Thursday, August 15, 2019

Times are a Changing

Market List;
 Concord Grapes, Grape Leaves, Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans, Chinese Yard Long Beans, Sun Sugar Tomatoes, Slicing Tomatoes, Sunflower Bouquets, Lemon Cucumbers, A bit of Grass Fed Lamb and Free Range Non GMO Chicken Eggs


So the Rayven has flown the Farm possibly for the last time. I took her to the airport on Tuesday. Here she is at 12. 
It's been 4 seasons that she has volunteered but next year she will be 17 and looking at colleges so this was probably her last long break with me. Things change. Hard to believe that it's this late in the season too. Already counting down and forward too. Hoping for the warm weather stuff to hurry up and the cool weather vegetables to hang on until the cool nights get here. Tomatoes hurry up, Celery and Brussels Sprouts hold on until it cools off. It's a crap shoot as usual with farming. 

The chickens are finally raising their laying rate again. Maybe they'll earn their feed this week. In any case, there will be more eggs at the market. The Pole Beans are finally making their presence known. We're getting some different kinds of tomatoes finally. After a long wet spring, we got into our new field to plant. It's taken awhile but the Zebras and Violet Jaspers are getting their stripes, the Robesons are loaded, The Sweet 100's are turning red, we even got a couple of Chocolate Cherries today. Mortgage Lifters and Amish Paste have been here for awhile but mostly have been going into Salsa and our bellies. Saturday, we'll have a few Lemon Boys and some Black Krims also. 

Saturday's going to be another hot one. We'll see you at the Market There's more good things to come. See you there

God's Blessings on you and yours, 

TTFN

Sam and Bill








Friday, July 26, 2019

It's On the Way


Market List; Grass Fed Lamb, Purslane, Yard Long Beans, Sam' Famous Salsa, Sunflower Bouquets

Well folks, it's been an unusual season for sure. For weeks we couldn't get into the garden for rain and mud. We planted every inch that we could in the raised beds and our small high tunnel but of course it wasn't enough. I'm not sure if it's common knowledge but it's really bad for the soil to work in it when it's wet. It destroys the construction. A fancy way of saying that it becomes like concrete which impedes not only the workability but also air and water being able to move easily through it. We tilled and it rained and rained. It dried up and we tilled again and it rained and rained and so on and so forth. We never till more than the beginning of the season but the rain brought weeds and tomatillos. You can see the 1000's of tomatillos that came up from the 3rd time that we tilled 5 weeks ago. 
Directly after the rain we went straight into a heat wave. Radishes were a short season because they hate the heat more so than anything. At least with greens, it's not too tough to eat when it bolts. Radishes become woody or pithy is the old fashioned term. After the heat came more rain again, 10.5 inches in 6 days about a month ago.
 Above are the cucumbers that were the first thing we were able to actually plant in the garden. Rayven and mom are helping to put the netting up to hold them off of the ground to make easier to pick. Most days, it's me and mom doing everything in the garden. Bill comes home every other weekend and does projects, for instance, this weekend he's putting up the frame for the shade cloth. Mom and I do nearly all the planting and weeding. Occasionally we get a volunteer for a week or so. This month we have Rayven. She's volunteered 4 seasons in a row usually for a month at a time. I knew her mom when she was growing up and Rayven loves it here. We're grateful for the help, especially when it's time to make pickles or salsa. Don't forget that I have to make those too. 


Here are some of the Lemon Cucumbers growing vertically up the back of the high tunnel. We love everything about Lemon Cucumbers, the way they look, the texture and how beautiful that they are in a pickle jar. The thing about them though is that they are one of those cucumbers that put on a ton of flowers for about 3 weeks that do not put on fruit. After that time, they begin pollinating and about 2 weeks later, then you actually start getting cucumbers. If you are lucky and the cucumber (are you counting how many times that I write cucumber?) beetles and squash bugs don't destroy the vines. We have about 200 hills of these and pickling cukes going. 
Below are pictures of an actual Lemon Cucumber on the vine and of another vine right next to the one pictured that has been decimated by the aforementioned bugs.
Wilt from Cucurbit loving bugs



Lemon Cucumber






Speaking of, Rayven and I put up Cucumber beetle traps. So far, not so many caught, but you have to keep trying right? 

