy goats. Our existing buck needed a little help in the " AMORE" department . We have to separate the bucks from the does to protect the quality of our milk, so the bucks are together in a pen. Usually, after a few sniffs, and head butts, and a game of chase around the pen a couple of times, the boys settle down, realize who is the boss and turn their attention to eating and sleeping. Welllllll........ needless to say somebody thought he was the "cheese that standed alone" and was going to do whatever he could to rid himself of the young nuisance that was invading his space. He head butted and pounded and chased and butted some more. That young buck was running around and around the pen, trying to avoid a confrontation . We finally had to separate them as he was relentless in his efforts to bring the younger buck down. Well, the next day he was wobbling around as if he was drunk, and his head was swollen the size of a watermelon. He fell asleep that night and did not wake up the next morning. Kind of makes you stop and think, doesn't it! There are lots of lifes lessons that we learn here on the farm, and from this harrowing experience, we do not assume that older, bigger, and stronger, insures a long and healthy life. If you become full of yourself and are overbearing and dominating, your head may swell, but not for a good reason. So on that cheery note................. from our farmstead to your table thank you for all of your support!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

As we stroll up and down the strawberry rows, we smile at the struggling efforts of the plants to just give us one last burst of production. The plants have been gracious and generous to our pickers. We are so grateful to all of those who ventured to the country to get a sampling of home grown fruit. We will be picking for two more Saturdays, then we will close the strawberry patch until next season. We are looking forward to the summer vegetables as they are coming on, the eggplant and tomatoes and peppers are looking very promising. We are already picking squash and a few cucumbers.The beets, greens, onions, new potatoes, broccoli , cabbage, and rubarb and more, will be available in our market. Our market hours are Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00pm. We will update all on the progress of the blackberries. From our farmstead to your table , thank you for all of your support!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

As more and more visitors are finding there way to the farm, we have deemed it necessary to make our location a little more noticable as travelers pass by. This week we will be introducing our new "EAT AT JOES BAR AND GRILL"portable sign, complete with a flashing arrow and magnetic letters! I was opting for a nice, subtle, painted wooden sign, that would attach to the fence post, but Rocky was all for FLASHY!!!! Needless to say, when you visit us here in the country, you shouldn't have any problem finding where we are..... as if the rows and rows of strawberries and blackberries, and tomatoes, aren't a dead giveaway. Rocky promised the sign would be temporary, but that is what he said about my make shift chicken coop, 6 years ago. So in your travels up Hiway 377 watch for the R&C Dairy and Farmstead sign, complete with flashing arrow and big black and red letters. (Unless it is a windy day and we have to pull it in the garage so that it doesn't blow onto the neighbors roof!) We will be picking strawberries this week. Production is slowing down, but there are still quite a few coming on. We will pick on Monday and Wed at noon until pickout, and again on Saturday at 10:00 am. until pickout. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Isn't this just the darndest weather? We are really grateful that we don't have to irrigate the crops, but the mud is really a downer!My newest fashion accessory are my pink and blue high top rubber boots. If the weather clears, we will pick strawberries on Saturday. There are still quite a few coming on. Wear boots or old shoes as it is there is mud and mire between some of the rows. We are now having open picking so no reservations are needed as we will just let first come, first serve. Picking will start at 10:00 AM. If it rains on Saturday and is more clear on Sunday, we will pick on Sunday at 12:00 noon. The Farmstead market will be open Saturday from 10:00am until 4:00pm This week we have a few onions, new potatoes, zuccini, sugar peas, lettuce, spinach, garlic, some fresh herbs, and whatever else we can find that is ready, I think there may be one cucumber! Call if you have any questions, 903-429-2319. Or e-mail From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Today is come if you want day, as those strawberries just keep on bearing. They are not quite as big and not as plentiful as the first two weeks , but those that have come to pick have gotten all that they wanted. There was a little lull, but the rain, cool weather then sunshine, gave the berries a rebirth. We are letting those who want to pick, start at noon and we will be open until picked out! Wear old shoes or boots, as we have had rain again and between the rows, it will be a little muddy. Our guidlines are posted on last, last Wednesdays blog, the price is $2.50 per lb. u- pick. We will provide the picking baskets and take home containers. No need to call ahead today! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!

