Monday, May 1, 2023

Tomato Plant Availability

We have a lot of Tomato Plants coming to the market. New varieties each week. We have so many plants, I ordered 1000 tags and had to order 600 more last week. 
Here's a list: 
Pantano Romanesco, Caspian Pink, Black from Tula, Cherokees Purple and Green, Black Krim,
 Paul Robeson, Super Sweet 100, SunSugar, Chocolate Cherry, Tommy Toe, Mortgage Lifter, Amana Orange, Chef's Choice Orange, Pink and Yellow Brandywine, Golden Jubilee, Purple Carbon, Japanese Black Trifele, Yellow Pear, Arkansas Traveler, Vintage Wine, Brad's Atomic Grape, Thorburn's TerraCotta, Barry's Crazy Cherry, Anais Noire, Violet Jasper, Pork Chop, 
Sweet Carneros, Striped German, Early Girl, Better Boy, Lemon Boy, Pink Girl, Blue Beauty, 
Green Doctors, Azoychka Russian, Bradley, 
                                                                     Black Beauty, Amana Orange, Green Zebra and Amish Paste

             We'll have Basil, Oregano and Thyme and Okra plants too

So we'll see you Saturday at the Market. 

God's Blessings on you and yours, 


Thursday, December 1, 2022

December 3 Market

 Market List: 

Grass and Apple Fed Lamb, Roasting and Soup Ducks, Tomatillos, Swiss Chard, Missouri Pecans, Thai Basil, 
Smoked Tomatillo Salsa, Sam's Famous Salsa and a few Tomatoes

We've been working hard this week with a couple of young Wwoofers, Kayla and Noah from Wisconsin who are wanting to get a little closer to their food and farther from their office desks. I love being a part of the Wwoof program. Volunteers in exchange for education, food and a place to sleep. We have a few Wwoofers a year and we always line up projects that will both help us function and teach them a little about what and why we do. 
This week, we cleaned and winterized the barn, Here is Kayla pictured hanging Tekfoil, a foil coated bubble insulation. This will help keep the wind out and when it's bitter and the ducks want to stay in the barn, they will be more comfortable. 

  This is Noah, vacuuming the cobwebs off of the barn rafters. For some reason, we have to do this several times a year. The cobwebs get enormous, and it just looks terrible. It's also not great for respiratory issues for us and the animals, especially in the Winter when the animals spend the most time in the barn. 

Noah also ran with Billy to Liberty Apple Orchard and got yet another van load of apples for which to feed the sheep and chickens, while Kayla and I made a batch of Spicy Apple relish. This is the 5th load of apples that we've gotten from Liberty. Stephen is so generous. They're all windfalls that he can't sell but still, he helps us load and sometimes picks while we are gathering from the ground, then he tells us how they would be great for us to make into sauces. The sheep have been on Apples and pumpkins for about the last 6 weeks, and we just processed another lamb for these 2 holiday markets coming up. 
This time, we actually have 2 legs of lamb and ... a rack of lamb, which with our old processor, we have never been able to get. So, something good did come out of that fiasco. Our new processor is Big Bear's Butcher shop in Vienna which is an hour further than we were driving but that's where we are with this right now. 

Just an FYI, the chickens have been laying terribly lately. So, there is definitely a shortage of eggs. The ducks, laying not at all. It's a terrible shame, especially for this time of year when everyone needs eggs for holiday desserts. 

I guess that is about all of the news for this week. We will be at the Tower Grove Farmers Market on Saturday the 3rd and then again on the 17th. After this, we will be dropping out until the Spring markets begin. We'll do the Food Drops again, with eggs, granola, salsa, pecans, jams, jellies etc., hopefully some greens and Kayla and I planted more onions and shallots. We have Snow Peas producing but still not enough for the Market. Kayla will be with me on Saturday and Billy and Noah will be working on a project here on the Farm. I'll see you there in the same spot as last time. Don't forget, the Market starts at 9 this week. 

