Thursday, December 27, 2012

WHAT ARE THE ODDS????

Last year, on Christmas eve, Zoey gave birth to a bouncing baby girl, to whom we gave the name Noel. This year on Christmas eve Zoey gave birth to a strapping baby boy, who will be known to all on the farm as Jingles. Momma and baby are doing well, despite being born on one of the coldest nights of the year. Our cow milk volume will increase considerably, as this is Zoey's second freshening, and she looks like she is toting around a milk banquet. The snow was a surprise on Christmas day. The below freezing temperatures mean lots of extra work on the farm, as extra food is needed for the animals to keep warm, the water needs to be thawed for them to get a drink, heat lamps need to be set up for little ones to keep warm. The ice and snow are a mixed blessing, as we need the moisture in the ground, and the fruit trees need the chill hours. The market will be closed until January 11, 2013. Special appointments can be made for the next couple of weeks for dairy pickup. Just give us a little notice as to when you will be coming. The goat milk season is over until February, but thanks to Zoeys addition to the bucket, there will be plenty of cow milk. Jingles agrees to share with us, if we don't get too greedy! Santa Claus found the farm, and left a new fangled T.V with a gizmo that records shows....... one without a big tube sticking out the back. The Farmer and Son hung it on the wall, just like you would a picture or a mirror. Now the boys on the Farm Kings can invade my living room, shirtless and sweaty, with brilliant color and life like clarity any time I want. We want to thank all of our farm supporters for a very good year. We appreciate you and the efforts that you make to come out and purchase what we produce on the farm. We are looking forward to a bustling new year, with the addition of another greenhouse, finishing the tree planting in the orchard, growing some new varieties of fruits and veggies we have discovered and whatever else the Farmer and Son decide to do. We hope all have a very Merry Christmas and wish to you a very happy New Year. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

CHRISTMAS TREATS FROM THE FARM KITCHEN!!!

This is the time of the year, when a good share of the kitchen gadgets get to shine! The chocolate and caramel dippers, the cake pop maker, the nut roaster, the dehydrator, not to mention the choppers, mixers, and whiskers. The kitchen floor stays crunchy and sticky, no matter how many times I mop, the counter tops are covered with completed and soon to be completed Christmas goodies. The Farmer claims he begins his annual month of bachelorhood, as I entrench myself in sugar, flour, nuts, chocolate.... early in the morning, until late in the evening. My granny Venna, was a top knotch baker and candy maker. People would consider themselves privileged if they received some of her Divinity or something she called Penoche. Until I completely trust my candy thermomoter, I will put those recipes aside.  I am really an average candy, cake, and cookie maker,  and I have probably  have overweight, diabetic chickens, as they get a good share of my goofs, of which there are quite a few, but it has become a tradition for me that heralds the holiday season. I anxiously stock up on all of the ingredients that may be needed for peanut brittle, peppermint bark, turtles, pralines, nut clusters, English toffee, jar breads,  and more. What I don't give away we sell in the market, so if you have a hankering for some pretty good Christmas sweets, stop by. It kind of warms the cockles of my heart when when someone asks " Did you make those caramel chocolate pretzel poles this year? they were sure enough yummy! " The hard freeze we had, nipped a lot of the winter crops back, we were able to save a few things. The greenhouse has produced lots of tomatoes, so there will be tomatoes for Christmas. The Farmers son is shelling pecans, so we also have Texas pecans for sale. Alas, the goat milk season has ended. We will begin again next February. The cows are diligently picking up the slack. Due to some crossovers from goat milk to cow milk it would be a good idea to call ahead for availability. MARKET HOURS: Friday from noon until 4:00 PM, Saturday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Special appointments can be made for dairy pickup throughout the week.  From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

SPRING? NO, WINTER!!!!

The pastures are brown and dry, but the hoop house is bursting with green! We are harvesting the first of the winter tomatoes and peppers. The trays are full of starts to plant for winter. Middle sister was visiting from Boston for Thanksgiving, getting ready to return home to prepare for snow. Don't you just love Texas? The Farmers Son went through the strawberry fields and picked a bowl of strawberries. Apparently the plants are not saavy to the fact that it is December, about 3 months too soon to start producing. The menfolk have started on the second hoop house. Due to the draught, and the fact that the ground is hard as concrete, both of them peter out after trying to drive about two posts into the soil. At the rate they are going, with 44 plus posts to go, I will probably have a finished hoop house just in time for the millenium. Far be it from me to complain, as I am grateful for all of their efforts. The goat milk production is nearly over for the year. As we survey the pasture hosting the maternity ward, we can see the signs of impending motherhood. We will start the new milking season in February. The cow milk production is holding steady, taking up some of the slack of the goat milk.  The Christmas season is fast approaching. We are preparing some holiday treats for the market. Lots of seasonal cookies and candies. Nothing says a gift from the heart, like a handcrafted bar of goat milk soap, or a box of  homemade Texas pecan pralines. Market hours: Friday from noon until 4:00 PM and Saturday from10:00AM until 4:00 PM. Special appointments can be made throughout the week for dairy pickup. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

FINALLY, PECANS!!!!

It has been a dry spell for pecans for the past several years, and now a bumper crop. Good thing, as  requests for pecan pralines,  pecan patties,  pecan pies and tarts, not to mention mouthwatering Turtles are adding up. The Farmers Son and I are scouring the countryside for maverick pecan trees. Ours are loaded, the neighbors are sharing, and we are not above knocking on the doors of complete strangers, that have stately, heavy laden pecan trees in  their yards. Surprisingly we have gathered plenty on the shares. The holidays will be complete with plenty of pecan treats! Winter is creeping in, with hints of colder nights and shorter days. Everyone is hunkering down for the next few weeks, enjoying light duty. The chickens have all but completely halted production, the bees are preparing for hibernation, the goats and cows are growing their wooly, winter coats. The goat milk production is slowly waning..... soon to be over for the year. It will resume the middle of February. The cow milk production is taking up the slack, with the cows loving the cooler weather.  The winter vegetable harvest will begin the end of November, with broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, greens. This week is Thanksgiving week, the market will be closed Thursday and Friday, but we will be open Saturday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

PLANTING GARLIC WHILE SNOOZING!!!

Who said farming was hard!!! The Farmers Son has found a way to work and snooze at the same time. The only glitch is making  arms and feet work while asleep and not running into the fence at the end of a row. Next year we should have a whopping crop of garlic, the rows will probably be a little zig zaggy, but it is in the ground. The weather has been so cooperative, minus the need for rain, but it has not been much of a chore irrigating the fall crops, as it has cooled off considerably. The tomatoes in the greenhouse are finally starting to blush, so the market will have tomatoes before Thanksgiving. The strawberry plants have taken hold, and are starting to grow. We are expecting a superb crop next year, barring any unforseen catastrophes. We have picked most of the winter squash/pumpkins. We will have just what you need for your pumpkin pies and squash casseroles. Just a note to Ms. Hidalgo, who presented us with the precious portuguese pepper seeds to grow. THEY GREW!!! The goat milk supply is pitiful. The does are almost all bred for the Spring, we have turned many dry,  but those that are still giving some milk, are slowly shutting us off. All of their energy is going into the growth of their unborn kids. We are limiting purchases and trying to make sure the infants get what they need. The egg supply is more dismal than the goat milk supply. I think my hens are too fat. With some things more is not always better. The Farmer shakes is head as I keep taking food to them because they "look a little lank". He claims they are all so fat, they can't even wiggle.  By Christmas, all will be turned dry until the middle of February. Now the cow milk is another story. We have been able to provide what is needed with the new additions to the dairy herd. It is still a good idea to call ahead to check availability, as the demand for the milk has increased. As for Thanksgiving, just a heads up, we will be closed the Friday after, but will be open the following Saturday. MARKET HOURS: Friday from noon until 4:00 PM, Saturday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Dairy pickups can be made throughout the week, call for an appointment. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

JERSEY COW MILK APLENTY!!!

