Thursday, October 19, 2017

Falling Fall


Market List;

Grass Fed Lamb, Egyptian Walking Onions, 

Sassy Salad Mix, Bright Lights Swiss Chard,

Slicing and Salad Tomatoes, Rainbow Cherry Tomatoes,

Tomatillos, Lemon Cucumbers

and Dill


Wow, I looked up this week and realized that there are 4 weeks left of the summer season. Still lots of tomatoes coming on for eating and salsa too. As usual this time of the year, we are overran with cucumber beetles. For some reason though, they are incredibly bad this year. These are some of the worst garden pests. Ask any farmer what their worst insect issues are and they all will say they Squash Bugs and Cucumber Beetles. They are killing the plants, stunting the fruits and drilling holes in the tomatoes. You walk through and they fly out in waves, a cracked tomato will sport about 20. Talked to Vicki Lander down the road at Flower Hill Farm and they are having the same issue.


Ugh, disgusting cucumber beetles. 

Some of the ducklings that we have raised up this summer are laying right on schedule so we will have a dozen duck eggs this week annnnnd...some of them, probably about 15 are males so we will have some to process for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Little known Slow Food fact, until the Pekin duck was introduced to the US, the Cayuga was the meat bird of choice. The Pekin being a white bird, making it much easier to clean took it's place. However, the black Cayuga, no matter how difficult it is to make it look clean because of the black oil in the feather ducts, they have amazing rich tasting meat. So we have that to look forward to. 
Also we are already lambing. 
After the Summer Season is over, we probably as a Market will be going to the Montessori School for the Winter Pantries. They are looking for a larger space, but as of now our first Winter Market will be on December 11th. We also will be doing a Thursday Winter Market with Eureka on the last Thursday of the Winter months ...and we will be there this Thursday also. 
So that's all the news this week. Next week we'll have a real Slow Food talk about the project that we were awarded the grant for this year. 

See ya Saturday!

God's Blessings on you and yours

TTFN, 

Sam and Bill...and the pups


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Festival Week



Market List
Tomatoes; all colors, shapes and kinds,
cherry, salad, paste and slicing, we've got them all
Lemon and pickling cucumbers
Sassy Salad Mix
Red Burgundy and White Velvet Okra
and of course-
TOMATILLOS!
We will have 3 Salsas too


This week is the Harvest Festival at Tower Grove Market
we start at 8 and go until 3. A LONG Festival. There will 3 bands and beer, over 100 Vendors and many artisans.


This week we have had 3 new Volunteers at the Farm. Rayven's younger sister and 2 brothers are here while there mum is in Houston helping with the hurricane clean up.
They have been mostly on Tomatillo and Puppy duty.



We have been harvesting, peeling and picking up Tomatillos off of the ground and on the plants all week. The dry weather is causing them to fall off  and as usual they are everywhere. The kids have made this week a whirlwind but have been a big help sorting the bad from the good, feeding the former to the sheep and putting the latter in to crates to sell.

It's going to be really cool this week end. Don't forget that we will not be at the market next weekend. The following week, catch me on Friday at the Farmer's Formal held by Earth Dance at Union Station and Saturday, one of us- probably Bill will be at the Market. See you Saturday at the Festival, Don['t forget that we will be bringing Windy Lake's Puppy. Stop and see her.

God's Blessings on you and yours,

TTFN,

Sam, Bill, Ember, Finn and  Steel






Thursday, September 21, 2017

We're Almost Done?

We will also be at Eureka Market next Thursday

Market List: Grass Fed Lamb, Tomatillos, Tomatoes, Wood Sorrel, Lemon and Pickling cucumbers, Pesticide Free Pears, Bright Lights Swiss Chard and Egyptian Walking Onions

So we're counting down to our last weeks to the Summer Markets. Eight to be exact. Now lets think about the events leading up to the end of the season. Next weekend this is the Harvest Festival at the Market. This is the fundraiser for the season. It goes from 8-3 and there will be 3 bands. Then the next week, we are taking the week off for our anniversary. On the 13th, our lamb will be featured, along with yours truly at Earth Dance's fundraiser, the Farmers Formal. Many of you are probably aware of how Molly Rockamann of Earth Dance is so involved with the Ferguson community. The Farm is used for education about growing food and outreach for the community. We are all so proud of Molly for all that she has achieved at Earth Dance. I remember when she first started the Farmer Apprenticeship program. How far she has come from then. The Farmers Formal will be held this year at Union Station. Here's the link to get your ticket. https://www.501auctions.com/farmersformal 

