Thursday, April 23, 2009

Earth Day Farmers Market in Windsor

This past Sunday was the official Earth Day Farmers' Market in Windsor. We luckily had some chard, broccoli, cauliflower, herbs and eggs for sale. The chard has held on since last year! It is "Bright Lights" chard and it is "decorticated". I had to look up that means that the ribs are soft enough to be eaten. It also means "de-boned" but that doesn't apply to vegetables, does it?

I have finally given in to recognize that folks don't know our connection to the restaurant, Zin, so now it is officially on the sign. "Zin Restaurant's Eastside Farm".
One of the things I love about Farmers Market is that it slows you down. As a vendor, you don't always have customers right in front of you and this gives you an opportunity to talk to your neighboring vendor or catch up with friends wandering down the aisles with their kids. We were lucky enough to have our friends, owners of Syrah Bistro in Santa Rosa, stop by to visit. I consider their son to be part of our family! You can see why!
Happy Earth Day! Go plant something! We are now planting only food crops or plants that feed the bees. The bees like some VERY pretty flowers!

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Note to self: Post more often!

(The first of our eggs from 4 new Ameraucana hens! A banner day!)
A vow has been made...I promise to post more often! I manage to take pictures, so I will just pop them up even if it means there is not a lot of text! Sound good?

For some reason, I can't get pictures to load today. Hm...I guess I will just have to come up with a list of what we have been up to! (Now I can...on Sunday)

The baby chicks that were featured in video are now living in the greenhouse and have grown! Heavens they are big! I make it a point to hold each one of them everyday because they are just wild. They still respond to my clucking noises, but I found one of them tucks her head against me when I hold her. I came inside after a holding session and my little cat, Chloe, climbed onto my lap and tucked her head against me. I found it fascinating that two very different animals did the same thing...

Also sharing the greenhouse are 7 other baby chicks: 4 French feather legged Marans, they are supposed to lay very dark brown eggs, 2 Welsummers, also dark egg layers, and a Belgian Booted Bantam. They are about the size of the first set of chicks in their last video.

Of course the greenhouse also has 1,000 tomato plants along with some marigolds and sweet alyssum and lavender, all bee friendly flowers. Farmer Jeff and I ...and some volunteers if we can find them, will plant the tomatoes on or around May 4th. He also has 1,000 peppers growing in the sprouting room. No, he doesn't know when to quit, but why should he? He has SO MUCH FUN!!!

Of course, the big deal of the week, Farmer Jeff is building display crates as well as fruit/vegetable crates for us! Give that man a couple of pieces of wood and a new nail gun and look out! So far he has made 10 display boxes, 22 picking crates and is about to start on the market display. It will be very cool!

All of this was started because tomorrow is our first Farmers' Market in Windsor. It is to celebrate Earth Day! A handful of farmers, knitters and spinners, as well as Farm Trails kid booth, will be there on Sunday, April 19th from 11 am - 2pm. Farmer Jeff and I will have a couple dozen eggs, broccoli, green rhubarb, Swiss chard and maybe even some roses! We are going to go great guns come July (tomatoes) but until then, we will just have fun at market!

The other fun thing going on...I have had my first workday with bees! I have a couple mentors and was lucky enough to go up and work for 3 hours yesterday. I had no idea whether or not I would panic with all of the bees around me, but I didn't. I have been standing very close to pollen gathering bees and observed them. The more I learn about bees, the more I like them. I am also connecting the holistic approach of bee keeping with raising a closed flock of chickens. All very interesting!

I promise to post pics as soon as the system allows me (Sunday!) Until then, get outside and commune with nature. This is what feeds our souls!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Playing Catch Up!

This is what happens when I am too busy to blog twice a week...It all builds up! Jeesh! Can't have that? Hm...Where to begin...

The Greenhouse is all done and is now housing tomatoes starts and 2 sets of young chicks! That is fun news! Farmer Jeff is very happy to have the tomatoes transplanted, all 1,000 of them! Once they were transplanted and moved to the greenhouse, then he immediately started the pepper babies in the growing room. They are just now beginning to pop up.

The carrots we planted over a month ago are coming up. This is a first for us. Farmer Jeff doesn't like to grow things that develop under ground. He is more comfortable growing things he can watch as they grow. Me...I am game for anything! Let's grow it all!!!

The chicks that have been in the little videos are growing. Some are developing combs (uh, oh...Roosters!) while the others are not (thankfully!). One of the young roosters looks just like my dear Tyner. He has been named Ivanhoe. Don't ask...I have no idea where that came from!

One of the things that kept us busy in the past few weeks was the class we taught on how to raise a backyard chicken flock for our Slow Food group. It was really a lot of fun and I came to realize that...gee...I really DO know a lot about raising chickens!

Well...I had best get back to my paperwork. Hope you are all having a great Spring!

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Monday, April 13, 2009

What is going on at the Farm in April


We have been enjoying our beautiful Spring weather for the past few weeks...and working on a lot of projects! One of the many things we have been doing, besides looking after 2 sets of chicks, transplanting tomatoes, teaching backyard poultry classes, catering, doing lots of garden preparation and... getting ready for the arrival of our bees! In honor of their arrival and in a desperate last chance to learn everything about them in the next month, I have started photographing them. The actual pics I took didn't turn out so well, but I love this little video I took.

More to come on the greenhouse, chicks, chickens, eggs, garden, farm and life in general. Until then, go plant something to feed the bees!

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