Tag Archives: CSA

What you’ve all be waiting for

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I’m about to take you all on a visual journey.  All of these pictrures were on the camera when it and my creativity died.  So, we’ll take a look at some of the highlights from the summer-ish.  I think I’ll spread it out a bit to keep you hungry for more.  So, lets get on with it.

Your guess is as good as mine.  August?  We put them to work young around here.

This one is smart, he documents the work.

If any of the people in this picture (ahem, Patrick and Jake) have any idea what you’re planting, please pipe up.

This is Karen and Kyle, remember them?

Baby chicken, which are now big chickens and almost ready to lay some eggs.

My second run of zinnias this summer.  This is the “Giant Rose Cactus” variety I ordered from Baker Creek.

They grew so much better the second go round as the summer was closing…remember that gem I just gave you, put it somewhere for later.

Tree climbing fun.

This is a picture of snake putting boquets together for the summer CSA season.  The leeks did not go into the arrangements, silly.

These were some eggs laid on the inside glass of the greenhouse.  They were all over the place, but I don’t know what kind of eggs they were.

THIS is the last picture taken by Isaac, before the camera took a dump.  You’re welcome.

It’s here take #2

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Today!  Today, today, TODAY!!!!  Today is the final day of our first CSA season.  It is quite exciting around here, and yet doesn’t seem real.  It feels like only yesterday that we delivered for the first time and said, “Twenty-three more weeks to go.”  At that time, the end was not in sight.  As the countdown drew closer to the finish line, the sentiment was more like “Pump the brakes.”  Now, here we are, at the end.  This isn’t the end however.  We have committed to ten more weeks, for those who want to sign up for a fall/winter share.  The bulk of the work for the season is coming to a close though.  A thank you is in order for all of our customers this first go round.  Just know that there was a lot of work and effort from both farmers involved, to bring you the best local food experience.  Thank you for believing in the value of having fresh, local vegetables delivered.  Thank you for understanding the working relationship with your local farmer and how important that is.  And lastly, thank you for giving it a shot!  We hope to see many of your faces again next year!  To Mother Earth, let’s have a more mild summer next year, I missed having copious amounts of tomatoes.

So much excitement and all before 8am!

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So much excitement and all before 8am!

This morning Paul comes in and tells the team over breakfast that plans have changed.  The original plans were to work on digging more row space or picking blackberries.  However some of the eggs under the rumps of our diligent chickens are starting to hatch, so plan B, make a new coop for the baby chicks.

Paul and Patrick are discussing plans for the new coop.

Finding materials to work with.

There are always usable pieces lying around.  Pat is putting the pieces to be used into a pile.

PS.  Don’t call it a come back!  The Missouri Angels were gone for about ten days visiting their family and such.  They made plans to go to New Mexico, but the farm there told them they were full at the moment, so they came BACK.  They couldn’t get enough, and I guess neither could we.  It feels really great to have their help once again.

Jake and Laura are stitching the holes in our deer fence.  So far so good on the security front, the sweet potatoes are still there.

Laura is going to LOVE this picture!  Sorry girl, I caught you blinking, but it’s funny.

So I’m in the house doing some activities with the kids, when Paul comes in and tells me about a problem with the chickens.  He mentioned how he had about four dozen eggs under four broody hens and that we have lost some to what he thought were other chickens.  That may be true, but within his next breath he mentions a SNAKE.  I gasp at the thought.  We were all excited about the possibility of babies, I don’t want to hear about a large rat snake entering the coop and eating them all.  For some reason it made me think of the book Rikki Tikki Tavi.  Then Paul tells me that it’s dead.  Dead?  Did you kill it?  I ask.  He explains that it somehow slithered  through the top that is covered with chicken wire, realized that it wouldn’t fit and came back out.  Mr. Rat snake must have been greedy and hungry, because it stitched itself back through the chicken wire one more time, only to meet its untimely death.  Chickens 1, snake 0.

It totally grossed me out getting this close to a dead snake.

An inside view.

Jake “Snake” Jones, sharing a moment with his brethren.

Crazy huh?  We don’t know what to do about it.  I personally don’t feel like cutting that snake out of there.  So if there are any volunteers, please raise your hand!  Maybe the snake can serve as a reminder to others to steer clear.

 

Sell Outs!

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Sell Outs!

Here are the pictures of the table from the day we sold out of our wares at the farmer’s market.  It was very hot this day and also the tomato tasting event held at the Botanical Gardens, by the Ozarks Slow Foods movement.  Remember they bought several varieties of our tomatoes for the event.

 

The sign that mentions “Certified Naturally Grow” caught one woman’s eye who had a few bags full of produce.  She came over and asked a few questions about what it meant.  She said to me “Thanks for the information, I think I just bought produce littered with chemicals!”  I didn’t want to tell her she was right, but we are “certified” to tell you that we DON’T!