God's Blessings on you and yours, 


Sam and Billy  


Thursday, November 17, 2022

 Market List: Tomatoes, Mixed Hot Peppers, Swiss Chard, Missouri Pecans, Grassfed (Apples and Pumpkins too) Lamb, Smoked Tomatillo Salsa, 1 last time for Sam's Famous Salsa and we have 2 Roasting Ducks and 1 for your stuffing broth or soup. 

Wow, we have been so crazy busy here. With the cold, it just seems like we should be slowing down. Between harvesting pumpkins for the sheep from defunct patches, picking up vanloads of Windfall apples from Liberty Apple Orchard, trying to keep the greenhouses going, Deer season, cleaning ducks and pecans- but not at the same time, it has been non-stop. Some days, we don't have time to eat- seriously. 
Anyway, we'll be at the Tower Grove Market on Saturday for another cold market. We'll have our usual delicious Missouri Pecans for your pies or Sweet Potatoes, grab some Cherry Serrano Pepper Jelly to glaze your Lamb, turkey or ham and it also make an easy party dip. Anyway, I'll be there regardless of the cold. Hope to see you there. 

Friday, November 4, 2022

End of the Season and (unfortunately)Higher Prices

 Order your Roasting Ducks for the Holidays!

We've got Sam's Famous Salsa this week, not sure for how much longer. This is of course, the last market of the season, but we will be back for the Thanksgiving market on the 19th. Also, we are bringing, Smoked Tomatillo Salsa, and some Pickled Hot Peppers. It's been a good year for Hot Peppers. Also, there is a Soup Duck available and it is now time to order your Slow Food Cayuga Roasting ducks. We will begin processing them next week. 

This is a picture of how well our plants are doing in our High Tunnel. We still have a lot of tomato plants and are getting some tomatoes but not a lot. The Swiss chard is doing well and if you look closely, you can see the Snow Peas that we have planted. We're trying something new this year. We've purchased a Patio pellet burning stove and are going to try and heat the greenhouse and high tunnel (which are connected together) with it. So hopefully we can keep the chill out enough to keep these Snow Peas and the spinach and other greens going for our food drops. Probably, we won't be able to keep the tomatoes all winter but if we can get an extra month more that we normally do, we will be ahead. 

Another project that we are working on is we are adding on to our old greenhouse structure. We've had a used Sunroom attachment for a while but no glass in it. We are replacing it with double wall polycarbonate and have had a load of topsoil brought in to fill it. All of these structures together, protect each other and will help them use the passive solar more efficiently so that it's easier to extend the season. 

So, this week we have lamb. We have been struggling all season with the drought on getting our lambs big enough to process on grass and leftover produce. I called our processor to set up an appointment. When he finally got back to me, it was to say that he had sold his business. Yikes! The new owner only kills and hangs, they don't wrap or cut up. I guess that he will mostly be selling to ethnic communities that cut up for themselves. I definitely know how to do this, but we're supposed to have it professionally processed to sell at Market. Anyway, it has been a scramble to find a processor, especially right now during Deer Season which is also of course, right before the holidays when we need the larger cuts for meals. I was able to get one in at a place that is an hour away- more than twice what we were traveling and more than double the amount we were paying. And so, we have had to raise our prices. I have been trying really hard to not do this this summer. We did raise the price of salsa because of the jar costs but mostly, we've stayed the same. I did notice a few weeks ago that we are quite a bit lower priced than the other vendors who are selling lamb but still, I really hate this. I know that everyone is feeling the crunch on higher everything, as we are, so I hope that you can understand. 

To recap: Order your ducks now, be prepared for higher prices but season extension will hopefully bring more stuff into the food drops. We'll see you tomorrow for the last Market of the Summer Season but again in 2 weeks for the beginning of the Holiday Markets. 

