Friday, May 24, 2013
Since we do not have a kayak or a rowboat to use in the strawberry field, and the Farmer has only one pair of hip waders to loan out, we will not be picking strawberries on Saturday. Due to the continuous rain all of last night, the patch is a loblolly. Berry picking has been canceled. Not to worry...... With the onset of blackberry picking next weekend, there may be a chance that a few strawberries will still be available to pick just to mix it up a bit. As we have become adept at flying by the seat of our pants, and taking whatever is around the next bend, those that have become regulars to the farm have come to realize that nothing is set in stone around here. What is planned for one day, may be a whole new ball of wax the next day. Speaking of blackberries, the picking season will begin this next week, with reservations being taken, starting Wednesday, for the weekend. Thursday morning, Friday morning and Saturday morning will be available for picking. As the heat sets in and the days become longer, all of the picking will be done in the mornings, between the hours of 10:00 AM and Noon. As we progress into the season special appointments may be made at other times if there are sufficient berries to pick. As mentioned earlier, we have a bumper crop, so it will not take long to fill a bucket with the plump, black, morsels. The Farmer is grooming the blackberry rows, to discourage the invasion of chiggers, snakes, and fire ants. As of late, we have not had these critter problems, and want to keep it that way. More information will be posted later in the week. For the record, even though it put the kabosh on our berry picking for the day, we are so grateful for the good rain. We just love these mixed blessings! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The strawberry season is on the downhill slide, supposedly, but with the whacky weather the berries are more than a little confused. Some of the plants are completely played out, and some of them are still blooming. The most logical solution is to sweep through and pick everything that is ready and see what happens next. A big shout out to all of you jam and smoothie makers. Come pick and fill up your pantry and freezers. We will be offering a discount for more than 10 pounds of berries picked. Call ahead for an appointment, as we will be picking in the mornings as well as the afternoons playing a guessing game to determine the temperatures for the day. Picking days for this week will be Friday and Saturday. We will still be following our picking guidelines, so check the blog pot Strawberry Scoop if you have any questions. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Every morning the Farmer asks me the same old question, just like a broken record, " Well my little Butter Bean, is today the day that you close the windows of the house and turn on the air conditioner?" And he hears the same reply "It is May! who closes their windows in May!" But I have to admit, come mid afternoon it has been mighty tempting. When the clothes start sticking, and the hair is all matted, I will probably capitulate. With the heat comes the bugs and flies. The plants and the animals are putting up a good fight against these natural disasters. On the upside, the warmth has encouraged the squash, melons, and okra to explode. The strawberries are winding down, as the plants do not do well in the heat, so we will probably pick for another week maybe two. On the berry upside, the blackberries are starting to turn. We are anticipating opening on Memorial Day. Due to the extreme heat, we will be arranging for morning picking, the earlier the better. I have not been able to anticipate with much success the day or the hour that the berries will be ready. One day there is nothing that looks remotely close to being ripe, the next day, the whole bush is loaded with ripe berries. Midweak, we will post some information. The wind is blowing ninety to nothing today, and what peaches were left on the trees have been knocked to the ground. Better luck next year. The Farmer took out the first row of potato plants with the new potato digger direct from Italy. It was mesmerizing watching it gently burrow under the ground, raise the new tators up from the dirt, and gently shake away the soil and place them neatly on top of the fresh dug mound. Those Italians are wizards in the garden. Found another superb milking doe this past week, so our goat milk production is ever so slowly increasing. We have put Praline on the cow milk production line and she just fit right in with the rest of the girls. She is a little shy, this being her first time, but she will soon learn the ropes. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!
