Saturday, September 19, 2009

WINNERS ALL AROUND

Windmill Farm has had a fabulous summer. I can't believe it has been so long since I have brought you up to date with what has happened on the farm this summer. And ohhh, what beautiful fruit and vegetables have been produced here.

Since we had such an abundance with our fruits, herbs, vegetables and flowers, I started selling not only at the Certified Gridley Farmer's Market, but on Mondays, at the Certified Colusa Market. My usual products were tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, beans, squash, peaches, plums, nectarines, grapes, parsley, basil, carrots and flowers. Windmill Farm is located in the most fertile soil area and with our weather perfect for growing, just about anything will grow. Our farm is one of the most complete farms in that we do have mature fruit bearing trees along with fields of vegetables, giving our customers a complete variety of products. We even have increased our flock of chickens so that we have been able to keep up with the demand of our Gridley customers for our free range chicken eggs. We also have continued to keep our small self service roadside stand full of produce so our customers, many of which are our wonderful neighbors, can take home something fresh picked that day for their family.

The BIGGEST news in August was our winning awards for our fruit and vegetables at the Butte County Gridley Fair. We won Best of Show in the Garden and Farm Division with our "Garden Bounty" basket, full of a good portion of everything we sell here at the farm. It was an impressive display. Unfortunately, the day we dropped off our exhibit items, was the same day as the Farmer's Market and I forgot my camera. We won 1st place for our Crimson watermelon; huge sunflowers;Freestone peaches; 2nd place for our tomatoes, pumpkins, Cling peaches and basil; 3rd places for our cantaloupes and rosemary. Not bad for our very first year entering into competition. Receiving The Best Of Show was about the best news ever for our farm and a testament to our quality, flavor and beauty of our produce.
September has been equally rewarding and busy. Some crops are over, such as the plums, peaches and many of our vegetables. We were very pleased that the demand for our produce is sometimes larger than our yields so that there has been very little waste of our fruits and vegetables. Our watermelons were sweet and wonderful. One afternoon, with a load full of them in the back of our Gator, Frank and I went from one end of our street to the other dropping some off at each of our neighbor's doorstops. There is a new house being built on our street and one HOT HOT day, I saw all these workers putting up walls and roofing. I went home, cut up 3 big watermelons cold from the refrigerator, put them in a big tub and drove them over to them. They were all pretty surprised and very happy. Gardening and sharing is what we are all about.
We recently had another group of family members come and stay with us. Instead of eating and relaxing, they wanted to work on the farm as they are all from the Santa Cruz or Santa Clara Valley. So we spent an hour or more picking apples from several of our apple trees. With the back of the Gator full, we pulled out our old and trustie ancient apple peeler and cranked away. Several others had buckets and cutting boards slicing and putting the applies into lemon water to keep them crisp and fresh. After we filled a gigantic plastic container of peeled and cored apples, we made homemade pastry dough and filled 11 pie tins!!! We were all tired, but had a wonderful time together in the late afternoon of a lazy September day. The next day, we spent the time going to local yard sales, every one's favorite passion. When the family members left, we split up the pies between the families so that everyone went home with a "piece" of memory and food from our Windmill Farm of Gridley.
As September is ending, our crops of various varieties of pumpkins are ready and waiting for fall and Halloween. We planted different types this year, called Baby Boos and Caspers along with our Jack O Lanterns and Tricksters. The Boos and Caspers are white pumpkins and the kids just love them. Our grandkids Carli and Collin decorated a Casper this week, signed their names and sent it off to their Daddy who is away from home for a few months due to his job. I am sure Chris will just love getting that pumpkin from his adorable children.
The Gridley Farmer's Market is finished for 2009. The Colusa Farmer's Market has two more Monday evenings left in their season. I will be selling there this Monday, September 21st and have available my pumpkins, the last cases of sweet Bartlett pears and some of our pomegranates. My good friend Tina, from Happy Chick Farm in Orland will be joining me at my booth and selling her fresh and beautiful free range chicken eggs. I know her customers will be happy to see her there to buy their weekly eggs. Hope to see you there too!!!
Life is great at the Windmill Farm.

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