Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy new year!

We would like to wish everyone a happy new year.
This past year for us has been tough, personally, and we would like to thank all our family, friends, and members for sticking with us through it.

Especially our members. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

We will be offering our open shares in February, after first offering 2007 members renewales in January.

We have so much planned for 2008. We know it will be a great year! We are busy planning!
If you have any questions about next year please email us at

First Draft seed list...

We got our first draft of our seed list done last night. Finally.

85 different varieties. OH! But we forgot Basil, or any herbs, and we need more of this less of that. I still think that 8 varieties of radishes may be excessive! But those pretty multicolored bunches (which sell great at market) require 4 types. Then we have an extra early for the spring, a black winter radish (anyone like those?), a diakon, and a wonderful heirloom French one, which you cannot take from me!

So far our seeds are being sourced pretty reasonably with Johnnies Selected Seeds, E&R Seeds, and Seed Savers Exchange being our main sources. There are other sources for the harder to find stuff, but I will not reveal them! :) Well maybe if someone asked I would.

The next thing to do will be to figure out our heirlooms, and make sure we have enough in all the categories. As we grow very naturally it is a safety net for us to grow some hybrids (many of which are still older varieties) but they can have more disease resistance then others, and like the heirloom radish, you will have to pry my powdery mildew resistant Acorn Squash from me to get them!

All our seeds come from "safe seed" sources which promise not to knowingly sell any genetically modified seeds.

We may actually stay under 100 varieties this year?

((probably not :) ))

Friday, December 28, 2007

What to get?

It is hard to explain how the seed selection process works.

First, we get all the catalogues and are filled with optimism at the possibilities. We flip through them casually, again and again, reading descriptions to each other. Marveling at what is available.

Then reality starts to hit. We have a list of items from previous years we know we need to grow...
  • Matt's Wild Cherry Tomatoes - an unbelievably long producer of cherry tomatoes.
  • Pink Brandywines - which even through we have had mixed luck with we almost HAVE to grow if we say we grow heirlooms!
  • Padron peppers - which we feel there HAS to be a local market for.
  • Santa Fe Grande peppers - which I need for my jelly.
  • Mexican Gerkin Cucumbers - which are just fun!
  • The list goes on on and on...
Then there are items which we did not grow last year and miss! This list is maybe 4 or 5 things long.

Then we have the "staple" items. We need 2 or 3 varieties of green beans, of beets, of turnips, of radish, of lettuce, of lots of stuff.

Then there are items we are still looking for the best in. What is the best variety of green pepper, of jalapenos, of zucchini?

When we are done with all of this sometime in the next couple weeks our list will be too long. It is a guarantee! Then the hard work of cutting begins. We will only grow 4 types of radishes! We only need 10 types of tomatoes. 3 hot peppers and 2 sweet.

The pea shown above is SO cool. It is an edible yellow pod pea from Seed Savers exchange. But it will not make the cut. The plants require trellising (we are avoiding trellising peas this year) and grow 6 feet tall. And we already have 3 types of peas on the list!

Eventually we will have a list of somewhere near 100 items that we will grow. The list always creeps a little, but a goal is good! So seed varieties, here we come!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

What to buy organic...

In these cold dark days of winter we in Northeast Ohio are forced to buy much produce at the grocery store if we do not want to subsist on beans, root crops, onions, and hydroponic lettuce! So how do we know what we should buy?

I have found the following list to be very helpful. The "dirty dozen." Those foods which we should buy organic when we can... • Apples• Bell Peppers• Celery• Cherries• Imported Grapes• Nectarines• Peaches• Pears• Potatoes• Red Raspberries• Spinach• Strawberries...

Then there are the 12 which are least likely to be contaminated. • Asparagus• Avocados• Bananas• Broccoli• Cauliflower• Corn (sweet)• Kiwi• Mangos• Onions• Papaya• Pineapples• Peas (sweet)

Here is a pocket sized pdf to carry with you when you shop.

This is a breakdown of the results of testing.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Another BlogPulse Chart

Look at how closely the terms "local food" and "organic" track each others on blog posts across the web.

What I find even more interesting is that "local food" is a more popular term then "organic."

Time for farm!

Well, the holidays are almost over. And hundreds of cookies, pounds of candy, and a handful of meals later I can finally breath!


But now it is time to get ready for the 2008 season! We expect to take deposits from existing members in January and order our seeds. In February, we will accept new members and put up a small hoophouse. In March the first of the starts are planted. The first items go in the garden in April. In May the major transplanting is done. In June we will have our first shares available. In July the bounty of the season will really start. By August everyone will be tired of summer squash. In September we will reach the peak of peppers and tomatoes. In October the winter squashes will start to appear. November may see a short fall season. In December we hope to offer one last "Christmas" share featuring storage crops.

And then it will be time to start over again!

(I'm tired just thinking about it. I better take a nap when I get home, or curl up in front of the fire with my seed catalogues!)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Not alone...

The following is a trend log from BlogPulse which indicates in the past 6 months how often a certain phrase was used in blog posts. It can show an upsurge of interest. The 1.3% of all blog posts have the phrase r-BGH.

Compare that if you like to "republican" peaking at .5% in the past two months or 1.05% for "President" or .75% for Bush and .7% for election and you will see how important this issue is to people.

More on Milk...

The labeling of milk battle continues and 7 out of 20 people who will get to make the decision about labeling our milk have a direct interest in preventing it.

A recent article in the Columbus Dispatch said "Dairy farmers who don't use hormones in their cows want to advertise that fact on product labels. But farmers who do use the hormones to stimulate milk production say such labels imply that their products are inferior." By this argument is not almost all product labeling (not to mention advertising) wrong. And should vitamin enriched milk be permitted to be labeled? What about skim or 1% milk? What about that perky word "organic?" Does not all that imply inferiority of non-complying milk? Does a sell by date indicate older milk is inferior?

Why would they think that consumers would jump to the conclusion that hormone free milk is superior? Because people are starting to wake up. It is the same reason that they don't want GM-free foods labeled. If people are kept blind then their product is safe. Read this...

The first step to prevent the ban of a product is to remove public awareness of its use.

I am not normally an activist, and if you read my blog you will not see me having done this before BUT this is important, because Ohio is the second battle in this war, and it will be a war. And in Pennsylvania, the first battle, we lost. Ohio can set a precedent, good or bad, for other states to follow.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Why do I care so much about milk labeling when I have never even touched a cow? (Well maybe I did when I was kid, I don't remember.)

