• August 26th at 5:21am

    Farm Update 8-25-13

    We’ll if you haven’t been out IT IS HOT! Thank God for AC! Unfortunately, not much gets done in the garden sitting in front of the AC. So we are waiting with bated breath (or maybe that’s just because we can’t breath due to the humidity) for a break in the weather.
    In the interim, the fava beans have germinated and I am hoping the peas do very soon. Getting these started in warm soil is harder, even when we pre-soak and over seed in order to try to get a good stand.

    If you haven’t had fava beans before, I encourage you to try them. They are sweet like peas in the green shelling bean stage and much easier to shell. The pods are not edible though. The peas we planted were, for the most part, snap peas as these seem to be the most popular. They can easily be blanched and frozen for use later in the year as well as eaten fresh. Kids really dig these little sweet treats. See if you can get the kids to try the favas as well. They are just the right size for little fingers. I expect to harvest these late in the season, approximately mid-November.
    We have some green beans and more coming on in the next 10-14 days. These include some of the Fowler a heirloom beans from George McLaughlin, a few Rattlesnake pole beans OP, McCaslan a pole bean OP that looks more roma type than normal to me, Tema, a trial variety for me this year and Santa Anna an Italian pole bean.
    Several of the Asian greens have come up as well as arugula, Red Russian Kale and lettuce. If everything goes well we should be able to start harvesting these just after Labor Day.
    I can tell fall is in the air, even before it gets cold as our buck starts to smell like the heaviest goat “perfume” ever. The does love it, Sue however is constantly turning up her nose this time of year, when the wind blows in the wrong direction. I am about the only one who can handle it. They say that people used to drive by farms and when the odor floated into the car on the breeze they would say “Smell that? Yep, smells like money.”  That was then, this is now. Now it just smells like old goat. 
    If you don’t follow us on Facebook, here’s a note you missed… Kathy Tibbits posted Gotta brag on Heaven Sent Sausage. You can get it at Tahlequah Farmers Market or go to the farm at Caney. The grind is better than typical sausage and it has more lean flavor than any of the other sausages I’ve ever tried. And its single farm origin. And you meet your farmer. And its local. And it benefits the local economy. And it supports food generation right here within reaching distance. And the folks at Heaven Sent are nice. And they have a diversified farm. In fact, if you’re in TQ you can get a CSA share every week. Coleen Thornton is who you call, Heaven Sent is how its listed. Supplies limited. Now I’m going to cook the pork belly so its ready when I get ready for an ultra-rich BLT.

    All of our meat is getting rave reviews. Having only had it back for just over 2 weeks, we have already sold almost half our inventory. Three other lambs, a cow and another hog are in at the butcher now. This time we’ll get more sausages, and specialty meats. If you thought when you moved to good, home grown local foods you’d have to give up hot dogs, bologna and hot links, we’ll have the best of both worlds. Meat you can trust in items that you have grown up with and like.
    We are now taking requests for meat that will be ready in September. You don’t have to buy, but if you want certain things, let us know so we can put your name on it. We’ll let you know and keep it for a week, if you don’t pick it up then we’ll offer it to others. Lamb especially is going very quickly.

    This week’s another grab bag. Likely options include kale, sorrel, Swiss chard, beans, eggplant, green tomatoes or red ones, summer squash, squash blossoms, okra, peppers, spaghetti squash, garlic, onions, Asian greens or zucchini.

    Let me know if you’d like to substitute eggs, meat or soap for any or all of your share this week. Also, please remember that all of this is perishable. If you don’t pick it up, when we have already harvested it, we lose income. I only ask that you let me know you are not going to be there so we don’t harvest for you. See you on Wednesday. Remember, we take credit cards (we have a wireless card reader) if you prefer to use that method of payment.

    Thank you for allowing us to serve you.

