As the premier day of strawberry picking came to a close, we breathed a sigh of relief that visitors came to the farm and picked all of the strawberries that were ripe and ready on the plants. There is always that niggling thought that what if we sent out an invite and no one chose to come. I have visions of picking by the light of the moon all night long, making sure none go to waste. It was wise we chose to require reservations, not so wise to accept last minute requests for " there are just a couple of us that want to pick, you won't even know we are there". That couple turned out to be 16. We are grateful for all of those who ventured to the farm for a liesurly day of berry picking. For those who were not able to make it, we will be picking again this coming weekend, and will be accepting reservations again for Thurs. Friday and Saturday afternoons. For any that would like to come throughout the week after Tues, which should be time enough for the plants to recover and put forth the next wave of ripe fruit, call, and we will make room for you in our schedule to come and pick. A brief recap of the reason we have guidelines for guests at the farm. Due to some slight misunderstandings, we had a group ( small wonder, there were 16 in the group) that were asked to leave out of respect for the other visitors and because of the less than ZERO tolerance the Farmer has for persons that feel that it is their right to come to our home, having little regard for our guidelines for safety. He is not a stranger to farm mishaps. Just ask him about his bee attack, who thought a head could swell that big..... or our ornery rooster and the metal baseball bat. Can't begin to count the times he was whopped, only to come back ready for more. His timely end was a stew pot. The Farmers son can tell you first hand how fast a calf can kick with its hind legs. He might even show you the knot on his knee. We were very specific about children, electric fences, boundaries, beehives, hay bales, equipment. Just to make it perfectly clear, we are at this time, a u pick strawberry farm. Next month we will be a u pick blackberry farm. Hopefully in the fall, we will be a u pick pumpkin farm. At that time we will host a fall festival for all of those that would like to come and see the nitty gritty of farm life, complete with tours and demonstrations of the workings of a dairy and farmstead. For those that would like to wander around a farm to tour all of the crops and fields unattended, might I suggest a trip to Kansas where the cornfields are spacious and never-ending, wander to your hearts delight! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Those poor little berries just can't catch a break! The lightening and the thunder, not to mention bits of hail and the rain on our metal roof, got our attention. As we sat up in bed and pondered the outcome in the morning, we felt pretty sure that what was falling on the roof, was falling on the strawberry field and we were in for another little setback in the strawberry production. Lots of reservations were called in for Saturday picking. Be forewarned!!! The big, ripe berry selection will be meager. The mushed and mangled berry selection will be plentiful. We will be contacting those that left contact information to announce that their reservations will be honored the following week, as many of the red, ripe begging to be picked berries, took a battering in the storm. The not so ripe, still developing, greenish white ones, weathered the storm just fine, thankfully, there are lots and lots of them. We will be postponing the picking to the following Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 25, 26, 27, from noon until 4:00 PM. If you are totally confused by all of the changes, just call or contact us for clarification. Hopefully we will be able to announce open picking no reservation required, after Saturday, April 27. Then again, this whole rigamarole may change again! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Lots and Lots of calls for berry picking! As the berries are just starting to produce, after the spring freeze, we are going to allow a limited amount of pickers to come to the farm to start the season. Nothing worse than traveling a distance for zippo! As this Saturday is pretty well full up, do not despair. There will be bigger and better Saturdays to come. At the beginning of next week, the picking days for that week will be posted. As soon as there is open picking, we will make the big announcement. For now we will continue with reservations. There have been several requests to come pick in the mornings, so to whom this may concern......... we start our chores and milking at about 5:30 in the morning. After several hours of work, we finish.....for the morning We welcome pickers, but would have to start chores at about 3:00 AM to accommodate morning pickers. Sorry, no can do! We finish picking at 4:00 PM in time to start the chores for the evening. After a bite of supper, a little shut eye, we start all over again! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
Sunday, April 14, 2013
The dismal remnants of the hard freeze that blasted through here last month are quickly being overshadowed by new blossoms and red, ripe strawberries. We are preparing to welcome visitors to the farm to share the lush fruit that the hearty plants are putting forth. Our u-pick season will open this weekend as the berries are becoming more abundant each day. To assure that there will be plenty of berries for those that make the trek, we will have appointment picking, as we kick start the season. Here are some of the guidelines and basic information for those that will be coming to the farm for berry picking:* We welcome families to come pick, but we require 1 adult for each child under 8 years of age, and ask that all children be supervised at all times. We are a working farm and have electric fences, beehives, farm equipment, animals, this is to make sure that your visit is safe and enjoyable * Wear appropriate clothing. Jackets, closed toed shoes, as we are in the sand, hats, etc. * Leave Fifi and Fido at home, we do not allow pets on the farm. * We do not spray our berries with chemicals, but there is constant blowing wind with sand. Do not attempt to eat the berries before they are washed, you will be spitting out grit for hours. * Pick only the berries that are deep red all of the way around, they are ripe and sweet. * Do not walk on the plastic beds where the berries reside. Underneath are the irrigation lines and they are difficult to repair when torn, as is the plastic.* We provide the boxes for picking. The berries are priced at $3.00 lb. There is a minimum for each family of 1 box . The box will hold about 6-7 lbs. level full.* We accept cash or check in the form of payment * Picked berries may be available in the market. *Restroom facilities are available.* We do not have a picnic area, but nearby Lake Ray Roberts has picnic facilities. * We are not able to give tours during picking hours, so we offer an invitation to our fall festival, where tours will be given to all areas of the farm. Appointments for picking can be made by leaving a message on the answer machine, 903-429-2319 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Just provide your name, the number of persons in your party, and a contact number or e-mail address. We will contact you to confirm your request. The first day of picking will be Thursday, April 18. The picking hours will be 12:00 Noon until 4:00 PM. We will also be open the following Friday and Saturday, the same hours. We are closed on Sundays and do not pick in the rain. Additional picking days and hours for the weeks to come will be posted here and announced on the answer machine. We look forward to seeing everyone this year! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support !!!
