Posted on January 21, 2015
Be on the lookout this week. Our broccoli has started to produce some beautiful crowns. Our first batch this week will be on the small side, but there’s much more on its way. We also have an entire greenhouse full of spinach ready to be picked, and this stuff is sweeter than ever. Time to get your broccoli and spinach pasta on. Here’s the simple recipe:
1 pack bowtie pasta
1/2 bag spinach
1 cup broccoli
as much garlic as you want
salt + pepper
Cook the pasta. On the side, heat the oil and add the chopped garlic, spinach and broccoli. Add salt and pepper to taste, then toss the pasta in when it’s ready. Top with parmesan and parsley.
Posted on October 13, 2014
With the changing of the seasons comes the changing of the crops! The summer veggies are slowly making their exit, so take advantage of them while they’re still here. We’ve been busy canning the excess – tomatoes, salsa and pesto (Have you tried our pesto yet?!). Our fall/winter crops are now in the fields. The carrots are peeking up out of the ground! We have some new heirloom carrot varieties this year from Seeds Of Change. Also, the broccoli is freshly transplanted out of our seedling greenhouse, a total of 600 plants.
Honestly, we are a little worried about our broccoli crop. We thought we were only in for a draught this year, but it turns out, mother nature had another curve ball in her pocket, going by the name of BAGRADA BUG! These tiny insects have the capacity to take down our entire field since broccoli is their favorite snack. Healthy little buggers. Turns out they also love a good salad bar, and hit our greenhouses pretty hard earlier this year too (thus the greens shortage). Since pesticides aren’t in the game plan, we had to get a little creative. We took one greenhouse out of production and released dozens of chickens; turns out, their beaks are a far better weapon against these bugs than our hands. Anywhoo.. if you see any of these you might want to squash them. They are invasive and attacking not only ours, but lots of other farms in California.
As for the new store front… the foundation is finally finished!! The base is in, walls are going up – It’s happening!! It really hit us when the old main wall finally came down last week. We are already starting to arrange the interior options, trying to decide where each refrigerator should go and how much space everything needs. We will be busy piecing everything together, and will try to keep you all in the loop as we go through the rest of the process.
Here’s a shot of the wall going down in the beginning of October
As always, there are many things going on at once, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Posted on August 17, 2014
We’re so happy to announce that we made our $30,000 goal and made 2,180 on top of it. Actually, donations are STILL continuing to trickle in outside of Indiegogo. Incredible. The money we just raised is about to be put to use right away. We’re buying refrigeration equipment this week, and we’re about to start looking at shelving and displays.
The money everyone has provided is letting us breathe a little easier when thinking about the next few months of work. There’s a lot to be done and we plan on keeping you up to date with the progress. Let us know if you have any suggestions for the new building. We’ll probably be sending some questions your way to ask about what you’d like to see featured in the store, what hours you prefer etc. It’s finally sinking in that this is really happening!
Thank you to everyone who contributed to our campaign. We would be in a tough spot without you, and now we definitely don’t want to let you down! We can’t wait to keep sharing our progress with you.
Hansel shot a thank you video for all donors. You can watch it here
Posted on July 26, 2014
Our plan to move our tiny membership co-op into a full store on main street has been in the works for over a year. The building we’re moving into needed a full facelift, and within the past six months we’ve stripped it almost completely. Now comes the entire remodel, and everything that comes with interior stocking and design. We quickly realized we would need help funding a project of this scale, and started looking at loan options. That’s when a family friend chimed in and told us about Indiegogo, a crowd funding site where friends and family can chip in. Basically, you post a video of your project idea, and viewers are able to contribute any amount they choose. In return, each funder receives a unique thank you gift chosen by us.
We were hesitant to embrace this idea at first. It’s uncomfortable to ask those around you for hand outs especially when many are having financial troubles themselves. What made us decide to go for it was the thought that hopefully everyone will benefit from our project. This will be a new space for everyone to visit in North Fork, and since the shop will be larger we’ll be carrying other goods grown and made by local producers and artists.
We figured out we would need $30,000 since we are quickly going into debt. It is a steep goal, and we still aren’t sure if we’ll make the full amount by the sixty day campaign deadline. Even though we are a little less than half way to our goal, we’ve received more in the way of support than we could have ever imagined. Almost everywhere we go, people have been approaching us to say how excited they are for the opening. We’ve received calls, emails, facebook messages and letters of encouragement and well wishing. Although we still want to keep momentum up for fundraising, it’s just as important to have verbal and emotional support. This project has shown us just how many people are behind us on this, and how lucky we are to live in such a warm and supportive community. Large farms are supported by subsidies, and that gives them the upper hand, but there’s nothing like being supported by people you actually know and care about.
Thank you to all our supporters and contributors! See our campaign here.
Posted on June 17, 2014
As many of you know, we’re opening a new market in North Fork within the year! We’re remodeling the old building in front of, and owned by Fey Dentistry. The Feys and our crew have been putting in work on the exterior and hope to pour the floor soon. The interior of the building will also take loads of work and planning, and also a lot of funds. We’ve started an Indiegogo campaign to help with the cost of the store. If you have a few minutes, please watch our video we made for Indeigogo. It explains our future plans for the store, and what it’ll take to make it happen. In return for donating, we have rewards like store credit, Hansel hugs, tote bags, and weekend stays on the Farm.
If you can’t donate, we completely understand! But we would love it if you’d pass our video along to whoever you think would be interested in our project.