    Your personal farmers,
    Paul & Coleen

    Sue & Carl

  • August 19th at 1:37pm

    Farm Update 8-19-13

    Isn’t this mild weather nice? Can you believe its August? This makes planting much more pleasant. Fall gardens are great but getting them in can be very difficult. An example of that is the broccoli and cabbage we transplanted (on time) in July, from which we have about 5 plants that have survived the grasshoppers, worms and heat. The stress in peak summer months is very difficult on young tender plants that don’t have the root system to go seeking what they need to survive.
    We transplanted replacements Saturday and they are all doing much better. Today we’ll plant snap and English peas and fava beans. We’ll be working on late transplants the rest of the week as well as babying the Asian greens, beets, radishes, carrots, and lettuce we planted last week.
    Meat sales are brisk. We’ll be taking a cow, another pig and three lambs in this week. Since its taking about three weeks to get them back from the butcher
    we should have this meat available about mid-September. This round we will be having sausage and other specialty meats made so that you have more variety to choose from. Don’t wait to order, we are running out of cuts fast and it will be a while before we have them in stock again.
    We had planned to put  green beans in you bag this week but the goats found a way to get through the garden gate and proceeded to eat the corn stalks as well as the green beans that were growing up them. This “goat tale” is regrettably true so if we can find a few green beans left after the invasion we’ll bring them, but it looks like we’ll have to wait a few more weeks until the next round of beans is ready to put them in all of the shares.
    This week will be a grab bag of items which could include eggplant, peppers, tomatilloes, summer squash, zucchini, spaghetti squash, green tomatoes, cucumbers, kales, sorrel or Swiss chard.
    We’ll see you all on Wednesday. In the interim, enjoy the weather!

    Your personal farmers,
    Paul and Coleen
    Sue and Carl
  • August 13th at 5:33am

    CSA 8-14-13

    To add flexibility to your CSA share, you can use your $15 share in any way you wish… soap, eggs, meat, or veggies. If you want to swap out any of these items for the normal share of vegetables, please let us know by Tuesday what you want to swap so we can make the trade. Also, we have had requests to pick up on Saturday (at market) instead of Wednesday. Please let us know if you want a Saturday pick up instead of Wednesday. We can frequently make that work, although you may not get what everyone else is getting that week in your share. This especially works if you are sick or have an emergency on Wednesday. Also, if you have an emergency, we want to be able to work with you. Give me a call 918-431-4774 or call Sue 918-226-0197, we will try to find a way to work with you. Remember we are your PERSONAL farmers. 
    Today I oops’d and was reminded why we don’t plant rows too close. While planting beans the tractor rolled over the arugula we were going to have for the week. OOPS! So we’ll add some additional options in the bags to make up for the loss.
    An update on my discussions with our politicians…
    OK Senator Kim David said she would be in favor of, (I hope she will sponsor or at least support) an expansion of our Cottage Food Industry Law that would allow for very low risk (acidic) foods like salsa, jam, jelly and pickles to be manufactured in home kitchens and sold direct to consumers with identifying labeling. Thirty-five other states have laws like this. Though we just got some baking and honey options passed last session, we need more opportunity for food-based small business and this would help.
    She also said she would be in favor of taking the tax off of food sold at farmer’s markets and be willing to look at pushing back on the Food Safety Modernization Act FDA regulations that are beyond the law that would put small farms out of business.
    I will be contacting Senator Wilson and Rep Brown in the next couple of weeks to discuss these same options with them. I am also scheduled to see Congressman Mullin and Senator Coburn at their town halls to address the same issues. I encourage anyone who has the time to connect with their representatives. If we don’t tell them what is important to us, especially face-to-face, it won’t be on their radar. Someone else will have their ear and their time. We have to speak up for important things like our right to good food, even if and when we may disagree with them on any or all other issues.
    Thanks for your continued support.