God's Blessings on you and yours, 


Sam and Billy

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Back Home but to a Hard Freeze

               Market List: 
Heirloom Tomatoes, Tomatillos, 
Turnips, Radishes, Mixed Hot Peppers, 
Zinnia and Marigold Bouquets, 
Sam's Famous Salsa and Smoked Tomatillo Salsa 

We had a wonderful vacation, fulfilling a lifelong dream. We returned to an unusually harsh cold snap and had to scramble to get the sides back in on the greenhouses and high tunnel and all of the tomatoes and tomatillos picked in the field and garden. 
As usual, we had thousands of tomatillo plants that had to be pulled up and everything bigger than a marble, picked and husked.
I know this sounds silly but, this is the Smoked Tomatillo Salsa for the rest of the year! ...and now- it's 70 degrees! I mean we usually do get a frost this time of year but a hard freeze like this is very unusual. We did get all of the tomatillos in with the help of some of our volunteers and the tomatoes.

We saved the Greenhouse and High tunnel tomato plants, some Genovese Basil and the Cardinale that we use in the bouquets and all of the peppers in the old greenhouse. Unfortunately, those are not the best performing tomato plants and even double covered, the Zinnias and Marigolds got hit. I cut several buckets for bouquets this weekend, but that's the last of them, they are done. 

Once again, jars are getting really hard to find, so if you have any of our jars hanging about, we'd really appreciate it if they came back. It's hard to believe that the season is almost over. Three more markets and we go into the Holiday ones but at least we'll have tomatillos!

So that's all the Farm news for today. We'll see you on Saturday. 

 God's Blessings on you and yours, 


Sam and Billy


Thursday, July 7, 2022

Fourth of July Market

Market List: Purslane, Grassfed Lamb, Salad Mix, Non- GMO, Free Range Duck Eggs and Chicken Eggs AND SALSA!

Elizabeth, my friend's granddaughter has been staying with us, and we've been seeing the farm with new eyes. 
Here she is planting sunflowers for us.
We have pretty much finished the tomatoes and are now laying landscape fabric and trying to control the tomatillos, planting cucumbers and weeding. Even working for ourselves, the day is pretty regimented. We're up super early, especially when it's going to be hot. We water the animals, weed, plant and water for 3 or so hours, make lunch, run errands and work in the shade until it's time to swim, jump into the lake, then make dinner and before you know it. it's time to feed the animals, get the eggs and clean up for bed. It's a little easier as the days shorten. Before the solstice, we don't get the animals bedded up until after 9:15 P.M. We feed at dark and that's when it gets dark. So as much as I enjoy the longer day, it is a relief to get done a little earlier. 
Billy and Mom weeding

So, we're doing a couple of events on the farm on the 17th and the 31st at 2 P.M. We'd love to see you all. Please let us know which you will attend. 

If you guys could bring back our Styrofoam egg cartons, we would really appreciate it. They are getting more and more scarce and the store that carries them near us, switched to paper ones also. We pack our egg coolers the night before with ice so we don't have to get up earlier(5 is early enough)So thanks in advance for returning them and any extras you have hanging around. 

We'll see you Saturday. 

God's Blessings on you and yours, 


Sam and Billy


Thursday, June 30, 2022

Wild and Wwoofer Week

Market List: Garlic Scapes, Purslane, Wild Garlic, Foragers Salad Mix, Purple Pea Pods and Non GMO Chicken Eggs and Slow Food Cayuga Duck Eggs

Whoa, this week went fast. We had a Wwoofer come in on Saturday night after Market, and she was here until Wednesday. Emma and our local Wwoofer, Raven and our new guy Tyler all were here on Tuesday and we were laying landscape fabric, planting tomatoes, putting up fences and making rows. Billy has been working with another of our volunteers, Tom to make an implement that goes behind our tractor to make these beds for tomatoes and other vegetables. They've been making several adjustments to it but they're getting pretty good at them. It's pretty intense when we have a bunch of people here, or even one staying in the house for several days, I myself, don't get much done, because I am running from project to project directing everyone and cooking for several diets but when everyone leaves, there is a marked progression. 

