Sunday, August 20, 2017

what a couple of weeks it has been since my last post.

The weather

It has been dry on the farm.  Watering was taking a fair amount of my time.  The grass was brown.  Well, not for the near future.  This week we have had more than 10 inches of rain.  We started with 4.5 inches last Sunday and then, two days later, the next Tuesday had another 6 inches.  So now the time that I was spending watering I am now spending monitoring the sump pumps and watching the no longer dormant grass grow.  It could be so much worse. My growing spaces are all on high enough ground to not have had any standing water issues or drowned out plantings.  The couple of low spots, near the driveway, south of the greenhouse and on the pasture, were ponds for awhile but they are now receded.  I have a little bit of wet floors in the basement but no damage.  I had a near miss with the well pump and so now I am more frequent in my checks.  My sticky switch is back and I hope that like the last time it gets to be unsticky.  In the meantime I am turning off the breaker when tapping on it with a stick doesn't do the trick. 

The farmers market

I have been having a great time at the farmers market.  It is a lot of work but fun.  We market twice a week on Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings.  I have brought my gear and set up my stuff each time since my first time.  Next Saturday I will be skipping and I know that I will be wondering if it is busy or slow and if the regulars will notice that I am not there.  I usually take baked goods and when I have them, some garden produce.  This week I sewed a couple of market bags to offer for sale and I will be finishing up more of them and one or more  harvest aprons to sell as well.

A couple of customers early on asked about gluten free options and no one at our market was doing any gluten free baking.  I have been experimenting with some new recipes and trying to bring something gluten free each week.  Lots of time I bring it all home at the end of the market.  This week the near miss with the well impacted the amount of time that I had for baking and I skipped the gluten free I had planned and of course that was the time that there were customers that might have bought it.  Shucks.

Each market day I take yeast breads and quick breads and scones and sometimes biscotti.  I have been trying to have some type of food item using zucchini, the first thing that was ready so far in my otherwise late garden.  I am just starting to get a very few red tomatoes but I have been taking some of my parents' surplus.  It is nice of them to share.

I have had great help and advice from my kids on this new endeavor.  They are my best cheerleaders.  The behind the scenes help has been great but the most visible contribution has been on facebook.  Mom's Hobby Farm has a until lately mostly unused facebook page that they have been posting to. 

The plums

I may have shared in the past the saga of my plums.  For several years now I have had as a goal to each year add some new perennial fruit to the farm.  Several years ago Nathan and Michelle gave me four fruit trees in May.  It was either mothers day or my birthday but probably a joint gift.  There were two plums and two pears.  The pears are not yet fruiting.  Last year one of the plums had its first fruit forming when overnight it disappeared.  There wasn't a lot of baby fruits on the tree but it was stripped clean overnight.  A bit of online research suggested squirrels might be the culprit and this year I brushed onto the trunk some vaseline mixed with hot sauce, a suggested remedy.  Either the hot sauce worked or the squirrels have lost interest but I actually got a small harvest of edible fruit.  The fully ripe plums were juicy with this heavenly aroma, red skins and gold flesh on the inside.  There was not enough to make a batch of plum only jam but there was enough to mix with blackberries from the store for a roasted plum blackberry preserve and that is what I did today.  5 jars of deep red/black goodness,.  I am considering taking them to the market but with only five jars I will probably hoard them for special breakfasts with my bunch.  Maybe next year I will have to plant blackberry canes. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The farmers market

The little town where I grew up and which is the nearest town to the farm has a small farmer's market that happens on Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings.  I have started to participate.  For the last three weeks or so I have taken a table and set up in the shade of the park and sold my wares.  My garden went in late so I am not yet flush with surplus garden goodies so I have been taking baked goods.

It is a small group of vendors, 5 or 6 most days, who have been doing this twice a week for many years.  I am the new kid on the block and these pros couldn't be more helpful and friendly.  I hope to make a little money but I think that the social aspect of it will be at least as much fun.

Here is picture of my table.  I have been taking a different combination each time of baguettes, buns, mini loaves, biscotti, scones, almond cake and Danish puff.  I also have taken a few jars of savory and sweet jelly.

Finally I am getting produce to actually take to the market.  My summer squash has started to come.  So I have had a few zucchini and yellow squash in addition to the baked goods.