I think it is the beginning of a slippery slope. When big Ag starts saying what we can and cannot truthfully label our products we are in trouble. What if they decide that we cannot say we are sustainable, or natural, or plant heirlooms? They want to equalize all food, a tomato is a tomato (although tell someone comparing a Brandywine and a grocery store "normal" tomato that), milk is milk, and food is food. There are no differences and if you as a small producer say there is they will come after you.

I believe that there may come a time in my life when doing what I am doing, selling produce which is grown naturally and small scale directly to customers, will become illegal. But I will discuss that another day. For now consider taking action this milk issue, because it is a slippery slope!

I just received this email from another friend... Another good idea for action... They are hoping to push it through when people are busy with the holidays. But we can stop them... We can!

"The Organic Valley website says:

This Wednesday (that's tomorrow, Dec 19) the Ohio Dairy Labeling Advisory Committee is meeting for the last time, and the Ohio Dept of Ag could make a decision on the "labeling gag rule" as early as January 1. If we can make a successful stand in Ohio, we'll send a clear message to decision makers everywhere that citizens will not allow corporate interests to prevent us from making informed choices about the foods we eat.

In addition to contacting the Governor, and write to your local paper. You'll alert the public and let decision-makers know that you value the right to know how your food is produced."

We need your help! Labeling Milk...

As many of you may know there is a hormone, rBGH, which is regularly injected into cows to make them produce more milk. This is not good for the cows. It makes them more prone to infection, which in turn means more antibiotic. In addition, there is quite a controversy about what exactly this hormone might do to us or our kids. Look at this. Or this.

Now, if a company wants to manufacture this and people want to buy it, I'm not going to make any comments. But don't we have a right to know if it is in our milk? (Or was injected into the cows our milk comes from?) But Monsanto does not want you to know what you are consuming. They say it does not make any diffrence to the milk and milk is milk is milk...

I think we do have that right to know, and the state of Ohio is trying to pass a law that would make it against the law to accurately label milk as rBGH free! If you think we have the right to know what is in our food, please consider calling the governor's office : 614-466-3555 or going to their website and send an email or write them Governor Ted Strickland, Governor's Office , Riffe Center, 30th Floor, 77 South High Street, Columbus, OH 43215-6108.

This already happened in Pennsylvania. And it can happen here to!

Info from Food and Water Watch:
This isn't just an issue for these states, this is certainly an issue that affects all of us. Known as rBGH or rBST, the genetically engineered hormone is injected into cows to make them produce more milk. Besides the documented increase of infections in dairy cows injected with rBGH, which necessitates increased use of antibiotics, there are ongoing questions about links to cancer in humans. As a result, most of the industrialized countries in the world have banned this hormone, including Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and all 27 countries in the European Union. Denying consumers information about dairy products made from milk produced without rBGH leaves consumers without the information they need to make informed choices.

Reading or writing a blog...

This morning I hoped on BlogLines and noticed I was up to 42 feeds!

((How a feed works is that every time there is a new post on a blog you like it automatically is shown on your feed list so you can click and read it without actually going to the blog.))

On a normal day these 42 feeds result in 10-15 posts, and it makes it so much easier to keep up with the blogs. But until I started mine in late October I had never read a blog! Now I spend 30 minutes or more a day reading other blogs. My feeds include a lot of small farms, organic food and natural living blogs, blogs about babies and pregnancy, blogs from chefs, and more. I had to take off Wired and Fast Company because I could not keep up with all their entries!

The issue is when I am reading other people's blogs I am not posting on mine!

I guess I am now a full blown resident of the blogoshere.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Well, we got our snow. I guess you have to be careful what you wish for!

But really, I enjoy the snow, especially when it is polite enough to come on the weekend and be relatively clear by Monday morning commute... Heck, even the windy, curvy, hilly road to our farm was plowed and pretty good.

But it was a productive weekend. I got double batches of 6 types of cookies made, carmels, and marshmallows. I got gifts bought and wrapped. On Saturday I even made a new recipe, an Onion Panade. It was very different, but good. My husband even declared it good enough to put in "winter rotation," which I guess means I should make it often. It was layers of dried bread, caramelized onions, and cheese, then topped with beef broth and baked for an hour. (But when I thing of how many dozen cookies I could have made in that time! :) The biggest issue was that it called to be put in a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish. As I was layering I thought this would be a mistake, but I did not take precautions and put a dish under it. So when it overflowed (and it did) I ended up with a kitchen filled with onion smoke! Onion smoke and cookies do NOT go together! So I had to stop to clean the oven, which really slowed down my cookie production.

Anyway, one more week until Christmas, and after that I will FINALLY get back to talking about farm stuff! But this time of year (November - mid-January) is our farm down time. When we do little more then make some plans, service some equipment, and decide what seeds we will order. But soon that will change and I will bore you all with different stuff....

Friday, December 14, 2007


Well, I guess there is a chance of snow for tommorow. 2-4 inches...

If it did that, it'd make a perfect Saturday for cookie, carmel, and marshmellow making!

Dreaming of a white Christmas!

I am so far behind on all my Christmas stuff! Shopping and baking have barley started.

Part of the problem is we have no snow! When my mom moved up here I warned her how much heavier winters here are compared to where they were, and they usually are! But this year, so far, next to nothing.

A little snow on Thanksgiving, furriers a couple times, a couple snow covered days, a little ice yesterday, but mostly tons of days above freezing!
Where is our North east Ohio winter? Where is the snow and freezing temperatures.
My husband was talking to a lady the other day who said that winters used to be cold enough that they would hang all their winter meat (that they butchered on the farm) in the smoke house and it would be fine there all winter! Not this winter. Or last either, to speak of it. I wonder what could possibly be causing that?
But in the mean time, if anyone wants my cookies, it better start snowing! I'm dreaming of a white Christmas (and the weather forecast does not look promising.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Farm Girls List to Santa....

Hello Santa!

I've been very good this year. I weeded the turnips and thinned the radishes. I watered my plants late into the night. I practiced my succession planting and sat with a smile during pickups (even when I was feeling yucky!)

So I think I deserve a very good Christmas. Under the tree I'd like to see:

  • A waterwheel transplanter (so I can plant transplants sitting on my bottom and and not bending over for days.)
  • A couple hundred pounds of cover crop seeds (so I can feed my soil good and healthy things, all 30 acres of it!)
  • Fifty or so Dominique Hens (I miss those fresh eggs!)
  • A heated hoophouse (to give those new plants an early start)
  • A new barn coat (to keep me feeling cozy and warm)
  • And most of all Santa, an extra 3 or 4 hours a day in the summer (because WOW! do I need those.)
I hope you agree that I have been a good farmer girl this year!