Well this warm weather has really brought the tomatoes on again. We will be bringing a bunch! Maybe not as much as some of the stands but I can guarantee that our taste better than you can imagine. We'll even have some Blue Beauties this week, lots of Vintage Wines, Pork Chops, Mortgage Lifters, Black from Tula, a few Paul Robesons and Arkansas Travelers just to name a few. Oh yes, and finally we have some Purple Carbons. They were the last ones planted.
The Fall has brought the Lady Bugs back too. I know they drive some people crazy but we have been overran with Thrips, White Flies and Aphids and the Lady Bugs eat them by the hundreds, those and other soft bodied insects. I was so glad to see them show up and all their little larvae offspring vacuuming the bad bugs off the leaves and stems. Yay!
Lots and lots of tomatillos here, banner year!






The pups are getting SO big and active.
Next weekend stop by the booth and see the one I'm bringing to Windy Lake Sarah.
Also Whisk is considering this one.
So far 3 are going for pets and 3 for Livestock...I have a feeling that Sarah's will be a bit of both.



I guess that's all the news here for now.


As you can tell, even though the Tower Grove summer Market is almost over, there is still lots to look forward to. . . and this winter we will be at the Winter Market once a month. Location to be determined. I hear that we may be getting a new location.

God's blessings on you and yours,

TTFN,

Bill, Sam and the pups (for a bit longer)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Back to the Heat

Market List;

Grass Fed Lamb

TOMATILLOS

Slicing tomatoes
Rainbow Cherry Mix Tomatoes

Pesticide Free Pears,

SuperFood Salad Mix,

Lemon and Pickling Cucumbers





Thankfully we are back to some heat, 80's to 90's for the next 10 days. This should really spiff up the hot weather crops, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and hopefully some more purslane. It's coming on but slowly with these cool nights. The tomatillos however are coming like mad, we've already picked a bushel this week.

The pups are coming along fine. It's going to be so hard to see them go. We have finally sucked it up and decided to not keep one.

My mom is keeping the one in the back of this picture. Sarah at Windy Lake is getting the one closet here facing the camera. A horse farm down the road is taking the other all white here as well as one more and of course, Rayven's family is taking yet another. They're so cute.

We'll see you Saturday at Tower Grove. Don't forget, in 2 weeks we have the Fall Festival at the Market. It's an extra long market, going until 3 with Bands and Local Beer. I've heard whispers of
Bloody Marys too. It's a fundraiser for the market. 

God's Blessings on you and yours, 

TTFN, 

Sam, Bill and the pups










Thursday, September 7, 2017

It's not Really Fall


                                 Market List:
Grass Fed Lamb, Tomatillos,
Lemon AND
Pickling Cucumbers, 
Slicing Tomatoes, Rainbow Cherry Mix Tomatoes, SuperFood Salad Mix,
Egyptian Walking Onions, 
Refrigerator Dills and Salsa

It's been pretty nippy and I can't believe that I'm actually wearing a sweater. Of course I've still been swimming almost everyday but ...maybe that's why I need the sweater. Still this unseasonably cool weather has brought out some of the more bothersome insects such as aphids and White Fly sucking the life out of the tomato blossoms, just like for no particular reason the house flies have a last hurrah when the temps are like this. 



We will have some tomatoes this week, probably about as many as last. So if you didn't get any, send me an email and we'll try and hold some back for you. The cool nights really slow the ripening down but the cucumbers are finally coming in, it's a constant battle with the cucumber beetles, thrips and squash bugs but I've been staying on top of it and they are finally doing well. 

The pups are finally waking up and getting acquainted with the other livestock.
They've been in the barnyard most of the week and today they went into the field with everybody running in and out. I posted some video on Instagram of them playing investigating the ducks playing in the water and sheep walking up to check them out. We are on Instagram as SunflowerSavannahFarm. On the weekend we try and open it up to the public and the rest of the week it's on Private. So if you want to Follow us, I usually post different pics of our farm life everyday. If it's on Private, just hit me up with a request.