So we're kinda in between crops though right now. The heat tolerant lettuce that I planted and of course the chard has made it through this crazy heat wave and will go in the Foragers Salad.  The purslane is in but no tomatoes, cucumbers or peppers yet. Our vines look great in this field that we've been altering with minerals and microorganisms for the last 3 years. So much difference in the sturdiness. 

This is a Japanese Black tomato. I think that this will be a very good year for tomatoes. We were struggling with Aphids and Whiteflies but ordered in a bunch of Lacewings and Ladybugs and they are clearing a path. I guess that we have in about 800 or so plants and we're still waiting to plant the ones that don't sell this weekend. 

As some of you might already know; we were in the Digital Feast Magazine this week. It's a great article. If you get the chance, you might want to read it.

Don't forget about our 2 events in July. Friends of the Farm is on the 17th and Known and Grown STL is on the 31st. Both are of course for Friends of the Farm but anyone is welcome to one or both, but try and give me a heads up to which you are attending for planning purposes. I am working on a flyer. 

Okay, so I'm wiped out with all this activity, so we'll see you Saturday. 

God's Blessings on you and yours, 

and as Tigger says, 


Sam and Billy

Thursday, June 16, 2022

A Dry Spot in Time

 Market List: Forager Salad Mix, Grape Leaves, Garlic Scapes, Spearmint, Free Range and Non-GMO Chicken Eggs and Duck Eggs, Basil and Wild Garlic.  

I'm still bringing plants. We still have quite a few tomato plants left, Basils - Genovese and Thai and some Okra. We are running out of Pepper plants though. Truthfully if I didn't have so many plants, we'd stay home and finish planting the tomatoes. Some of you may have noticed, I've been wearing a knee brace, I tore a ligament in my knee and the doctor said to "rest". Well, I can pull off some rest during the week but on Friday and Saturday, it's all systems go and pulling myself in and out of the van doesn't help. Even so, we got a couple hundred more tomato plants in since last week. Bradleys, Chocolate Cherry, Cherokee Purple, Pork Chop, Paul Robesons, SunSugar, Pantano Romanesco, Amish Paste and Mortgage Lifter and some more Long Beans, Cucumbers and Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans...sitting on the ground or bending straight over, trying not to use my knee of course. Thankfully, we've had a lot of volunteers lately. We have a new every Tuesday volunteer named Raven and a wellness coach named Elizabeth Freeman has been dropping by the last few Fridays, as well as our faithful, every other Tuesday Carolyn and Tom AND the Sisters from the Washington Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints church on Thursdays and my mom, Betty is here every Weekday for 3 hours and all day on Friday. We have also hired a highschooler named Tyler who works once a week and we have a Wwoofer coming this week for 4 days. So we are getting things organized and spiffed up while trying to get all the warm weather crops in the ground. All things considered, it's getting there. As usual the tomatillos are popping up like crazy. Next week we will have Purslane. It seems really early to me but with all this rain combined with the heat, it is coming onward.  Monday and Tuesday were looking at 99 Degrees! But Saturday is promising another clear and temperate day. We'll see you at the park. 

Don't forget to schedule us in for one of our Farm Tour Days on July 17th or the 31st. I will have some flyers with directions as we get closer to the date. 

God's Blessings on you and yours, 


Sam and Billy

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Crazy Markets and Curses

 Market List: Spicy Greens Mix, Arugula, Foragers Salad Mix, Kalettes, some Grass Fed Lamb and Eggs from Non-GMO fed, Free Range Chicken and Ducks. 

Tomato Plants: Violet Jasper, Sun Sugar, Super Sweet 100, Black Plum, Barry's Crazy Cherry, Tommy Toe, Rutgers, Pantano Romanesco, Mortgage Lifter, Early Girl, Pink Girl, Lemon Boy, Amish Paste, Cherokee Green and Purple, Bradley Pink, Paul Robeson, Blue Beauty, Purple Carbon, Azoychka Russian, Pork Chop, Chef's Choice- BiColor and Green, Caspian Pink, Japanese Black Trifele, Striped German and I'm sure that I missed some...but we have a ton left of these large strapping plants, along with Basil, pepper plants, Spearmint and others. 

