Monday, March 28, 2011

Strawberry U-Pick Update!!!

The daily strawberry field inspection finds the berries right on schedule,...... as far as we can tell. The projected date for the picking season to begin will be Monday, April 11, the time will be 9:00am. Throughout that first week we will also pick Tues, Thurs. Fri. Sat. morning at 9:00 am. Depending upon the amount of ripe berries, we will determine the number of days open each week the following weeks.  Most likely it will be Mondays,Wednesdays, and Saturdays. We planted more strawberries this year, so we are not requiring reservations. We want to make sure that your trip to the farm is fruitfull! We will provide the containers for you to pick and take home . We have several sizes to choose from, the price of the berries will be $3.00 lb. As we are a working farm and have farm equipment and animals thereabout, we have some guidelines for your visit to make sure that it will be a pleasant experience, with no mishaps. #1. Wear clothing and shoes for walking and picking. The berry field is a short walking distance from the market. Sun hats or caps if needed, as well as close toed boots or shoes.  Our fields are in sand, and there may possibly be mud. Jackets if it is cool. We will not pick if it is raining. #2. Keep what you pick, only pick the all the way around RED berries as they will not ripen after being picked. #3.We fertilize with old, broken down poop. We suggest not eating the berries until WASHED for it is a sure fire guarantee you will have a mouth full of sand that has blown onto the berries, not to mention what may have splashed up on them in the rain. We do not spray for bugs, so a thorough rinsing would  be a good idea in case any critters are hiding undetected.  We will have a big bowl of washed berries for you to taste to your hearts content  # 4.We ask that there be one adult for each child under 8 years of age, for supervision. #5. No matter how tempting it is we ask that you not walk on the beds that the strawberries are grown in. One tear in the plastic mulch will require hours of extra work for us. We will not be able to give tours during picking times, but welcome visitors to attend our Open House on June 4 for a complete run down of the farm and its activities. More on that will be posted later. #6. We will show you how to pick the berries from the plants, and provide a place for you to wash them. We welcome all to our farm and hope that you would respect our home and our livelihood, as we would respect yours.  Snacks and beverages will be available to purchase from the market. We have a new canopy with picnic tables provided. As picking time approaches, we will continue to post updates and information . If there are questions, call or e-mail and we will answer them for you, From our farmstead to your table thank you for all of your support !!

Friday, March 25, 2011


If you haven't tried goats milk soap it is a sure bet that your skin has not been soft as a babies bum, since, well, you were a baby. I am here to tell you it is the answer to what ever ails your epidermis. Dry skin? Excema? Zits? Wrinkles? well maybe not wrinkles, but your skin will be forever grateful if you bathe it in an all natural bar of Goat Milk Soap! When making the soap, I use the old fashion cold process method. The soap cures for several weeks. There is a list of ingredients sheet available with every bar of soap. Each bar has the purest base oils, coconut, palm, palm kernal, olive, almond, avacodo, with coco butter, shea butter, and honey added.  I only use essential oils and herbs for fragrance. There are various scent combinations. Oatmeal and Honey, Tea Tree Oil, Vanilla, Eucalyptus/Mint, Citrus, Lavender, are just some of the varieties we make. For all of you manly men, we have just the soap for you. Timber/Musk. Your mate will not be able to resist the woodsy, earthy smell!! When the farmer uses it, he kind of reminds me of what it might be like to be married to Paul Bunyan,..... without the Ox.  The bars sell for $3.50. What a bargain! Next week the update on the Strawberries and whatever else is happening. From our farmstead to your table thank you for all of your support!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Honeybee Heaven!!!