The recent arrival of Molasses Molly and Siren Sadie, teamed with Poppy, Zoey, Godiva, and Lulu has increased our cow milk production potential over the moon! I do not forsee a shortage of the rich, creamy, liquid gold any time soon..... not to mention the up and comers, Praline and Mazy, who will be first time fresheners next year, I can see sour cream and butter on the cooler shelves in the market come winter. Another steer is going to the processor this week, so there will be plenty of lean ground beef available. The processing fee has gone up again, so the cost of the ground round will be $5.00 lb.OUCH!!! The goat milk supply is still dwindling each week, but we are trying to make sure the babies have what they need. Call ahead for availability. It would also  be a good idea to call ahead and reserve your milk, so that we can make sure your request can be filled, as even though the supply of Jersey milk has increased, so has the demand. The cover was put on the hoop house this week, to protect the bushels of green tomatoes that are hanging on the vines as they start to ripen. The MARKET HOURS: Friday from noon until 4:00 PM and Saturday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Special appointments can be made throughout the week for dairy pickup. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

That produce our future egg layers!!!
She lays all of these beautiful eggs.......

CIRCLE OF LIFE ON THE FARM!!!

Here on the farm, Henny Penny comes first! It is baby chick hatching time. We usually do it in the Spring and the Fall, after and before the unkind to baby chicks weather blankets the farm. The Farmer and Son have the brooder ready for the new crop of hatchlings. The days have been filled with projects to be completed before winter comes. A well house was built to protect the new well that was installed on the South Acres. The Farmers Son is all psyched to plant a maze and do a massive pumpkin patch next year, so he will now have plenty of water to irrigate. It will soon be time to cover the greenhouse to protect the fall tomatoes that are covering the vines. We did get the out of nowhere frost last week that set back some of the fall crops. I did get out early enough to save most of the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant but some of the squash and cucumbers were toast! We are harvesting lots of pecans this year, will have all sorts of pecan selections in the market for the holidays.  Molasses Molly has settled in. She seems to like her new digs. The breeding season is well under way for the milking does. The buck seems to be doing his job, as he looks like a walking bag of bones. We have to almost force him to eat and drink, when his mind is on one thing and one thing only. Never underestimate the power of a flirty female, with a switchy tail! Alas, the goat milk supply is dwindling, as we near the end of this years milking season. It will be necessary to call ahead after this week to order goat milk, as we may have to stagger requests throughout the week to make sure we have what you need. The babies will come first, as we have many infants that drink our goat milk as their main source of nutrition. The cow milk is holding steady, but as goat milk drinkers may be forced to convert to cow milk for a time, calling ahead would also be a good idea. If all goes according to plan, we should have some goat milk until December, when we close for the holidays. The new goat milking season will begin again in February.  We do have a few pumpkins left, the Farmers Son grew some doozies this year. We will have pie pumpkins for Thanksgiving. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

OUR GOAT MILK GRANDBABY!!!

I dare anyone to say that raw goat milk is not good for you !!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

POPPY'S LITTLE PETUNIA


FARM NEWS!!!!

What a difference a week makes! The strawberry plants came from the North, and were planted.  Poppy had her calf ( a sweet little girl), a new jersey cow has been added to our family, purchased from a farm in Oklahoma. The man who raised her said she gave lots of milk, but just took her own sweet time giving it up..... and he was very short on patience, My kind of girl!!  Her name to be announced later as we get to know her better. I am kind of partial to Molasses, Molly for short. The cool weather has arrived, so we are changing gears. The goat milk supply is gradually slowing down, and the cow milk supply should soon be overflowing. There may even be butter in our future. The pullets should start laying any time now, the egg supply will be much more plentiful. We have planted cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, chard, for fall. The garlic was planted on time this year.The pumpkins are growing, will have some in the market this week.  It is now a wait and see game, concerning the first frost date.  It will soon be time to cover the hoop house, as the tomatoes and peppers, will need protection from the cold. Should have ripe red ones in the market in a couple of weeks. Once the planting is finished, the fall/winter projects will begin. We happened upon a small walk in cooler at a great bargain, so it will be installed in the next little while. The farmer has plans to double our potato and onion production, as we will have a place to store them in the summer. The new market hours started this week. MARKET HOURS: Friday from noon until 4:00 PM and Saturday 10:00 AM until 4:00PM. Special appointments can be made for dairy pickup throughout the week. We are so grateful for all of our blessings, From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A BABY BOO, AND TOMATO OR TWO!!!

Nothing says fall like 94 degree days! I am dragging out the Halloween decorations from the attic, and have to stop and sit a spell ever so often to avoid heat stroke. The pumpkins are making, due to constant watering and the cooler nights. During the day, the vines slump and wilt, a most pitiful sight, but perk up during the cool of the nightime hours. We have tried to plant lettuce three times, only to watch the seedlings swelter and shrivel up in the heat. The tomatoes are finally setting fruit. Should have a pretty good crop during the latter part of October. The fall harvest should begin around that time, with pumpkins, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, spinach, lettuce, squash, cucumbers. The cabbage , broccoli, cauliflower, will be a bit later in the season. The market has been busy on Saturdays, and to prepare for the impending holiday season, we are going to start opening on Fridays from noon until 4:00 PM as well as our usual Saturdays 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM . Our first friday open will be October 5. We will start harvesting the pumpkins that first weekend as well.  Some new items will be found in the market for fall. The homemade kettle corn, caramel apples, fresh homemade noodles, Sour dough bread,  added to the this and that, that is already available. The freezer is restocked with select cuts ground beef, $5.00 lb. Will have chicken breasts the first weekend in October, $4.50 lb. as well as ground pork $4.00lb.  We are waiting patiently for Poppy to calve, to refurbish our cow milk supply..... she is not in any big hurry. We have found a boyfriend for Maizy May,( LuLu's) as we cannot let her in with the rest of the group, as her Big Daddy, Colorado is with them, we do not want to cross the line with any taboos (ick!) Hopefully Little Daddy, Montana,  ( no relation to anyone here)  will be added to our family soon and Maizy May will be ecstatic! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

NOODLE INSPIRATION!!!

For weeks I hounded the Farmer to keep the second Saturday of September project free, so that we could take a mini-vacation( we go after chores are finished in the morning, return before choretime in the evening) to Clarita Oklahoma, to attend the Amish School Auction. I have a deep fascination for the people that choose to live a simple, productive life, free from the clutter of modern technology, high tech communication, and the quagmire of  junk that infiltrates our lives in the form of offending language, immodest clothing, uncontrollable children, religious indifference. The Farmer often comments on how interesting it would be to try to live one day as the Amish do, to see if we could "cut the mustard". I ponder wistfully about saying farewell to all of my kitchen gadgets. We found ourselves smack dab in the middle of  an Amish farm with thousands of other people, coming to support the efforts of the community to raise money for their school. As I understand it, the children go through grade 8, then begin working  to prepare themselves  for marriage and family. The boys, learning a trade, farming, woodworking, ironworks, etc. The girls, learning family and household responsibilities. I would bet the farm that there isn't an Amish girl to be found that doesn't know how to make a decent biscuit. As we wandered the pastures and watched  as the modern world invaded the peace and tranquility of this Amish farm, with automobiles, mobile phones, bare legs and heads,  I could not help but notice the people that moved with quiet dignity, dressed in simple, nondescript clothing, the children well behaved, the adults politely tolerating the curiosity of the"outsiders" like myself. Whether their beliefs are wrong or right, their dedication to them is noteworthy.  Just being in their presence made me want to be a better person.....and cover my knees.  In my guestimation the day was an overwhelming success for the school, as we guaged by the endless lines for food and the generous bids on the gorgeous quilts that were auctioned, and the fact that it took us an hour to find our car in the vast pasture/ parking lot. My treasure for the day was several packages of homemade noodles. Our supper for the evening was homemade chicken noodle soup. The Farmers first comment after eating was, "Am I going to have to get you a noodle maker?"  Sometimes that man is so astute, it amazes me! Back home on the farm we are preparing for fall. The tomatoes are setting small fruit, the fields are getting plowed ready for Spring planting. The strawberry fields will be prepared in the next two weeks for October planting.  It is almost time to start the courting season of the does. They will be reunited with their one and only in a couple of weeks. The goat milk supply is remaining steady, the cow milk supply is going to dwindle for a while, as we are preparing for winter calves. MARKET HOURS:  Saturday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Special appointments can be made throughout the week for dairy pickup. From our farmstead to your table thank you for all of your support!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


HONEYS HARVESTING HONEY!!!