Blackberries, Okra, Chocolate Stripes, Peron’s and beautiful flowers.

That’s pretty much all she wrote.  Everything flew off the table and it was a great feeling, I’m not going to lie.

Jam on it

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Throughout this year I have been a canning instructor to many a WWOOF pupil.  This last time I was able to fly solo and therefore speed up the process.  I like canning all alone.  No offense to any of those I’ve shown the process to, it’s just a nice thing to do in peace and quiet.  I brought my computer along and watched the movie Bruno with the commentary on.  It’s amazing what that guy was able to get away with.  In the end, it was me and 27 jars of blackberry jam.

Thanks Bayard for letting me get your kitchen hot and steamy while you were out of town.

It was so DRY!!! How dry was IT?

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My goodness gracious.  It has been so hot and DRY lately, things are dying all around us.  Lawns are brown, trees are loosing their leaves, the people are wilting themselves.  Team WWOOF is so bored, I can tell.  They spend a lot of time, all day usually, watering.  You see with the CSA, we can’t let things die on us.  Our customers are depending on a crop.  Let me rephrase that.  We could totally let it ALL die and the customer would have to understand, because they signed a piece of paper, and something like drought is part of the liability.  But we’re too nice, and since we have a lot of help and it’s too hot to do much else, we put a hose in their hand.  It’s funny, because as I type this out, it is currently raining.  The rain, which has only been going on for about 20 minutes or so has prompted me to write about the dryness, because I’ve been needing to.  One of our CSA members asked me the other day how things were growing.  I let him know how tough it’s been and how some things are just wilting away.  He totally understood if the bags were empty for the next few weeks.  He shared the story of his garden with me.  He said he and his wife had been gone for three weeks.  Even though they had someone watering it for them, they returned and their garden was dust.  This “heat wave” that the weather man has talked about has lasted for two months now.  It’s more like a heat tsunami!  This wave won’t leave.  I guess my message to you dear reader is respect the fact that there is produce at your grocery store, and there are many, MANY factors that go into its survival.  Uh oh, the rain knew I was talking about it, it just stopped : (

Give a look-see

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I read this article in the New York Times today.  It’s worth spending the two or three minutes reading.

Swing and a miss

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I just pulled out my onion crop, late.  I kept thinking they would do more, they might have one last fight in them.  Sadly, I was mistaken.  They were a fright.  They were such a fright in fact that I won’t even post a picture, some no bigger than the day I planted them in the ground.  What in the heck happened?!  I’m so confused.  Last year I had an epic crop, with little to no attention paid to them by me, or anybody else.  I know you all remember the pictures.  You’ve all been fastidious readers of this blog, keeping up on every detail.  No?  You dont’ recall off the top of your head?  Hmm, let’s see.  Here and here.  Yeah, this crop looks nothing like that.  See how those onion tops are HUGE.  Well, these didn’t even reach a third of that height.  Ughhh.  I’m simply disgusted.  Has anyone out there had a similar experience they would like to share with the rest of the class?  Please leave a comment.  And to the rest of you….well, try growing some onions so you have something to share too.

Filler and Good Times

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Filler and Good Times

We have lost Annie, but gained Jake and Patrick, brothers from Springfield Missouri.   The brothers have been here a week now and are enjoying their time here on the farm.  They have a fun story, sorry guys but I’m going to tell it.  They both worked for Expedia, the travel web site.  They worked in the call center to help you book your trip.  Well, they both got fired on the same day and decided it was time to move on.  They said that their higher-ups did them a favor because they saw how unhappy they were.  So they started to travel themselves , instead of helping all of you book your vacations.  They also drastically changed their lifestyle choices, including their diets.  Jake was over 400 lbs.  Through good old eating right and exercise, he was able to drop over 160 lbs!  Talk about a monkey off your back!  I’m so inspired by their enthusiasm and will power and in turn they are inspired by ours.

Annie D’s last breakfast with the team.  We miss you already, happy trails.

(L-R) Jake, Patrick, since nicknamed the “Missouri Angels”.

The greatest job on the farm.

Picking tomatoes.

Oliver likes to hang out while people are working.  He makes sure this ship sails smoothly.

I’m glad he does, because we can get cute pictures of him doing super-cute things.

Paul put him to work picking green beans.

Jake displaying his tomato harvest.

We are currently selling produce through numerous avenues.  A few local grocery stores are the proud recipients of Ozark Alternatives potatoes, as well as a few local restaurants and of course the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market.  The tomatoes seen here were sold through our CSA, Northwest Arkansas Local Harvest.  We also have sold some through the Farmer’s Market.

More Potatoes!

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We have an endless supply of potatoes in the ground her at Ozark Alternatives, and they’re for SALE (*wink*).  Marine, Annie, David and I were digging potatoes, until Annie and David broke for dinner duty.  We took a little breather when David brought out some wine, we were pretty much done for after that.