So another cool weekend at the Market. The hurricane I think is responsible for some of the weird weather. Rayven and Jade's mom was deployed this week to help out with the disaster in Texas. Generally we get rain along with the hurricanes when they move out but so far, just a few drops. It detoured around us and hit Indiana as well as Kentucky. We'll see you Saturday.

God's Blessings on you and yours,

TTFN,

Sam and Bill and the Pups



Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Two Markets this Week

Tomorrow at Eureka Farmers Market we will have;
Grass Fed Lamb, Tomatillos, Green Beans and Sunflower Bouquets

Saturday at Market we will bring;
Grass Fed Lamb, some Tomatoes, Tomatillos Cucumbers, Sunflower Bouquets, Purslane, Lambsquarter, Wood Sorrel,
Egyptian Walking Onions, Rainbow Swiss Chard and perhaps some Kale

Yes 2 markets this week. Eureka has started a monthly Market that we have attended a couple of times and hope to be there also this winter. 


AND 


Speaking of being somewhere in the future, I am really up in the air about being an email which I received a couple of days ago from Crystal of
Earth Dance

So maybe I will see you there! Many people have tasted my lamb from buying it at the Tower Grove Farmers market and now it will be featured at The Farmers Formal. This is such an honor to be invited. It's a great cause too. Molly Rockaman has made Earth Dance such a success and has withstood all the fuss at Ferguson with such a positive approach. I remember her first event, the Pesto Festo and now she has many years of teaching people about food under her belt. I can't wait to be a part of this. It's a great cause. 


It has been an experience with these pups. They get cuter every day! Already we have several promised out. I think we only have one left that's not spoken for.

We will see you tomorrow in Eureka maybe and Saturday at Tower Grove Farmers Market. Another beautiful Saturday, only 80 degrees. Tomatoes will still be a little low but they are making a come back and we will have a few.

God's blessings on you and yours,

TTFN,

Sam, Bill and the Pups

Four of the pups




Thursday, August 24, 2017

Silence

Market List; Grass Fed Lamb, Tomatillos, Purslane, SuperFood Salad Mix, Tomatoes and Bright Lights Swiss Chard and Rainbow Cherry Mix tomatoes.



Very quiet around here, all the volunteers are gone. Our last Wwoofer (for awhile) left Wednesday. While I will miss the help, sometimes it's just good to be just to yourself. While teaching people about how to grow food and how our idea of what food is not necessarily all that food is important to me, sometimes its just good to recharge.



So we had a great time at the Solar Siesta here. We had a few customers from the market who came and we all had a great time. So amazing. We started taking pics with the glasses over our phone cameras and we got some great shots. It was a once in a lifetime experience.

.

While we have some tomatoes this week, we will have even less than last. SO many cracked. They are making a come back though and we still have 2 good months left of the season before we have to worry about a frost. We will still have Salsa though. That's one good thing about cracked tomatoes, you can still make Salsa. Lots and Lots of tomatillos though, they love this weather. I'm already freezing tomatillos and made Smoked Tomatillo salsa for the second time this week.

Salad mix will be back this week with Kale, Arugula, Swiss Chard, Beet, Lambsquarter, Purslane and
Wood Sorrel.

AND
we will have a French Rack of lamb with all the other cuts available. 


I dunno if you all noticed, but we added Bloody Mary mix to our retinue last week. It's based on our Salsa, it's been coming for a while but I finally got it done. Come by and try some out, let me know what you think.

We'll see you at the market on Saturday.

God's Blessings on you and yours,                          

TTFN

Bill and Sam - alone at last- with the puppies





                   

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Still Eclipsing

Market list;
Grass Fed LAMB, Tomatoes, Purslane, Tomatillos, Wood Sorrel, Bright Lights Swiss Chard,  Lemon Cucumbers, Green Beans, Kale


The Solar Eclipse event is still going on at the farm in an attempt to raise money for Vesterbrook Farm who has lost everything but the actual Farm due to Chemical drift from a conventional farm. There are still plenty of spaces left. Fifty Five Percent goes to the Brabos'. If it's a good turnout, we can do more. 
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3057442


Certified Naturally Grown put out a page for the farms that are in the path and we are in a Prime Location for the fullest effect. 