The honey is flowing, time to harvest the summers hive bounty! The Farmer and Son are carefully assessing the amount of honey in each hive, determining what the winter supply will be for the bees. If there appears to be more than sufficient, honey filled frames will be exchanged for empty ones, we will have honey. Autumn is just around the corner, the slightly cooler weather and rain have given us a nudge toward more fall planting. The strawberries were ordered this week, set to arrive in October for planting. As they come from Nova Scotia, it is necessary for the weather to cool a bit so they all don't expire in the Texas heat. The pumpkins are blooming, as are the fall tomatoes and peppers. The asparagus patch is lush with folage, the fig trees we planted seem to have taken hold. The animals seem to be a bit more lively, due in part I am sure to the cooler weather. Poppy is waiting patiently for her calf to be born, she watches wistfully from the far pasture every morning as the Farmers son brings the cows up to be milked. I know she is anticipating her turn on the milk line, and the all of the special sweet feed she can gobble down. The cow milk is limited, as the girls are on the downside of their milking cycle, soon to be turned dry ready for their new calves. The newest chickens are coming of age. The egg production should increase soon. We lost a few in the intense heat and to a very crafty coyote that would invade the chicken yard. He met his demise a couple of nights ago, sneaking away from the scene of the chicknapping, outsmarted by the Farmer, he went out with a BANG!! amid a flurry of fur and feathers. The goat milk production is holding steady, the girls did not seem phased by the hot weather. The market is still bustling on Saturdays,  plenty of dairy, honey, preserves, baked goods,(sourdough is back), ground beef, some frozen fruits and veggies from the summer harvest. MARKET HOURS: Saturday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Special appointments can be made throughout the week for dairy pickup. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

CAT ON COW!!!

Every night Bitty Kit finds a snuggly place to sleep, atop Phantoms back. I catch them giving each other a licken' bath early in the morning, before they start the day. What a wondrous thing!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

THE GADGET QUEEN!!!

Some women have a penchant for shoes, some for flashy jewels, I have a thing for kitchen gadgets. If you were to stroll through my kitchen and pantry, you would see contraptions old and new that  would cause you to pause and wonder, what in the world is that for? If it can make a kitchen chore a little easier, I am going to find it and try it. Look at my jam and jelly maker. Just toss in the fruit, sugar, pectin, push a couple of buttons, and wait 20 minutes or so and voila! JAM. I have a gismo that stirs itself, while cooking, great for making caramel and candy. My ice cream maker mixes and freezes ice cream without pre freezing the canister or using salt and ice. If you visit and want donuts, cake pops, homemade ice cream sandwiches,caramel apples, chocolate covered anything, fresh squeezed juice, quesadillas, you name it . I even explored and found an only used a few times, Otis Spunkmeyer cookie oven on E-bay and now bake my cookies and muffins at an even temperature in a compact, air and heat controlled oven. I must admit I have fallen for a few humdingers advertised, and have made it a rule written in stone, to check reviews before purchase. There is something out of kilter when you look at a hard boiled egg with the top part missing! I do like my GREEN non stick frying pan. I rationalize that all of this paraphanalia makes my kitchen chores much easier, faster, funner, so as I am peeling and coring apples with my whirly ma jig apple thingy, or popping the pits out of cherries with my cherry pitter, I keep my eyes open for the next great discovery to add to my kitchen repetoire. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

AND THE HEAT GOES ON!!!

The Farmer's son found this watermelon in the patch, weighing in at a whopping 28 lbs.! The summer is taking it's toll. Although we have had some rain and cooler than normal temperatures, 90 plus degrees is a bit much for tender plants. It is time to plant pumpkins and some of the fall crops. As the heat, and the hordes of grasshoppers have given us a challenge, we are looking forward to the fall, when everything will have a new start. The CSA program is on sabatical until the fall, as we were not prepared for the disease and insect problem, due to the warmer than average Winter/Spring. It can certainly be said that not one iota of farming is routine. A sinister culpret has been preying on our baby goats. Three nights in a row, during the dead of night, a baby has been taken from the paddock, no sign of struggle, no drag or dig marks under the tall fence, just a distraught momma goat, pacing the fenceline looking for her little one. We have heard rumors of mountain lions, bobcats, mexican cougars in the lake bottom, now we are inclined to believe they exhist. Something scaled our fence, snatched a young kid, and jumped back over, without a trace. We have brought the wee ones up to the barn at night, for their protection and have set up a game camera in an effort to solve the mystery. Speaking of mysteries, the solution came to light, after the fiasco of trying to put the new chickens up at night in their new to them chicken house. I would catch a couple, put them on the roost, go catch another couple, and when I came back the first two had flown the coop! After about thirty minutes of chasing chickens, the light bulb over my head flashed on. There must be something in the house that is unsettling the chicks. Got my flashlight, scoured the inside, a 6 foot snake reared its ugly head, as it slithered along the roost. It was up to me to save the day, as the Farmer was on duty. After a little tangle with the snake, problem solved. I still get the willies thinking how frightened the chicks were every time I forced them in there. Due to the intense heat, we are suspending the outside, serve yourself produce. Scorched peaches, and tomatoes are not very appetizing. MARKET HOURS: Saturday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Special appointments can be made throughout the week for dairy pickup. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

SIMMERING THROUGH SUMMER !!!

Working outside in 90 degree heat every day has an added bonus. Being a little on the mizerly side when it comes to paying utility bills, I have convinced the Farmer and Son that 79 degrees in the house, is really quite " Chilly". So far there has not been much argument, as they both know that if they squawked about it, it wouldn't do much good. If the temperature throughout the days stays near the triple digits, all will be well. The only glitch is when the Farmer dons his uniform on and spends his Fireman time in a 65 degree Fire Station. He comes home to unthaw! We are winding down for summer, harvesting the summer crops. Watermelons, cantaloupe, eggplant, squash, tomatoes, peppers, etc. are still in abundance. The grasshoppers have swooped in and hopefully there will be enough to satisfy their voracious appetites and leave some for us. It is about time to plant pumpkins. The fall tomatoes will be started this week, as well as preparing the soil for the fall/winter crops. The market has been busy on Saturdays, as nothing says summer like fresh picked produce and home canned preserves. As some may have noticed, the baked goods have been a little light. Baking all day in a hot oven would certainly debunk my ruse of a chilly house. Muffins and cookies will just have to wait. MARKET HOURS: Saturday from 10:00 AM unil 4:00 PM,  call ahead throughout the week for a special appointment for dairy pickup. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

IT'S SUMMERTIME ON THE FARM!!!

I am rekindling my love/hate relationship with Okra. Every year, I tell the Farmer, 3, T,H,R,E,E, rows of okra will feed the world. His reply is "Well, I have all of this extra seed, might as well plant it". Knowing he will not have to pick it. (That responsibility is the Farmers Wife and the Farmers son's). By the end of the first picking, I am grumbling and scratching. This year we got the hairbrained idea to plant Dwarf Okra. Now, I am having to bend over to pick it. If it weren't for the fact that I could eat my weight in fried okra, I would pass it by. As Okra is one of the only crops that thrives in the heat, there is an abundance in the summertime. I will not fail to mention my passion for gumbo...... seafood, chicken, sausage, any way it is cooked. So, the Farmer will keep planting, and I will keep picking, begrudgingly, but I will keep picking. The watermelons are coming on, and we have picked a few cantaloupe.  The peaches are ripening tree by tree. The tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, squash, are still making. The Farmer planted a second round of potatoes, not sure if they would make, as they were planted much later than normal. We dug them up this week, they made more than the first round. WHO KNEW!!! The heat is taking a toll, but we are irrigating what we can. We have had some new kids born this week, some of our doelings were bred late in the Spring. The canner has been going nonstop with pickles, tomatoes, corn, jam, getting the harvest put up for the winter. My favorite day in summer is June 21, not because it is the first day of summer, but because after that day, the days start getting shorter! MARKET HOURS:Saturday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Special appointiments can be made throughout the week for dairy pickup. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

SAD TO SAY, THE END OF BLACKBERRIES!!