Your friend

Monday, December 10, 2007

Seeds, seeds everywhere!

Well, not seeds so much as catolouges. My favriote, Seed Savers, came this weekend. It is so hard to decide what to grow next year. It seems that each year as we intigrate the previous years favriotes there is less room for all the fantastic options, especially with our new rule. "We never need less then 100 feet of ANYTHING!"

How many types of cucumbers? Or worse squash! I am a winter squash fanatic!

Or Leeks. We will get transplants for some, but the oldest coolest varieties, we will need to start in Febuary, our first seeds of the year! So much to do before early january seed orders are placed. It seems like we just finished and now we are gearing up for 2008!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Look at this!

I am green with envy! Look at this photo...

WOW! (from this blog... Two Small Farms) When I grow up I want to be them!

Oh and if anyone would like some acorn squash let us know we have a couple bushels left.

So sorry...

I am being a bad blogger! I need to try to blog almost every day, and I have been falling short. The holiday season is getting to me as it does everyone else!

So much to do, house guests 3 weekends out of 5, several "nice" meals for 10+ people, cookies to make, and more!

I did make risotto from the cookbook and it came out well (= not a gooy lump) but I was rather disappointed that for the time and attention it took it seemed to lack something... Maybe that something is homemade chicken stock, as I used Pacific Rim broth, and SO much of the stuff is chicken stock. After an hour of adding and stirring and watching and adding and stirring and watching it was looking promising, but when I finished it I could not help but think that this pan cost me $8 and it tastes rather like a box of rice mix from the grocrey store. (But at least I know what was in it - Rice(Carnaroli), butter, white wine, salt, broth, and parm cheese.)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Art of Simple Food

Today I bought Alice Walters' (Chez Panisse) new cookbook "The Art of Simple Food."

I am in love, and finally think I may be brave enough to chance risotto, which has always intimidated me and my one and only try turned into a sticky, yucky, tasteless mess! In the next couple of days we'll try and I'll ;et you know if it turns out.

But in general the book is amazing in its simplicity and still amazing recipies, I suppose what Alice Waters and her food is known for.

The focus on local seasonal food is amazing! I can hardly wait to try the recipies, it seems to be one of those few cookbooks where there seem to be few "filler" recipies, the ones you look at and know you will never make...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oil prices?

This morning when driving in to work (after filling my tank with $3.15 a gallon gas) I heard that oil prices were down almost $7 a barrel in the past week on news of larger then expected supply. They indicated that the $100 a barrel mark was not as likely as soon as had been previously thought.

By the time I got to work I had heard a second report (20 minutes later) that there had been a deadly fire in a Canadian pipeline with supplies up to 15% of US supply. Prices had soared back over $95 a barrel and $100 oil is likely.

We need to find ways to free ourselves from fossil fuels. I know it won't happen quickly, or cheaply. But slow and steady steps will help us take advantage of what "free" energy is around us in the form of solar, wind, tidal, methane from landfills, and others. Alternative power for transportation may include hydrogen, vegetable oil, electricity (from sources above), peddle power, and more. A distributed system both geographically and technologically will be the solution, I feel. Not today or tomorrow, but soon. Our children should see a new infrastructure grow. (Photo of the solar panels on the building I work at, a 3.4 kW array.)

I wonder if the park would consider letting us put a wind turbine in our backfield on the top of the hill? I want my next vehicle to run on bio-diesel and used vegetable oil. We are looking at alternative power for the workshop we want to build in a couple years. Solar on the roof for daily needs and a bio-diesel generator for when we need to run high amperage items (power tools, drill presses, welders.) We can all take little steps, and slowly we will do it! Together, small steps at a time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Dream of Sweet Corn.

You put a big pot of water on the stove and walk into the field. The sweat drips off your face and a light breeze cools you. You pick a dozen or two ears, husk them, and throw them right into the water.

That is the taste of summer.

Yet, sweet corn production has long eluded us. To the point we have not tried to grow it for our CSA. You may rightfully ask, "Why?" As you drive down rural roads or into our valley you see lots of sweet corn, so how hard can it be?

If you are going to use conventional practices it is not that hard. Just fertilize it, douse the area with herbicides, and apply lots of pesticides and you are done. But for an organic producer or for someone like us, not organic but strictly sustainable, it is not so easy.

To start with corn is a heavy feeder. It LOVES its nitrogen. This coming year that should not be that big an issue, but in the future the recommended rotation for sweet corn is to precede it with 2 years of clover or legume cover crops. Then it needs lots of phosphorous which is an issue. Fertilization can be sustainably achieved with foliage feeding (spraying the leaves) to reduce the cost of fertilizers, but they are still pretty expensive.

Then come the weeds. You can plant corn under plastic mulch, but that makes planting harder. You can also use straw mulch, but that is pretty labor intensive (without a spreader which we do not have.) The options are to hand weed (hoe) or flame baby weeds. Both are options but time is always a huge issue for us (remember we work full time jobs in addition to the farm.)

And once you get past all that you are faced with the biggest issue of them all. BUGS! Corn worms are a huge problem. There are some varieties of sweet corn which are more resistant to Corn Earworms, but not being open pollinated we would prefer to avoid them. So what is a grower to do? To not do something is to loose 80%-95% of your crop, obviously not acceptable.
So you take vegetable oil and mix it with Bt (well-known microbial pesticide commonly used to control lepidopterous pests). But aerial application of it does little good. So instead... "direct application of Bt mixed with vegetable oil to individual corn ears, applied two to three days after silks have extended to their maximum length (full brush.)"

Time it wrong and you are done. And ideally you will repeat the treatment 2 or 3 times. So you have to individually treat the silks of each ear of corn multiple times, and then you should loose only about 20% of your ears... Other pests love sweet corn to, but theBt takes care of some of them and other methods like strong rotation or foliar spraying of Bt can control those pretty well.

In 2008 we plan on doing a small trail of sweet corn. It will be expensive, and I'm not sure most will realize the difficulty in us growing what others seem to so easily, but we want to try. I would be surprised if members got much more then a dozen ears during the season, but it will be a start.

Just remember next summer, when you buy your sweet corn, to ask that grower the same questions you would other farmers. Sustainable sweet corn is possible, but difficult.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How much food can a state provide?

One of our readers directed us to this article. It is very interesting.

The basic idea is that including a small amount of meat or dairy may be the most efficient use of land, because fruit and vegetable production need high quality land, while animal production uses less prime farmland.