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
The Farmer finally took matters into hand, as the prospects of goat milk seemed like wishful thinking. The swelling tummies and pooching udders had not produced anything resembling babies or milk. Time to go to the source of the situation. We had analyzed every scenario that could possibly exhist.... the courtship, the weather, the alignment of the stars, hormones, bad kharma. Why in the world did we not have any kids on the ground? The Farmer "smelled a skunk in the woodpile." The most logical next step would be biology, and that if something does not seem to be working properly, figure out why and how to fix it. Since dairy goats are not as numerous as dogs, cats, horses and cows in veterenary circles, we were hard pressed to find a vet that would take on our situation. After a few referrals, we hit paydirt. As it was much easier to load 2 bucks in a trailer than 40 does, the fellows were soon taking a road trip to Van Alstyn. After a few pokes and prods, and a little electricity ( just let your imagination soar) the results were conclusive. Now, just let me say this. In the world of guns and marksmen, shooting blanks has its place. In the world of dairy goat breeders, shooting blanks is a travesty. Our newly acquired, pedigreed, high dollar Stud Muffin did not have a tadpole anywhere near him. Who would have thought? He had sired many offspring, or so we were told, so we certainly were not expecting this outcome. In our defense, the Vet said that this was very rare. Naturally, it would happen to us! Oh, and our good ol' boy Don Juan, who we thought was not up to the task this season, and lost his position as the number one Bad Boy, was so loaded with little swimmers, the vet cautioned the female tech to stand back for fear of exposure! In a nutshell, a goat dairy, with few prospects of milking does is a bit of a dilema. Not to worry! We may be down, but certainly not out. The Farmer had the forethought to introduce Don Juan back to the doe herd a couple of months ago, just to catch any misses ( if he only knew). And this is where the story takes a quirky turn. The farm that we got Mr. Fancy Pants from just happened to have a dire situation that needed our help. It seems that the little buckling that we swapped said Buck for, in order to switch bloodlines up a bit, happened to jump the fence one night and got into small herd of does, a fine group of girls that were going to be sold, therefore not bred this past year, due to an impending surgery of the owner. It seems that our little buckling had quite a time, as the goats are now kidding and it seems most all will be mothers. How much more bizarre can life get? It just so happens that some of these does will very soon be ours, the first to arrive in a couple of days..... and full of goat milk to boot! We appreciate everyones patience, we apologize for our ignorance. The appearance of fat bellies and swollen bags was brought on by very well fed goats . The supply of goat milk will be gradual to start, then should increase in the next few weeks as the new goats arrive. In the meantime we bid farewell, to the new and useless and welcome back to the old and invaluable. By the way, we should have a wave of babies in the fall,thanks to efforts of an old, reliable friend, who we refer to as the Clean Up Man, and that means winter milk! Yippee!!! The MARKET HOURS: Friday and Saturday from noon until 4:00 PM. Information on strawberry picking will be posted this weekend, as we are hoping to start u-pick next weekend. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Our farm e-mail has a glitch, not sure what it is, all messages have been returned as it states our box is full. The technical department, which consists of anyone here on the farm that knows beans about computors, and anyone who doesn't, like yours truly, and whoever else we know that might have a clue. Hopefully we will be up and running again soon. Meanwhile, pick up the phone, as I have paid the bill for this month and it still is working and call us at 903-429-2319 UPDATE::::::::: THE PROBLEM HAS BEEN SOLVED!!!! Thanks to an intelligent yakity parrot who squawks every morning "Take out the trash, take out the trash". Who needs a geek squad when we have Nicky. She was right, our trash folder was full of forms and files that were downloaded. It has since been emptied and the mail box is ready for mail! Also, thanks to Pam, our site sponsor.