The u-pick season came and went! We were just getting used to the throngs of visitors and the anticipation of buckets of fresh berries as the zealous crops gave their all, and quit! We are already looking forward to next year. We are preparing the farm for the oncoming summer. So far the weather has been surprisingly pleasant. We have had some lovely rains that have helped the crops. The only drawback to a mild winter/spring is the infestation of bugs, bugs, and more bugs. We are trying to keep a handle on them. If you buy some of the sweet corn, and the top is chopped off, the Farmers Son wanted to save you from looking into the eyes of a corn worm as you peeled back the husk. We are swimming in black eyed peas, thankfully, they are a great nitrogen producer for the soil, we can just till them back in.  In the market this week, we should have cucumbers, squash, black eyed peas, sweet corn, lots of tomatoes and sweet onions... and whatever else we can find to pick. The okra is starting to make, and the melons are growing. We are hoping to have watermelon by the fourth of July. The MARKET HOURS: Saturday from 10:00AM until 4:00 PM. Dairy can be picked up throughout the week, just call ahead for an appointment. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

WE KNOW YOU ARE OUT THERE!!!

WANTED: Newly established sustainable farmstead that has been blessed with lots of growth and a bit of prosperity is seeking a special person to add to it's farm family. Just a few basic requirements would be helpful if you think this would be something for you or someone you know. #1: Know the difference between a cow, a goat, a chicken, and a duck and whether it is male or female. # 2: Be an early bird, not a night owl. #3: Dirt on your clothes and body does not bother you #4: Aren't squeamish at the sight of poo and goo. #5: Love to watch things grow  #6: Realize that farms aren't run according to a clock #7: Can recognize the difference in bored tired and hard work tired, and appreciate the latter. #8: Want to have a basic knowlege of how to sustain yourself completely, when times get tough( and they will get tough) # 9: Have a basic sense of honor and honesty....and a good dose of plain common sense. # 10: Understand that rewards are not always monetary. If you know of someone that has the characteristics listed, contact me, the Farmers Wife, and we shall discuss this in more detail! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

BARN BUDDIES!!!

Our two orphans have found each other, each morning Bitty Kit is found snoozing on top of Sasha. She awaits her share of the bottle at breakfast and supper time. Nature is amazing! This has been a whirlwind week with the end of blackberry season, the beginning of tomato and sweet corn season. The Farmers son picks corn and tomatoes for our honor system, serve yourself table, in front of the market. He is having a hard time keeping up with the demand. The sweet corn this year is superb. It is an old hybrid (Not GMO) that is as sweet as candy..... just ask the worm that sits atop every ear.(we don't spray)There are still a few blackberries, but picking will be by appointment only this last couple of weeks, to assure there will be berries to pick. The black eyed peas are exploding on the vines. They are the last U-Pick crop available. We will pick on the halves, you pick one for you and one for me, yours is free! Or you can pick for $25 a bushel. If I pick them, you will have to wait until you see wings on your bacon! The Farmers son will pick them for $40 a bushel. Summer is rolling in, with the rain we have been blessed with and the cooler temperatures, the crops may last a little longer before being decimated by the heat. It is almost time to plant pumpkins for fall. MARKET HOURS: Saturday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Call ahead for an appointment for dairy pickup throughout the week. The CSA is still at capacity, thank you to all of you who are participating. We will have several more weeks of the Spring/Summer crops. During the heat of mid July and early August, there will be a lull, then we will continue preparing the shares through the fall and into winter. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

BUSHEL OF 'MATERS!!!

For the past few days, we have had BLT's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Trying to make up for the very long dry spell without home grown tomatoes. We have fat ones, skinny ones, rippled ones, bitty ones, jumbo ones, all with one thing in common.... not one has been further than 100 yards of our market. All were born and raised right here. And to top it all off, they are Organic! Now, what more can you ask for? Tomatoes will be for sale this weekend in the market. Also the first of the sweetest, most delicious sweet corn, summer squash, sweet onions, and cucumbers will be available. NEWS FLASH::: The black eyed peas will be ready this next week, for picking. U-Pick will be available for them. Blackberry picking will last for another several weeks. The cool weather and the rain have helped the berries to continue to produce. The strawberries finally called it quits.....although, whats to say that with this cool weather and fresh rain, thay won't be back? It is a well known fact that farming is not an exact science, so nothing will surprise us. MARKET HOURS:  Saturday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM Open picking for blackberries Saturday from 9:00 AM until 11:30. Call ahead picking throughout the week, Monday through Friday. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

BLACKBERRIES ON MONDAY!!!

The blackberry patch will be open on MEMORIAL DAY, Monday morning for picking. We will open at 9:00 AM and will pick until around 11:30AM. Lots of blackberries will be ready. Thank you for the good turnout on Saturday. The Farmer has made a request. Would all of the parents that came, do a shake down on their kidlets. Within a 30 minute span, the keys disappeared from the new tractor. Not to say that anyone took them, but we are covering all of the bases. They have been in the ignition since we got the tractor, several months ago, he never takes them out. He was changing implements, from the hay cutter to the hay rake, when he went back, they were gone! There were lots of people walking around, and we just want to put it out there, if anyone happens to find a Kubota key in the laundry! We would not make mention of it, but during strawberry picking season, the key to our  Case backhoe, that had been in it since 1984 went missing, with all of the tools in the tool compartment thrown on the ground. Farm implements are very tempting to climb on, thus the reason for our wanting parents to keep a constant, watchful eye on their children. We are not able to watch everyone at all times. We want to continue our u-pick operation, but if we cannot run our farm equipment, we will have to change our farm practices.  Call ahead picking on Monday through Friday for blackberries, open picking again on Saturday. We will start a little earlier as the heat is setting in, 9:00 until around 11:30 . The blackeyed peas and the sweet corn are about a week or two out. U-pick will be available for the peas, we will pick the corn. Also as the peaches and TOMATOES are ready, we will have some in the market. The market hours are Saturday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Call anytime throughout the week for dairy pickup. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

PEACHES, PLEASE!!!

They are getting ready! Will soon have a few peaches in the market. The tomatoes are still dragging their feet. Maybe green is the new red! The weekend of blackberry picking went well. If people complained about the jaunt to the berry patch, they mumbled to themselves, and we didn't hear it. I am going to have to regroup the Farmstead Market. We sold out of everything this weekend, which is a good thing for us, but a bad thing for those visitors who wanted bread, honey, cookies, milk, etc. I am going to work a little extra this week to stock up...... there wasn't even a jar of pickles on the shelf! Speaking of honey, the last drops of the last harvest are being put in jars this week. This season's honey flow should start next month. We have checked the hives and the girls are just a buzzin' with activity. Blackberry picking will continue through the month of May and into June. And if I'm a lyin' I'm a dyin', we are still picking beautiful strawberries! Still can't figure that out. Folks added pounds of strawberries to their blackberry bounty. Call ahead picking throughout the week. Just call and set up an appointment to come.  Open picking on Saturday from 10:00AM until pickout, which will be around noon. We do not pick in the heat of the day, as the berries get mushy. The price of the berries is $3 lb. Our buckets are 5 qt. and will hold about 6 lbs.  Should have some produce in the market this weekend. The green beans are about ready, the cabbage is still producing, the potatoes have all been dug, and the onions are drying. For those who stop at the market for the first time, and ask HOW MUCH ? on the produce. We sell by the handful, the mess, the bunch, sometimes by the lb., sometimes depends on how bad you need it, one time it may be one price, the next time we may throw it in with the mix.  First come first serve on the 3 tomatoes that will probably be ready. And of course peaches. If they aren't hard as bricks, we will start picking. MARKET HOURS: Saturday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM . Call throughout the week for dairy pickup appointments.  From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A QUEST FOR BERRIES!!!

A young mother came to the farm to pick berries this week. Tall, athletic, with a newborn and a toddler. She stated they were on a quest for berries. I informed her that the berry patch was a ways away, would she be able to make the trek? She informed Me that  they came prepared. I gave her a bucket, pointed the way and they were off. She detoured back to her vehicle, and in a snap, she came from behind the auto with a stroller, decked out with drinkholders, snack sacks, an umbrella type gadget, a berry bucket, diaper bag, and who knows what all else hanging from it......oh, and a toddler in the seat, and a baby papoosed to her front. This girl was ready! She jaunted down to the blackberry patch, picked her some blackberries, and back she came! She weighed in her berries, packed up all of her paraphanalia and off she went......her quest complete. She didn't break a sweat! I was tired just watching her. I will never complain about being weary, ever again. From our farmstead to your table thank you for all of your support!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

SUMMER, JUST AROUND THE CORNER!!!