Finally the Kentucky Wonder Pole beans are blooming and we are reaching our balance of tomatoes to eat and tomatoes for salsa and tomatoes to sell. This is our 3rd week for Salsa this season. We're getting Black Krim, Sun Sugar, Amish Paste and Mortgage Lifter tomatoes. With weeding all of these things, rotating plantings, thinning tomatillos and cutting flowers, we still have to feed the animals, ourselves, go to the doctor, look for new vehicles(we got a new, used van this week) and all the other things that life entails. Most days
 we manage to jump in the Lake for a half hour- it's at the bottom of our property so it's easy-from April to October. It's a full life for sure. 
It might take us a little longer than some of the Farmers who have more help or a bigger high tunnel but rest assured, we are working and planning
every day to bring you the things that we have taught you to love. As Willie said, You are Always on My Mind.

We'll see you tomorrow, Tom and I at the Tower Grove Market. 

God's Blessings on you and yours, 

TTFN, 

Sam, Bill and Rayven

TTFN, 























Friday, July 12, 2019

Things are Heating up

Market List; Some Ground Lamb left, Purslane, Squash Blossoms, Spicy Sauté Medley-featuring, Lambs Quarter, Radish, Kale and Purslane. Great for a quick stir up, or as an addition to your regular salad greens. We will have 11 jars of my Famous salsa so let me know if you want to reserve any, Bloody Mary Mix and this week, Hot Garden And Dill Relish. Limited supply on the chicken and Slow food Duck eggs. It's pretty hot and the ducks are winding down. We have 4 sitting on nests and we hatched 3 out this week. Hoping to get some Roasting Ducks for the holidays. In any case, when they start making nests to sit, it's all over for that duck as far as laying. In any case, they are generally completely done by late August.

Next week we will definitely have lamb cuts AND Rayven will be back on the farm, both things are a big- Finally!

Tomorrow will be hot, good thing we have the best Lemonade in town at our stand. Stop by and see us.

That's all for now.

God's Blessings on you and yours.

TTFN,

Sam and Bill

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Here's to Drying UP

Market List; Grass Fed Ground Lamb, Squash Blossoms, Sautéing Pearl(type) Onions, Foragers Salad Mix, Purslane, Garlic Scapes, Free Range-Non GMO fed, Chicken and Slow Food Cayuga Duck eggs

Another Muddy week here at the Farm. I don't think that I've been completely clean since January. We got another 4 and a half inches of rain on Saturday both here and while we were at the market, then about an inch on Sunday. There was only a small chance for the rest of the week and I thought we were clear to dry up and finish our field but then a pretty strong storm popped up and wiped out that hope. It seems like it should stop soon. Saturday is supposed to be clear but so was last Saturday. we all know how that worked out. My shoes still haven't dried out from Market and they're called Sloggers.

We have a ton of volunteer pumpkins thanks to feeding our sheep a couple of Jeep loads of pumpkins last Fall. This is just 2 of the fruits that we have coming on the vine. Probably they won't make it to Autumn when we really need them, Squash bugs are impossible to control even if you use chemicals, which of course we don't. Still, this means lots of Squash blossoms until they shrivel up but maybe they'll keep the squash bugs and cucumber beetles off of everything else. This baby here weighs about 20 Lbs. already. Dill's Atlantic Giant maybe?

Here's to a clear weekend and a lack of mud. See ya Saturday at Tower Grove Park.

God's Blessings on you and yours,

TTFN,

Sam and Bill


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Making Progress

Market List; 

Grass Fed GROUND LAMB, Purslane, Bright Lights Swiss Chard, Sautéing Onion bulbs, Foragers Salad Mix, Squash Blossoms, Garlic Scapes and Free Range Non GMO Fed Chicken and Slow Food Cayuga Duck Eggs. 










