Sunday, October 25, 2015
Grateful for the abundant rain, we took the downpours in stride. The animals found shelter, the equipment was housed in the new equipment shed, the fields just drank it all in, with the huge cracks and crannies closing up. As Fall is well under way, preparations are being made to prepare for cold weather and the short days of winter. The strawberries have been planted for the next season, the garlic is going into the ground this week, the Spring milkers are being reintroduced to their favorite Lothario, the fall milkers are producing lots of good goat milk to supply the increasing demand. It is time to start thinking about the holidays, and market preparations for all of the goodies. The pantry provisions are increasing in the market with additional freeze dried and dehydrated foods. Soups in a jar, herb and spice mixes, fruit leather, ice cream puffs made from homemade ice cream, yogurt drops, everything granola, are some of the offerings. Will have raw honey, and some in jars with the honeycomb. Our honey, citrus ginger tea mix will be in the cooler this week and watch for a new beverage called "Shrubs". It is a doozy! The pecan trees are loaded, just waiting for a snap of cold weather and some big wind. The Farmer is adjusting to his retirement from the Fire Station and the Farmers Wife is looking feverishly for him a job. She has already sent him to Arkansas to visit friends, bought him a boat to send him to the lake to fish, volunteered his services at a nursing home, arranged for him to chaperone any field trips at the school, and is open to hiring him out to do odd jobs ( he is extremely handy!) Just give her a call....... oh you may have to wait a day or two, the rain knocked out the phone line at the farm, and the phone company is none too speedy. MARKET HOURS: FRIDAY AND SATURDAY from noon until 4:00 PM. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!!
Friday, October 9, 2015
Alas, all good things must come to an end, and in the farming business it usually means someone is moving on. In this case, the Farmers Son is going to the city for an opportunity to expand his horizons. To the farm it means the crops and animals will be without one of their most attentive caregivers for the last eight years. He will still be coming to help some evenings and an occasional weekend, but the steady 6:00 in the morning milk hand will be tending to others needs. The ultimate decision to revise the farm milk program was more of a natural process than an immediate snap judgment. For the time being, the cow milk supply will be greatly reduced, as most of the cows are moving to greener pastures, to an up and coming raw milk dairy farm, in all places, Farmersville, Tx. It was very hard for the Farmers Wife to part with her dear friends, but in determining what two people who are reaching their golden years can maintain on a busy farm, the cows became the victims of their owners declining energy and increasing years. For the time being a couple of the most cherished will remain on the farm giving what milk they can, when they can, seasonally supplying the market with a few gallons each week. All cow milk will be by reservation, so call ahead for availability. The goat milk is another story altogether. The goat herd is flourishing, the milk flowing abundantly at this time. Breeding season has started for the coming milk year, anticipating a good prolific year. The Farmer and his Wife are able to tend to the goats without additional help, so the farm will continue to provide goat milk interrupted. There will still be produce, honey, meat, eggs, as well as all of the pantry items in the market..... and plenty of goat milk products. If by chance we come upon the perfect helper, who cannot live through a day without milking a cow or two, we will most assuredly consider expanding the cow herd again. Tears have been shed, good buys have been said, and a huge thank you to the best herd of jersey milk cows on the face of the earth. MARKET HOURS: Friday and Saturday from noon until 4 PM. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Watched the blood moon eclipse and was mesmerized by the beauty of the giant orb fading out and then back in. The sky was clear, being in the country, with only natures night sounds breaking the silence, it was an experience that will be remembered for a lifetime. And as the world did not come to an end, a lifetime that will be a bit longer. The nights are cooling just enough for the tomatoes to start to produce, the pears and apples have all been picked from the trees, and the days are filled with canning, dehydrating and freeze drying. The strawberry plants for next spring will be here in a couple of weeks, so hopefully we will get a little rain to ease the plowing. The animals are loving the cooler weather. Watching the calves and goats frolic in the early morning and early evening, confirms that they can function at a much faster pace when it is not sweltering outside. The Farmer has been cutting the last cutting of hay for the season. The girls will be kept fat and happy. The market will be open this weekend Friday and Saturday from noon until 4:00 PM. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
Friday, September 25, 2015
The crisp, cool mornings are so delightful, it makes baking and canning so much more comfortable. There will be sour dough bread in the market this weekend, as well as a wide assortment of fruit breads. Just a reminder that our e mail address has changed. If an order was sent to our old address, it is floating out there in the cloud somewhere and it will not find its way to us. Our new address email@example.com will get your message to the right source. There will be some fall produce, the tomato vines are loaded with green tomatoes and the squash are blooming. If by chance the world ends on Sunday, hopefully we will meet on the other side, and thank you to all those that helped support our efforts to be farmers. If not, see you next week! Our market hours are Friday and Saturday from noon until 4:00 PM. ( and yes, we have plenty of goat milk at this time). From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