Some of you may have heard, during the terrible storm last week, 2 vendors were touched by lightning; CJ from Biver farm must have been really grounded in his rubber boots because he was zapped on the hand and George from Sedara was hit while he was in his car headed out I believe because the firetruck that was going to him hit my plant table and ran over a whole bread tray of my tomato plants. I mentioned this to Katherine who said they were trying to get to George who had been struck by lightning. Now, Sedara sets up across(almost) from me and the firetruck was at Magnolia, so it seems he was leaving. He was coherent so I am hoping that he was okay. The crack of thunder that sounded at the same time that the lightning struck CJ was instantaneous and so scary. They are after all right next to us.  I'm not afraid of storms but at that instance, I was thinking of that line between guts and stupidity that I tend to walk- and was I on the wrong side? Lol. But anyway, it really cut into all of our sales and we came home with a lot more plants than normal. 

A few of you have heard me talk about the Strawberry curse that my dad put on me when I was just a kid. We're from the Southern-ist point of Missouri, from what I like to call the Fruitheel. My parents grew up in the cotton and watermelon fields, my dad was pitching watermelons the day that I was born. They worked in the fields all day in the summer and after school and Saturdays during the school year. They picked and "chopped" cotton, picked peaches and strawberries on the farms that they lived on for the owners. It was a hard life for kids and parents alike. My grandpa was a traveling carpenter, which left my dad as the oldest male of the 6 as head of the family. They literally all worked in the fields to survive. Although my parents moved to Jefferson County when we were small, my mom and my aunts would sometimes go down there and "Chop" cotton to earn money for our school clothes and other extras. Once when we were down there visiting my aunts and my cousins were going to pick strawberries for the same reason. I asked my dad if I could go pick strawberries. He sternly replied that "no daughter of his would ever pick strawberries for money". I cried at the time, not understanding that he wanted an easier life for me. However, many times, I have tried to grow strawberries for the market only to have something happen to them. Once they succumbed to weeds, another time, they were doing beautifully and were fully fruited, we had an early frost so I covered them with hay, not realizing that the hay had to be removed when the sun got hot. They burned up. Two years ago we had a nice stand and- the sheep got into them and pulled them out. This year, some of you know, my dad passed so I thought maybe the curse was broken. The plants have just lushly multiplied. Just to be sure, I've let my mom pick them-but most of them are rotting due to so much rain. So no strawberries for money this year either. Maybe the next one...

Saturday is supposed to be really nice; the rain is supposed to give us a break and the moon will be right for planting above ground crops all next week. If you know anyone who needs plants, have them come and see me at the Tower Grove Market. 

God's Blessings on you and yours, 


Sam and Billy 

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Some Tomatoes in between Raindrops and Farmer Friends Days


Market List: 

Foragers Salad Mix, Arugula, Spicy Mixed Greens-Radish, Purple Mustard, Bok Choi and Arugula-, Radishes, Kalettes and a small amount of Purple Podded Snow Peas and Grass Fed Lamb, I still have A LOT of Tomato Plants left for sale and while I'm not going to list them all, we do have a new variety this week- Vintage Wine. 

Billy finally got some beds shaped for the Tomato plants and fences put up for them to grow onto. While it doesn't seem like much, I did get 3 rows with 6 varieties (Pink Girl, Rutgers, Purple Carbon, Japanese Black Trifele, Azoychke Russian and Cherokee Green) and a total of 204 tomatoes planted. There was more room - but of course-it rained AGAIN and AGAIN. But still, we managed to plant celery, more lettuce and Redbor Kale. Crazy weather, Tornados today, 90 degrees tomorrow and 77 on Saturday but eventually we will get the rest of those tomatoes in the ground. By the way, the tomatoes in the Greenhouse and High Tunnel, which are Black from Tula, Sunrise Sauce, Jet Star, and Chef's Choice are all blooming. 