Nothing says summer like a basket full of blackberries..... except it is the middle of May. WHAT GIVES???? The only thing that is on track are the raspberries, they are taking their sweet time. Some of the early varieties of peaches are almost ready, and the corn is starting to tassle. The Farmer planted the okra, which only thrives in  heat, and with all of the cool days and cooler nights, we have rows and rows of runts. I am very impatiently waiting for RED tomatoes. Not just one or two here and there, armfuls. The storm that blew through last week washed some of our melon seeds down the road, but the Farmer and his Son planted lots, so we should still have a good showing. If not we will scour the banks of Ray Roberts for watermelon and honeydew, as chances are most of our seeds ended up there. U-Pick blackberry season has started. Call ahead picking Monday through Thursday, if we are here you can come pick, with open picking Friday and Saturday starting at 10:00 AM until around noon. No appointment needed. There are lots of ripe berries that are easy to pick. The price is $3.00 lb. or around $15 for a level gallon bucket. Our buckets are 5 quart buckets.(Home Depot and Ace Hardware) Come dressed for the occasion. Closed shoes, hats or caps if sunny, jackets if it is cool. It is a bit of a trek to the berry rows, so plan on a little cardiovascular walking. Wagons and strollers can make it down the road just fine. Call or e-mail if you need more information. TIP: Our days start before daylight and end after dark. I usually hear phone messages around 10:30 pm, at which time no one appreciates a return call, no matter how sweet the person is that is calling. I CAN answer e-mails at all hours of the night, disturbing no one with my mute chatter so for a quicker response, send an e-mail! New MARKET HOURS: Saturday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Special appointments can be made throughout the week for dairy pickup. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

HAPPY MOTHERS!!!

The Farmer was thinking of all of the Mothers on the farm this Mothers Day. Here was his heartfelt gift to all of us. I think LuLu and Lily were a little more thrilled than I was, but as the saying goes " If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" So the cow and the goat mommas are going to be very satisfied as they watch the farmer bring in the rolls and rolls of hay. I am going to be grateful that the girls are fat and content and giving lots and lots of good milk. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

YOU PICK'EM , WE WILL PACK'EM

The blackberries are coming on with a vengence! The early varieties are making a great showing....they are big and sweet. U-pick will start on Friday at 10:00 AM and Saturday at 10:00AM. If the weather is cool, we will pick until mid afternoon  or whenever we decide to call it quits. Call and let us know  you are coming, as we will be taking appointments for the first weekend to make sure their are plenty of berries for those who make the trek to the farm. The early berries are all thorny, the thornless will be ready in another week. The Farmer has been hinting at blackberry cobbler, his favorite, so you may see me in the blackberry patch picking the biggest ones. Picking hint: Pick the berries that are dark ,dark, dark, all  the way around, and make sure they have" puffed". See you then! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

MOVING RIGHT ALONG TO BLACKBERRIES!!!

Ready or not, here they come! The blackberries are ripening. We will be open for U-pick this Friday at 10:00 AM.  As the blackberry rows are down in the South 40, it will be a little bit of a distance for pickers to walk...... not for the short of breath or those packing papooses. Strollers and wagons will fare just fine on the road. We will have the go-buggy to help those that are not able to make the trek. The berries will be picked in one gallon buckets, and will be sent home in one gallon baggies. The price of the berries will be $3.00 lb. A gallon bucket level full weighs about 6 lbs. Buckets can be picked up at the berry table in front of  the market, where they will be brought after picking to be weighed. As the berries are at the onset of their season, we will be taking appointments for pickers this weekend. We want to make sure that their are sufficient berries available for those coming. The blackberry field does not have any amenities. Just berries!!! Not a picnic table in sight and the potty is quite a ways away. Wear appropriate clothing, close toed shoes, sun hats, etc. We do not have chiggers, but as we do not spray our crops, their may be skeeters in the mornings. The berries will certainly have to be rinsed of  tiny critters that enjoy them as much as we do. We look forward to your visit! Our new Market hours: Saturday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. We will take special appointments for dairy pickup throughout the week. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

CALLING ALL JAMMERS!!!

Strawberries, the gift that keeps on giving! We thought that they were done in. A little sunshine, a little rain, a few cool evenings, on to round 2! Next week we will be open for serious pickers. We will be picking on the shares.... one for you, one for me. Yours will be free, mine will be one less aching back. If you don't want to share in your labors, a discount will be given for 10 lbs or more. Get those freezers and pantrys full. Next year may be a bust! Starting on Monday, call ahead for an appointment, if we are here, you can come pick. The blackberry season will be starting next weekend also, more on that in a couple of days. If you time it just right, you may walk away with a berry duo. Our new market hours are Saturday from 10:00 until 4:00 pm. Appointments can be made for dairy pickup throughout the week. From our farmstead to your table thank you for all of your support !!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

TIME TO REGROUP!!!

After a PowWow with the Chief and all of the Indians here on the farm,( The Farmer, The Farmers Son and myself ) there are going to be a few minor changes with our schedules. My multitasking skills are coming up a little short! First rattle out of the box is the market schedule. Due to the success of the CSA program, and the time needed for share preparation and pickup, as of May 12, the farmstead market will only be open to all, on Saturdays, from 10:00 AM until 4:00PM. Monday thru Friday will still be available for call ahead dairy pickup, just let us know that you are coming.   The u-pick hours will be seperate from the market hours, as the blackberries continue to ripen, we will announce the target date.......it may be sooner than we thought. I am of a firm belief that nature, hand in hand with our kindly Father above, jumbles things up a bit, just to keep us on our toes! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A FOND FAREWELL TO STRAWBERRY SEASON!!!

Parting is such sweet sorrow! As the heat and the bugs creep in, the berries are giving us a final adeau. There will be one more Saturday of picking, but it will be call ahead for an appointment. We will schedule a limited amount of pickers, depending upon the amount of strawberries that will be available . It was a good season, thank you to all that came and supported our efforts. We are already making plans for next year. The blackberries are just around the corner. Picking season will probably start in about 2 weeks. Daily monitoring of the berries will give us a better idea when they will be ready. We did lose a few plants due to the drought, but we are grateful for all of those that are loaded with soon to mature fruit. Details on the U-pick blackberry season will follow. Due to some incidents during the strawberry picking season we are going to change a few of our guidelines. We did get the tractor and the toilet fixed. Had to order the irrigation valves that were smashed, should be here this week. Our dear neighbor across the road was a little startled when he looked out his kitchen window to a bevy of picnicers, complete with blankets, in his back yard, not sure what to do about that one!  When I walk through the tomatoes, it is like hitting the motherlode. Green tomatoes are everywhere. One week of the CSA may be a half bushel of tomatoes! I am holding my breath, waiting for the first ones to ripen.  A couple of the early peach trees have blushing fruit. I have this niggeling thought that "what if everything has came an went by June!"...........when the rest of the world is just putting in their gardens. What in the world will we do for the rest of the season! We may have to muster up the energy to plant a mid season garden before the fall/winter garden. The farmer is going to take a trip to the processor in the next couple of weeks, so there will be plenty of ground beef. Randy the beeman helped us do inventory on our hives, and we were able to split some before they vacated the premises. The girls were busy making honey, so hopefully we will have another good honey harvest this year. We are down to our last smidge from last year, so we may be rationing a bit, until the honey flows again. Most of our produce will be going to our CSA members, as they have made a comittment to us to take whatever we produce each week. There will be a limited amount in the market on the weekends.   From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

SNEAKY SUMMER!!!

Cucumbers and Squash in April? This has been a zany spring! The blackeyed peas are already up and going. Unheard of! The 90 degree weather has fooled the crops into thinking it is summer, so they are rushing to bear . The Farmer has been cutting and hauling hay to prepare for the winter. Rest assured we will not have to plunk down our hard earned money on outragously priced hay, if there is a drought again this summer.We have been blessed this spring, with neighbors who just want their pastures mowed, and will give us the hay if we haul it off. With all of the good rain and sunshine, lots of premium grass. Lulu was giving a tail swish and a nod, everytime the hay trailer passed with a load of neatly rolled bundles. The end of strawberry season is in sight as the heat takes it toll on the plants. We will probably be picking for a couple more weeks, but only on Fridays, and Saturdays. Open picking will start at 9:00 AM both days, until pickout, which usually takes a couple of hours. We only pick in the mornings when it is cool, as the berries tend to soften in the heat. Ours are on black plastic mulch, which absorbs the heat ( a blessing in the middle of January) so they tend to mush a little if you pick them when they are warm. The baby chics are here and doing well. Took a gamble with dollar a chic straight run. Hopefully we don't have a brooder full of roosters.  The blackberries should be ripening the middle of May. They will be sold by the gallon bucket again this year $15. Finally we are starting to harvest a little produce for the market. The bulk of our crops will be going to the CSA, but we will have an assortment in the market on Saturday. This week we will be concentrating on watering and bugs. One good point of a hard, harsh winter is that it eases the bug problem a bit. Using all natural methods of control is a challenge and is constant when they are so plentiful. I do not think that ladybugs and Tricci wasps stand a fighting chance this year! MARKET HOURS: Friday and Saturday from noon until 4:00PM. Call ahead if a dairy pickup is needed during the week. From our farmstead to your table thank you for all of your support!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

FARM UPDATES!!!