So we only got 3 and a half inches of rain this week and we had a volunteer. We were able to get the field and the garden tilled again, shaped the beds and got another 218 tomatoes planted- 110 of those Green Zebras and 90 were Japanese Black Triefle, 80 hills of cucumbers, 170 tomatillos, laid our ground cover in the tomato field, planted 2 more rows of Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans for a total of 7 rows. Some day soon we should have a lot of stuff to eat. We also have Chinese Yard Long Beans in the works, maybe in a couple of weeks they will be ready. 

Our volunteer is Nathan a 16 year old who goes to our church. He apparently likes to stay busy because he certainly is a hard worker. Many of the things in the above list were accomplished because of him. He planted the tomatillos, laid and tacked down a bunch of our landscape tarps in our field, helped with the animals, and because he was here, we tackled a huge project that kept getting put on the back burner; our Walking Onion bed. It's been a mess for weeks, the Ground Ivy and Smart Weed had ran all through it, all the rain has just made the weeds run rampant. The original stock of these onions had gone to their woody stalks and there was no room in the bed for the onions to do their walking and we couldn't break the progeny off of the top and re plant either. I mean it was thick in there. Here he is digging out a Catalpa tree that had grown at the edge of the bed. 



It took us about 12 hours over 3 mornings to pull all of the onions out, break the tops off, cut the woody stalks out and get all the weeds. It was miserable work. It's so muddy, we all were not only filthy but it's really impossible to get the dirt off of the roots when it's like that. We literally all had buckets of water that we swished the dirt out of the roots from each weed and periodically dumped the mud back into the bed. If we hadn't the bed would be empty of dirt and the sheep who we were feeding the roots to would have muddy belly aches. So every 45 minutes or so, Nate would take a big container of weeds to the barn and put them in the hay feeder, empty the buckets, refill them back up with clean water and we'd start all over again. Finally we finished with the bed clear except for a few volunteer sunflowers and 3 full crates of onion sets.

We will be bringing some of these to the market for sautéing like Pearl onions or you can just eat them, they are delicious raw too. In any case, the bed will be ready to replant soon. Probably Monday.

You can meet Nathan on Saturday if you get there before 10. He's kinda shy but friendly. It's supposed to be pretty hot, 93 they are forecasting. Dress comfortably and come by to say hi.

God's Blessings on you and yours,

TTFN,

Sam, Bill and this week Nathan




Thursday, May 30, 2019

Another Wwoofer Week

Market List; Ramp Greens, Garlic Scapes, Spicy Stir Fry
Mix, Foragers Salad Mix, Green Onions, Radishes and Tomato Plants. 
Non GMO fed, Chicken and Slow Food Cayuga Duck Eggs

Many of you know that we belong to a program called Wwoof. World Wide Organization of Organic Farms. It's for people who want to learn about farming before they buy their own farm. People of all ages, sexes, creeds and colors can join this group and request to work on a farm in exchange for room and board. The farmer provides food and knowledge and the Wwoofer works while learning. They get a taste of some of the issues of running a farm. We've had Wwoofers from St. Louis, China, Idaho, Ohio, Britain, California, Granite City and Pennsylvania. This week we had Mei who is from around the St. Louis area. She is getting ready to join the Navy and is spending the week with us hoping to learn about growing her own food someday. This is she and Bill, you know he's such a fashion plate, putting up tomato fences. We run fences for our tomatoes to climb up. We also weeded, tended animals, I showed her how to trim hooves and as it was such a nice week, even with the rain, she planted tomatoes and beans. We now have over 400 plants in the ground. We cut greens, separated Garlic, made Pickles and trimmed and replanted Garlic Ramps. It was a productive week.
This is Mei, weeding some Slow Food Basque Turban Garlic. The Garlic is loving the rain this year. I was separating some that was too close, but still it was pretty big even though it was growing right next to each other. It's got a few weeks before it's ready and this batch hasn't even gotten Scapes yet.
Scapes are the beginning of the Garlic Flower before it opens. You want to break this off so that the garlic bulb can continue to grow. As we all know, a plant's full purpose is to produce seed for the next generation. Once it flowers and seed forms it's all over folks. So if the energy is not going to producing seed, it goes to the bulb growth. Lucky for us, the Scapes taste so good. We'll have plenty on Saturday as we are growing 6 kinds of garlic from Slow Food St. Louis. You all may wonder why, even though we grow garlic, you rarely see us have any at the Market. Mainly because most of its goes into our pickled items that everyone loves so much. We also have to return some to the Slow Food Garlic Bank for giving it to us to plant in the first place and then we have to have some to plant ourselves for the next years crop. Not much left over for us after that occurs.