Monday, May 10, 2010

With this snap of cool weather , and rain we are anticipating that the strawberry season will continue through the month of May. We have had a great turn-out on Saturdays and through the week. The berries are getting smaller, but are still producing, as the mother plants are putting out daughter plants, which in Texas is such a travesty, as they will not survive the heat of the summer. Small patches of berries that are carefully watered, and sheltered from the heat have a chance of seeing the next year, but it takes a lot of careful tending and attention. Rocky's 3-acre watermelon patch is finally emerging from the ground. The summer squash is also producing. There is a big race against the tater bugs, as they are showing up on potato vines. I make a daily pass through the rows with my tin can knocking the bugs and larvae into it, the potatoes should be ready to harvest before the bugs do much damage to the plants. We will have farm raised ground beef available in the market in about a week @ $4.00 per lb . The bees are all hanging out at the neighbors this week as he has several hedgerows of honeysuckle! I am so anxious for our first honey harvest of the year. Speaking of bees, as I always end up doing, when the girls are out for the day gathering nectar and pollen, they will travel about a mile or two from the hive. When they return laden with the days gathering, they carry the pollen on their legs, like saddlebags. When they return to the hive they mix it in with their own secret concoction as they are producing honey to feed the members of the hive. The honey that we harvest, which is extra that we take after the bees have plenty in their storage, is put through a filter to remove any large particles of wax or debris and put right in the containers.No heat, or additives, just raw honey. The bees keep the hive at a constant temperature of approx. 92 degrees, summer and winter, so it flows easily when removed from the honeycomb. The market will be open Sat. from 10:00am until 4:00pm. We will be picking strawberries this Sat. May 15 at 10:00 am. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

We are anxiously waiting our third weekend of berry picking. We have had several repeat pickers, as the strawberries have continued to flourish. We hope to have 3 or 4 more weeks of berries, and if the weather cools a little we may be able to pick into June. The new potatoes are not quite ready, we are going to give them another week. The sugar snap peas are making, as well as the cabbage and greens. We planted the sweet potatoes this week, and as they take forever to make, we just kind of forget them until the fall. Rocky captured a bee swarm that just happened to be passing through. They were resting from their journey in one of our oak trees. With the help of Randy the bee-man, and a little sugar water, they coaxed them into a bee box and they have decided to stick around for a little while! We were able to capture the queen, and if she likes the new accomodations and she stays , the rest of the bunch stays with her. The nectar is flowing and the bees are busy, we should have a good honey harvest this year. Our blackberries are setting fruit, so we are looking forward to blackberries in June. Our market hours will remain Saturdays 10:00 am until 4:00, until the summer harvest starts . Our picking hours and days are Monday and Wednesday from noon until picked out. Saturdays from 10:00 until picked out. We have had several come at different times by making a special appointment, and that has worked out well. We are still suggesting calling to reserve a spot, as we are limiting the amount of pickers, so that the berry patch is not too crowded and pickers are not clammoring for a spot to pick.I have visions of Black Friday, and pickers squaring off over a cluster of sweet ripe berries! Our GUIDELINES are posted on last Wednesdays blog. Call or e-mail if questions. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Come rain or shine the strawberries are going to get picked! We had a great turn out Saturday for picking, even though the weather was iffy. This has been so much fun for us and as far as we have been able to tell, everyone has been able to get sufficient berries. We will be picking today, Sunday, and those that want to come, we will start at noon. We will limit the number of people, as that seems to be working well. Pickers can have their own row and are not stumbling over each other, fighting for berries. It takes longer to walk to the berry patch and back than it does to pick several pounds of berries. Our schedule will remain as is, open for picking again on Monday and Wednesday from noon until pickout, Saturday from 10:00 am till pickout. Reservations are suggested. All else is well on the farm, the blackberries are blooming and the peaches are growing on the trees. We should have new potatoes in a week as well as sugar snap peas. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

If you are checking to see if the pickin' is on for today, if we don't get a sudden monsoon in the next two hours, yes, we will be picking! Wear some muddable shoes just is case, as we had a couple of little showers in the night and it will be wet in the berry patch. If some of you do not want to take a chance, we may be picking tomorrow(Sunday PM) if there are berries and the weather is tolerable. Reservations are still suggested, as we have had countless calls for picking and if you reserve a spot, you will for sure get some berries. We are limiting the max. amount of berries on the weekend to approx. 10 lbs. If you want more, you can make an appointment during the week to come pick to your hearts content! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support