In July, we are doing 2 events, July 17th is Friends of the Farm Day. That day we will be doing a Pig Roast, tours of the farm and of course, swimming in our amazing lake is included. On July 31, Known and Grown, an organization that we proudly belong to which documents that the local farms that they represent actually grow all the food that they bring to Market in a clean and natural way, is sponsoring another Farm Day here. It will be similar, Tours, our Famous Salsa, drinks and swimming. We would love you to see how we do things here on the Farm. 

See you Saturday!

God's Blessings on you and yours, 


Sam and Billy

Friday, May 13, 2022

Only in Missouri


Market List:

 Forager Salad Mix, Grass Fed Lamb, Arugula, Green Onions, Spicy Greens, Kalettes, hopefully some Radishes and Free Range and Non-GMO Chicken Eggs and Duck Eggs

Many, MANY varieties of Heirloom and Hybrid Organic Tomato plants: Sun Sugar, Mortgage Lifter, Pantano Romanesco, Cherokee Green and Purple, Pork Chop, Violet Jasper, Black Plum, Caspian Pink, Pink Girl, Early Girl, Lemon Boy, Japanese Black Trifele, Bradley, Striped German, Tommy Toe, Rutgers, Super Sweet 100, Green Zebra Cherry, Green Zebra, AND Paul Robeson, Azoychka Russian, Barry's Crazy Cherry and Blue Beauty are in the Collector's Corner, if you're into the really unattainable. 

Herbs: Basil, Cilantro, Borage and Cardoon. Pepper plants too!

My wool sweater was still laying on a chair from last week, when I had to put it on to stay warm when I went outside. This week it was hard to get enough clothes off to be comfortable and efficient, even as much as I love summer- it got hot too quickly. I'm hoping that the Purple Podded Snow Peas survive this temporary strike as temps were pretty stressful for these cool loving plants. They are blooming and hopefully they hold on until next week's cooler ones. 

We have been trying to shape the beds for more tomato plants and of course cucumbers. Everyone is already asking me for Salsa and Pickles. But today, even after all the heat and wind this week, the lower field and the rows near the greenhouse were still damp. Still if we had gotten the rows done- our goal was one today with a fence for the tomatoes, running the length- with the unbearable heat, we couldn't plant tomato starts with this heat. Also, our Great Pyrenees, Jubilee needed to go to the vet so that was several hours. We did get a new raised bed in and a couple of trays of tomatoes and peppers planted but still nothing in the field. Here's a snap of the newly moved High Tunnel which is attached to the Greenhouse that we put up last year. 

There are some blooms on these plants and as you can see through the opening there, another entire building planted with Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions and the Snow Peas. I'm so excited for fresh tomatoes. So far, I've planted Chef's Choice; Green and Bicolor, Sunrise Sauce, Blue Beauty, Sweet 100, Black from Tula, Jet Star and Lemon Boy.

So, Saturday will be marginally cooler, come buy some plants or tell your friends where to buy some plants, some and get some lamb or lemonade. Should be a perfect day. 

See you at the park. In the meantime, checkout this recipe below. 

God's Blessings on you and yours, 


Sam and Billy 

Southern Style Spicy Greens 
1-2  LB. Mixed Spicy Greens 
1 Tbsp. Garlic chopped, minced or dried
Smoked Meat of your choice and amount(I like pork, less than half of the greens amount)
Good glug of Apple Cider Vinegar
Tsp of Hot pepper or Hot pepper oil 
Cook until Greens and meat are tender
Serve with Cornbread, sliced onions and tomatoes. Campari are good when there aren't fresh. 
Salt and Pepper to taste

Thursday, October 28, 2021

After the Fun

Market List
Chinese Long Noodle Beans, Thai Soldier Beans, Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans, LOTS of Slicing Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Kohlrabi, Radishes, Spicy Green bunches, Swiss Chard, Foragers Salad Mix and maybe Green Onions depending on if I get everything done. 
Non GMO Slow Food Cayuga Duck Eggs and Free Range(Really)Chicken Eggs, 

It's a lot and maybe the last week for a few things like beans. We're expecting 3 days of pretty cold weather. The first few frosts usually miss us, my neighbor already had 2 small bouts, but Wednesday we're expecting 30 degrees, Thursday 29 degrees and Friday 32 degrees. That's a pretty good chance that we will get some. We will cover stuff with frost fabric and plastic but continuous hours of below freezing weather will hurt us anyway. we'll pick all the tomatoes smaller than a golf ball and that will usually survive all but the worst freezes. The tomatoes in the high tunnel will probably be okay but there aren't that many. Either way we'll have tomatoes for a few more weeks. 