So the Garlic Ramps; This week, we will have the greens with the stems attached but not the bulbs. It's probably the last of the season. We were excited to see some of the Ramps that we obtained from Pennsylvania actually go to seed. We have also planted Ramps from Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin. 2 Years in a row we planted Ramps from West Virginia that came back but I didn't see any seed heads. If you want to have them, they must multiply or it's of no use when you harvest. Some is done by the bulb clusters growing but those are usually pulled out of the ground when you harvest. North Carolina and Ohio have massive Ramp Festivals but it's being reported that they are being harvested out. It's important to return back to the earth what you have taken out. This week the stems and leaves will be bundled at a lower price than the whole plant. Come and get some while they are here to enjoy.
Saturday promises to be a Sunny and Clear 85 degrees. We'll see you at Tower Grove Park. 8-12:30.

God's Blessings on you and yours,

TTFN,

Sam and Bill

Friday, May 24, 2019

It's a Spicy and Garlicky Week

This week has been hot and wet which has caused several issues. We will have a few bunches of radishes that have not bolted nor split. We've been using shade cloth to slow down the bolting but nothing can stop all this water. There will be a Spicy Stir Fry Mix Consisting of  Radish Greens, Bok Choi Greens and flowers and Kale. We got about 145 tomato plants put in before all the rain started. So I guess that's something. While we weren't looking, the Garlic Scaped, so there will be Scapes on offer, along with the last of the Ramps. There will be Green Onions, mixed with a few Egyptian Walking onions. Our Forager's Salad Mix this week has Lettuce, Lambsquarter, Wood Sorrel, baby Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Mustard, Arugula, Mache and Chickweed. We still have a lot of Duck Eggs coming in and Chicken eggs too. There will be Tomato Plants for 2 more weeks and then, whatever is left over will be planted into our field. We'll have about 30 varieties to choose from for your own garden. Cherokee Green and Purple, Black from Tula, Arkansas Traveler, Pantano Romanesco, Caspian Pink, Mortgage Lifter, Pink Girl, Lemon Boy, Black Krim, Paul Robeson, Pork Chop, Violet Jasper, Black Plum, Sweet 100, Principe Borghese, Amish Paste, Golden Jubilee, Juliet, Yellow Pear and others. 
We ran out of our Award winning(Riverfront Times) Lemonade last night so we will be bringing extra for tomorrows hot day, also Green Tea with Jasmine and Robin's local honey. Stop by our booth for a cup of either for only 2.00 a cup. It's the best deal at the market. We haven't raised our price in 13 years. 
We'll see you at Tower Grove tomorrow from 8 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. 

God's Blessings on you and yours, 

TTFN, 

Sam and Bill

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Back to the Market

Market List; Green Onions, Spring Salad Mix with Pea tendrils, Lambs Quarter, Wood Sorrel, Arugula, Kale, Red Lettuce, Spinach, Mache and various flowers,Non GMO Free Range Chicken and Slow Food Cayuga Duck eggs. We will have a few Ramps.

Finally it has stopped raining. We got a little shower yesterday but I believe it will be dry enough to till our garden and field tomorrow. It's been crazy wet. I only have about 100 tomato plants in the ground, stuck in raised beds, next to fences but about 600 waiting to go. We are trying to do a complete rotation this year and moving all our tomatoes to the front field and trying some new crops that we haven't done before in our original growing space. But none of these things have happened yet as we haven't been able to get into either of these areas at all. Thank God for the raised beds.
This will be the last week for the Pea Tendrils and flowers in the Salad Mix as they will be turned over into the field tomorrow. Nitrogen you know, they are part of our cover crop for the new field. It just worked out that they also taste great in the salad.