Thank you thank you! We’ll be putting updates on our Indiegogo page about every week, and on here
Posted on March 12, 2014
We haven’t posted any farm happenings in a while, but there’s always a bunch going on here. People have been asking us about the state of the farm during this drought year. As of right now, we are way below our average rainfall but thankfully our springs are running, and for the next few months we should have more than enough water to power our farm. We are doing a lot of new and exciting things with our water system which we’ll dedicate an entire post to, but for now we just wanted to show you our fields!
First we have our healthy and booming kale field. We are steadily delivering cases to the Vipassina Center down the road and to our store. The aphids haven’t found this sweet spot of the farm yet so as Janis Joplin once said, “get it while you can”. Also on the same field is our slow growing Chard. We’re starting to bring a little at a time downtown.
Our Broccoli field looks more like a flower garden. It is, obviously, the end of the season, but instead of pulling out the plants, we’re leaving them in for ground cover and to attract beneficial insects. The field is buzzing with honey bees, native bees, butterflies, other insects and plenty of humming birds.
This field along with three others will be planted next week with potatoes. We’re testing the soil to see what amendments are needed before popping in 300 lbs of spuds. They’re going in the ground little late but we should still have enough water to bring them through to their harvest date in June.
Our field and a half of Garlic is happy. Not much to report other than we can’t wait to have some fresh garlic again! They are also harvested in May. Oh, and look out for garlic scape sauce again pretty soon.
We just planted a few rows of new strawberries. Our old crop was just too old. It’s best to replace strawberries every few years, especially when their production starts to go down. Last year we barely harvested any berries so it was time. Unfortunately a lot of the plants do better in their second year so this might be a low strawberry year again- but look forward to 2015!
We just pruned all of our fruit trees yesterday. Our three year old trees are vigorous and should produce some more apples, plums, nectarines and cherries. Most of our orchard is still young so high yields are down the road, but besides a few gopher kills, the trees are lookin’ great.
Posted on February 6, 2014
This past Saturday was a whirlwind for us. We all shuffled downtown pretty early to start cooking and decorating for the Citizen of the Year Dinner. Since Hansel was last year’s winner, he had the honor of putting on the event along with the North Fork Boosters.
By an hour before the dinner 30+ pot pies were made, potato leek soup was whipped up in giant pots, the BBQ was ready for grilling spiced pork and the salad bar was set with five types of greens along with several toppings. Dinner ended up being served second since Juliet Thrapp’s desserts from Wildflour bakery (Served by Roz Thrapp) caught the eyes of everyone walking in. Most were sold way before the majority of people even sat down. Who doesn’t love dessert first?
Hansel passed the crown to Mark Logee, a retired Director of the Chawanakee School District Maintenance, Building and Transportation department. He has been nominated before, and took the win this year because his “helpful ways, giving spirit, and countless hours of volunteer work help our community to be a better place.” Read more about Mark here.
Good Medicine played before and after the ceremony and didn’t stop until the last chair was taken down and the last plate was washed. As always, what a show. A big thanks to them for the entertainment, and for everyone who helped set up and take down the event.
It was wonderful to celebrate with so many of you.
Posted on January 11, 2014
Today was a big day at the school garden. Our main two fields have been waiting patiently to be cover cropped while all of the kids were on a long holiday break. This week they were back and ready to plant. The older grades filled small cups with our cover crop mix containing vetch, peas and oats which were passed out to younger students who spread it over the field. The anxious kids surrounded the field with their cups waiting for Hansel’s command to walk and sprinkle seeds (which turns out to be more of a run and fling).
The real chaos ensued after the seeds were sown and it was time to mulch the field. Bales of hay were brought out and the kids ripped into them and grabbed heaping armloads. They hay was tossed onto the field and into others until the entire plot and group was covered. It was finished in minutes but kids continued to pick up what they just threw down just for the fun of doing it again. When the excitement finally died down the students tromped off the field, some with one shoe off emptying little piles of hay and soil. Everyone was a little winded and happy- perfect way to learn and work off some Friday afternoon energy at the same time.
Posted on January 2, 2014
The past month has been a good mix of working and waiting.
We’re working on brushing the lower half of the property and in the process feeding the goats lots of green grub. We’ve also been spending a lot time indoors (surprisingly) working on organizing books, records and whatnot behind the scenes for the new year. Getting organized takes some time. Every few days we’re harvesting kale, broccoli, salad and spinach, and Hansel is also working on digging out a brand new pond.
On the waiting side of things we have… waiting for peppers to dry so we can grind them, waiting for rain (DEAR LORD RAIN) to help our newly planted/mulched cover crop and hay field and waiting for our spring onions to start to bulb up… did we mention rain?
The slower season is leaving enough time to celebrate with family, hike with friends and brainstorm new ideas for the farm for 2014. We’re excited for the New Year!
Posted on November 19, 2013
In the past few weeks, the school garden greenhouse as been getting a facelift. The old wooden beds that house 24 types of salad greens and radishes year round are being replaced with concrete planters. The new beds will last much longer than wood especially around curious kids who not only harvest greens, but also crawl around hunting for bugs, frogs and unknown species.
The planters have also given the kids a chance to work with a new material in the garden. They’ve been scooping sand and cement, mixing concrete and pouring it into the molds. They haven’t been shy jumping into a job that requires a little more muscle, and this isn’t the only one. When they’re not learning the ins and outs of raised bed construction they’re building terraces, harvesting tomatoes, planting winter crops and getting one field ready for cover crop. We’re keeping them busy out there and the work is paying off, the garden is transforming into a mini farm!