Many of you already know that we were on vacation last weekend. Above is the rare siting of a "Bill' at rest. One hardly ever sees this. While we were gone,(and more)all of these tomatoes were ripening. Unfortunately, even though the vines are loaded, most of the branches are falling off due to White Fly and Aphid damage. It doesn't matter so much right now since we are about to get a frost but still it's kinda depressing considering all of the things that I've done this season to get rid of these sap sucking pests. Just look at how different these tomato plants look just from 2 weeks ago. It's the same row that I previously photographed. Now you can see through all seven rows. 

The field that we planted of Turnips and other cold weather plants is doing well. They should be big enough to withstand the freeze and be around for future harvests, some for sheep food. We have trays of spinach for planting in the high tunnel. So weird to be heading into the cold season. On days like this, it seems as if it will never be warm again but remember, The Sun also Rises and it will be. 

We'll see you Saturday at Tower Grove Farmers Market with all this stuff and more. 

God's Blessings on you and yours, 


Sam and Billy 

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Sometimes it's Like That

                               Market List

Chinese Noodle Beans, Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans, Heirloom Slicing Tomatoes, Rainbow Mix Cherry Tomatoes, Port Wine Tawny and Pasilla Peppers, Genovese Basil, Tomatillos and Zinnia Bouquets

We still have Sam's Famous(the fresh) Salsa for a few more weeks. I got in trouble last week for not putting it on the list, lol and it's the 3rd week for the Smoked Tomatillo Salsa. It will be around for awhile. 

 It seems like living on a farm, I should be able to spend the day in my tomatoes. While I do spend the bulk of what time I get to be working in the garden on the tomatoes, its really not as much as one might think and its not usually doing what I want. In reality, with the Farmers Market, we just get 4 days working on growing stuff. Monday through Thursday. On Fridays we get ready for Market, part of Thursday too. Saturday we're at Market, gone about 10 hours, then we unload, eat lunch and try and relax a bit before we take care of the animals. Sunday, we go to church and take it easy, except for the animals of course. That leaves Monday to Thursday, minus, meals, bank, doctors visits, chasing sheep, making salsa, granola etc. My favorite thing to do is work in the tomatoes, tying them up, picking them, taking off dead branches. This is a shot of one of our seven tomato rows of our newly improved field. They look great compared to last year. Lately we've been fighting off White Flies and I spend a lot of time squishing them. They're very tiny and like to congregate on the blossoms and suck the sap out of them so that they fall off before they set fruit. Also they cling to the leaves and spread disease that eventually kills the plant. So I go back up and down the row, pressing these minute soft bodied bugs against the stems, trying to keep from breaking the blossoms off. They seem to favor the Purple Heirlooms, but they're pretty fond of the Cherokee Green too. Still, all and all they look pretty good considering the bugs. 

Another thing that takes time away from growing is the animals misbehaving. Wednesday I sorted the sheep. We we pulled them off the pasture for a few days and put them on hay to give the fields a break. It's been so dry, they have eaten everything and I have to worry about them picking up parasites, going back over the same ground again and again. I wanted also to mark some ewes to sell for breeding stock as our St. Croix flock has gotten pretty big and to separate the boys from the girls to see how many rams we had coming up for processing, how many ewes to sell and to make sure that there was no fighting between the smaller rams and our gigantic registered ram, Reggie. It went pretty smoothly, took about an hour to pull the rams out and mark the chosen ewes with red paint. It lasted however, about 36 hours. The young rams busted through the new fence and everybody went every which way. It'll be several days before I find the time to do it again. Sigh. Sometimes it's like that. 