So Saturday, a whopping 85 degrees and clear (supposedly) until the evening. What a relief after last weekend. I don't think that I got warm until the next day. So wear your shorts and sunscreen. Come by and pick up a glass of St. Louis' best Lemonade or a glass of Green Tea with Robins Local Honey and Jasmine. Tom will be back to sample some Jams, Jellies, Marmalades and Granolas. We'll see ya there.

God's blessings on you and yours,

TTFN,

Sam and Bill

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Somethings You just Don't Expect


Market List; Pea Tendrils, Egyptian Walking Onions, Free Range Non GMO Chicken and Slow Food Cayuga Duck eggs. Black & Raspberry Jam and Watermelon Raspberry Marmalade are on the Canned Goods Menu.
Of course we will have our famous lemonade and Green Tea with Jasmine and Robin's Local Honey.

So last week at Market, maybe a few of you noticed that I wasn't my most feisty self. Last week, while trying to contain a brush burning incident that spread to the woods, I picked up a tick and a tick bourn illness and pneumonia to boot. It was amazing how fast it happened. I didn't even notice the pneumonia. Any how, modern medicine and all and I will be back at Market on Saturday. I never believed it but a tick CAN take you down. Listen to the song Folks and let someone check you for them.

That's not all the news, this week we had 3 more lambs. A set of twins and another beautiful black and white lamb. All 3 females. The flock is building again.
This is Filly, isn't she cute?


We'll see you Saturday. Hopefully it will be Shine and not Rain. 


God's blessings on you and yours 

TTFN, 

Sam and Bill




Thursday, April 11, 2019

Come and Taste Spring


Market List; Egyptian Walking Onions, Spring Salad Mix, Slow Food Non GMO Duck Eggs, Chicken Eggs, Limited amounts of Grass Fed Lamb and Tomato Plants.


I can't believe it's time again, Spring is here! Despite falling temps tomorrow, my Daffodils, Red Buds and the Hawthorns say it is. It was both the slowest and fastest moving Winter ever. Finally my Egyptian Walking onions have recovered from all the Ice and Snow They are so beautiful and ready to grace our Market booth for the opening day at Tower Grove Saturday.


The Cayuga ducks are laying beautifully too, both literally and figuratively. Check out these beautiful multicolored eggs.

As you may or may not know, Cayuga ducks are a Slow Food Ark of Taste listed bird. We received a Grant for them about 10 years ago. They are the only duck that lays multiple shades of egg colors. Until the Pekin duck came to America, they were at one time the Meat Bird of choice. Now they are on the endangered list as there only 12 noted breeding flocks left. 

So this stands to be an Allium year on the Farm. 
Here is Bill and my mom planting Shallots. This is one of our recycled tarps. We've been using them for 6 or 7 years now. My neighbor rescued them from Busch Stadium. Anyway, this year, besides the Egyptian Walking onions, Shallots, Scallions and Garlic, we received another grant this year for Garlic Ramps. Ramps are a wild delicacy and another disappearing food source.




So what were growing brings us to an important topic. I'm not sure if anyone has noticed, but there are more and more vegetables showing up at the market that are not grown by the persons vending. As many of you know, the market started as a locally grown only market. Slowly, starting with Sweet Corn, vegetables were allowed to be brought (bought) in, IF there was nothing of that item available at Market but you had to get permission first. Now there are at least 5 stands at the market that the bulk of their goods are from the Amish Auctions. Mimo Davis came up with the catch phrase. This simply means that we want our Market to support Vendors who grow their own stuff. You notice that  I'm not saying Farmers here. We're not talking about someone who brings Paw Paws that they picked in the woods for instance, or Morels that they harvested. This is about knowing where your food comes from and what's on it. Because if it comes from the Auctions, you don't. So don't be afraid to ask the Farmers; Did you grow this? If you wanted that type of market,  you could just run down to Soulard but we know that's not what you come to us for and it's not fair for the facts not to be plain and above board.

So that's about all. I'm not sure yet if we are bringing Lemonade. It's supposed to be a frosty 58 degrees. We'll see what tomorrow's forecast says. Every day this week, it's been warmer than projected. If it's above 60 degrees we will.