"When I grow up I want to be a big juicy peach!" We dodged the freezes and the frost, we survived the blustery winds and unless we get a hail storm or a wildfire, we should have some luscious peaches this season. If we can decide on an ice cream machine, the fresh peach ice cream will be a welcome treat on a hot summer day. The Farmer has had a busy week preparing the ground for the okra, corn and the melons. The next two weeks will be busy getting the rest of the crops in the ground, as the last frost date has passed. The old timers claim that there is usually one last frost before Easter, but as Easter is so late this year, we are going to throw caution to the wind and get it all in the ground. The potatoes are popping out of the soil, the broccoli is starting to head and the asparagus plants are giving it their all. Since nature has a way of doing things her way, we are only a little surprised at a variety of blackberry bushes that are already starting to bloom. The strawberries are looking sooooo fine. Next week picking information will be posted, our guidlines, prices, hours, etc. The market will have plenty of kefir, goat cheese, buttermilk etc. this weekend. Sorry we were so short last weekend, it was necessary to fill goat milk orders first, now the milk line has plenty of contributors, so there is plenty of milk for the other goodies. The cow milk is going to be a little slight for a little while, as LuLu is taking a sabatical while preparing to calve again. Poppy still has several weeks before she calves, so Godiva is trying to feed the masses with her daily offerings.  MARKET HOURS: Thurs. Fri. Sat. from noon until 4PM. We are available through the week if milk is needed, just call and we will set up a convenient time. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Introducing Wallhemina, the Goat Nanny Extraordinare!!!!

We would like for all to meet one of the most indispensable members of our goat family, Wallhemina! She is a gem! She keeps all of the babies content, as she feeds them any time they want to eat. She warms up their milk lets them eat a little snort of a whole belly full. She and I are best friends, as she lets me get a good nights sleep, without any complaints she takes care of all of the night time feedings. I can spend my time with them cuddling and playing.  She will feed just one or she will feed a whole pen full of hungry baby kids. She makes my life so much easier and even though she is an immigrant from some far off country, we communicate very well and the babies just love her to pieces! I am not in the least bit concerned that the Farmer will get a wild hare and decide to run off with the babies Nanny!!! I find myself wanting to cover her up, but I guess that would defeat her purpose, so we just hope visitors to the barn are not offended by the bold display of her assets. Remember this is a farm, and nature will show you all sorts of things here, you may not see anywhere else. From our farmstead to your table , thank you for all of your support!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

You Got Me Over a Barrel!!!!

Nightime in the Nursery!!

We are knee deep in babies, babies and more babies! So far, all are doing well. The Farmer had the brilliant idea to breed the does all at the same time, within a two week period, so it has been nonstop labor and delivery! Looking on the bright side, in a few days, all of the babies will be born, and we will have gone from "zippo" goat milk to "muchas a lottas" of goat milk (the Farmer claims he is bi-lingual). We had our Spring Market opening this weekend. It was like a  family reunion! Looking forward to seeing everyone else as the season progresses. The strawberries are looking especially hearty. If we don't get a late Spring freeze or a sudden hail storm, our strawberry U-Pick season may start a little earlier than we expected. Should have yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, some goat cheese in the market this coming weekend. And for you pork eaters, the addition of bacon, chops, ham steak, not to mention the breakfast sausage, are irresistable! ( Thanks be to Arnold and his bodacious sister Abigail) may they rest in peace...... on our plates...... . I realize you may think me a little tacky and insensitive to their plight, but they were raised with the intent of providing no hormone, antibiotic free, with no preservatives, meat.  And as they were getting a little mean and aggressive, I have enjoyed them much more in the afterlife! People ask us, "How can you eat an animal that you have raised?" It is a bit of a controversial subject, we realize, and in our defense might I explain that we decided to raise our own animals for food, instead of buying .... who knows what at the grocery store. No " mystery meat" found at our farm.  We would treat them well, be good stewards over them as they are enjoying the comforts of a leisurely country life. We never take for granted the gift that they give to us, in the form of healthy and nutritious food. ( And I might add, it is a little easier to eat the mean ones, and one day I will share the tale of the viscious rooster with nine lives, and my trusty silver bat that I used for protection). The Farmer and I are from a long line of farmers and ranchers, always having a one on one relationship with a large portion of our food. We are happy to be able to share it with you!!  The market hours :  Thurs. Fri. Sat. from noon until 4:00 pm. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hello, Pretty Baby, Welcome to our Family!!!

I'll Push if You Catch !!!!

