Thursday, January 9, 2014

Looking Back while Forging Ahead

January Market List
Basil and Thyme or Cherry LAMB Bratwurst

Lamb Cuts- Steak, stew, ground and organ meat

 Local Pecans- shelled or cracked

We still have some pickles left
Cherry Serrano Pepper Jelly, Plum Peachy Preserves, Smoked Tomatillo Salsa and more. ..
4 kinds of Granola

Tower Grove Farmers Market and Bazaar
at City Garden Montessori (1618 Tower Grove Ave):
9am - 1pm on the 2nd Saturday of every month:
Jan. 11th, Feb. 8th, Mar. 8th

Schlafly Winter Farmers Market at (Maplewood):
7260 Southwest Ave. (at Manchester
       8:30am - 12noon on
Jan. 25th, Feb. 22nd, Mar. 22nd

Except for a couple of months during the year, farmers are running to beat the clock. While our beloved customers are adjusting their schedules to not being at the markets, we are planning how we will get the next crop to your table. The main market season ends in November when we start working on our seed orders and preparing for the big holiday markets at Schlafly and Tower Grove. December is getting through the holidays, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza and New Years, the times we all spend with our families to make up for not seeing them while we were in the garden. This is why I so look forward to that down time, when it's all over and we can look back and dream about the coming Season.
For years, the market ceased at the last week of October and started back in May. Recently as the demand for local food has accelerated, the markets have stretched out on both ends of the season adding weeks to the availability. While I am grateful that there is more opportunity to sell our wares and to the people who make this possible, I am too much in tune with the rhythm of Farm life to get too excited about it. Right now I am enjoying hanging out with my sheep(and my husband), waiting for them to start lambing. Winterizing the barn, working on seed orders and planning next year's crops .

As for last year here on the farm, perusing the goals made in January 2013, several were met.
Increasing our growing area was one thing on the list and we more than doubled the size.
Many of you know that we received a grant a few years ago from Slow Foods for Cayuga Ducks. Since that time we have slowly been building our flock and educating the public as to the uses and unique flavor of duck eggs. Several more were hatched out and we even had a couple of extra males to process for the table. We have converted many people to these yummy eggs.
 In March we received another grant from Slow Foods for Old Rhode Island Red Chickens and growing Milo as a non GMO food source for fowl that also works as a weed barrier. So we ended up with a small flock of these chickens while proving that Milo does in fact work as a weed deterrent. so while I am not in a position to harvest vast amounts of Milo, I hope that someone who is more capable will, while I use it to block out Bermuda from the garden. Milo at this time is the only grain that has not been genetically modified. Success all the way around.

We managed to get the Metal Roof on our 145 year old farm house was painted and sealed and some serious work on the back porch was done thanks to a friend, Scott Mar. The porch was sound but pulling away from the house. Seriously necessary structural work that was donated by Scott. What a blessing.
Two new tomatoes made the permanent list. Every year we try 4 or 5 new tomato varieties along with what I normally grow. Some are recommended by customers. This year the keepers were Caspian Pink and Pantano Romanesco. Both germinated well in the greenhouse, performed well under the adverse conditions that we dealt with this spring. It was extremely wet while trying to plant. Many varieties which might've performed better in different circumstances. These varieties however did well in the field, did not succumb to blight and were the first and last to produce. Good tomato flavor with multiples uses and traveled well to market. It also ripened well when brought into the house green after frost. I just finished the last one today. Still better tasting than anything you can buy in the store.
The farming community in general made progress by heading off a new agenda which would've seriously made it uneconomical for any of us to continue growing. Even Joel Salatin, local farming superstar said so. After mass outcry from the farmers and consumers of local food sent it back to the table. Whew it was close.
All in all, 2013 was a better year, we were blessed. Bill and I made it through another one apart. While we are still unsure as to how we are going forward, rest assured that we will do our best to bring you the local food that we so all need to survive what is on the supermarket shelves.

God's Blessings on you and yours


Sam and Bill(flying solo... again)

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