Happy Opening day everyone!

God's Blessings on you and yours,

                                                                            TTFN

Sam and Bill

Thursday, March 7, 2019

March Madness


Market List; Salad Mix, Slow Food Cayuga Duck eggs, Chicken Eggs, Grass Fed Lamb, Smoked Tomatillo Salsa, there are a few Pickled Items left but running really low.


This has been a Winter to remember for sure. As another farmer said, it's either frozen or mud up to your knees. It's been an extremely hard winter on all of the animals and ME as I am here most of the time by myself taking the brunt of it. The hay shortage, lack of sunlight and warmth have made for a stressful and expensive cold season. Recently however, we caught a bit of a break-even though we had to work harder during it.


Many of you know that we belong to a program called Wwoof - It stands for World Wide Organization of Organic Farms. Its a really cool program, allowing people to learn about Farming while traveling around the US or the world, whichever takes your fancy. We've had Wwoofers(that's what they call the volunteers) from China, England, St. Louis, Illinois, Idaho, California and Pennsylvania. Most everyone takes it seriously, however like the communes of the 60's, sometimes there are people just looking for a free ride. We've been pretty lucky and only had one disappointing experience. A couple of weeks ago,we had an awesome Wwoofer land on our
farm.


This guy here, Charlie is helping to unload the hay. This picture is a good example of some of the issues around here. With the hay shortage, we've been having to bring in these monster bales of hay. What you see in this pic is 3 bales, 8X4X3. They weigh in at about 350 lbs. Instead of flaking off, they unfold like a ribbon and the barn doorway is too short to use the tractor in to lift them up and place them where you want them so they have to be muscled in by hand. No easy feat. Where we could just stack 16 square bales on the gangplank that runs from one section of the barn to the other, now we have to get it into the barn in order to keep it dry, cut the bale, cut the flake off and stack it on the gangplank to be unstacked and put into the feeder at various times. It must be wrapped in the barn to keep the animals out and off of it to keep it dry and clean, and then unwrapped each time that you finish the bale, cut and flaked again and then rewrap. It's a nightmare. ANYWAY, I digress. Charlie came to work for 13 days. The deal is with Wwoof, you provide a place to sleep and food and of course education about farming. They provide muscle, enthusiasm and a certain lack of tiredness that we have. I always try to vary education opportunities, some animal stuff, some vegetable stuff, things we always have to do like some barn clean out.
So here is what we did; Cleaned out the sheep section of the barn, trimmed the chickens wings, filled and seeded trays for this Spring's crops, put hay in the barn, he made a special project out of pulling out the tarps that we used every year in the garden, rolling them up and stacking them outside the garden, planted 500 ramps(our new Slow Food Grant), dug up the Quince trees in the high tunnel (another Slow Food Grant) and planted them outside, pulled up all the fence posts in the garden, planted onions and helped with the animals every morning and night. It was a very productive 13 days. He was easy to get along with and grateful for every scrap of knowledge and food that came his way. If you want to read about his side of it, he's blogging about it at
                                                      www.charliewwoofs.blogspot.com.

So we have about 20 varieties of tomatoes started in the germ chamber, bok choi, brussels sprouts, sprouting cauliflower and peppers too. We're looking forward to some sunshine and fresh vegetables. 
Last year we had Egyptian Walking Onions all Winter but this year, every time I see a little green, they get beat down with snow and ice. They'll be back but not for awhile. 

We'll see you Saturday at the Montessori school. 

God's blessings on you and yours,

TTFN, 

Bill and Sam

Friday, February 8, 2019

Farming Can be Heartbreaking

Market List: Chicken Eggs, Grass Fed Lamb, Smoked Tomatillo Salsa, Granola, Pecans and Pickled Stuff
We will be at the Montessori School
 @ 1618 Tower Grove Avenue