So we have a new Wwoofer this week. Deb arrived Wednesday evening. Sorry that there is no pictures, She arrived in the rain and today we had some issues with the pups that kept us busy. We'll have some next week. 


Lamb is back at the market probably for a long time to come. The new grazing on pastures from Slow Food are helping as is the rain which helps the fields grow. On the opposite side of this, there will not be as many tomatoes this week and probably not next week either. So many have cracked from the everyday rains that we have been getting and the cooler nights have caused some powdery mildew as well as slowed down the ripening process. Farming is such a balancing act. Just when you think you are home free something new gets thrown in... too much rain in August, really? 

87 degrees on Saturday, feeling more like August again instead of October.  Come prepared to shop and drink lemonade. 


God's Blessings on you and yours 

TTFN, 

Sam, Bill and Deb-til Wednesday

Thursday, August 10, 2017

What Happened Last Month and what Went on Today


Market List ; At least 15 varieties of tomatoes, Purslane, Lambsquarter, Wood Sorrel, Tomatillos, Kale and Bright Lights Swiss Chard


As a few of you know, we are having a Solar Eclipse event here on Sunflower Savannah Farm. What we haven't talked about is what happened at Vesterbrook Farm last month and is happening all over the country.
Vesterbrook Farm which is a Century Farm in Clarksville, Missouri is ran by Mike and Carol Brabo. They have for the last 10 years or so ran an Certified Naturally Grown CSA. In the Spring, Summer and Fall, they put into the boxes, mostly what they grow which includes, vegetables, fruits, pasture raised pork and lamb. In the Winter, they supplement what they grow with Organic produce purchased from other growers, CoOps and food hubs. Carol is hearing impaired and their kids are grown and gone. Farming is always a struggle but Mike especially has felt the calling to provide clean food to anyone who wants it. Nay...anyone who needs it. Mike is like a preacher searching for Clean Food converts. That's what makes it so sad what happened out there last month. There farm must have been part and parcel of a bigger whole because Carol's cousin farms next to them and sprays herbicides. He and Mike have butted heads many times over this issue and indeed, the Brabo's have their farm on Drift Watch. Drift Watch is program that allows your Certified farm to be marked off so that "legally" no one can spray anything, Herbisides, Pesticides or whatever.  Last month Mike came home to someone spraying the fence rows on a tractor and within minutes they started seeing leaf curl. The drift came over what they thought at the time was at least 30 feet. Mike being the dedicated Clean Food advocate that he is, immediately canceled his deliveries and made it known to his Certifiers and his customers. They threw away hundreds of lbs. of squash, tomatoes, Kale, etc. because the money did not mean as much to him as the health of his customers. Let me just state here that Mike is no country gentleman farmer, like the rest of us, they are working on a shoestring. Reaching out to the surrounding farmers, Mike was told that "he shoulda known better than to try and organic farm in row crop country". Mike and Carol are not only wiped out financially for this year but even if they could hang on for this year, it will take 3 years to get their certification back.
Ironically the next week, there was a government recall on the chemical that was sprayed which destroyed Vesterbrook's livelihood.
So we thought that we could use the Eclipse as a Fundraiser for this Farm.

We have a field that's approximately an acre on the South West corner of the property. It's directly in front of the Growing area, Greenhouse and barn. The sun goes directly over it from East to West, it should be an incredible view. As Dan from Ozark Forest mushrooms says, St. Clair is Ground Zero for the view, we are only 15 driving miles from St. Clair but less as the crow flies. Come out and share this adventure with us.  
You can get your tickets at;  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3057442 







Now for some good news. Some of you who follow the blog know that we have been waiting on Bumblebee to deliver her pups. Today it finally happened. 


Here is Jade with 1, 3and 5 -giving 6, 7 and 8 a chance to nurse. We are up to 11 now. 
This is a pic when we thought we were done at 7 but about an hour later she had 2 more, then awhile later another and then the hopefully last. So we will see you Saturday, beautiful weather expected again.






Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sunflower Savannah Solar Siesta

As a few of you know, we are having a Solar Eclipse event here on Sunflower Savannah Farm.