    Your personal farmers,
    Paul & Coleen

    Sue  & Carl

  • August 12th at 6:06am

    Farm Update 8-12

    Today we were able to get several types of Asian greens, beets, sweet turnips, carrots, radishes, mizuna and lettuce planted. We seeded spinach, different types of kale and some new sorrel for fall as well. This week we’ll try to get in the last planting of beans, squash, transplant some green onions, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage.

    We’ve been blessed with additional rain so the garden is going great guns, especially the weeds. Its amazing what the storms will do for these plants. In between all the planting we’ll be working on weeds.

    To make the week even busier, I will be talking to our politicians about how the new Food Safety Modernization Act rules by the FDA will be putting small farms out of business in the next four years. From the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, here’s the analysis of how these rules cause problems for small farmers:

    Under the proposed rules, if FDA decides to revoke the Tester-Hagan exemption and force a small-scale, direct-marketing farmer to comply with the new federal requirements:

    • The farmer gets only 10 days to submit a written appeal;
    • FDA does not have to grant the farmer a hearing;
    • The agency is not held to any specific standard for what evidence must be shown to justify the revocation;
    • The farmer must comply with all FSMA regulations within 60 days, which would be impossible for many small farms; and
    • There is no way to get the exemption back.

     
    In practical terms, under the agency’s proposed rules, FDA will be able to target small farms one-by-one and put them out of business, with little to no recourse for the farmers.

    We have only until September 16th to put in public comment about how this will hurt our nation and our food supply. I urge you to contact our Senators and Representatives as well as write your opposition to this infringement on your right to good, wholesome, local food here http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FDA-2011-N-0921-0087. You need to write your own comments as form comments are being calculated as only one submission. These rules help the big-ag and Monster M companies, and hurt everyone else.

    This week’s bag will include arugula or Asian greens, zucchini, garlic, hot peppers, and Swiss Chard. We’ll have the trailer there if you want to purchase any meat. Our meat is going fast. Luckily we have another date for the butcher coming up this month. If you would like to purchase a 1/4, 1/2 or whole carcass for your freezer please contact me about pricing on these larger orders. Paul will bring the credit card machine if you would prefer to use your card for these purchases or your share payment.

    Paul will see you Wednesday as I have a training I need to attend. I’ll look forward to catching up with you next week. I’ll send out a note on any extras we plan on having on site on Tuesday.

    Thank you for your continued support!

    Your personal farmers,

    Paul & Coleen

    Sue & Carl

  • August 12th at 5:42am

    Farm mid-week update 8-5

    We now have a license to sell our meat! These are pasture-raised animals, processed without nitrates or any of that nasty filler and water you are paying for in the grocery store. Our animals are raised in a very low stress environment. They know us and we know them. Calm, comfortable, quiet animals provide excellent meat. We know you will taste the difference. Try our Butcher’s Choice meats this week!

    Our bees are hard at work, so much so that we anticipate a new round of honey extraction at the end of the month. As always, because you are our loyal CSA customers, you will have first opportunity to purchase the honey, before we sell it to anyone else.
    We have been doing some calculations recently as we look at our bills and have found that we are losing significant money ($500/month) on egg production. The turkeys and ducks do a lot of their own foraging, but the Rhode Island Reds don’t and $4.00/dozen is not covering the cost of feed which has never come down after last year’s drought. We will be downsizing our flock significantly until we can get birds that will fend more for themselves rather than stampeding us for purchased feed. We believe that George McLaughlin has an answer for us in the Buckeye (a heritage breed chicken) that is also very good to eat, but it will likely take time to build up a descent size flock. We are considering partnering with George on a large incubator so that we (and the rest of the community) can get good birds at a good price for their backyard flocks, ones that don’t rely so heavily on feed from other places. Its all part of increasing our sustainability, economically and ecologically.
    One more note for pick up, due to patient privacy issues, please allow us to get your packages while you stay on the other side of the desk. When the weather turns mild again we’ll be out back, enjoying it.

    It looks like the arugula has reseeded itself. Pray for some rain this week and we might have that in your bags next week!

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