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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bugs Bunny would be proud...

Check out these beautiful carrots! There was a time in June that I didn't think there would be ANY carrots, much less carrots this nice. My first crop of carrots did not come up, nothing, not a one! So I went to many farm/garden/nursery stores and NO ONE had carrot seed. It seems carrots not coming up was a systemic problem, one not isolated to just our farm. My husband was telling my tale-of-carrot-woe at work and one of his colleagues offered him some of his last year's seed. We took it and gave thanks! I planted those tiny seeds in July and joked with John that we would have carrots for Thanksgiving. It turns out Halloween would have been more accurate, but here they are! I waited until we had a hard freeze (it was 20 degrees two nights ago) so they would keep for a long time. The frost hardens the skin and increases their storage-ability. What will we do with all these carrots? I cook some up in the slow cooker for babyfood, Jana loves carrots. And I'll can some to add to soups, stews and hotdishes. And we'll eat the rest fresh and stored for most of the winter.

This past weekend my parents were here to visit. We had one of my favorite meals: hamburger and sauerkraut over mashed potatoes and green beans. John and I looked at the table filled with food and realized that all the food on that table we had grown or processed ourselves! It was really amazing to have such a feeling of comfort in knowing exactly where all of the food came from, what was not sprayed on it, how long it had sat on a shelf, etc. I encourage all of you to strive to eat locally next summer. Spend this winter talking to people about food and investigate places where you can get (or even raise) your own food.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My (latest) Favorite Invention

Pretty much in every area of my life I have a mentor. Not the same person, mind you. My parenting mentor is not the same person as my piano playing mentor, etc. My gardening mentor, Cindy, has taught me 95% of what I know about growing things, especially flowers. And the 5% she didn't teach me, she told me where to read about it or the book to read it in. So when Cindy tells me about a gadget, tool, or plant...I pretty much listen to her!

I stopped by her place when I was back to the homeplace for a visit. She was gracious enough to give me some canning jars and A LOT of beautiful apples from her trees. We're talking gallons of them! She asked if I had an apple peeler, I did not. She recommended I get one for all these apples. But in my usual stubborn, first-born, "I can do anything" attitude, I didn't get one. And I proceeded to peel 3 gallons of apples (out of 13) with my little paring knife. That was enough of that stupidity to drive me to get the "Apple Master" at my local farm store.

And in just 5 seconds and a little twist of the wrist, I can have a peeled, cored and sliced apple!!! Why have I been so slow to get on this train?? So to quote Woody in Toy Story 2, "If you don't have, get one!"


To each and every one of you who bought produce, stopped by to talk about gardening, or just asked "How's it growing?"...I need to say "THANK YOU!!" Last spring when I was poring over seed catalogs deciding what, how much, and where to order, John was a little worried. I was heavily pregnant with our first child and he didn't see how I was going to get all of that seed into the ground, much less weeded or even harvested. But God has truly blessed us this past summer. First, with a beautiful baby daughter. Second, with a wonderful growing season, rains and sunshine just when we needed them. Third, with a great market in Gackle for our produce and great customers in Jamestown. We had a FANTASTIC year! It was even better than I had hoped for. So, thank you, it was our honor and priviledge to grow your food!

Monday, October 6, 2008

This is the end!

ahhh, the crisp, fresh air of fall. I love it! The garden is wrapping up and the moisture we got last night will go a long way to helping start the new plants next spring...I can't believe I'm thinking about next spring already! We have had a wonderful year this year and I want to thank each and every one of you for participating in our little farm. This was our first year and we truly didn't know what to expect. God has richly blessed us with a bountiful harvest and friends who want to eat it!

This week there is nothing new to offer, but the flavors are still great! The pumpkins, potatoes and squash will keep for many months so you can enjoy them through the winter. The watermelon and cantaloupe were very popular at the farmers market on Saturday. I sold out of watermelon and only had 3 cantaloupe left (out of 14 that I brought)!

Watermelon & Cantaloupe - 50 cents per pound
Lima Beans - $2.00 per bag
Corn Stalks - $5.00
Winter Squash - $3.00
Large - $7.00
Small - $4.00
Tomatoes - $2.00 per pound
Cherry Tomatoes - $2.00 per sandwich bag
Peppers - 2 for $1.00 (please specify type)
Potatoes - $1.00 per pound
Garlic - 2 plants - $1.00
Onion - 2 plants - $1.00