Thursday, September 17, 2015
He certainly filled up the freezer! The most delicious tacos were made for supper. Nice lean, grass and milk fed, this ground beef will be the best yet. Due to the increase in processing the price of the ground beef will now be $6.50 per pound. Comparing other farm raised beef prices, we are still less expensive than any in our area. The market will be open tomorrow, Friday, from noon until 4:00 PM , as well as Saturday, the same hours. Dairy, meat, honey, home canned items, as well as freshly baked breads and cookies. Come see us! From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
If ever there was an item that came from our farm store, made in the farm kitchen, that evoked a more diverse assortment of reactions than the delicacy made from vanilla beans, raw sugar and goat milk, it has not been made. Tasting Cajeta, or Dulce De Leche is an experience that will leave one speechless. The rich, smooth, creamy, caramel made from the sweet, creamy, milk inevitably will cause curiosity, surprise, nostalgia, a slight state of euphoria, followed by intense satisfaction. Your taste buds will be jubilant. Made small batches at a time, slowly and patiently this confection has little else that will rival its perfection. Whether it is poured over ice cream or waffles, covers an apple, flavors a cup of hot chocolate or coffee, or eaten right from the jar, it is well worth the splurge. Available in the farm
Saturday, September 12, 2015
What a glorious day..... sunny, slightly breezy, cooler, and just the right amount of customers visiting the store at a steady pace, making the day perfect! No produce for sale to speak of, have been doling out cucumbers and peppers as the cool weather has reactivated the plants. The cooler weather is motivational..... going to dig out the seed packets and make a plan. The latest obsession that has taken over the pantry, is the freeze drying machine. Fruit snacks are now available in the market, with on the spot fruit and nut oatmeal mixes, soups in a jar, and soon meats and vegetables. One customer said the freeze dried tropical mix with mango, kiwi, banana, pineapple, is like crack cocaine, you just want more, more, more! This next week will be a flurry of cleaning old beds, adding fresh compost, planting seeds, and preparing for the arrival of next years strawberry starts. Time to order garlic. Decisions have to be made on what to replace the expired trees in the orchard with. The bull that was sent to the processor, should be ready any day now. His demise was his own doing, as it was determined that he was the reason our milk production was less and less, as the summer heat increased, we blamed the decrease in production too the excessive temperatures. Lo and behold one evening about dusk the Farmer took a little jaunt in the go buggy to the pasture to check on the animals and found a milk thief just sauntering from one cow to the next helping himself to their wares, and I am not talking about their lady parts on the back end, but the lady parts down under! That was entirely unacceptable. Once they taste the creamy bovine nectar, there is no turning back, his fate was sealed. On the upside, we will have wonderful milk and grass fed ground beef in the market. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Let's just say that the past few months have been a steady diet of patience, endurance, feast, famine, surprises, mysteries, joys, sorrows, with us shrugging our shoulders at the end of many a day and uttering, " well, we made it through in one piece!" Starting where we left off, just kicking off the strawberry season, the first couple of weeks of picking were stupendous. Lots of berries, both inside under the hoop house, and outside in the fields. Then came the rain, and then more rain, and then more after that. If someone would have said that a whole field of strawberries would mold and turn rotten in three days, OH POPPPYCOCK!!! would have been the reply on this end. Well it happened. While the strawberries were drowning, the blackberries were basking in the abundant rainfall, growing plump and black on the vines. So many berries that picking on the halves was an everyday occurrence. As there are several varieties, the season lasted a few weeks as the early varieties heralded the mid-season berries, which prepared the way for the later varieties. Berries were picked in the morning, during the day, and at night, sunshine and rain. And it continued to rain. For anyone that has grown fruit trees, it is a well known fact that peaches, pluots, plums, do not like wet feet. With fields saturated for days with nowhere for the water to go, our orchard suffered grave damage, as the roots of some of our younger trees rotted in the ground. Our helplessness turned to despair as we watched the tender young fruit and leaves shrivel on the branches and fall to the ground. Thankfully, some of the older trees, with deep established roots, withstood the effects of the water emersion. Needless to say, there will be several new peach trees planted this winter. As the rains also limited our vegetable planting, our CSA was short but sweet. If anyone goes boating on Lake Ray Roberts, be sure to take a swing around to the North east banks