The midwives have been busy this week. Finally, the babies are arriving. The girls are just taking it all in stride, but as for me, I never get tired of the anticipation of each new birth. I am the nightwatch, they all seem to expect me when I sneak out in the wee hours to make sure all is well. I know that they feel assured that they will have help if something goes amiss, or they need a little tug. The first of the goat milk is here!! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Market Opening!!

The market will be opening for the season next Thursday, Mar. 10. Our hours will be Thurs. Fri. Sat. from noon until 4:00 pm. We will have ground beef, bacon, varieties of sausage, honey, preserves, baked goods, fresh eggs as well as some of the first of the season lettuce, swiss chard, spinach, onions, possibly asparagus. Followed a little later by broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy.  A fresh supply of goat milk soap will be waiting. As it is the beginning of milking and planting season, some items will be a limited supply. As the season progresses, much more will be available.  The goats will have started producing milk, but for the first couple of weeks there will be a limited amount, until all of them have freshened. At which time, we will have yogurt, buttermilk, kefir etc. available.  The target date for Strawberry picking is April 17, more info will be posted closer to that date. Blackberry picking will start following the strawberry harvest, around June 1. This year we will have a large selection of  seasonal produce. Along with the squash, tomatoes, cukes, peppers, eggplant, carrots, beets, etc., we are expanding our corn field, so if all goes well, will have an abundance of fresh corn. Last year some yellow watermelons were requested, we will have some delicious yellow, as well as red melons, and an assortment of cantaloupe and honeydew. As the produce is ready in the field, we will have it in the market. Depending on the success of our crops, there may be other U-pick options, especially the black eyed and purple hull peas, and grean beans. We look forward to a wonderful season, and are anxious to see the return of old friends and we welcome everyone to come visit our farm. We are planning our Family Farm Day on Saturday, May 14.  We will be giving tours, having demonstrations, providing entertainment, a fun day for the entire family. More information will be given closer to the date. We look forward to seeing you, from our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Doc the Cook and Vanilla Extract!!!

 During my youth I had many wonderful adventures and met a broad assortment of interesting and colorful characters. Due to the fact that my father  made some varied investments our family had some real estate holdings. One of the most unforgetable was a cattle ranch in Montana .(Stay with me here, I will get to the gist of my tale.) Part of this ranch was on the Crow Indian Reservation, the land being leased from the tribe to run cattle. The ranch was complete with a bunk house, horses, cowpokes, branding season, the whole kit' n kaboodle. We would spend summers there living the life of real honest to goodness cow punchers.  We had several hired hands, mostly drifters, to tend to the every day chores on the ranch, and as it was far from the city or anywhere else for that matter, we had  accomodations for the workers, a bunk house where they would sleep and eat. And we had Doc! Doc was an aging retired army cook that made the best biscuits that ever passed your lips. He could rustle up a meal for twenty ranch hands, in no time at all. ( Now for the crux of my story) Doc had a slight penchant for, as it was loosely labeled in the old West ," Firewater"! Being out in the middle of nowhere, the ranch was not the most accessable for this slight indulgence. This did not deter him one little bit. We noticed that when he filled out the request for supplies every week, he would request a quart of vanilla extract, needed exclusively for  his special vanilla ice cream, his tasty vanilla puddings, his secret recipe vanilla pound cake, and his insistance to make his own vanilla wafers! Needless to say, I am sure my parents were aware of his noticebly obvious scheme, and they probably let him get by with a little nip now and again, but I did not realize until later in life when I started researching how to make my own everything, the true components of Vanilla Extract. Whoopeee!!!!! Being a teetotaler myself, I had to do some serious research as to the best hooch, as the Farmer calls it, to use with my Organic Vanilla Beans, shipped all the way from Madagascar. I went by smell, and the best smelling to me, the ultimate butter eater, was Rum! Now, FYI we sell Vanilla Beans and homemade Vanilla Extract in the market. I would be happy to give instructions for making your own. It really is superb. You may have to keep it on the top shelf in the kitchen cabinet, as to avoid any undo temptation, but it really is tasty....... so I have been told. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!