Thursday, December 29, 2016

FRONT PAGE OF CHICO ER PAPER

What a thrill to pick up the paper to see our little roadside stand on the front page of the Chico ER!!!  A full page story and even went to more than a 1/2 page on the 2nd page.  We are so excited to have our farm mentioned in such a large paper.

It started about a week ago, the power of FACEBOOK!!!  A writer, Heather Hacking, for the Chico ER paper, wrote on her Facebook page that she was researching local roadside stands and wanted anyone who has seen any in Butte County or surrounding areas to let her know.  A customer, past CSA member happened to recommend our farm to her.  Heather contacted me and we hooked up for an interview.
Heather was so easy to talk to, we just chatting for about 45 minutes about food, our history on the farm, what we do, what we plan to do.  Talking like we had known each other for years.  At that point, she was still tracking down more leads, but as you can imagine, this time of year, many local, small stands are not open.  Heather mentioned it may not actually make getting into the paper over the holiday, but she would let me know.
Then on Tuesday morning, several Facebook people started mentioning they read the story about our roadside stand and it was on the front page!!!  Frank went out to search down a news stand so we could read it ourselves.
Thank you Chico ER, and thank you Heather Hacking for writing such a wonderful article about our Windmill Farm and for helping promote local farmers.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Wreath Making Classes A Wonderful Experience With Friends

Our farm's annual events, Wreath Making Classes were so much darn fun.  This is year 4 that we have done this and I think next year I will open up another day, possibly a Saturday because there is so much interest and it isn't always easy for people to come in the middle of the week, in the evening.  Interestingly, I did notice other businesses and groups were putting on wreath making this year, so maybe all the fun we have been having filtered out to inspire others to do the same.

Wednesday and Thursday, Dec 7th & 8th were our class dates.  I can't believe the good fortune that Frank and I had a couple days of great weather to go foraging all over the place to get the freshest greens, berries, pine cones.  We got a little pruning done at the same time to our high magnolia tree; I even cut some of my lavender bushes as I thought that silver and soft foliage would look great against the dark greens of pines.  
About an hour before the first class, it started to rain and hasn't stopped raining since!!
We purchased a couple of Christmas trees from our local Wheeler Feed Store who sells some Christmas trees and Frank cut them all up.  And there is the cleaning of Frank's shop!!!  He is such a great sport to allow us to invade upon his "MAN" space, he even moved out about 1/4 of his tools and machinery to make room for all our foraged greens, tables, food section.  He helped string all the Christmas lights and hung these huge cardboard snow flake cut outs from the ceiling.  I keep saying, if I had a big barn on the property, it would be perfect!!!  Who wouldn't want a big old wooden barn to use for classes, events, get togethers?
Here are some photos of day 1 class.




A short and fun people story about how classes and our produce farm connects us with people.  I wanted to try and get some different kinds of pines, so I sent a Windmill Farm post card to some people who owned these trees I had seen that I thought would be great to use in wreaths. Turns out they are mutual friends with my friend Sarah who happened to be visiting them and they talked about who these people are from Windmill Farm!!  The tree owner called me, saying yes, yes, trim them back, but can I come with my friend to your wreath class too!!!
Here she is, Jeannie who allows us to cut her tree.
While cutting the pine trees, which turned out to be called Australian Pines, we had a great chance to chat with the tree owner and found out we have lots in common.  They did end up coming to the class and Frank and I hope we become good friends in the future. 





 At one night's class we had a family group of 6, their 3rd year coming.  They are so sweet, sisters, Mother, Mother's sister, friends of sisters. The laughing and chatter is infectious!!! 


 Then on the 2nd night, I had several groups of Moms and daughter, this one group had Mom, daughter and daughter's good friend.  I had another lovely family who comes to many of our classes, the Mom-Liz and she invites her daughters and daughter-in-law.  Crafting, learning things together as a family.
 I love these people, they are like our family now too.  Most people come with a good friend, a relative, a neighbor. I think that is so inspiring and emotional to me that they want to share what they learn, to have fun together-here at our farm.
Lori & Joann are friends and have come since our first class together.
 More pictures of people having fun.





 A special friend, Kelly who came all the way from Paradise, she brought her friend to  have a festive evening together.


I want to give a special thank you to my friend Sarah.  She came both days to give me a helping hand and she sure did, thank you Sarah for all your support and help here I really, really appreciate it.
Sarah even drew these designs on our tables.  Enjoy the photos of our evenings.  Hopefully, I will have time to write another blog before Christmas.  But if not- 

From Frank and I from Windmill Farm.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Lights, Camera, Wrapping Paper-ACTION

Yes, the Christmas Season is officially here.  My goodness, I was just eating leftover turkey when I looked over at the family and every person in the room was on some type of devise, depending upon their age looking at sales.  Cyber Sales, Cyber Sales.  When I ran into Rite Aid before Thanksgiving for some laundry soap on sale, I noticed all their Christmas items were 50% off.  What is with that?
I thought to myself, why bother to shop early, wait until about 2 weeks before Christmas and every store in the universe will be having a 75% sale.
Here at Windmill Farm, we are so old fashioned, we love getting and making hand made gifts.  I love to bake and give baked cookies to my neighbors and our wonderful mail lady Tami.  I love the challenge of coming up with a perfect gift, after giving it lots of thought.  
I love decorating the house for the holidays, I love the smell of a fresh tree in the house, even though I know I will have lots of needles to clean up later.  I love keeping all the lamps off at night and only having the Christmas lights on in every room.  I love driving around and seeing decorated houses.  I love making each gift look special using fresh greens, pine cones, some knitted/crocheted ornament on top; this year's work from Frank, cut out paper houses.  
I love the pressure to try and get all the projects we started, done in time.  And I particularly love people stopping by to say hello and  look forward to having our family here to stay for this festive season.  
Nothing more wonderful and magical than seeing the kids get excited early morning Christmas.
So in a blink, I think I almost missed Christmas if I read all my Amazon and Target and Walmart special emails.  But in Frank's and my world, we love and cherish each and every day until December 25th.  No matter how many Black Fridays, or Super Savings (if you order by midnight) I see or hear about, enjoy the moment.  Get your head out of your smartphone looking at all these ideas to make things that are on Pinterest and Instagram.  Quit looking at other people's photo styled houses that are decorated perfectly for Christmas.
Sit, read to your kids; have them help you wrap gifts; have them help you bake something, ANYTHING even if it comes already to go in a box or tube of cookies.  Proudly display all that cute school made holiday art the kids made. Go visit a someone in a rest home.  
Bring a tray of cookies to the wonderful Police agencies in your town.  Don't forget your local fire fighters too, remember they will be working when you are snug in your bed and away from their family.  Thank some soldiers for their service.  Be nice on the road driving.  Take your time and chat with people while you are in line buying gifts, smile, have fun.  
And yes, I will say it, Thank God for all our blessings, take time for devotion even if it means saying prayers with your children, together.  Have everyone shut their smart phones, tablets, Kindles, computers off for at least a couple hours each evening and talk about - yes the holidays!!!  Those are the memories of Christmas.  Hurry up though, or you will miss all the REAL MAGIC right in your front room, not on your smart phone screen and not from Amazon.

Lights, Cameras, Cookie Sheets, Wrapping Paper-here Frank and I come!

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