Friday, March 25, 2016

All Farms' Bulletin


Market List; LEG of Lamb, Lamb Chops, Steaks, Ground, Stew Meat, Marrow Bones and Organ Meat.
Salad Mix, Spinach and Green Onions
Duck and Chicken eggs
We will have Cherry Serrano Pepper Jelly again. I can't believe I forgot to make it last time. It's great for garnishing that Leg of Lamb.

As many of you know, there has been a sad loss in the Farming community. Live Springs Farm owners announced that they would be closing their barns. Unfortunately that means that one of the Market favorites Bobbi Sandwisch will not be part of the market experience any longer. This will of course leave an empty space at both Tower Grove and Schlafly Markets. Some of her stuff will still be at market as many of us got some of the Gold Nugget chickens from which she was raising her eggs. It's a sad thing to see a farm fail. It seems like such an easy thing- Grow Food. But unfortunately so many things interfere before we get to market. Huge market fees, insurance, processing fees, inspections, illness, hard work, new programs that insist we take expensive courses to allow us to raise and sell the stuff we and our grandfathers have done for hundreds of years.
It's a tough competitive business and everybody wants their cut before we can get it to you.
Bobbi and Live Springs products will be sorely missed.

We have more and more stuff going in the greenhouse/high tunnel and soon we hope to be raising citrus. I wrote another grant this year for Citrus trees from the Slow Food Ark of Taste. How can we raise citrus in Missouri you ask? Well we are trying a project with infrared floor heating underground inside the high tunnel. There have been several projects that have been successful in publications this year doing just that. One was in Mother Earth News in December on using this infrared floor heating to generate hot water for your house while heating your greenhouse and another was published in a National Flower Growers Association Publication. We hope eventually to power this by Solar. Unfortunately there were not enough funds available to complete the project so we will be playing with what parts of it can be established this season. We are focusing on Meyer Lemons for our Lemonade but had hoped to eventually add the Dancy Tangerine. Both trees produce Multiple crops throughout the year. The nice thing about this idea is that it will make our growing space more sustainable. If we can get the temp high enough to sustain citrus trees, we should be able to raise tomatoes and peppers inside also...year round. Yay again to Slow Food St. Louis for supporting Local Farmers. The St. Louis chapter is the most active in the country. Lots of chapters talk supporting Slow Food but St. Louis puts their money where their mouth is. I have talked to people all over the country and while they might know about a Slow Food Chapter in their area, they don't know anything about grants or available help for local farmers.

A final word, on important Farm Stuff. Many of you know Mike Brabo of Vesterbrook Farm. He provides a door to door year round
Kiss Kiss with Vesterbrook sheep
We have been friends for several years ever since we met while manning a CNG table at an ACRES conference. Our friendship cemented when we passed on a great Pyrenees named Kiss Kiss-no we did not name her- whom, we had gotten off of Craigslist advertised as A dog who would train your dog to be a great sheep Guardian. She was. She straightened our young Pyr Rosa right out. Soon we didn't need her anymore so we passed her on to Mike. That was about 8 years ago. Mike and his wife Carol live on the bluffs in Clarksville where Kiss Kiss would fight off Eagles who were hoping to carry off the lambs. This week Kiss Kiss after many years of great farm service, went the way that all of us eventually do and left their pastures empty of her presence. It's always hard to lose a dog but Farm dogs bear rain and ice, predators and dangers that many times we are unaware of. They put themselves on the line again and again. Sometimes you just see them out in the pasture with lambs lying up against them for warmth while their mothers are out grazing. You try and protect them by putting them in the barn or God forbid the house but they can't rest unless they see what they are supposed to be protecting. Always on guard and always on the job. Hopefully heaven has a place for Guardian dogs such as Kiss Kiss.

We will see you Saturday at Schlafly- 8:30-12. We will be in the pavilion and not the Crown Room.

God's Blessings on you and yours,


Sam and Bill

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