April is nearing the end, the strawberries have hit their peak....but are still producing. The blackberries are loaded, should be ready mid May. The late Spring produce is nearly ready, and we are itching to start harvesting. Those that have joined the CSA will get information this week on their delivery and pickup dates. The strawberry harvest has been our best so far, thanks to all of our visitors that have come and picked and supported our efforts to provide home grown organic berries. We will certainly plant again for next year. By the way, as a curious observer, as children came and went, visiting the farm, I have a suggestion to all parents for an inexpensive, time consuming, very entertaining, "toy" for your little ones....... invest $5.00 in a bucket of pea gravel. I had no idea children would be so enthralled by it. And it is so versatile.... you can lick it, you can throw it, you can mound it, you can kick it, you can make pictures in it. Children never seem to tire of it. I just might call TOYS R US and drop a hint! All of the crops are planted, that need to be planted at this time. Something dug up some of the watermelon seeds and ate them, so that will be this weeks project. The Farmer is cutting hay this week, and LuLu is rejoicing, knowing she won't starve this winter.  If you noticed the tomato plants in the greenhouse, I agree that they look a little intimidating. They are about as tall as I am! I can't wait to see what they will produce.  Call ahead picking for strawberries: Monday through Friday, from 10 to noon. Next Saturday will be open picking from 9:00 AM until pickout, which is usually around 11:30AM. MARKET HOURS: Friday and Saturday from Noon until 4:00PM. HINT: If you come at 3:45 PM and expect to find anything, chances are you will be out of luck! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

TOMATOES UPSTAGING THE STRAWBERRIES!!!

In the three years we have been doing crops, we have had the darndest time with Spring tomatoes. If it wasn't a late freeze, it was hurricane force winds, early grasshoppers, or early blight.... then late blight. I even think they shriveled if you cussed in their presense. This year, there is hope! The Farmer and his son have finally grown some plants that look like good prospects for Spring tomatoes. Now, if we get an earth quake that swallows them up, we may just give up until Fall. The plants are setting fruit, so we may have some tomatoes in early May. The strawberries are still going strong. Had a great crowd of pickers on Saturday, thank you so much!  Strawberry picking will continue through this week, with call ahead picking Monday thru Friday, after 10:00 AM, and open picking on Saturday at 9:00 AM until 11:30 AM. The cool weather and cloudy days have encouraged more blooms. There may be strawberries lingering until blackberry season, which will start Mid May. The melons were planted this week, as well as some more black eyed peas. It is time to plant the next round of lettuce and swiss chard, hopefully we will beat the hot weather. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

WHEW, WE MADE IT THROUGH!!!

Berry picking weekend ended with most everything in tact! Including me! Lots of visitors, no major mishaps, and other than an odd request or two from patrons ( yes the strawberries are cheaper at WalMart and no we do not give a discount if you buy more than one pound, and the reason the berries are not very sweet, is because you picked the pink ones after being instructed to pick the darker, ruby red ones).Thank you to all who came, for a great start to our U-pick strawberry season. The strawberries should be available throughout the month of April, so if you missed this week, be sure to come at another time. Monday through Friday there will be call ahead picking. Just let us know when you would like to come. 10:00 AM will be the start time. Next Saturday will be open picking again, starting at 9:00 AM until pickout, which usually  is around 11:30 AM. UPCOMING EVENTS: The CSA is anticipated to begin the last week of April for those participating. A newsletter will be sent for more information.  The blackberries will be ready for U-Pick mid May. Next weekend will be the start of some Spring produce in the market. The baby chicks will be here in a couple of weeks, answering the demand for more eggs! Oh, and more meat will be in the freezer, by the end of April, ( we kind of whisper that around here, as we do not want to upset those who are not involved.....namely LuLu). A special thank you at this time to my Father In Heaven for giving his son for redemption from our sins. I promise that I will try to make his burden as light as I can, by following his teachings and trying to live a life revering Him and his Word. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

RISE AND SHINE FOR STAWBERRY PICKING!!!

Yes, there are still berries available for picking Saturday morning, after the flurry of pickers on Friday. Picking will start promptly at 9:00 AM and we will pick until pickout which will probably take a couple of hours. All pickers please check the past blog post for guidlines for picking so that there are no misunderstandings if we ask you to leave if your children are picking berries and throwing them on the ground or at each other. We have had a good picking week, and there are many more berries to come. Next week we will have call ahead picking Monday - Friday,  and open picking on Saturday starting at 9:00 AM. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

MAKING SURE GOOD FRIDAY...IS GOOD!!!

Our preview weekend was just a taste of what is to come, as you can see there are lots of berries getting ready for this weekend. We want to make your visit a safe and enjoyable experience, so we are making sure that our guidlines are clear for everyone.We are a working farm, we will not be giving farm tours at this time, but will invite everyone to our fall festival which will include tours of our goings on. *Dress for picking, closed shoes, hats, jackets etc. * Picking baskets and take home containers will be provided. *Please respect our farm and crops. For some reason children have the urge to throw things at each other, in our case it happens to be strawberries. We really frown on this.* What you pick you keep. Berries will not ripen any more after picked, so pick those that are a deep red all the way around. * Samples will be provided that have been washed. We use poop and pepper tea, ivory soap, etc on our crops. The sand blows constantly, and nestles in the berries, so unless you want a mouthful of sweet juicy strawberries covered with a little "ick", rinse them before tasting.* Berries are picked by the whole stem, hooking two fingers behind the berry, and gently tugging off the stem.* Children are welcome if they are well behaved and supervised by an adult. * All under age six must have their own adult with them. It has been our experience that it is very diffucult to pick berries, and keep a constant eye on several youngsters at one time. *Pets are not allowed on the farm. If you bring them, they will need to be kept in your vehicle, then someone will probably turn you in to the ASPCA.* The plastic mulch beds where the berries live are very fragile, if they tear, it wreaks havoc on the berries, and it is a bugger to repair them, so we request no tromping on the berry beds. That just about sums it up! There will be a lot of visitors this weekend as it is a holiday. As you can see there are a lot of berries, but they will probably go quickly.Wednesday, Thursday there will be call ahead picking, starting at 10:00 AM throughout the day.  We will start open picking for  on Friday at 9:00 AM until pickout, which will probably take about 2-3 hours. At which time we will close the picking, to reopen again on Saturday at 9:00 AM and will pick until pickout. Picked berries will be available. Our MARKET HOURS: Friday and Saturday from noon until 4:00 pm. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

FRINGE BENEFITS!!!!

I could eat chocolate covered strawberries all day long! Will have a taste in the market this week for all to try. Call ahead picking is full for today, Saturday, we are closed on Sunday, but will resume call ahead picking next Monday through Thursday. Just call and let us know when you would like to come. Picking can be done from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. We WILL will be open good Friday and the following Saturday for open picking. 9:00 will be the starting time on those days , until pickout, which will usually be around  11:30 am. From our farmstead to your table thank you for all of your support!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

IT'S TIME!!! SPECIAL PREVIEW PICKING WEEKEND!!!

Some things just won't wait! Some of the early berries want to be picked, as we can hear them screaming  at us WE ARE READY, MAKE ME SHORTCAKE!! So we are going to have a" call ahead and make a reservation weekend," this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.Picking will start at 9:00 am until whenever.  Call us or e-mail us and let us know you are coming, will have plenty of berries for those who want to get a jump on the picking season. call ahead picking will start again next Monday through Thursday, with open picking Good Friday and the following Sat. Picking can be done from 9:00 am until pickout this weekend .  MARKET HOURS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY FROM NOON UNTIL 4:00 pm . From our farmstead to your table thank you for all of your support!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

STRAWBERRY TEASER #2 !!!!