Yet the upshot is that even in an ideal world New York state could only supply 32% of its population agriculturally. That leaves over 12 million New Yorkers eating non-local food.

Realistically, there are many things we (as a society) will probably not give up. Bananas, coffee, sugar cane sugar, ect. But I have to think that we eat more then 32% of our food seasonally and locally. So there is a disconnect.

I would think Ohio might be able to do better then the 32% number, with more farmland and fewer mountains then New York, but still, a truly local food economy?

We had 20 full memberships this year (including both full and half shares). We were about half couples and about half small families, so figure 3 people on average. That is 60 people. Add in us for 62. Even at only .6 acres per person that is 37.2 acres to fully supply their needs eating a local diet. We only have 30! Now obviously, that is not realistic, because we only supply a part of our members diets, but still... How many acres would it take to supply your family, your community?

There is defiantly room for growth of the local food movement.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The food it takes...

This weekend was a little bit of a wake up call on just how much food we consume, and that it would take to truly supply a family. I guess it is easy to forget, when you are just a couple, how much people really eat!

We cooked a series of meals this weekend. Wednesday pasta and sausage for 4 adults and 2 kids. Thanksgiving morning, biscuits and gravy with sausage links and eggs for 6 adults and 2 kids. Thanksgiving dinner for 7 adults and 2 kids. A light supper for 4 and 2. Friday brunch, ham, eggs, and hash browns for 4 and 2. Then our traditional day after Thanksgiving waffles and gravy for 10 and 2.

WOW, did we go through a ton of food. 15 pounds of potatoes, 1-1/2 gallons of milk, more stuffing then I thought we would possibly use (2 loaves of stuffing bread and 2 bags of stuffing mix), two 12 pound turkeys, more butter then is polite to speak of, 4 quart boxes of chicken stock, 2 gallons of homemade turkey stock, a bag of carrots, two bunches of celery, a loaf of peasant bread, 1-1/2 jars of tomato sauce, 3 batches of biscuits, and on and on....

I guess the reason I am posting this is because it really made us think about what would be necessary to feed our region locally. This is no small task. My little holiday get togethers used HUGE amounts of food, and while everyone does eat more on holidays it is still staggering the scale you are talking about.

How much food would it take to actually feed a family of four for a year? How much land would you need to do that on? How much more if they are not vegetarians? I need to do a little research....

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Lots to be Thankful for this year.

This has been a long year. A lot has happened personally to make it tough, and yet through it all there is so much to be thankful for.

I am thankful for a wonderful husband who loves me very much and is an anchor in my life in turbulent times.

I am thankful for my family who will be gathering for a meal together on Thanksgiving day this year, (sadly without my father who passed away in April.) My brother in law will with us , he seems to always be deployed on holidays so it will be nice to have him share the day with us. I am thankful for my mother's continued fair health as she fights a horrible disease.

I am thankful for the bounty of our land, the fertility of our soil, and the support of our friends, members, and the community.

I am thankful for so much, and amazed that it is so easy to forget the blessings we have been given.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Turkey Day!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, aka Turkey Day, and it got me thinking about the wild turkeys that wonder around the park. Since we moved here I have seen more wild turkeys then I have ever seen in my life, and WOW can they be a shock if you don't expect to see one. They are big beautiful birds, and a whole rafter of turkeys (the correct name for a group, I looked it up!) is a sight to behold.

When I was little I never remember seeing a wild turkey at all, but like hawks now they seem almost common. Did you know that there were no wild turkeys at all in Ohio in the mid 50s, at which time they were successfully reintroduced to the state. Now there are wild ones in every county in the state.

So tomorrow as you enjoy your turkey (or vegetarian feast) think a little about the wild birds (estimated at 180,000 state wide) which wander our state. If we can do something as big as reintroduce a species to the state, there is hope for what we can do.

Young people are amazing.

I am constantly impressed with the young people I meet. At GreenBuild we heard young adults from the group "Youth Speaks" give pieces on climate change, and they were powerful communicators. I know a young lady from Cleveland who when in high school arranged a program to send shoes to thousands of children in Afghanistan, when her uncle who was serving there told her that they could not play soccer in the winter because they had no shoes. My niece who is 12 is taking (and doing well in) college level Japanese classes with adults, she has been studying it for a couple years and if you ask her "Isn't it hard" she'll look at you like your crazy and tell you "It wouldn't be fun if it wasn't hard."

Yesterday we had a group of young ladies to our office from the Our Lady of Elms middle and high schools. We are doing a new gymnasium addition for them, and were having them to our office to talk about green design. With young ladies from 11-18, I was worried that my normal talk on green design would bore them to pieces, but not only did they stay interested, they asked insightful questions that show that THEY get it. We went through a series of problems and talked about solutions to them. The questions also showed critical thinking skills, one girl asking if we really were saving resources by rehabbing existing auditorium seating instead of new. Which, I thought, showed that she was thinking about what we were talking about. Another girl asked if the wheat straw board we used for wall partition surfaces in our offices was really a good thing, because we were using food sources for building material.

I choose to believe that the "normal" kids are like the exceptional young people I have talked about above. If that is the case, I think we will leave the world in very good hands.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Honey Carmel details

Since we have had a lot of intrest here is the price list on the carmels.

1 peice = .75
1 bag of 12 peices = 8.00
1 box of 20 = 13.00
1 box of 40 = 24.00

Each peice is somewhere around 1/2 an ounce and is a couple good bites. So at a 20 peice box it is around $24 a pound.

We are doing 2 days of on farm pickups in the afternoons on Dec 2 and 16. Or we can ship Priority mail for just the cost of a flat rate box. If you order by mail we can ONLY ship to Ohio and full payment (we take paypal or checks) is due before they are shipped. If you pickup 50% is due at the time of order and the balance at pickup...

Please email if you would like to order some.

What to blog?

This is my constant question. What do you guys all really care about and what is the line between personal and farm and what I want to share and what I don't.

Initially I was going to do this 100% independent of our farm. But my husband thought that it was such a great communication tool for members, friends, and others interested in our farm that I should open it up. So why I try not to say our farm's name to often at all, I did send a link to it to our mailing list and are giving it out to people often. Which seems to be working because we are getting over 20 unique page views a day now, up from 7 only a few weeks ago!

But what does everyone want to hear about? Is me going with my sister to get her kitten from the shelter interesting to people? And are my ramblings on the similarities of animals in a shelter to our luck in where we were born and social justice relevant? Does anyone want to hear about my visits to my mom's oncologists?

