Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bountiful Harvest

Frank and I can’t be thankful enough for all the great vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers that are being produced right here off of the land at Windmill Farm. Of course, it doesn’t happen without a lot of very hard work, pre-planning, and just plain luck too. I had my doubts about a month ago as to whether we would have enough produce to supply my wonderful CSA members with baskets full of products, with a little to spare for my fruit stand. Some weeks were pretty close but not now.
As I had stated in a previous blog, we were fortunate enough to be contacted by Pick A Peck of Pickles family and began a business venture together in that I would provide beets and beans to them for this summer to be used in their specialized jarred foods. With Windmill Farm’s produce, they could acknowledge to their customers that the food that they were processing was very fresh, came from a farm with at least good sustainable practices and that it was grown local.
I didn’t think we could meet their 400 lb. need of beans initially because of our unpredictable spring. It was a late start, but I am happy and proud to state that we delivered 42 lbs of beets to Pick a Peck of Pickles in June. And last week, we provided them with 100 lbs of fresh picked green beans on a Thursday; the next Tuesday we gave them 72 lbs; and yesterday, Thursday we gave them another 64 lbs. We are picking at least 20-25 lbs of beans every day and the plants show no signs of slowing down. AND I have 3 more rows of beans just starting to produce. I will meet their production needs and surpass it. My CSA members will be eating beans all through the summer!!! I even plan on running an ad in our local paper to sell our excess beans by ½ flats to whole flats of beans for the people who may be interested in freezing or canning them.
Another harvest that has really surprised me with their bounty is my flower section of the garden. I made a few mistakes in my selections of flowers, but in general almost all of my plants are just beautiful. Llano Seco, (an organic beef and pork business in Butte Co) business manager, Sarah Reynolds came by a few days ago as she needed a special flower arrangement for a food show that they were doing. We put together a fantastic arrangement. Sarah was so pleased, she came again last evening to the farm with 2 of her favorite large vases and together we picked and arranged a couple other arrangements. My CSA members routinely request an arrangement of flowers to be included in their produce baskets.
Everyone’s favorite flower that we grow here is the Limelight Hydrangea. It is so spectacular, it only takes a couple in a vase and you don’t need anything else. And it dries so well, I have several vases full around my house from last year and the year before and they still look as fresh as they did when I originally picked them. I have occasionally seen them for sale and they are sold normally for about $5.00 a stem. I provide several stems, along with many other fresh cut flowers in an ample floral arrangement for between $4-$5.
Tonight, we ate for dinner a salad made of tomatoes, peppers and 3 different varieties of cucumbers. We had corn and sautéed squash with onions. Dessert was peach cobbler. All the fruits and vegetables, even the onions, were grown right here on the farm and were picked about 30 minutes before I cooked them.
Yes, we are having a bountiful year and we are very blessed that all our hard work is finally showing results.
Stop by any time at our roadside stand to try out our produce or if you are interested in trying your hand at either drying fruit; or canning peaches; or freezing beans, give us a call. We will do our best to supply you with the freshest and tastiest fruits and vegetables to meet your needs.
And a special Thank you goes to my CSA members for supporting us so that we can keep small farming businesses, like ours, alive and well.

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