Tuesday, June 5, 2012

2012 CSA Season Began and Making Strawberry Jam

I am sure all of you have been busy with the warm weather being outdoors; with school activities; seems like everything happened all at once.  Last week I purchased two wedding gifts,  a graduation gift for high school and a college; and we attended our grandson Collin's "graduation" out of pre-school; and a wonderful picnic celebration of granddaughter Carli's 1st. grade class at their school. And we started our 2012 CSA basket of fresh produce delivery business.  Wow!!!
Over Memorial weekend, our family came with some friends and we had a delightful day picking our own strawberries and then making them into jam.  The day was so beautiful, all the kids had so much fun playing around on the farm, driving their kids electric Gator; playing in the tree house and picking cherries and strawberries.  After a BBQ, we stacked up all our completed jam jars and we had made over 80 jars of jam for really only costing very little money plus having a really good old fashioned family day together.We really didn't think we could get enough items in our baskets that would delight our members with such a weird spring here at the farm.  But after we picked and put everything together, it turned out quite wonderful.  We will make up later when all the crops start producing and our baskets are almost too heavy to lift with lots more vegetables.  This delivery had lots of surprises too for my members with some rice from Lundberg Rice Farms; apricots, cherries, strawberries, jam, onions, lettuce, flowers, eggs to name a few items.  We even picked our first peppers, such a shock to have peppers before the end of May!!!  Our salads are now starting to taste wonderful using fresh vegetables picked from the garden. The flowers from are garden were picked and put in the back of our gator and later I arranged them in Mason jars and placed in each basket.
I mentioned in a past blog that I would show another photo of our completed hall bathroom.  Every day that we go into it, it is like seeing a bathroom that belongs to someone else. We are so happy with the results without spending a huge amount of money.  On our projects, after deciding on a floor plan and products/materials to use, we keep our eyes open for any items that turn out to go on sale someplace or find on Craig's list it is always a surprise where something might show up.  The dimensions of the rooms we have planned to remodel are always in my purse.  We found most of the tile we needed locally at our Non-profit window and kitchen/ tile supply store here in Gridley called River Valley Outreach Community Center-RVOCC.  You never know what they may have each time you go, so it is always fun to check back but you need to buy the windows or doors or cabinets or tile when you see them.  And buy more tile than you think you need because the next time you go, that item/s will be gone. Fab prices.  In Gridley we have two other places that are filled with bargains for items that always surprise us.  Chris at Swanson Timber Co is located in Biggs.  We found him on Craigslist when we were looking for tomato plant stakes for our fields.  Wonderful and helpful guy.  He now has a lumber yard located in downtown Biggs and has so much lumber and incredible prices.  He has redwood, fence materials, 2/4s, cabinet materials, siding, all kinds and lengths of posts, too much to mention.  We didn't know he was there when we were remodeling our bathroom, found his lumber yard when we contacted him again for more tomato stakes.  What a wonderful surprise and such a nice guy.  Another local place is Goforth Moulding also in Biggs off of Larkin Rd.  Talk about moulding!!!  When you want baseboards, crown moulding, trims, you will think you died and went to heaven when you see his selection and the FABBBB prices.  We have resorted many old houses and if I had known they were in Biggs, we could have saved ourselves thousands of dollars.  They have columns, doors and they have fencing where you can have it put together for you or buy the boards and install yourself for so much cheaper prices than any other hardware stores.  Check them out, they are a family owned business and have been in business for years. 
Before picture in bathroom, we took out the tub and pocket door; Frank built the cabinet and we moved the toilet to a new location and were able to put in a great shower.  Will show you the shower on my next blog.
Craft Ideas:  Have you heard about Anne Sloan's Chalk Paint?  Got to check that out, loads of fun colors, covers well and gives new life to some old items.  Also saw this idea in a magazine.  Cute using paper bags and fill them some cherries, strawberries or blue berries from your local farmers, like US!!!

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