Or what about last night episode of Family Guy? Do I even want to admit that when I was waiting to see Micheal Symon's first battle in Iron Chef America (Great Win!!) I watched Family Guy? (Hank Hill, Texas "normal guy" in a red neck city.) Hank Hill, joins a food co-op in an effort to get good tasting steaks, which he can no longer get at the Meg-Lo-Mart. He brings home a bag of not only steak but produce including heirloom tomatoes. There is an funny exchange where his niece says "These are tomatoes, I thought they were heaven balls?" Then Hank responds with something like "Don't be silly, tomatoes don't have any taste!" Then he eats them and is blown away. Elsewhere in the episode her says "I usually reserve that compliment for my wife, but this food is downright handsome."

In the end Meg-Lo-Mart buys out the food co-op and Hank steals a couple cows and some chickens. And by the end he is back to eating tasteless food, and hating it. But that a show like this did such a great piece on good food even including a line (after Meg-Lo-Mart) buys the store "Well, it is still organic - technically." It shows that local food is becoming more and more main stream.

Heck, the word "Localvore" was listed as the word of the year! In any case, this is the type of posting that I'm not sure is really of any interest to anyone at all!


Market on Saturday went well, in fact it went very well. In spite of the fact that we were new faces (customers were not used to buying from us) and that we only brought what we had left over in the field (radishes, turnips, kale, squash, baby pac choi, and honey) we only brought a few things home and felt very welcomed. I have photos I will post later.

We sold out of turnips in about 20 minutes, and about an hour before market closed a guy came and asked if he could buy the rest of our baby pac choi. I looked down at what was left on the table and said "Well, you can certainly have these, but we have another half bushel in the truck, would you like those to?" He would!

Now that is a lot of baby pac choi, and if you would like you can enjoy it at Great Lakes Brewing Company this evening (Monday the 19th.) So we ended up selling out of that as well. And the honey caramels went pretty fast! So it was a good day...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Terra Madre - photos a year later.

Many of us from Ohio came in on the same flight. See if you can find me in this photo? (Hint, just an arm is visible.) This photo also includes two local chefs and two other local farmers.

First things first. We got there and signed in. Notice the number of places for American Delegates and then the number of countries listed on the first sign on the left. There was a huge line of these desks.

Next day were the opening ceremonies. This is the founder of Slow Food, Carlo Petrini, welcoming all the delegates from around the world.

Many in traditional dress. It was very cool!
Back to the hotel at the end of every night on the bus. Here is the time I was asked to hold our buses sign, I put it here because it is the ONLY photo I could find of Eric and I together for the entire trip!
Here are Beth and Tim from Crown Point Ecology Center standing in line (for lunch I think.) There was quite a bit of standing in lines! Oh, and their son Gus is hiding in this photo...
The sessions were presented in a number of different languages and translated. So everyone wore headphones to hear the speakers. It was quite an experience, a UN of the food world.
Here is the session for all the US delegates. There were people from almost every state. It was kind of a nice treat, as it was the one session that was only in English, but we still had to wear headphones, as all the sessions were in one large space (the speed skating arena from the winter Olympics) and if they had used microphones it would have been unbearably loud.
One of the really fun things was exploring the food world of Italy. Look at all this pasta!
Micheal Symon (Lola and Lolita) and Doug Katz (Fire) enjoying an feast! This picture was taken by Dominic Cerino (Carrie Cerino), they wondered Turnio together...
Dominic was a picture taking maniac! Without him I would never had been able to put together the Slow Food NE Ohio Terra Madre Power point I did for an event at Fire this Spring. Look at the Iron Chef's laughing!
There was lots of amazing produce at the Salone del Gusto (Salon of Taste - a HUGE food and wine Slow Food show going on at the same time as Terra Madre). But...
LOOK at those Leeks!
I want to grow leeks like that!

If you want more photos, I have even more!

Long term goals - Einstein and Ray Anderson

Albert Einstein said “It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.” What a concept, and what a challenge. From consumption, environmental, and social justice standpoints this is an amazing challenge. How can we possibly do this? And how can our farm?

Have you ever heard of Ray Anderson? If you get a chance you should hear him speak, he is an amazing speaker! You may ask yourself “Why would I want to hear a CEO of a carpet company (Interface) speak?” Why? Because he has been the driving force behind transforming the US carpet industry from a poor environmental performer to one of the leaders in industrial environmental performance.

I was amazed at GreenBuild, so many carpet companies each with a HUGE beautiful booth highlighting their environmental programs. One of the smallest carpet booths was Interface, which was funny because they have perhaps the most massive environmental program, which among other initiatives includes Mission Zero: leaving zero environmental footprint, by the year 2020. No landfill waste (even from the removal of their old products,) no carbon emissions from manufacture/ transportation/ installation of their product, 100% renewable energy (including landfill methane), no toxic substances in their products, and use 100% recovered/recycled or natural materials.

WOW! Is all I can say! So this winter we are working on our own farm’s environmental mission, goals, and how we hope to get there. How, for instance, do we deal with offsetting or reducing the carbon emissions for people who drive to the farm weekly? Or plastic mulches, which reduce our irrigation requirements, reduces weeding, but are made from petro-chemicals and are a disposal issue? We can use bio-diesel or even vegetable oil to power our tractor, but what about our smaller (chainsaw, walk behind tiller…) gasoline powered equipment?

And even if we can figure all of that out we still will NOT be doing what Einstein asks. But step by step we will get closer and we hope you will join us for the journey. When we launch our new website in the next couple months or so we will include a couple pages to track environmental goals.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Market low down...

As has been requested here is the lowdown on the market:
November 17th 10am-2pm
at Heritage Farms in Peninsula
6050 Riverview Road
330.657.2538 for details

If you have any other questions or to get put on their mailing list for the most up to date information email

Basic information is also avilable at

If you read my blog let me know when you visit us.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Market this weekend!

It will be so strange to be at a farmer's market this weekend! It will be the first one we have done in three years. But market is where we started our farming experience and I LOVE market! It is so much fun and there are so many people to talk with! At CSA pickups sometimes I get bored sitting there and waiting for the next person to come, but at market there is always someone to see or talk to and always new friends to meet!

The picture is of me at market back in 2003! This weekend we will be at the Peninsula Market and hopefully we will sell some stuff! Honey, candy, squash, kale, and turnips for sure. There are other items in the garden, which will hopefully still be OK by then. LOTS of radishes, some Pac Choi which is still small as is the lettuce. Hopefully big enough to be considered "baby!"