Thursday, May 16, 2013
We got good rain, Yaayy!! No berry picking today, Booo. We are full up for the weekend picking, another Boooo. Should have strawberries for another couple of weeks, we will post information on next weeks picking on Monday, then the blackberries should start. Will keep you updated! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Every morning I go to the pasture and make an inventory of my milk cows. I have this niggling suspicion that the Farmer has traded one of my girls for a handful of magic seeds. Every time I go to the hoop house it seems that the tomato plants have grown several inches. The tops are just a smidge away from the highest peak of the center beams. It is just a tad bit freaky! With all of the freezes and temperature fluctuations, we were not anticipating a tomato crop this Spring. To our amazement, the plants are flourishing. The stalks are loaded with yellow blossoms and green tomatoes. Fried green tomatoes will be on the table of a few select visitors who were able to snatch up the first of the seasons pick in the market today. It must be magic!! The strawberry picking season is well under way. Lots of visitors today and it seemed to go without a hitch. Most all were able to fill their boxes with sufficient red, ripe berries. After the weekend of picking, we will determine when the berries will be plentiful enough to start picking again. Most likely this will be after Tuesday or Wednesday. Reservations will be required, as this seems to work best to make sure all will be able to get berries when they come. Going home empty handed is a real buzz kill. The CSA program will be starting the week of Memorial Day. All that are participating will be contacted the week before with updated information. For those that were not able to get enough milk for your needs this week, we should be increasing our volume in the next couple of weeks, with a new freshener and the possibility of a new member of our bovine club. The planting for the Spring is almost complete, the last of the blackeyed peas, okra, melons, corn, cucumbers, squash, pepper plants, eggplant, are in the ground. The Farmer says if it snows in the next couple of weeks, we will probably just plow everything under and wait until August and plant a fall garden. I am especially anxious to use the new tator digger to dig up the French fingerlings. First time we have planted them, and the bushy plants are divine. There are a few peaches on the peach trees, and some pears here and there and for the first time, some apples. The next big project is going to be cutting hay to feed all of the hungry mouths that call 40 crossroads Rd. home. I got a hint from the Farmer that for Mothers Day, all of us are going to get a new hay cutter. Never let it be said that the Farmer forgot all of the hard work the Mothers on this farm do, having babies, producing milk, laying eggs, hatching brood to make honey, cooking and cleaning ( my contribution). He is going to make sure we have plenty to eat this fall and winter, when all of the grass is gone. We are all just tickled pink! I will make sure they all share my portion. The blackberries should be ready in about 3 weeks. If there are plenty ready, we will open Memorial Day Weekend for picking. This year will be a bumper crop. The vines are heavy laden with soon to be ripe, juicy, blackberries. MARKET HOURS: Friday and Saturday from noon until 4:00 PM. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
Sunday, May 5, 2013
We snuck in another weekend of berry picking before the night frost and cold hit again. We are getting pretty adept at basking in the sun during the day and hunkering down near the heater at night. We decided to plant some of the outside seedlings and they paid the price . Our biggest concern is how to explain to visitors that they may have to carve watermelons for halloween, as we may not get them planted in time for the 4th of July picnics if the weather does not cooperate. The strawberries have surprised us all by their resiliency. After being frozen out twice, the little plants have really made a bold comeback. As some of them are still putting forth blooms, we should have berries for another several weeks. The Farmer said I must have put the Fear Of God in our visitors, as all have been on their very best behaviour, adults and children alike, with not so much as one itty bitty incident. Thank you for making our job go so smoothly. All else on the farm is rocking along. Praline is getting ready to calve for the first time, more cow milk, less rationing. The dairy does are getting used to their new digs, feeling comfortable enough to lay down at night instead of pace the fencelines. Should be able to start making goat milk cheese this week. The Farmer and Son split some beehives, more honey on the horizon. He received a bee retrieval call, went to check out the situation. Seems some workers chopped down a tree, housing a huge swarm of bees. After donning his bee suit, and upon approaching the area, he was covered with angry bees within seconds. He slowly retreated from the area, walking about a mile away, hoping the bees would return to their hive area, which was most abruptly disturbed. Several found their way under his glove and into his mask, they are relentless when angry. Needless to say he returned home with nothing but a few bee stingers under his skin. No mad wild bees wanted at this farm. The target date for the CSA is the week of May 20. All of those that have become members will receive a contact with more information. The blackberrys should be ready for picking at the end of May also. We project a bumper crop. The next round of strawberries will be ready for picking this week on Tues. Due to several requests to come throughout the week, we are taking reservations for afternoons Tuesday through Saturday. Picking starts each day at noon. Call ahead and let us know you are coming, we will watch for you. MARKET HOURS:Friday and Saturday from Noon 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!!!
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Dragging out the coveralls again for morning chores, just got them laundered and tubbed for the summer. If nothing else, we have not become complacent when it comes to preparations for weather change. We can whip those sides of the hoop houses up and down in no time at all. With all of this years previous fluctuations in temperature, this really comes as no big surprise. We were half expecting snow on the ground when we awoke this morning. Strawberry picking will be postponed for today, Thursday, as the forcasted winds and rain will make it a not too pleasant experience. Friday and Saturday should be much better. The market will be open regular hours, Friday and Saturday from noon until 4:00 PM. The Farmer planted corn and green beans this week for the third time. He says practice makes perfect. If so, we should have the most perfect corn and green beans ever. I am going to share a little secret. We are hiding 5 foot tomato plants, loaded with blooms and small green tomatoes in the hoop houses. If we can keep them from the icy Norther that is making its way here, we should have tomatoes at the end of the month. For those that have waited so patiently for goat milk and goat milk cheese, we have acquired another sweet doe to our micro-mini milking herd. She and the four other fresh(in milk) does we scoured the country to find, have set about the task of providing milk for all of the goat milk enthusiasts that have been faithful to us for all of these years. The waiting list is getting shorter and shorter. The remaining dry as the Sahara desert goat herd, just browse around the farm eating, drinking, napping, enjoying their brief respite from motherhood and all of its responsibilities. The Farmer is on the lookout for the studliest, most regal looking buck that he can find, to ensure a new crop of babies next Spring. You can bet your bottom dollar, his first trip in our trailer will be to the Vet clinic for a little zap and tickle, testing his swimmers before the check clears the bank. Meanwhile, the cows just do their thing, as do the chickens. The honeybees make their presence known in the water troughs and on the crop blossoms. We are forever grateful for what our animals choose to share with us and we give thanks that we are so blessed. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!