The grow house is filling up with seed starts to plant when the frost date passes, the middle of March. This week we were able to get the rest of the broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce and spinach in the fields. The warmer weather crops such as corn, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, cucumbers etc. will be planted later. The warmer weather is producing slight buds on the fruit trees, even my cherry trees have signs of life! Our days are spent preparing for the new market and milking season. The girls are just waddling from one resting spot to the next. All of my pumpkins saved from last year for seed have finally rotted to my liking on the back porch, so I can now harvest the seeds. Actually, the Farmer told me to do something with them or he will toss them all to the chickens, as he discovered that nothing was dead in his shop, it was just rotten pumpkin stench seeping through the walls. Wait until he smells the fermented tomato seeds! The market will be opening March 10, and will be open from noon until 4PM. Our hours will be the same, Thurs. Fri. Sat. from noon until 4PM. The hours will be extended when picking season begins. The freezers will be stocked with meat, the chickens are redeeming themselves for their unproductive spell, we finally have eggs, we will have some produce, and the goat milk supply will be starting for the year. The target date for strawberry season is April 17, if they are ready. Updates will be posted . From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!
In the immortal words of my favorite Farmer "You can never have too many potatoes!" Funny, that is exactly what he said about the 5,000 onion starts, the 300 tomato plants, boocoos of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and lettuce plants, and everything else we are planting. I applaud his enthusiasm and am grateful he enjoys working our little piece of land in an effort to produce delicious homegrown fruits and veggies, but I am silently pondering...... a Potato Festival, contacting McDonalds, or wondering where to find out how to make potato flour. I am just grateful that nearly everyone I know likes potatoes in one form or another. We are in a planting frenzy this week, it feels so good to be out digging in the dirt. We have set the carrots, beets, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and since the good Lord saw fit to protect our little onion starts, and the strawberry plants during the arctic chill, we will not have to replant those. We are eagerly anticipating the opening of the market on Mar. 10. We may not have a big selection of produce for a couple of weeks after we open, but later in the month we should have assorted greens, asparagus, green onions. I have been saving some honey, so that we would have some to hold us over until we start harvesting this coming summer. We are adding an extension to the front of the market, where we will have picnic tables to sit and enjoy a snack......maybe some home fries or potato salad, how does a bowl of potato soup sound? We will be serving up some homemade ice cream, made with our fresh picked fruit when the fruit season starts. I know all will be loosing sleep in giddy anticipation, we surely will. From our farmstead to your table, Thank you for all of your support!
The last basket of tomatoes, nearly finished. I know that I should be so grateful for an abundant fall harvest, I should not complain about the seemingly never ending supply, I should humbly acknowledge the opportunity for preserving these precious fruit and should look at this as a labor of love. We thank all of those who graciously accepted bags of tomatoes slipped into their shopping bags, left on the back seat of their vehicles, snuck onto front porches during the night..... and did not bring them back. I realize that there are many people in the world who do not have tomatoes, I am ashamed to say that I secretly thank the winter freeze fairies for biting the remaining fruit hanging in the barn, OH, DARN!!! not to worry, ( the chickens will have a feast).These dried tomatoes will be used in the tomato and basil goat cheese, Yummy! We are making preparations to open the market. Our opening date will be Thurs. Mar. 10. Our hours will be the same, Thurs, Fri, Sat. from noon until 4:00pm. When the U-Pick berry season starts near the end of April, we will extend the hours. We are anticipating the girls to start kidding the first week in March, so hopefully we will have goat milk at that time...... and maybe a few tomatoes! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
As I am slowly approaching the "Golden Years" I have decided to explore just exactly what Grandmas do.....so that when I reach that period in my life, in the not so distant future, and as I watch as my precious grandbabies are growing into little people, I will be well prepared and not have to fumble around trying to hit and miss, and can be right on with every Grandma Thing that I attempt. I believe it is a general concensus that all grandmas make cinnamon rolls! I have spent the last two weeks experimenting with evey type of flour, sweetener, berry, nut, leavening, oil, and spice, that can be put into a cinnamon roll. The freezer is full... if I died tomorrow, my legacy to my grandchildren would be 25 dozen cinnamon rolls. I know that they would honor my name, and respectfully declare to all of their friends that " My grandma made cinnamon rolls......lots and lots of cinnamon rolls." Hopefully, I will outlive the freezer expiration date on the cinnamon rolls, and as I attempt to tackle more stereotypes of Grandmas, think of my grandchildren and wonder if they would be proud of a Grandma that could Hula Dance???? Come get some cinnamon rolls!!! We will be selling them in the Market!!! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!
The girls are patiently and not so patiently waiting for the Farmer to bring them a fresh, warm, drink of water. Our days have been a constant flurry of breaking ice and hauling water...... replenishing hay mangers, and hauling more water. A cow can drink 20 to 30 gallons of water a day, with several cows, that's a lotsa buckets of water! The goats are a little less demanding. We weathered the deep cold snap pretty well. The main concern is that the animals would be smart enough to migrate to the sheds and stay put. I finally convinced the chickens that they were not snowbirds and that walking barefoot in the snow was less than desirable. No sooner than I would carry a hen back to the coop, another would race through the door to the chicken yard and the new fallen snow. I finally got them all penned up and the door securely shut, not feeling a hint of guilt that they would be on lockdown for a day or two. Under our main barn, the goats have each burrowed a hollow in the hay and dirt, making a comfy nest that is seldom vacated. Even though our goat milk supply is nil, we are grateful that we waited until March for the babies to start their appearance into the world. The cows are another story. For some reason, they just seem inclined to stand out with their rumps to the wind, in the worst weather imaginable, with a secure shed not twenty yards away! Go Figure!! From our Frosty Farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!
Winter time is a ssslllooowww... time for bee colonies. The hive is in survival mode. The Queen is in the middle of a huge cluster of bees, and they keep the hive warm by flexing their wings, and taking turns migrating to the middle of the cluster and back out again. The entrance to the hive is reduced so that the guard bees don't have to work so hard to halt unwanted guests. What might you ask are the bees doing flying around outside in the middle of winter? Well, if the temperature is above 50 degrees, they will take turns taking potty breaks outside of the hive,( I can't imagine having to hold it all winter!) and the maids will clean house inside the hive. If we were successful in our feeding assistance, the bees should have enough food to last until early Spring, when the nectrar will start to flow. We left quite a bit of honey for them also, as some of our hives were newbies. We still have honey from the fall harvest, and hopefully the supply will last until summer, when we will start to harvest again. The farmer has been contacted by several persons, that have hives on their properties, in very inconvenient places, so we will be retrieving some hives as soon as the weather warms to add to our bee family. The target date for the opening of the market is Thurs. March 10. We will resume our Thurs. Fri. Sat. days and noon - 4:00pm hours. When the berry picking season starts in April we will extend our days and hours.We are planning our Spring festival, Saturday, May 14. This will be a family fun day with farm tours, demonstrations, food and entertaiment. More details will follow. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!