Sometimes on the Farm, it seems as if no matter how hard that you try, how diligent you are, things are out of your control. Last Blog, I mentioned that we had a Ewe that I was watching to lamb. I am very careful about this, I take shepherding seriously. So the night of the Market, the coldest night in 2 months, I checked at 11:30 and she looked like she was starting to efface but not into labor yet. At 5:30, I went out again to check and there was a lamb face showing already but she could not pass it. During the examination that I made, I could not figure out which legs belonged where, seemingly because the lamb behind that one couldn't get out either. Finally I was able to get the first lamb out, finding it had a leg that was formed incorrectly, foreleg at a 45 degree angle outward from the thigh bone. Once I achieved this, the other soon followed, both dead. Nigella staggered across the room and laid down in the correct position for a sheep(or cow, or horse), with her forelegs folded under her. I showed one of the lambs to her, she smelled it, licked it for seconds but showed little interest, unusual for her but she was exhausted. She's been a very good mother in the past. As she seemed okay, the first sign being that she was on her forelegs instead of her side, I fed her some oats and molasses, good for replenishing iron, potassium and magnesium and went back to the house. Awhile later, I went out and not only the afterbirth but with her cervix AND uterus lying on the floor behind her. Now I've seen the cervix come out before but not the uterus. This of course is caused from the constant and repetitive straining. Dealing with this is simple but back straining for everyone involved. The ewe must be stood on her shoulders by one person while the other person lifts the uterus and cervix both above her now upward posterior. Both must be put back in the correct order and many times this is sufficient, it's just a matter of gravity. In this instance we did it 3 times, even finally lifting her into a wheelbarrow, taking her into our basement and leaving her in that position in the wheelbarrow to allow gravity to do its thing. It was not allowed to happen because she continued pushing it out. After calling our (amazing) Veterinarian, I later found out that a big part of the reason for this was the cold. The uterus was in a 15-60 degree temperature (barn then basement) and her body is 101 degrees. This is not comfortable. Many of you have read about my Vet before. He is so good to me but he could not come right away as he was in the middle of haying his sheep an hour away, with all the gates on his farm frozen, but about 2.5 hours later, he showed up with long gloves, iodine, sutures, local anesthetic, peroxide and a bowl. He helped lift her up again, easier since she was still in the wheelbarrow, replaced everything and then had me hold them inside of her while he gave her the local and put a shoestring sized suture in to keep them place.
The next day, we moved her back to the barn and she continued to eat well but could not stay standing. Small wonder as I didn't go through as much as her and I could barely move. She continued to have contractions for about a week and then she was able to walk a few steps. About 10 days in, she broke the stitch and the cervix came back out again. Also the next coldest night again. I called my vet gain and again he was trying to take care of his cows an hour away. At 11:30 at night we were replacing it again with another stitch, me asking if we should put her down and Doctor Hale saying "let's give her one more chance". In any case, the next morning, she had broken the stitch and again the cervix was out. At this point, I do not feel that I can put her through this anymore regardless of how much crazy I am about her. So after all this, we had to put her down. So hard, especially since she was eating and walking.
Earlier this Fall, we cleaned out a different section of the barn where we had not had sheep in for about 10 years and unearthed a 20 year old Clostridium virus. Unfortunately, we had moved the sheep into that section and 2 days later, with no warning, 3 dead sheep. Took a day to figure out what it was and 2 more to get a handle on it but everyone else survived. It was a difficult 3 days for everyone involved. There has been a hay shortage due to the 2nd year drought and we have had a time with these new 350 lb. square bales. In short, this has been a difficult winter. I know this seems completely depressing but a lot of you appreciate knowing what we go through to bring food to you and sometimes, it really is enough to make you want to give up.
In any case, we are not doing that but while the market is tomorrow, I will not be there. Bill and Tom will be there until 9 so come early if you want to see him and then Tom and Jeff will finish up the shift. I am under the weather and the weather being what it is, Bill wants me to stay out of it. So come by anyway, grab some eggs and some salsa to go on them, maybe something pickled to chase away the winter blues. Soon it WILL be Spring again.