With the sun shining for the last few days, and the balmy days and nights, the strawberries have been put into high gear! We are anicipating opening to all  for U-pick starting Monday. April 2.  Information will be posted here as the picking progresses. Here is the scoop on picking strawberries at our farm.  Picking will be done in the mornings, as the berries are cool and fresh. We will open at 9:00AM and will pick until around 11:30 or pickout. If there are berries, special appointments can be made at other times.  It will be announced at the beginning of each week on the blog and the answer machine (903-429-2319) what days that week will be picking days. It is necessary to give the developing berries time to ripen if all of the ripe ones have been picked. Following are the guidelines we have, to make your visit enjoyable. * Dress for picking, closed toe shoes, hats for sun, jackets for cool weather. * Boxes are provided for picking, with containers for take home.* Please respect our farm and its crops. What you pick, you keep. I would not go to your house and walk on your bed with my shoes, so please do not walk on our stawberry beds.  Strawberries will not ripen after they are picked, they should be red all the way around. Samples will be provided for your tasting....and these will be washed. Unless you crave poop and pepper tea, ivory soap and sand, do not 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 6 require an adult each for supervision. Please do not bring your pets to the farm, no matter how well behaved they are, as they will not be able to travel with you to the picking patch.  Strawberries are $3.00 lb. We will have picked berries for those that want to pass on the picking adventure. We do have some picnic tables, and restroom facilities. If there are any questions, feel free to contact us, we look forward to your visit! From our farmstead to your table thank you for all of your support!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

BLESS-ED RAIN DAYS!!!

The thunder booms, the water pours off the eaves, the animals disappear from sight, seeking shelter in the barns and sheds, and I inwardly shout for joy! A rain day! The Farmer is on duty at the fire station, don't have to go anywhere, don't have to get dressed, don't have to comb my hair. The animals don't give a fig what I look like, so long as I feed them.  If you happen by the farm, and it seems abandoned, I am just "persona non grata," today, invisible to everyone. I Can drag out all of my cookbooks, browse through all my unread issues of Mother Earth News, watch Bonanza reruns and swoon over Hoss, as I like the big, burly, farmer types, might even paint my toes, and just get lots done inside. Today a mild stab will be made at fresh Mozzerella cheese, churned butter, and some caramel sauce ( cajeta ).  The last of the fruit in the freezer from last years harvest will soon be the last jars of preserves before the new fruit debuts. In case of an emergency, and someone is in desperate need of milk or maybe some honey, just call and I will make sure my" au natural" cousin, who looks a bit like me, only much plainer and very earthy, will meet you at the market and take care of whatever you might need! Don't be alarmed if she is in her pajamas!  From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

BEE PARADISE!!!!

Their will be peaches.....and if the bees do their job, peachy honey! The warmish winter enticed the peach blossoms to open early. With all of this wacky weather, it will be anyones guess when the crops will produce. The baby saga is about to wind down. Only seven more does to kid. The cows are enjoying the new spring grasses, lots of cream on the milk. I couldn't help myself, took a bit of a gamble, and made the Farmer and his son plant some tomatoes OUTSIDE. This week we are going to get the squash and cucumbers in. Last years pumpkin patch is the new home of the asparagus bed and the garlic rows. As we look across the tiny asparagus fronds popping up, we see hundreds of pumpkin seedlings sprouting through the soil. We may be celebrating Halloween in August! With all of the planting, we are eagerly awaiting the approaching  the U-pick strawberry season. the plants are abundant with fruit and blossoms. As we monitor the berries, we will post the opening week and all of the information on picking. If we don't get an abrupt hail storm or freak tornado, this will be our best harvest to date. The target week for our CSA will be the last week of April. We want to make sure that there will be a good assortment of produce to start out. Notice will be given as to the exact dates and updated information. MARKET HOURS:Friday and Saturday from noon until 4:00pm. Special appointments can be made throughout the week for dairy pickup. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

STRAWBERRY TEASER!!!!

So far so good! The plants are blooming, the berries are making, so we are anticipating an early picking season. The decision for opening date of strawberry picking season and picking information, will be posted in a few days. We should have some berries the first week of April. We are beyond overwhelmed with the spring birthing season of our goats. Mothers and tots have fared well, considering many are first timers. Each day, more does are added to the milk line, so after this weekend there will be no limit to goat milk purchases. The cheese, yogurt, and kefir, will also be available. Thank you to all that have been so patient waiting for us to resume our goat milk production. The cow milk is still available, Lulu and Poppy are not going to miss their turn in the milk barn, as long as they get a special treat.  MARKET HOURS: Friday and Saturday from noon until 4:00pm. Special appointments can be made through the week for dairy pickup at the farm. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

THIS IS ME, SHOUTING A BIG WHOOPEE!!!!!

Wouldn't you know it, the minute we gave up all hope, it started raining baby goats! In three days, we have had 22 babies, and more expected today. The first timers are doing a great job, letting motherly instincts take hold and nurturing the new babes. One kid us usually the norm for a does first experience, but as usual, nothing at R and C Dairy is ever normal. Most have had three and  two. The ratio of boys to girls is usually 50/50. Right now we are boasting 3 girls to 1 boy. Beyond thrilling in the dairy business. All in all the birthing season is off to a great start! If I can just make it through the next few nights of standing vigil over the pastures, as the remaining mothers to be wait their turns, all will be well. The goat milk will be available in the market this weekend. We have a long list of those that have waited patiently through the dry spell, so the first couple of weeks we may have to ration the milk a bit, but after the other gazillion does kid, in the next couple of weeks, there will be plenty of milk for all. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

A PLANTIN' WE WILL GO!!!

The cool weather crops, waiting to be put in the ground, overgrowing their little beds in the nursery and screaming for fresh air and sunshine! This week has seen nothing but planting, planting and more planting. Rows of asparagus, garlic, carrots, beets, sugar peas, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, onions. Makes me tired just remembering the past few days. We were in such a flurry, if it weren't for my Lumbago acting up, it would have seemed like a dream. I promise myself each year not to get so out of shape through the winter months  and practice stretching, bending and stooping. Each year I do diddly squat to prepare myself for the whirl of Spring planting. Serves me right!!! The fruit trees are starting to bud, saw the first shoot of asparagus, the strawberries are waking up from their winter nap. The pullets are starting to lay, so more eggs in the market, still have some honey from last harvest. Poppy is down in the mouth, as we have weaned her calf. The little dickens was not only nursing her momma, but every other cow we are milking. Our volume has gone up considerably since she went to the big girls pasture. If you hear  pitiful, mournful wailing off in the distance, it is Truffles, not real happy with the turn of events in her life. The only deadbeats on the farm are the mama goats. Babies are overdue, but they are not in the least bit concerned about it......nor do they hear my pleas, as I implore them to lay down and push out a kid or two! As soon as the goat milk is flowing, a big whoopee!!! will be heard far and wide. MARKET HOURS: Fri and Sat from noon until 4:00 pm. Special appointments can be made through the week for dairy pickup. Cows milk, that is. From our farmstead to your table thank you for all of your support!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

A VISION IN WHITE!!!

Every morning I peak out the kitchen window, gazing at the hoop house, my mouth watering at the thought of the first of the season tomatoes. The Farmer and Son are putting the finishing touches on the ends and it will be ready for its occupants. Pairs do much better than singles on a farm, so he has already ordered another one, that will sit along side, to house squash, cucumbers, eggplant, and whatever else we decide to plant. Speaking of pairs, I am going to be taking applications for a future daughter in law this year. The Farmers son is dragging his feet and I am ready for him to settle down with a good woman. There comes a point when a mother may have to butt her nose in and take action. And believe you me, I know just what is BEST for him! Being a dedicated farmer, he never has time for an active social life, let alone courting! If Mohammed can't come to the mountain, I will bring the mountain to Mohammed. I have matched up many a successful union here on the farm! Just ask LuLu about her beloved Colorado..... or Lily and her dashing Don Juan!( I am trusting that he never has time to read this blog, or I am toast!) This week will be a flurry of activity, if it is dry enough. The asparagus crowns are ready to be planted, the Farmers son planted  some olive trees in the orchard.( Why Not!) Hopefully the fruit buds will hold off a little in case we get a blast of arctic air. The strawberries have blooms! The occasional warm spells turned their cycle topsy turvy. It is anyones guess when the U-Pick strawberry season will start. It is a waiting game for kidding season, hopefully the last week in Feb. will find the first babies on the ground. MARKET HOURS:Fri and Sat from noon until 4:00. Call anytime through the week for a special appointment for dairy pickup. From our farmstead to your table thank you for all of your support!!!    