We'll see but even if we do not sell one thing we will have fun!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Honey caramels!

What is one to do with 13 gallons of honey?

Well some of it can be bottled and sold that way, but there is only so much honey people want at one time. So what to with the rest?

Why make caramels of course! It took a while to get the recipe right, but I think we have it! Basic pure ingredients, 75% honey only 25% sugar, and most importantly no corn syrup. Corn syrup (of which most contains at least some HFCS) is used in LOTS of candy recipes as it acts to help candies behave when being cooked. When not using it you need to add in lots of care and extra time. A batch of my honey caramel cooks for over two hours slowly rising in temperature, to creamy perfection!

Today and yesterday were the start of honey caramel production, it is a leap of faith for we have no idea how much we may sell at the one market left for us this year. ((Shameless plug, alert!!!)) We will defiantly be selling these at the Peninsula Holiday Market, where you can meet on November 17th! Hope to see you there!

OH! And Congratulations Micheal Symon! You make Cleveland proud!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

2 Confrences - 1 year apart...

In late October 2006 my husband and I were lucky enough to be sponsored by our local Slow Food to go to Terra Madre in Turin, Italy. (Thank you Northeast Ohio Slow Food!) A worldwide gathering of 6000 people representing food communities from all over the world. And as I said below, I spent the past 3 days in GreenBuild in Chicago. Two conferences, one year apart. One about food, one about buildings. No crossover... you would think.

But you'd be wrong. Both were about sustainability and social justice and beyond that a greater movement that is currently sweeping the world, largely ignored. Totally non-partisan and without a central unifying ideology we are (all of us) changing the world. The social justice and environmental movements are part of one greater whole.

I guess this post is a not so discrete plug for Paul Hawken's newest book "Blessed Unrest" which is about just that. And although Mr. Hawken might disagree I think that be we greenie liberals or crunchy conservatives (the part P.H. would probably argue) there is a convergence of movements occurring.

I feel myself caught up in the whirlpool of ideas that is trying now to reshape the world and how we function in it. And when gas settles in price at 4 or 5 or 6 dollars a gallon, then how we live in this country and around the world may have to change. Local food will be the economical choice and not an elitist indulgence. A hybrid will be the car of single moms and not of enlightened executives. We will pay more attention to what we do and we will realize that our actions effect everyone.
Although, I KNOW that our built environment more responsible for our environmental issues then all the SUVs on the road and every meal we eat, and that building will be an enormous part of any future solution I still love this quote from Terra Madre. Because as the saying goes you are what you eat and it is one thing that we can control on a day to day basis.

"Loving food is the most personal and least abstract way of being an environmentalist." - Alice Waters

Let us know if you want to see more Terra Madre photos we have a TON!


I'm back home. When I was gone my husband did a ton of brush hogging and plowing. We also got next years Johnny's Seed Catalogue, so I know what I am doing for some of this weekend!

Greenbuild was amazing. Over three days I heard people like Bill Clinton, Paul Hawken, the mayors of Chicago, Grand Rapids, Albuquerque, and Austin, leaders in industries from fuel cells (United Technology) to cleaning product (Seventh Generation) and practitioners of green design from around the world speak to both the wider philosophical issues and the practical how to do it issues! 22,000+ people were there and everything was standing room only!

I learned so much that it will take me a while to process it all. I will have to go through all my notes, and honestly, this is a blog about farming so I'm not sure if you are really interested in this at all! But let me talk briefly about one principle - the Precautionary Principle. Which asks us to reframe decisions from "Is it safe?" to "Is it necessary?"

This gives us a tool to defend decisions to people who claim that science has yet to prove that something is harmful. Remember, this many years after Newton and Darwin both gravity and evolution are still theories (not to mention Climate Change). PROVING something in science is (and should be) very difficult.

To bring it back to food, look at High Fructose Corn Syrup. We made the decision a couple years ago to cut it out of our diet. And in that time I have had a number of discussions with people about it NOT being bad for me. And it is hard to prove something like that. So using the Precautionary Principle, I can reframe the discussion to "Yes, but is it necessary?" And the answer to that is no. Anything from ketchup to candy, from soda to bread can be and is made without it.

On farms the same discussion can be made respect with pesticides and other chemical applications. With the knowledge that sometimes the answer is "Yes, something is necessary or else all of those will die." When that is the answer we look for the safest option that will solve the problem, maybe a baking soda spray, or hot pepper oil in dish soap, or maybe a certified organic pesticide.

I'll post more later, my head is overflowing with ideas! I'll try not to bore you all to much!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Few days away from the farm & blog...

I will be in Chicago at GreenBuild the rest of this week. It is the largest convention around green and sustainable building practices in the country. Green architecture is my day job, so off I will fly. (627 miles and 402 pounds of CO2 added to my carbon footprint.)

Expect details of the trip when I get back, I hope to find A LOT of cross over.

And next year we will be starting a farm wide (household wide) carbon offset so we will add this trip's 402 pounds to that. We are still trying to figure which is the best way for offseting our carbon, we have pretty much decided trees are not the way we want to go, maybe compact flourecet light bulbs or wind power? I heard one person suggest what good is it to offset an emission you released over 2 hours over 60 years (trees to offset a flight) because the carbon will not be offset until after it has done a ton of damage. That is a great point, and we are thinking of ways for a more immediate payback, not hour for hour like this guy was suggesting but maybe within one to five years? So if we go through the effort of offseting it actually means something and is not just lip service.

In any case, I doubt I will be posting again until Saturday. See you all then!

Small farms & Farm Bill

I got this article forwarded to me this morning. New York Times - Farm Bill. It made me start thinking about farms and small farms and the future.

My husband’s family are dairy farmers in Pennsylvania. When we first started farming his uncle asked us why would we farm? “I get paid $2.00 an acre NOT to grow green peppers!” Well, at the time, we had a total of 5 acres, so a big $10 a year was not going to do it. But, if I could sell a real person a pepper and get the full market value of $2 or 3 a pound, it does not take many plants to exceed those subsidies.

The same uncle once told us that if was paid $1.00 a gallon for milk he would work one more year and then retire! While regulation, location, and vision prevents our uncle from seeing those level of returns, we are able to do much better doing the type of farming we want to. Not that we'll make enough to retire soon, but we really feel it can support our family.

But our type of farming is not even on the radar screen of legislators writing documents like the farm bill. Yet the type of farming we are doing: providing products directly to customers instead of providing commodities to multi-nationals is the ONLY way (I think) for small farms to succeed.

