The Weblog

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There are lots of tomatoes available today including canner tomatoes. (protected from the early frost) The garden is full of all the greens such as spinach, kale, lettuce, Brussel sprouts, etc. The potato harvest is finished. I have about 10 tons here in storage. Anytime now is time to get your winters supply. Today while it is warm we are expecting to finish planting the garlic and to lift the glad bulbs.
The Andy Yoder family is raising a batch of broiler chickens. They will be here at the stand selling them from noon to 4:30 pm today. They are also planning to be here with chicken on Oct 30 and Nov 6. Prices are $2.75 per lb Bulk prices are $2.50 for 10 + and $2.25 per lb for 25 + birds. Larger amounts need to be pre ordered and prepaid.
Summer hours on the stand will continue till Thanksgiving. In December we will also be open with reduced hours. I am not sure what that schedule will be yet. Daniel


Chicken and Potatoes.

A few highlights of the moment are a lovely harvest of beautiful cabbage cauliflower and broccoli and lots of Brussel sprouts. I lowered the price on sprouts. We are also overstocked on celery and butternut squash. We got the last row of potatoes out of the field last evening just before dark and the rain. It is always a relief to finish a big job. It gave about 10 tons which is fairly normal. We pick them up by hand. Potato prices are unchanged from last year. We wash them and grade out anything that is not expected to store. Bulk potato prices are as follows. If you take whole crates as they come the price is 40 cents per lb. First grade is 50 cents and seconds are 20 cents per lb. The Andy Yoder family is raising a batch of broiler chickens. They will be here at the stand selling them from noon to 4:30 pm on Friday Oct 23, Oct 30 and Nov 6. Prices are $2.75 per lb Bulk prices are $2.50 for 10 + and $2.25 per lb for 25 + birds. Larger amounts need to be pre ordered and prepaid. Daniel

Mums and pretty cabbage

Yes we are open on Columbus day weekend (not Sunday) and yes the stand is still packed full of lots of good food. We still have tomatoes and peppers. There is a glorious selection of all sorts of winter squash (bulk price $.65 per lb) and a bin of big cabbage. There are smaller cabbage, carrots, rutabaga, celery, sweet potatoes and a rainbow of beets colors along with so much more.. To make you place pretty there are potted mums, flowering cabbage and kale. All the ornamental plants are on sale at 10 for $40 mix or match. This includes the bigger sized pots. The colored kales are hardy till it gets very cold and then you cut the top out of the plant and eat it!
I dug a few potatoes this afternoon. The skins need to set after the potato plants are dead; our big patch of late potatoes are almost ready to dig for winter storage- I expect to be working at that late next week weather permitting. If you are planning to plant garlic it is soon time for that. The soil has to stay mostly colder than 50 degrees after the garlic is planted so the cloves grow roots but it is best if it does not come up till spring. For this area anytime after about Oct 15 is time to plant garlic. Daniel

Broccoli, Brussel sprouts and canning tomatoes

We have a stand packed full of good food for you. A few highlights of the moment are about 5 bushels of Concord grapes and lots of sweet potatoes. The patch yielded a normal amount. There are several thousand lbs sitting here curing by the woodstove. For the best flavor and storage potential we cure sweet potatoes for about 10 days in a space that is about 85 degrees and with fairly high humidity. After that they like 50 to 70 degrees and dry.
I have about 6 bushels of really nice broccoli from my patch for today. Brussel sprouts and celery are also doing well this year.
We still have lots of canning tomatoes and a few bushel of beans. They will be gone soon. The Irish (red white, russet, blue etc) potato field still has live plants as is normal and are giving a good crop. We are hand digging new potatoes for fresh eating as needed. The main fall storage potato harvest will be sometime towards mid October. Daniel

pre-frost harvesting abundance

Yesterday the produce growers of this area were harvesting all sorts of produce. There was concern that we could have a frost.(and we did) This abundance is here at the stand waiting for someone to come and buy it. A few last chance items of this moment are sweet corn. There are 8 bags (4-5 dozen) available @$12 in addition to the normal by the dozen pricing. The girls were picking beans and we have about 20 bushels here. ($15 per 1/2 bushel box) There are also lots of peppers and canning tomatoes, watermelon and so much more.
In addition to this last chance list there are many frost tolerant and storage crops The harvest will continue till the weather gets very cold. In this group there are most of the herbs such as cilantro and parsley, leeks, radish rutabaga, spinach, lettuces kale etc. There is a glorious selection of winter squash and about 50 lbs. of Brussel sprouts picked for today. We have some sweet potatoes already dug. The main sweet potato harvest will be next week. After a curing period It will be time to lay your stock away for winter storage. For the best flavor and storage potential we cure sweet potatoes for about 10 days in a space that is about 85 degrees and with fairly high humidity. After that they like 50 to 70 degrees and dry.

