Saturday, June 9, 2018
We just experienced the blessing of a record breaking week, not just in temps, but in sales and in number of customers served. We are looking at ways of streamlining check out at market when it is peak time and customers are lined up. What we have talked about so far, is having a cash only, non weighed items line, so a second person can be standing off to the side with a cash apron. We will still have to write down your purchase on a note pad. You can't imagine how much difference it makes to have each sale recorded so we can go back at the end of the year and see which weeks we sold the most of what and when we had the most customers. It is key to our successful planning (weather is key to successful implementation and we seem to have no control over that), so please be patient as it takes a minute longer. As we look around, we see few other vendors keeping any kind of records. Go ahead, ask who, consistently, is the top vendor. Selling produce is a business for us. We are thankful healthy soil and healthy food are also a passion, but passion can't over ride business or the business fails. It took me a long time to get over trying to save every single plant and letting "useful plants in the wrong places" stay and take up nutrients and space. Any plant in the wrong place is a weed. Any plant in the right place serves a purpose. This winter, maybe I will do a blog about the important overlooked plants. Too busy right now. This has been weeding and trellising week, just before the mad rush of tomato season hits, trying to get some semblance of order while we can.
I have two more flower beds early in the morning, one is part finished. I have about one row of cantaloupes to trellis, late getting that done. It will be tomorrow evening. Mondays are always tomato days, when I have to wind new growth onto the guide string and prune off new suckers, it is an all day job, as many hours as we can stand the heat in the tunnel. Usually from about 6ish am to around 10, then another hour to 90 minutes in the evening and rarely do we get all the way done, sometimes we either start on Sunday evening or spill over into Tuesday am. Thankfully, every plant does not require attention every week, but the cherry tomato row almost requires it twice a week, it just doesn't get it. Later, when they are ripe, I do, while picking, break off any larger suckers that may have been missed.
I get plenty of exercise this time of year. We have been lamenting that we wish we had a wife to cook for us and do laundry. That could get awkward.
Saturday, May 26, 2018
'Tis the Season
No, not Christmas, not yet, even though we are experiencing near enough record breaking heat to make us wish for that.
It's approaching the season where produce is Queen. Meat a close second. Our beets are coming into their own an sold almost completely out today. Tomatoes are still in very short supply and, therefore, quite costly still. When ours get ripe, still a few weeks away, they will get less expensive by at least $1.00 lb
Right now, we are thankful to Jonas Wagler and his family for being committed to growing high quality produce. Mr Wagler is an Amish acquaintance of ours who lives out south of Windsor with his wife and children and he always manages to grow things about 3 weeks to a month ahead of everyone else. Yes, we do know "how" he does it. No, we don't have the manpower to bring it about on our farm. But since we do drive 90 miles round trip to get it and pay what it takes to be the ones to go home with a few boxes a week of his precious tomatoes, we have to charge enough to make that profitable.
You can see a picture of the Wagler farm at the bottom of this page.
We have cucumbers, zucchini, small eggplant, cantaloupe, peppers and tomatoes out in the field, along with a few varieties of flowers for bouquets, all coming along nicely. Can't wait till they are ready for market
This week, we transplanted to larger cells winter squash of several varieties and started seed for the larger pumpkins. Tomorrow evening or Monday we will be starting the seeds for our signature sugar pie pumpkins which we use in our classroom program. First come, first serve, we let classroom teachers have them for $1 each, about 1/3 of retail price.
Monday, May 14, 2018
Busy Farm Dayz
As it is getting warmer weather the interest in baked goods is waning. We will bring a select small offering this week and will soon go to by order only on the yeast breads. Glad to make them for those that want them, but can't keep baking and bringing 90% of it home. Thank you to those who appreciate having baked goods made from quality ingredients, flour that is nothing but pure ground grain, no bleaching, unbromated, no additives or preservatives, olive oil, sea salt, etc.
Every week Annie comes up with some new kind of goodie to try. I think she has in mind some elderberry gummy treats this week or next and, we usually have either granola or cookies by one of the boys.
Michael is making some astounding crafts now that are great gifts. He has only one left at the moment so he needs to get busy. He can take special orders as well.
I still have about a dozen Dwarf Sunnies left and they are getting close . You can see a time lapse video on the "This week's market page"
We have green beans about 3" high and sweet corn peeking through the ground. Purple Hull cowpeas planted but not up, and a lot of cucumber, zucchini, peppers, watermelon, cantaloupe and Asian style eggplant in the toddler stages.
An assortment of flowers growing, several varieties of sunflowers, zinnias, black knight scabiosa, celosia in 3 varieties, statica, dahlia's, and eventually, 4 to 5 colors of lisianthus.
Today I cut up late potatoes to cure, so we are now getting rain that was not in the morning forecast. Such is the life of a farmer. We needed rain badly, hoping to get the 1" this front is promising, even though it will mean a couple of days of delay in planting out.
Perhaps it will also bring a it of relief from the unseasonable heat.
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
The Unintended Effect:
You will see in our "about" section, on our Facebook page, and in everything we do what our mission is - to provide people with healthy, locally grown food. However, it is easy to lose sight that we are part of a community and as such, our interaction goes beyond just the food. I was reminded tonight, as I was planting out flower transplants into the cedar raised beds in the front yard, by the road, what we DO at Burr Oak Farm is not the run of the mill every day stuff that folks are used to seeing. We draw attention from those passing by. We have noticed an increase in road traffic, especially in the evenings. Folks like driving by, up and down the roads and seeing our calves, hair sheep and goats, all out on pasture, and our Muscovy ducks, Free range laying hens and guineas all wandering around as they please (they will soon be doing a tad less of that when we get the gardens planted and fenced) We pen up the gardens, not the poultry.
You are welcome to drive by and gawk anytime you wish. If we are outside feel free to pull in the drive and let us know who you are. Knowing you helps us differentiate between the neighbors, near and far, and those casing the neighborhood. Unfortunately, in the last few years, there has also been more of the latter. We encourage you to look. The other group are wasting their time, but may not know it. Anything you'd take here would cause you more work. We live very, very simple lives. GPS won't get you here exactly, but close and you will know you have found us when, yes, that's right, you see the goats and sheep and calves in the pasture.