Sunday, September 15, 2013

Windmill Farm Published in Edible Shasta-Butte Magazine!! Reminder about Canning Classes

We are so darn excited.  Our CSA farm article has been published in the Edible Shasta-Butte magazine.  If you have a chance to find the magazine, check us out.  My friend said the library has copies; I know that the downtown Gridley Business Office has copies; Mary Lake Thompson Store has copies and I actually have some extra copies too.  Can always leave you one out at my roadside stand.
There will be future articles about our farm as we progress over a year of running our membership produce business.
Our CSA business is over for the year, we delivered our last basket on Wednesday.  We will be having a special Fall Harvest basket sometime in October when fall items will be ripe such as kiwis; persimmons; walnuts; pomegranates; pumpkins; carrots, etc. 
Farming is so challenging in itself, but to have a farm business that grows so many different plants AND has many varieties of fruits is not easy. Most farmers stick to one fruit; or stick to one vegetable and have all the equipment and expertise needed for that one variety; and once picked, the business is over. But that is what makes it so much fun too, for Frank and myself.
Each year we discuss what is working well and what is not for what we grow; how we grow it; and where we grow it in the areas designated for vegetables. And we follow our sustainable practices of rotating our crops; no sprays, use of low volume drip systems and an integrated wildlife management practice. We found this year that we did not have as many gophers as we had in the past. It may be just a fluke year, but I think our owl boxes all around our property have helped AND maybe the 5 cats my neighbor has too have helped!!!Also this year Frank used a new system to trap insects. They are called sticky traps that you hang in trees; or around plants; under grapes; etc. They are either pheromone traps, visual traps or bait traps. They are a fairly new organic practice that we read about and you purchase specific hanging sticky cards that draw a specific bug that are known to come to that plant. It came about because we have been fighting Leaf Hooper bugs on our grapes. We have so many grape vines that start out beautiful; have beautiful fruit and then it is completely devastated. These hanging sticky tapes worked pretty fairly well on the grapes, but we learned that we needed LOTS MORE them.  It is so shocking to see how many insect specific are stuck on those cards.

When fruits or vegetables are ripe, that is the time to be canning, right from the fields to be packed fresh into jars to be enjoyed the rest of the year.  I always try to tell people, even though the time may not be right, like it is too hot; or just not interested at that moment, the time fleets by.  Then when you are ready, the apples or tomatoes or peppers; or peaches are no longer available.  Well, they may be on the grocery store shelves, but they won't be farm fresh and you will pay a lot more per pound than when they are ripe.  Actually, my favorite time to can is late at night when it is cooler; no stress of the day; just fun time canning.
In the next two weeks I will be giving my canning classes. I will only be giving them once this year so hopefully you can be available to take them.
Applesauce Canning - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 6-8pm $25
Tomato Canning - Thursday, September 19, 2013 6-8pm $25
Floral Design Class-Thursday, September 26, 2013 6-8pm $25
Hope you can attend one of the classes and enjoy our Windmill Farm article in the Edible Shasta Butte magazine. 
See you next time and don't be afraid to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!! Otherwise, I think I am only talking to my computer screen.

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