God's Blessings on you and yours,

TTFN,

Sam and Bill who have not given up.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Rescheduled Market at the Montessori

Market List- Salad Mix, Free Range Non GMO Eggs, Smoked Tomatillo Salsa to go on those eggs, Grass Fed Lamb, Concord Grape Jam, Salty Dill Pickles and other assorted delicacies.
Stuff to make those boring Winter meals more exciting.
Tomorrow at the Montessori School 8:00-12:30
1618 Tower Grove Avenue

Wow, that was some storm last week. It's been miserable for the sheep and we have a ewe ready to lamb any minute.
Its a blessing that the one projected this week has backed off a bit.
Thanks to everyone who showed up at the Pop Up. It made it worth our while to show up and helped to keep our egg rotation going. We want to keep the freshest eggs available.

So we'll see you tomorrow.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Quince and First December Market


We will be at the Urban Chestnut Brewery at
  3229 Washington Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63103
               on December 1st from 12-4 PM

This will be a great time to stock up with Jams, Jellies, Granolas, Salsa, Pickled items for holiday gifts. If you have someone who's hard to buy for, our booth is the place. We have an awesome Garlicky Chili sauce, kinda like that pureed Chili sauce that you see at Thai restaurants but it's made with local ingredients. It or Pickled Hot Peppers make a great gift for someone who likes it HOT. Granola is a healthy and sweet stocking stuffer.
We will also have Missouri Pecans, Pears, Salad Mix, Grass Fed Lamb, Eggs and yes, there are still Tomatoes.

After waiting for several weeks for our Heirloom Meech's Prolific Quince to soften, they started getting black Spots on them but were still rock hard. During further research I discovered that Quince never softens until degrading or cooked. It is ripe when it has a fruity citrusy(books say citrusy, I say pineappley) aroma and is bright yellow. So we cooked them, well several of them anyway. The trees produced 8. 1 split and spoiled, 3 and a half  we made into Jam, 1.5 we poached, 1 we sampled and I saved 1 for Steve McGhee with Slow Food. He's had a great interest in this project.
In any case, what came out of our first experiments was extremely interesting. While research stated that Quince are very high in fiber, I was unprepared for the 3.5 quince that I used with only corresponding sugar, granted it was 40% Sugar to fruit, but still, that small amount of fruit to sugar- no pectin as quince makes it's own pectin, this produced 14 -4 oz. jars of jam and a sample of about 3/4 of a pint. Another interesting thing about these fruit is that while the skin is Green until ripe and then bright yellow, when you cut it, to the naked eye the flesh looks cream or off white but when you photograph it, the camera picks up the pigment that causes the fruit to turn pick and then red, the longer its cooked.
The jam we made was only cooked for a short amount of time, it set really quickly for not adding any pectin, it was only a light orange. It actually was a little lighter than this picture. 



The poached quince was cooked overnight in a crockpot and this is how it turned out. 
Left, Raw Quince, Right Jam and Center Poached with absolutely no added color. Intriguing, no? 
After our tasting, I used the remainder of the poached quince along with the 1/2 pint that I didn't have enough jars to can and made some more jam. It's a little different than the straight jam since it has a few spices in it but still, it's pretty good.
There is a small core but everything else is edible. I did not peel them. 








Thursday, October 25, 2018

3 Weeks Left

Market List; Pesticide Free Arkansas Black Apples and Kiefer Pears, Tomatoes, Tomatillos, Spicy Salad Mix, Egyptian Walking Onions, Bright Lights Swiss Chard and Grass Fed Lamb, Free Range Chicken eggs.

There are 3 weekends left of the regular 2018 Market season. It did go fast. Last week we had a partial frost. We didn't lose the whole garden but it definitely slowed things down. This may be the last week for tomatoes and my Famous Salsa. Probably also the last week for my van, the fuel pump went out on the way home from Market last week. It's been that kind of week.
After November 10th, there will be some Winter Markets in December. As of now there will be one at the Montessori School, one at Urban Chestnut and one at the Boulevard. We'll keep you apprised of the upcoming events. It's time to start thinking of Holiday gifts and as usual, we have a lot of items to fill the bill for those office and family parties where no one needs anything but you have to get something anyway. For 5.00 to 8.00 you can be a hero.

We'll see you Saturday at Tower Grove Market for 3 more weekends.

God's Blessings on you and yours,

TTFN

Bill and Sam