Thankfully, there are consumers (like you) who are willing to go a little out of their way to support farms like ours and who understand that what we do is not the same as factory farming, and that sometimes crops fail, or yields are small but are willing to take a little risk to enjoy the bounty of fresh local food, grown by people you know and trust, using methods you understand, and creating healthy foods. Healthy for the consumer, the watershed, the farmer, the soil, the environment, and the local economy.

Little steps, every year, and maybe in the next couple decades we will see legislation which is more rounded and not controlled by the interests of one group, but by the needs and priorities of the nation.

(Sorry for a long boring post with no pictures!)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Perfect Radish?

This evening when playing in the gardens my husband found this radish. He indicated I should take a photo of it because it was a "prefect" radish. So here it is...

New ground and frosts...

Yesterday, we started turning the new ground we will grow on for our 2008 season. We got a little more then an acre plowed yesterday. We have about another acre to do. Some of that will just be cover cropped next year, and some of it will be where our first batch of fruit trees will go. One area (on a shady backside of a hill) is getting turned for rhubarb. ABOUT 1/4 acre will be dedicated to winter squash and about the same to dried beans (an experiment). But all and all, we plan on about 1-1/2 acres of garden space next year!

We have been seeing very heavy frosts the past few days, which is, of course, totally expected in November! But I am amazed at how resilient our plants are! They do not claim to be "frost tolerant" for nothing! I think the pictures of the Red Russian Kale are very dramatic. The first was taken at 8:00am, and if you did not know better you would swear that they were done for! The second at 6:00 the same evening, they perked right up and were ready to go. This particular Kale variety is tolerant of temperatures down to 20 degrees BELOW freezing, so we are going to try to overwinter it, and have it as a spring item for our 2008 CSA.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Cold chickens...

Usually as soon as you open the door on the chickens in the morning they rush the door and are all out in about 10 seconds, it is pretty funny...
This morning though when I opened the door one stood there and eyed me. Then another head poked out and she looked at the ground which still had some frost on it. They gave me time to get back and get a picture of the great emergence when they all decided a few seconds later that it may be OK to come out after all...

Friday, November 2, 2007


Jack Frost has definitely been nipping on the farm this week! We have had a frost almost every night, and the garden is showing the damage. Eggplants are the worst hit for sure!

But all the summer stuff is gone. Peppers, tomatoes & squash, all finished. But in early September we planted a load of frost tolerant stuff and it is still growing! Pac Choi, lettuces, turnips, greens, and radishes all doing well, especially those we put under our hoops!

Now we just hope that it grows enough, does not die of a hard freeze, and that we have stuff to offer (besides winter squash and kale) at the Peninsula Holiday Market we will be attending on the 17th of November.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hell Town...

Our farm is located in Boston Township, also known as Hell Town. And although careful research shows that many of the odd things that are reported started when the federal government started buying up land for the park in 1974 and the place started to feel abandoned with No Trespassing signs everywhere, I have to say that weird and creepy things do happen.
When we were doing research before we applied for the house we went to the local historical society where we read stories of a "mysterious" death in the barn of one of the farms in the program. There was also something about an entire family being killed, although we never did find a collaborating newspaper article on that.

Beyond that my husband, who is NOT into supernatural phenomena and had never even heard the stories at the time was bicycling on a certain "road to no-where" in Peninsula a few years ago. He claims as he went further and further up the road he started to get more and more freaked out. Now, mind you, he is a six foot four guy who at the time was used to mountain biking alone on some pretty hairy trails, pretty isolated in nowhere. So what would freak him out about a paved road in a small town? I don't know, but at one point he swears it got to much and he turned around and rode down that hill as fast as he could. It was a seriously bad vibe. As he went around a curve near the bottom of the hill, he said it was like someone flipped a switch and the feelings went away!

Then this morning on my way into work I was driving through Peninsula, and right near the police station I thought I saw a person standing by the side of the street. I turned my head and no one was there! No one at all...

Do a goggle search your self or check out these links if you doubt what I have said...

Weird USA

Happy Halloween from Hell Town, Ohio...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cold frames in....

We managed to get 40 feet of 32" hoops done today. Combine that with the 24 feet of 30" hoops we already had and we were able to put plastic over about 60 feet of rows, given that we are averaging 4 rows in a bed that is 240 feet protected! Even if it does not work this fall it will be nice to have these in the spring...

We did discover in the garden today that we defiantly had our first frost last night. October 27 was the day for us this year. Our poor eggplant looked great this morning, but by afternoon the damage was obvious! There is still a little growing time left, so we ask our members to stick with us for a little longer!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fall Day...

Cool and rainy, dreary and overcast. A day that kept us out of the garden.

This morning we had a chance to visit Crocker Park Farmer's Market and see all the wonderful goodies that the vendors had! Lots of potatoes, and winter greens, a handful of treats like eggplant and broccoli! OH! The broccoli was beautiful, next year a focus for sure. It was so fun to go to market it has been weeks since we have been able to make one!

Then we went to Home Depot to buy some supplies for hoops to keep our still growing plants, lettuce, turnips, beets, pac choi, radishes, arugula, and more protected from the frosts which will soon turn to real Ohio winter. We built a rig for bending tubes, and tomorrow will build a series of 30 inch x 10 foot long tunnels!

It was nice to be in the barn and not outside in the drizzle today, but it was nicer to come inside and have some nice warm fall supper, chicken and dumplings! So much potential still this fall, the latest weather check shows severe weather at least another 10 days out!

Grow, garden! Grow!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Blogging basics & not so basics...

So as you have all probably figured out I am new to the whole blogging world. My husband claims I am techno-phobic and I was one of the last people he knew to get a cell phone. But once I get into something I research it! The same goes with my blog.

I have been having trouble keeping up with all the farm and other blogs I love to read, you check them and they may or may not have new posts and it clutters up your favorite list, so what is one to do?

Subscribe to the blogs of course! Blogs usually host a RSS feed (and although I don't really know what that means the blog sites do it for you so I don't have to.) But the long and short of it is it is very easy to subscribe to tons of blogs and have one place compile them for you.

I recommend Bloglines, just because I use them. I actually added a link to them so under the archive on the left side of the screen you will see a little pad of yellow paper, just click on that and you can set up an account and add blogs to your list.

Then you will never miss another post from your favorite blogger! Good luck!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More Kale...

Today's pickup will feature green tomatoes, squash, and more Kale!

More Kale?!?! OK, so my last attempt at posting Kale recipes was a flop because I am still new to this blog thing, I have since learned the trick, so try some of these!