near Tioga. Most likely there you will find a huge garden with watermelons, cantaloupe, squash, corn, peas, beans, okra, seeds all washed from the farm, settling on the banks of the lake. What was with the incessant heat that enveloped us like a brick oven? What little we had planted turned to powder in a matter of days. It was all we could do to keep the animals cool and hydrated. It was during this time that our summer crop of goat babies took the greatest hit. No matter how many fans and misters we kept on them, or how often we fed them bottles, the dead heat of the summer is no place for baby goats that are bred for the Swiss Alps. We suffered several fatalities. Bummer! Those that were hardy enough to survive the heat are thriving. The Farmer finished his equipment building, allowing all of the farm equipment to be under cover, ensuring a longer and more productive lifespan. The market has had a good summer, despite the slight setbacks in crops. The self serve produce table was a huge hit again this year. There are plans for a fall crop of sorts. Will post what should be available to come. More updates will be shared in the coming days, as well as an announcement or two. Our market days are the same, Friday and Saturday from noon until 4:00 PM. Due to the hacking of our e-mail, we have a new address. For the life of me, who would want to hack into a homestead farm's mail? What top secret information do they think they will retrieve? How to compost goat poop? From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!! New address firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
The blossoms are finally adorning the fruit trees, the strawberries are finally blooming, the new babies are filling up the pens in the barn, the asparagus is waking from hibernation, and the bees are busy with anything that looks remotely like a flower.... going to go out on a limb and proclaim that Spring is finally here! The Farmer and Son are anxiously awaiting some stretches of sunshine that will dry the fields in order to plow and plant. The Farmer planted a beautiful wheat cover crop. Theoretically, when plowed back into the ground should die back and become organic matter for the soil. In our case, with the rain it just spread and grew more wheat grass, taller and taller. So much for that idea. We may be selling wheat grass instead of lettuce this year! Spring/Summer harvest are going to be behind schedule, just as the ground becomes a little mudless, another spell of showers saturates the soil. Alas, we need the rain so very little complaining is done. Just another small hurdle in the life of a Farmer, and a heads up that the potatoes and onions will be a little smaller this year. Still weighing in on the strawberry crop. The hard freezes were a challenge for the tender plants. Many of them froze, despite our efforts to protect them. As the blooms appear over the next few days, it will be decided if there will be enough for u-pick this year. Next week, information will be posted about the CSA. Many from last year have already reserved a share, so there may be just a few shares available. Depending upon the success of spring planting, the date that the CSA will begin will be determined.....most likely around the first week in May. The market has been bustling, as the Spring milkers are getting into full swing. The goat milk production is finally on the rise, and the cow milk is abundant. The hens will not take second fiddle to the cows, so they are giving it their all, with egg production at its peak. MARKET HOURS: Friday and Saturday from noon until 4:00 PM. If a volume of milk is needed, it is a good idea to call ahead and check for availability. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!
Thursday, February 5, 2015
One night we go to sleep and Thanksgiving is approaching, one morning we wake up and it is almost Valentines day! The concept of hibernation makes so much sense, now. The Christmas holidays came and went here on the farm with lots of fun with family and friends. The Farmer and Farmer's Son have kept the animals fat and happy, making sure everyone has an abundance of food and shelter during the occasional cold spells. Two new calves were born, giving us the prospect of plenty of Spring dairy products. The acquisition of a new herd sire for the cows and a buck for the milking does sets our minds at ease and relieves the pressure of trying to determine the breeding cycles of the girls for artificial insemination. A guy is gonna do what a guy does..... and he usually knows just when to do it! Preparations are being made for Spring planting. The Farmers Son is planting seed trays in the grow house, the fields are plowed, the addition of another hoop house is being planned. Strawberries are being harvested in the berry hoop house, as well as some rhubarb. Chocolate dipped strawberries will be featured in the market for Valentines Day. Plans for the CSA are under way. Applications will be available at the end of the month of February. More information will be posted. There will be two pickup days this year, Tuesday and Thursday. The market has been busy this winter, thanks to all of our loyal, dedicated, die hard customers. Products available have been cow milk, goat milk, yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, honey, ground beef, preserves, bath and body items, home made baked goods, and our newest obsession, food storage for the preppers. Our motto " Plant it, Pick it, Preserve it... one way or another". Our market hours are Friday and Saturday from noon until 4 PM. Call ahead for availability if larger quantity needed, as we sell out every weekend. From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!