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY.....TO ME!!!



The Farmer and Son are diligently assembling my hoop house, so that I can get a jump start on Spring planting this next week. The stately skeleton rests in the garden, ready for its cover and the doors at the ends. Mulch beds were pulled down the middle, with irrigation lines to make maintenance so much easier. The propagation houses are full of starts to plant, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, broccoli, and more. The weather has slowed our progress, but no complaints here, as we need the moisture more than an extra early harvest. The market is in full swing, with breads, cow milk, honey,  preserves, etc. The girls are winding down their gestation period, preparing for babies to begin their arrival in a couple of weeks. The goat milk will be plentiful. The CSA is full, we will be taking names for the waiting list. As the commitment is month to month, the chance to participate should be good, as some may go on vacation, grow their own produce in the summer, or just choose not to continue. MARKET HOURS: Friday and Saturday from noon until 4:00 pm. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

LAST RITES FOR A DEAR COMPANION!!!

The Farmer came to me and asked for an itty bitty favor. " Honey, could you please patch up my coat, I think that if you fix the holes and the zipper, it still has a few good years." He might as well have asked  me to find a cure for cancer, or solve the world hunger problem. This coat has been ready for the rag pile for quite some time. Now, let me make myself clear, it is not that he doesn't have a brand new one, same color, same style, hanging in the closet, he says it just doesn't feel right. This one is "broke in". To me it is just BROKE!!! Our neighbor happened by with a couple of shirts in hand, asking the Farmer if he could wear them. To me that is a sure sign for a garment retirement ceremony, when friends think you may be destitute and share their clothes. I am betting on the fact that as soon as he gets tired of looking for his gloves, after they have fallen out of the holey pockets time and again, he will put his old friend to rest. In my age old wisdom, I have dedicated a tub in the storage room that is full of  threadbare jeans, tattered shirts, boots without soles.......just in case he wants to visit some old friends. I am not even going to mention his overalls! From our farmstead to your table thank you for all of your support!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A GARDNERS DREAM..... THE FARMERS NIGHTMARE!!!!

I have always wanted a great big greenhouse! One that I can grow everything and anything. Tomatoes, lettuce, potatoes, berries, oranges, even pineapples and bananas and lucious avacados..... no matter how impractical it may be. The Farmer and Son, finally got their bellies full of my constant reminders and incessant nagging and after countless road trips and inquiries, found a sweet man in Oklahoma who appreciated my horticulture visions and delivered to me, a greenhouse, actually a hoop house, but to me a greenhouse, none the less. The only dilema is that it is in a thousand pieces! As the sections of pipe, the boxes of plastic, the cartons of screws and nails were unloaded,  I was jumping up and down with glee, the Farmer was shaking his head, saying "Oh, dear, this will be quite an undertaking!" Actually, he had a few other choice words to say, but that was the gist of it! Assuring him that I had complete faith in his and the Sons abilities to tackle even the most challenging project, I paid the delivery man and happily waived goodbye to him as he drove off. I can hardly contain my excitement! The Farmer and Son have tackled the chore with goodhearted enthusiasm, and I have been on my best behavior, making sure a good supper is on the table, taking on a few of their chores, being patient, as they work on the greenhouse in  between the plowing, planting, tree trimming, pipe laying, milking, feeding, and all else they have to do here on the farm. No more frost bitten tomatoes and peppers, no more flattened eggplant, due to the high winds across our  fields, no more grasshoppers. We are hoping to be able to extend our growing season to be able to produce crops a little earlier and a little later. It would not be practical to try and heat it in the cold winter, but the sun does a remarkable job heating a greenhouse, enabling plants to thrive longer under its protection. Lots of trial and error will be happening this year, to see what will grow, when it will grow, and ........fish! The Farmer and Son want to try aquaponics and grow fish. More on that later. One thing at a time. I just want to be able to have tomato plants that are not bit back by the frost, or  cut to the ground at the knees by 50 mile an hour winds. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

OREGON TRAIL SOURDOUGH BREAD!!!

My new obsession! Who knew that bread could consume ones life! I have spent the last few weeks studying, gathering tools,( I had no clue what a banneton was), and equipment, reading about crusts and crumbs. I have baked bread most of my adult life...... just took a little flour, yeast, salt, water, oil and tadahhh! Bread! But sourdough is like the rocket science of breadmaking. I came across a sourdough starter some time back, originally from 1847, and used on the Oregon Trail. That alone tweaked my curiosity. I obtained some of it, trying to get up the nerve to see what bread with a hundred and sixty year old starter would taste like! It has been dormant in my refrigerator, getting a little nourishment here and there, when I was recycling leftovers and would shuffle it around. I had been hesitant to give it a try, as sourdough bread is my favorite, and knowing that if I tried it and it did not live up to my expectations, it would  put me in the funk for days to come.  The beginning of a  New Year and wanting to broaden my horizons, found me activating the starter, searching for the perfect flour, all the right tools, thoroughly studying different experiences of others with the sourdough bread venture, and this is where my quest has led. They look right darn tasty, if I do say so myself! Mind you, since I have also started curtailing my intake of carbs, I have not tasted one morsel of my sourdough bread. My recommendation comes from the three days from start to finish that it takes to make it. Anything that takes that much time, has got to be good! The bread is available in the Market on the weekends, at $3.50 a boule'. MARKET HOURS: Friday and Saturday from noon until 4:00 pm.  Call throughout the week for dairy pickup.  From our farmstead to your table thank you for all of your support!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WONDERFUL RAIN AND.........FISH FROM ABOVE!!!

Will wonders never cease! As we scoped the pastures and gardens for the welcome effects of the continuous rainfall that has blessed the farm, we noticed some collateral damage from the storms, resting in the driveway. I have heard of the phenomena of frogs, worms and fish, falling from the sky during a violent tempest, but now I am a witness!The tiny fish, the Farmer, an avid fisherman, says  are shad......native to Lake Texoma and Ray Roberts. That is a long way to travel through the air. Brings a whole new perspective to Flying Fish! On a more sensible note, we are making headway in our preparations for Spring planting. The propogation houses are filling up with seed trays for planting. The ground is ready for the hoop house, that will soon be here. The Farmer's Son has jumped the gun a little and planted a round of onions. The market had its first week end opening, it was good to see our friends after a brief lull during the Christmas season. Our MARKET HOURS: Friday and Saturday from noon until 4:00 pm. We only have cow milk and cow milk products at this time. The goat milk will resume the first of March.The CSA is almost full-up. Thank you to all those who sent in their applications so quickly.  More information will be posted here as we get closer to the season, around the first week in April. Valentines Day is just around the corner, we will have some special treats in the market for that special someone. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

E-mail crash!!

Our e-mail has a glitch, working on getting it fixed, so sorry......info@randcdairy.com  is under repair.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

MARKET OPENING FOR 2012!!!

Needless to say, I did not get my house cleaned, gather a box for the Goodwill, or reorganize my pantry! But I did have a good rest and am ready to put the Petals ( fruit & veggie blooms) to the Metals( rake,hoe, & shovel). The Farmstead Market will be opening on Friday of this week, with cow milk and cow milk products. We will be introducing a few new items. Our homemade laundry soap, our country breads, as well as our homemade preserves, soap, etc.  from our farms produce. We will have a few green onions and some mixed salad greens this week.  The goat milk will be available the first of March, and  we should have produce starting the first of April. The ground beef should be plentiful again in Feb. as should be the bacon. The all natural boneless, skinless, chicken breasts  will be available next week. Call or e-mail for more information.   The CSA information is posted on the website randcdairy.com. We have a few spots available. AND for all of you romantics, this year, we are going to be doing Specialties for your favorite Valentine. We are going to have Chocolate dipped strawberries, Candies, cookies, and, cakes. Nothin' says lovin' like  a dozen double dipped chocolate strawberries or a handful of pecan pralines! From our Farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!