We have a field that's approximately an acre on the South West corner of the property. It's directly in front of the Growing area, Greenhouse and barn. The sun goes directly over it from East to West, it should be an incredible view. As Dan from Ozark Forest mushrooms says, St. Clair is Ground Zero for the view, we are only 15 driving miles from St. Clair but less as the crow flies. Come out and share this adventure with us.  
You can get your tickets at;  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3057442 









Thursday, August 3, 2017

Eclipse on the Farm

Market List- Tomatoes; Pork Chop,
Vintage Wine, Bradley, Cherokee Chocolate, Sara Black, Black from Tula, Paul Robeson, Early Girl, Lemon Boy, Amish Paste, Blue Beauty and Rainbow Cherry Tomato Mix
Purslane, Wood Sorrel, Lemon Cucumbers, Tomatillos and Sunflower Bouquets


So the tomatoes and tomatillos are coming thick and fast although we still don't have all of the varieties yet. I am pretty excited though.

It's pretty quiet here, Jade hardly talks at all. I'm making her sit here and talk to me now while I write this blog. Soon though it will be exciting again. More Wwoofers are coming and on the 21st of August we are having another Farm event. You can probably guess what it is- we're having a Solar Eclipse Siesta ! Tickets can be purchased at Brown Paper tickets and here is the link  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3057442 . There are only 100 tickets available. Come by the carload or on your own, it's all the same, of course it works out cheaper if you bring others with you. We would love to see some of our Market regulars here on the farm for this momentous occasion.

It's been such a relief for the heat to have let off for a bit. Tomatoes ripen a little slower but we can take our time in the morning in the garden with out worrying about boiling our brains. It feels like fall a bit and it's crazy to be planning our cool weather crops again, but there it is...time flying again, did you see it go by?  

We'll see you Saturday at Tower Grove and hopefully here for the Eclipse. 

God's blessings on you and yours, 

TTFN

Sam, Bill and Jade...quietly




Thursday, July 27, 2017

Still Visiting

Market List;

SuperFood Salad Mix, Purslane, Tomatoes; Bradley, Lemon Boy, Early Girl, Moscovitch, Cherokee Chocolate, Japanese Trifele, Amish Paste, Paul Robeson,  Blue Beauty, Pantano Romanesco, Pork Chop, Black from Tula and
Rainbow Cherry Tomato Mix,

Bright Lights Swiss Chard and Tomatillos.

Of course you should pick up some Salsa and Pickles.






So Rayven flew off on Sunday and Jade is here.
She's picking Purslane in this pic. We've been working on keeping the animals hydrated, planting lettuce and of course weeding. Many of the tomatillos are weeds too. We are still thinning them out. We have so many that it they are invasive. For instance, almost all that can be seen in this picture are tomatillos... and we have thrown away thousands of the plants. It feels wasteful to do so but there is only so much soil nutrition to go around.


Finally it has cooled down for a bit. Now we don't want it to stay like this but it is pretty near perfect. Warm enough to set fruit but not so hot that it drops. So this weekend is supposed to be a beautiful 83 degrees. My best friend Karen is in from Kentucky and we are hoping for a trip to Augusta after Market on Saturday. We have been hearing from Rox and Ruth on What's App and Instagram. I think we will stay in touch for a long time. 

Cortney and I will see you Saturday. 

God's Blessings on your and yours, 

TTFN, 

Sam, Bill, Cortney and Jade. 









Thursday, July 20, 2017

Really Quiet around here

Market list: Bright Lights Swiss Chard, Purslane, Wood Sorrel, Onions, Slow Food Non GMO eggs, Salsa, Refrigerator Dills and Pickled Eggs.
We are out of lamb for a bit.


So we bid a fond Hasta la vista to Ruth and Roxy on Saturday night. It was amazing how close we all felt to each other after such a short time. They are welcome back here anytime. In fact, there are tentative plans for when they make their way back home next year to make this their last stop. We'll see. They have much excitement ahead of them. In any case, they are in our hearts and we are better for having known them. It looks like Rayven will be flying the coop this weekend too, to be replaced by her sister Jade. So it will really seem low key again. She's been here for 7 weeks so it will be really weird not to see her around every corner.



