Saturday, August 23, 2014

Growing Season Changing; Another Farmer's Market; Tomato Canning Class

Hello again from Windmill Farm:
After this past week, Frank and I can take a breath, it was a busy one.  But I think in general, it was busy for everyone as the season is changing, people getting last projects done, kids getting ready for school.

When I look at our fields, the shape and colors are different.  There are even some brown, dead spots where lush green foliage indicated where the cucumbers were growing. 
The big leaves on watermelon plants indicated to me that it was finally time that our watermelon was ripe.
After Celli, our daughter had her Back To School, Teacher's Appreciation Farmer's Market event, we were asked by another school to provide produce.  This time the Farmer's Market event was at a Roseville School and happened to be scheduled on the same day as our CSA deliveries. 
Thank goodness for Frank, he got up early with me that Wednesday, helped me deliver all the CSA baskets because we gave each member their basket, a large watermelon and a honey dew melon.  Sometimes that meant making 3-4 trips to one house if they also purchased flowers and eggs.  We finished around 2:30pm and we repacked the van and Frank drove to Roseville to unload the cases of fruits, vegetables, watermelon, flowers and basil for their event.
While Frank was gone, I had to put together all the flower arrangements that were going to the Gridley Fair Taste of Butte County event.  This is a very special event where all the local businesses that grow or produce items present them; each having a large table.   Our farm was asked to provide large flower arrangements for the center of each table along with smaller arrangements for a long sitting/tasting table.  I started the arrangements around 3:00pm and didn't finish them until 9:00pm.  In the cooler they went and were delivered to the fairgrounds the next morning.
It is hectic, but fun too.  just sorry we both aren't about 20 years younger to have started farming and doing what we absolutely love doing sooner.  What I always tell people if you love to grow things, love to garden, would love to get a small farm some day and do what we are doing.  Don't wait, do it now, it is truly a wonderful way of life.  And the people we meet because of our small farm, are perfect.
We have a tomato canning class scheduled for this coming Tuesday, August 26th, 6-8:30pm.  We will be canning whole or cut up fresh tomatoes from our farm; and while those are in the cooker;
we will be making some special jam I made last year with Sarah, Balsamic/tomato/basil jam that you put over goat or any type of cheese as a dip; or on crackers.  It is totally yummy!!! Give us a call if you think you can make it to the class.  Cost is $25 which includes all the produce needs; all the jars and canning supplies; hands on canning instruction; handouts; light refreshments; door prizes.
Hope you come back to our blog again.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Windmill Farm-Farmer's Market for Teacher's Appreciation

Can you believe that many schools are starting up again already?  Our daughter and a friend put together a great idea to show PTO-parent's appreciation to the teachers at the grand kid's school. A help yourself - Farmer's Market and asked us if we could provide the produce. Of course we would!
It was so much fun setting up in the teacher's break room which Celli and fellow parent helped transform it into a boundiful feast of vegetables and fruits. 
Our flowers and basil helped make our zucchini, egg plant, tomatoes, peppers, peaches, pluots, strawberries look like a real Farmer's Market.
The unique idea spurred a great flood of appreciation from the school staff and teachers to want to have it happen again.  After putting this together, our daughter was asked to have her and our farm put on a "Wellness" display this fall and again in Spring of the various fruits and vegetables and herbs that may be in season during those times.  And we were asked by another school to do the same presentation of Farmer's Market-Teacher's Appreciation Back To School event this coming Wednesday in Roseville.  Will have a very busy week as we also have our CSA basket delivery on Wednesday; the Farmer's Market display on Wednesday; AND a special flower display at the Gridley Fairgrounds for Taste of the Time.
We will be burning picking, washing, sorting, packing well into the night Monday and Tuesday.  Can't wait to show you the photos of the finished products next time.
Our little cuties going back to school.
Bella says where is my dinner!!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Peach Canning Class; NEW CLASS-Learn To Paint; Another CSA Delivery; Flowers Blooming

If you wonder what we have been doing, you will need to read the previous post.  Fortunately, we did accomplish a few of those projects.
The Peach Canning class was so
darn much fun.  We had almost all new people attend and it was a full house or should I say a full sorting shed kitchen full.  I might add that our farm has a terrific group of farm supporters that attend almost every one of our classes, even attend repeat canning classes.  But this time, we had some new people with skills that ran from very beginners to people who wanted to learn how to can peaches but had done some other types of canning.
We canned two batches of cut up peaches and while those jars were being "canned" in the cookers; we made two batches of peach jam.  At the end of the class, all the jars were divided up so that our fellow canning friends were able to go home with 3 jars each representing their evening work.
Our CSA delivery went well this week with our members getting: tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, squash, cucumbers, egg plant, strawberries, peaches, plums and a watermelon in their baskets. We also received several flower orders from our CSA members along with a special flower order from Colorado!!! 
A friend of a local business woman who wanted me to send her a special thank you arrangement.
Not to just have a busy farming week, we had to complicate our lives by having new bedroom carpeting installed.  Have you ever had carpeting installed?  Know what that means?  Everything has to be taken out of the room, including the closet!!!  Now that is work. 
Since the room was empty, it was a good time to paint baseboards and window trim, clean walls, wash windows and screens; dust everything when you put it back.  Love the smell of a freshly painted room with new carpeting!!!
NEW CLASS COMING:  This class is going to be fantastic.  It is an Art Painting Class and we are going to have it in our farm gardens, under our 100 year old walnut tree on the lawn.  The class will be instructed by a retired art teacher, Jeanette Odle, all painting items will be supplied; plus our farm will be hosting not only our farm, but a light brunch for people who attend.  The date is:  Saturday, August 23rd, 10-12noon.  You will go home with a completed canvas, promise!!! And it will be so much fun and you will be amazed at what you learn and how quickly you will learn to paint.  Cost is $45 which includes everything.  Space is limited so if you are interested, email, telephone or Facebook me.  Pre-registration and payment will be necessary so sign up early!!!