Well it's cooler and we actually got about an inch and a half of rain on Tuesday morning. It should be a beautiful market this weekend. We'll see you Saturday @ Tower Grove Farmers Market. 

God's blessings on you and yours, 


Sam and Billy

Photo courtesy of Kim Carr Photography 


Thursday, September 2, 2021

Head Deep in Sunflowers, Knee Deep in Lambs

Market List; 

Tomatillos, Lemon Cucumbers, 
Crystal Apple Cucumbers 
Slicing Tomatoes, Mixed Cherry Tomatoes, 
Yard Long Beans, Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans, Buckets and buckets of Sunflower Bouquets and Foragers Salad Mix
Sam's Famous Salsa and Salty Dill Pickles 

Boy howdy, the girls in the field have been throwing out some big lambs. This hefty boy was born just the day before this pic to Sunny- well lets just say that I'm surprised that he didn't walk out. What a chunk!

 If you look behind them, you'll see his father, the reason why; our registered St. Croix Ram, Reggie but I call him The
 Big Cheese- Reggiano that is. Here is         another picture of him, believe me, he was bigger, He's been on a diet. 

We will have Smoked Tomatillo Salsa the week of September 4th. Sorry it's not sooner Folks but I can either cook or I can Farm but sometimes not both, We have a Wwoofer this whole this week so we worked on Farm projects, most specifically getting the rest of the tomatillos in hand and finishing an Asparagus bed that we started early this Spring. 

So the tomato patch is looking great,

but there are a lot that look like this; 

It's from the dratted cucumber beetle. They cause distortion in all kinds of vegetables. You might recognize it from those funky looking cucumbers where one end is very small and the other is large. Cucumber beetles are the worst for spreading disease and destroying crops. They also eat holes in your green beans and chew up your sunflower petals. We try and stay on top of them but nothing really works except the stronger pesticides like Pyrethrum. It's organic but it's hell on bees so we tend to stay away from it. Mostly it's hand picking and killing them. We could spray the Pyrethrum at night but when they are the worst is in the Fall. Many Fall mornings after a previous hot day, we wake up to a heavy dew and this would liquidize the Pyrethrum again. Bees love the cucumber blossoms which are entwined with another of their favorites the tomatillo flowers, It's just not worth the risk to me. I'll just keep squishing them and planting extra. They still taste amazing though, we never refrigerate our tomatoes. It does make a difference in the flavor. There is a flavor component that shuts down at around 55 degrees that is not recovered when they are back at room temp. Our tomatoes are stored at 70 degrees. 

So we made it through another desperately hot week and there is another hot Market forecasted.  
We'll see you there, with yummy food and refreshing drinks. . 

God's blessings on you and yours, 


Sam and Billy

Monday, August 16, 2021

Sunflower Time

Harvest and Feathers
Market List - Grass Fed Lamb, Lemon Cucumbers, Tomatillos, Yard Long Asparagus Beans, Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans, Forager Salad Mix, Mixed Cherry Tomatoes, Heirloom Slicing Tomatoes and 
LOTS and LOTS of SUNFLOWER bouquets!
 Sam's Famous Salsa and Salty Dill Pickles too.

Wow what a busy, busy week. 
Weed, weed weeding, one of the ewes got sick and 
we finished another side of the barn. 
Three sides done, only one to go. The tomatoes are looking great, finally. 

Last week I was on the Earthworms Podcast on KDHX. If you want to listen to it, here is the link;
 There's quite a bit of info about the Farm on it. Jean Ponzi does a great interview. 

So thankfully we are getting some cooler weather that brought in some welcome rain. I'm hoping that this brings the Indigo Milky mushrooms in with it. It's  has been so hot that the moisture needed for good fungi production. 

We'll see you Saturday for that cooler Market. Only 85 degrees, what a change right? See you there, 

God's Blessings on you and yours, 


Sam and Billy