 So we've crossed that line. Tentatively we are getting enough tomatoes for ourselves and salsa, with few to sell this week.  This is a hard line for us to cross, we eat so many tomatoes that it's really hard to get there but we made it. This on the left is our first Paul Robeson of the season. I was dancing around when we got it saying that it was the best tomato ever, my favorite and
Rayven was just "yeah, yeah", until she tasted it, and unprompted, she said, " that IS a good tomato". I know, right? It's not perfect but I was really glad it wasn't so I had an excuse to eat it.


           
    Paul Robeson 2017                                                Sara Black, Pantano Romanesco and Moscovich 2017  




 

The tomatillos are finally making and the cucumbers. 
Saturday will be a 103 without the heat index. We will have drinks at our usual low price. Beat the heat at our stand with St. Louis' best Lemonade and Green Tea with Jasmine. They are a a part of the Tower Grove Farmers Market tradition. We literally have watched children grow up drinking our lemonade every weekend for the last 12 years. 
So dress cool and we will see you Saturday. 





God's Blessings on you and yours, 

TTFN, 

Sam, Bill and Rayven(missing Rox and Ruth) 



Nigella upon ref







Thursday, July 13, 2017

SO Much R&R

Market List; Slow Food Cayuga Duck Eggs, Purslane, Green Beans, Salsa, Pickles and we have a bit of lamb.


It has been a full week! Our Fab Wwoofers are still here, I am slowly acquiring a British accent because they are so delightful and entertaining.

The farm tour was Sunday. It was amazing!
I seriously don't know what I would have done without all the people who volunteered. Besides Roxy and Ruth, Dana-Rayven's mom, and Jade and Ember her other daughters, Bill's sister Pam was here too. We literally had a full house for 5 days, but the farm looked awesome when we were done!

                                                                       


We painted porches, weeded, finished projects, trimmed dogs, cleaned and when it was all done, we guided interested persons, served lemonade and ran people back and forth from the lake. About 1/3 of the people who came swam, but you better believe it, when the last guest came through, WE all jumped in too.
I really don't know how I would've managed without these girls. It seems simple, you run a Farm, people show up and you take them around. The reality is that you're in the middle of projects, which must be finished and cleaned up from, you're planting, and you can't stop for a party or you won't have anything to sell. Things get neglected while you are trying to live life and farm the farm so yes, it is a big deal. We love it though.

SO back to the Wwoofers, Roxy and Ruth. we've been Instagram-ing it up with all the new things that they are learning. They just embrace everything from weeding to putting up shade cloth and Super Wal Mart. We had to go for some paint and they were just amazed. It was awesome. They love the lake and have no problems letting everyone know it. They are not too cool for School. While we are quizzing them on British slang, they are learning to say things like " are you freaking kidding me" and "dang it". It's so fun. We are all dreading them leaving but fully supportive of their adventure. We are hoping they will stop back by on their way back from the around the world.



R&R Lake
Roxy Tiller


So as you know, it's been unbearably hot so we threw up the shade cloth. The girls were great, they didn't tell me until later that when We told them what we were doing, they didn't think that it could be done. But they threw in their best efforts and we got it done. 







Finished Shade Cloth


The shade cloth filters the light so that the plants and we are protected but yet the bees and other pollinators can get underneath. It's such a relief after the incredible heat. We got it up on Tuesday and we were able to work under it until after 2 p.m. 

And this wraps up the week here at Sunflower Savannah. We'll see you Saturday. 

TTFN, 

God's Blessings on you and yours, 

Sam, Bill, Ruth and Roxy 


Follow Us on Instagram. It's a private account but just request and let me know you are a foodie. 


Thursday, July 6, 2017

R & R


 

Market List: Grass Fed Lamb, Purslane, SuperFood Salad Mix, Rainbow Chard, Slow Food Duck Eggs,

So this week we were lucky enough to get this great set of Wwoofers; Roxanne and Ruth. These lively girls hail from the UK. This pic was snapped right after I picked them up late from the train station in a rainstorm. So far, they've been cheerful, resourceful, helpful and versatile. We've been very busy trying to get ready for the Slow Food Farm tour and they just jumped in and have been ready for anything.






Today, they planted onions, Picked purslane, moved ducklings,