Saturday, March 13, 2010

Peep Peep They Have Hatched!

The little chicks have arrived. I went out to check on the Black Jersey Star yesterday morning and heard a few peeps. I set up a large metal horse trough with a light in the garage, put down chick feed, water, bedding and then moved the Mom and babies to a much safer place. They are so cute and seem to be very happy. Nature is sure wonderful.
Reminder that there are still a few more CSA Memberships Available!!!
We have been very busy this last week even though we planned each day by the weather reports. Some reports were wrong and a few days turned out to be fabulous for planting.
So far I have put in cabbage, lettuces, peas, beans, carrots, parsley, cilantro, beets, kale, Swiss chard, snow peas. Other beds have been tilled, raked and prepared for many more seeds, maybe it will happen today and tomorrow. Last night it was 36 degrees and rained all day. The reports say by Sunday it should be 75 degrees!!! We shall see but I would really, really love to have a nice warm day, all day so we can get our seeds and plants in the ground.
My application for a Hoop Greenhouse Grant may be approved. The NRCS/USDA/Butte Co Farm Service Agency representative came out to the farm this week to view where we planned on placing the hoop units. Boy what a surprise I received as the initial grant stated the hoops would be the 3' size, placed on rows of lettuce, new seedlings. That was what was stated in the grant. But the representative stated some terms of the grant were changed, and the hoop unit has to be over 6' tall by 14' wide and comes in 100' lengths and it is to be used for in-ground growing, NOT to be used as a greenhouse where you raise container plants. Frank was a little dismayed because we had planned out some of our growing areas to use the 3' high and wide hoop housing but with such a large and tall unit it may change the location. We should hear by the first of April whether we receive the grant. The hoop gardening should allow us, the farmer, to start our plants in the ground earlier and be able to have harvest a good 3-4 weeks earlier than normal.
I am taking photos of the various fields to show the progress of the planting and how the plants are growing. Check out our Facebook page as I will not only post information about CSA, produce available and photos there but also on this blog.

Thank you for visiting our site and hope to see you soon at either our roadside stand, Farmer's Markets or as a CSA member of Windmill Farm.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rain Rain Rain

Our trees are blooming but we are concerned about all this rain and cooler weather. The bees can't do their business if it isn't warm enough. Hope we have some warmer weather while the blossoms are still on the trees.
We received our seeds and will hopefully have some carrots and Swiss chard planted by this weekend. Maybe even a row of beans. I know the soil will be wet, but it has to be done or our CSA wonderful members won't be getting their first box of produce from us until June, instead of May. Still have some CSA opening for new members, give me a call 530-846-3344 if you are interested in getting a farm fresh AND LOCAL box of fruits, vegetables and herbs every week or bi-weekly delivered right to your door. Know where your produce comes from!!! We will also have available eggs, fresh seasonal flowers and we have a partnership with a rancher who raises grass fed, free range, no hormone beef that will be available to our members.
I attended a Glenn Co Farmer's Market meeting in Willows yesterday and it was very informative and the community is very enthusiastic to make it a success. We think we may do that market if the dates don't conflict with any of the other markets we do.
I also received a letter from Mayor Jerry Fichter, she is the Gridley Business Improvement Market Manager here in town. They will be having the Gridley Farmer's Market at the Ace Hardware parking lot off of Hwy 99 instead of being held at the downtown park. The exposure will be so much better for the market off of Hwy 99 and should bring lots more customers for all the vendors, including Windmill Farm.
Our puppies Annie & Bella will be a year old at the end of this month. We are sure wishing they will get past the puppy stages, my lawn is full of shoes, balls and bits of things they have chewed and shredded. And I still find a few holes dug out in the orchard. But Frank always reminds me how CUTE they are, which brings back my memory of the old The Little Girl With A Curl nursery rhyme: "when she was good, she was very, very good, And when she was bad she was HORRID". That is what my little "girls" Annie and Bella are, good, good girls, but when they are bad they are really, really HORRID.
We had some good news last week. We were contacted by a producer of specialized jarred vegetables and they wanted to know if we would grow certain vegetables exclusively for them. I was very excited to speak to the owner of that company and we are planning on meeting next week to go over the specifics of how much and when they need the vegetables. I really liked their business model and their products so I feel quite privileged to be asked to have Windmill Farm produce their ingredients. We will be bringing further information to you if or hopefully when this business arrangement will start. It will not hinder any of my CSA customer service or products because our customers are NUMBER 1 on receiving the best of the best. And we will still have our roadside self service produce stand. But it may give us the opportunity to eliminate one Farmer's Market a week which will give Frank and I more time to stay on the farm and do what we like to do, be in the fields!!
Check out our new Facebook page. See link on home page of this blog. Our daughter Celli created my blog for Windmill Farm and she has now set us up on Facebook. I feel like she has brought us into the 21st Century of technology. I like to get my hands dirty and weed; Celli has a gift to create, sew and technology. You might want to look at her creations too, she is on site, her Seller name is Cellibelli and she sells the most adorable children's clothes and items and is also now doing dog and cat leaches made out of very contemporary fabrics.
Life is good at Windmill Farm.