Organic grapes and lots of canning tomatoes

The Alpine-glow grapes are ready. (rich flavored seeded green grapes with a pink blush.)I have about 200 lbs available for $5 per quart or $25 per half bushel. We are also in the peak of tomato season and the backlog of orders that we had is cleared so there should be canning tomatoes on the stand fairly steady for the next while. We still have lots of beans but we are on the last planting. If you are going to get beans (or tomatoes) from us to can or freeze do it in the next ten days or wait till next year. If you procrastinate too long the seasons will pass on. Daniel

We are open on Labor day. Overstock on grape tomatoes and watermelon

At the moment we are overstocked on grape tomatoes. I have them on sale @ $1 pint for any quantity. There are also several extra bins of watermelon and cantaloupe priced @2.50 each mix or match. Last evening I was in the lettuce field harvesting some of the nicest lettuce I have ever grown. The heads are big, sweet and tender. There is getting to be a nice selection of winter squash here. (best selection in late September)The boys weighed a few of the biggest butternut squash- over 10 lbs each! The next planting of beans are ready to pick. ($15 per box) My Dad makes a really good homemade vinegar. This is made with pure apple juice from our no- spray apples with nothing added. It is still raw so you get all the benefits that God has put in living vinegar. The new batch from last years apples is 12 months old and ready for your table. This is the time of abundance.
On the disappointing side it looks like there will not be organic beef available as we expected. There was a problem at the USDA plant that the cows were sent to with no inspector being available on the day we were scheduled. They called us and said to come pick our cows back up. It appears that there are no replacement openings available till sometime next year. This is a really bad deal for us with us paying for the trucking twice. We are not prepared to feed them for another winter so they got sent to the sale barn with us having little expectation of getting any reasonable price for them. Some aspects of the the food system are just broken. Daniel

Watermelon and sweet corn by the bag

This is peak season for melons. We have several hundred melons that should be moved in the next few days. The best thing that can happen to a watermelon is to have someone eat it! Today ( and probably Monday) we are planning to cut and serve watermelon and cantaloupe samples to anyone that wishes for some. There will be little pieces for a taste and bigger pieces that make a meaningful serving. It is fine with me if you eat several pieces. A little watermelon secret is that there is quite a bit of difference between the seeded and seedless choices in flavor with the seeded one tending to be sweeter and richer in taste. I also am of the opinion that our melons tend to be better than most store melons and our melons are guaranteed. We have little personal melons for as little as $2.50 each and larger melons for $4 to $8 each. Come and get them.
Today we also have about 20 bags of sweet corn for sale by the bag ($15 per bag) and oodles of beans ($15 per box). Daniel

The lettuce and bean story

This stand is still packed to the gills with good food. Abundant items at this moment are grape tomatoes, beans, lettuce, corn, and melons. (watermelon $5-$8 each and cantaloupe @ $2.50 each). Some of the cantaloupe are over 10 lbs each and they have excellent flavor. We look at the pictures in the seed catalog and at moments we really do not expect things to grow that well for us. However in some cases crops do grow wonderfully. I planted lettuce and beans at the old farm in a spot that I was worried about as they are vulnerable to the deer and rabbits and in freshly plowed sod that was not really ready for gardening. I did this because of the severe drought and that was the only choice that had enough water available. (The ponds here were almost empty).I hoped to get some return for our efforts. From the first four rows of beans we picked 35 bushels of beans already this week. From the same plants last week we picked about 500 lbs. We have a wonderful abundance of beautiful beans to sell. ($15 per half bushel) The lettuce is also really nice and so much of it. Almost every seed gave a lovely head of lettuce. So there is not much to the bean and lettuce story beyond a story of abundance. God is good.

Help wanted. My wife and I judge that we should have more help to manage and run the Farmstand. The old saying is that all work and no play make Jack a dull boy. We are looking for help (either part time or a full time year around person or family) that is interested and capable to assist us in running the farm stands everyday operation so I would be free to focus more on the actual growing side of things and also to just take a slower pace with more family time. This position could be an hourly (part or full) position but for the right person I would be leaning towards it being a year around salaried position. (There is more to do in the winter than you might think. If needed on farm housing and farm grown food could also be part of the package. We are planning to move to the house at the back of the farm here when it is finished sometime this winter which will leave a vacancy in the front house.
Qualifications would require the person to be healthy enough to be on their feet and active. There needs to be good bright mind that can learn and make good judgments along with an excitement about being around good food. Life experience, especially in any kind of retail or management position, gardening, cooking etc would be useful. Willingness to be helpful and pleasant with customers is essential.
If you are interested in being part of the team here send us a letter telling about yourself and why you would like the job. Daniel

Overstock of sweet corn, yellow beans, lettuce and good cantaloupe

We are overstocked. There is about 100 dozen corn, 200 cantaloupe, 1,000 heads of lettuce, cabbage and lots of yellow beans that need a good home in the stand and in the fields ready for harvest. In addition the whole stand is bursting full of almost everything. Can you use some of this? I am open to taking offers. Sale prices on big cantaloupe are $2.50 each retail or $2 each wholesale (10 +) Cabbage $15 per bushel, Sweet corn $15 per 5 dozen bag, yellow beans $15 per half bushel. Daniel