Dried Kale Chips and more
Freezing Kale
Kale Pesto
Simpler Kale Pesto
Roasted Kale
Kale Soups

Oh, and one of our members (Thanks Kari and William) sent these recipies to try it too! I tried this first one and very yummy! I used some of our good balsamic vinegar (which we got in Italy) but I'm sure it will be good with whatever you have...

Braised Greens with Balsamic Vinegar

This method works exceptionally well with beets, chard, and similarly-flavored greens, as well as with bitter greens like radicchio and endive. The amounts are entirely variable, but by way of comparison, these are the approximate ratios I use:

mess o’ greens (1 largish bunch)
generous splash of olive oil (4 T. or so)
Garlic (3-4 cloves, though lots more would be just fine)
Onions (1 large)
Balsamic vinegar (2 T.)
Sugar (1 T.)
Crushed red pepper flakes (1/2 t.?)

Wash the greens well to get rid of all that grit. Stack leaves and chiffonade – slice once lengthwise and then roll tightly into a bundle, then slice the bundles cross-wise in ¼ ” strips. Cut stalks in ½” chunks.

Dice onions and crush or mince or sliver the garlic.

Heat oil over medium heat. Toss in the onions, garlic, and pepper flakes until the onions have browned a little, but don’t let the garlic scorch or it will turn the whole affair acrid. Throw in the greens and toss until evenly wilted, then cook until desired degree of doneness, maybe 10-15 minutes or so.

Stir the sugar into the vinegar, and toss with the greens. The liquid in the vinegar will evaporate quickly, but in the process will deglaze some of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.

Remove from heat and serve. It’s fine as is, but also works well mixed with eggs for a frittata or tossed over pasta. It pairs well with winter squash, and if you want to add cheese, a tangy, salty feta is the way to go. If you want to add meat, something along the crumbled bacon or bits of pancetta line would do nicely. And if you happen to have access to a smoked paprika, it’s really lovely in place of the crushed red pepper flakes.

They also sent this one... William advices "As always, heavy on the garlic, and even heavier on the parmesan make this even better. " I agree, and why not try it with kale instead of spinach?


6 ounces cavatappi or other spiral-shaped pasta1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound)5 cups packed spinach leaves (about 1 bunch)2 garlic cloves1 tablespoon olive oil2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 ounces)
Fill a 4-quart kettle three fourths full with salted water and bring to a boil for cooking pasta.
Quarter, seed, and peel squash. Cut squash into 1/2-inch cubes. Coarsely chop spinach and mince garlic.
In a large heavy skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté squash with salt to taste, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 7 minutes.
While squash is cooking, cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water and drain pasta in a colander. Add spinach and garlic to skillet with squash and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until any liquid is evaporated. Add pasta and reserved cooking water and bring to a boil. Season pasta with lemon juice and salt and pepper. Remove skillet from heat and toss pasta with Parmesan.

If you have a recipie please send it to me, and I will try to post it...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Honey - learned something new...

We do NOT sell filtered honey, so if your bottle says that I am sorry. We sell raw STRAINED honey, which means we just pass it through a mesh which is not fine enough to remove pollen and since we do not heat it at all it remains a bit cloudy and has tiny air bubbles.

Perfectly clear honey and filtered honey is (usually) dead honey, heated so it flows and can pass through VERY fine filters, is pretty and perfectly clear, but the good and healthy enzymes are dead and none of the native pollen remains with all of it's benefits...
Sorry for the mislabeling, as we do run it through 3 different strainers (ending with a fine bag) I always thought we filtered it... You learn something new every day!

((I will be relabeling our honey this weekend.))

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Last Regular Pickup...

This week is our last week for normal pickups, although we hope to see our members for the next few weeks for the ala' carte Sunday pickups.

In the mean time, this week we have Green Tomatoes or unripe tomatoes. These are a fun little splurge at the end of the season, so why not try them out?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Pulling Tomatoes...

This time of year is both happy and sad on the farm. We are sad that the season is coming to an end, but happy that the prospects for next year seem so bright. Today was a perfect example of the dichotomy of this time of the season.

I was pulling tomatoes plants from the garden. We could wait until the frost we are expecting next week, but the plants are basically done, so now is as good a time as any to do it. As I pulled them out of the ground I picked some of the better ripe tomatoes and bigger green ones for this week's pickup. But mainly it is a destructive act, pulling them out by the roots and throwing them in the pile to be added to our compost heaps. Sad, admitting the end of the summer tomatoes and the end of summer.

At the same time Eric was mowing close the new ground (about an another acre) we plan on planting next year. In the next couple weeks it will be plowed, disced, and tilled. Happy and hopeful of what next year will bring.

It is that time of year!

((Oh, and in case you wonder why we pull the tomato plants instead of tilling them under in place, it is part of our Integrated Pest Management practices. By pulling them and any associated diseases, bugs, or fungi they are no longer in the garden to crop their heads up next year. The composting process will kill any pathogens, and we will have the benefit of their biomass in compost next year without the risk of perpetuating any problems.))

Friday, October 19, 2007

Winter is coming...

I never though so much of my time would by spent thinking about weather. About rain, too little or too much? About the temperature, too low or too high? This fall our temperatures have been beautiful, but alas it is not fated to continue. This morning’s weather forecast check showed Saturday Oct 27, low 32 and Sunday Oct 28 a low of 29!

Time to start thinking about our frost protection! As we have discussed with our CSA members this coming week (Oct 21 and 24) will be our last “regular” pickup. After that we will be switching to Sunday only pickup and instead of having bags already packed for our members we will send out an email on Friday where we will indicate what we have available and the cost for each. This will be available for members only. Items will include winter squash, onions, kale, and honey. We also expect to be able to offer lettuce, radishes, turnips, beets, and maybe a few other late season items!
We hope we will have three or four of these pickups until we are done for the year!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sun Gods reward solar!

The Indians won again last night and may well guarantee themselves a world series spot on Thursday. The solar gods are rewarding baseball teams with photovoltaic (solar) panels this year.

There are currently 3 teams in major league baseball who currently have solar panels in their facilities, the San Francisco giants, the Colorado Rockies, and the Cleveland Indians. Coincidence? I don't think so! The Red socks to are embracing "green" recently implementing a recycling program, but their solar system is still in the planning phase, the Indians on the other hand already have a small solar system going. Enough power to power every TV in the Jake!

Since the Red Socks don't have their system done yet the Indians are fated to win the series! We may run into trouble with the Rockies though whose own solar system is slightly bigger then our own...