First Crop of Hay

You know what I am going to talk about right? HAY! Of course I am going to talk about hay. It is July! We are farmers! Mother Nature is cooperating! The first crop of hay is almost in the record books for the year. Over the course of about a month, we have been able to cut, rake, and bale 400 round bales. That is phenomenal for us. Not all of this is for us. We sell some, bale for others, but most of it is our hay which is a big weight off our shoulders knowing that our animals have quality hay for the winter months ahead. Once Fall arrives, we start to clear out the barns of all the old bedding and manure and spread this out on all the fields we just baled. This ensures we are never stripping all the nutrients out of the ground. We want to make sure that what we take out is put back twofold. It is important to us, the environment, and our animals. Pretty much what I would call full circle. Nothing goes to waste on this farm.

We are starting to harvest from the garden which means we get to share our produce with our customers. We bring the majority to the farmers market but we love to have people come out and pick right from the garden. Harvest what they need for their supper and go home knowing you are putting food in front of your family that is as fresh as it can be. Cucumbers, kohlrabi, tomatoes, and swiss chard have made it to our table. I don’t know about you, but my favorite part of the garden is when I can make a tomato sandwich. That is summer to me! We plant mostly non GMO, heirloom seeds so we have some beautiful tomatoes that are a rainbow of colors – from deep purple to golden yellow (and of course the obvious red). Impressive to say the least. We do eat with our eyes first, right?

Since my last blog, we welcomed another nephew to the family. Brian’s sister gave birth to Gabriel Boyd. We are excited to meet the little guy. It is always hard to decide on gifts for newborns so I always head into the kitchen. What better gift than a few meals to help ease the pressure of those first few weeks. This menu consisted of lasagna, porcupine meatballs, and chicken with gravy. Hearty meals with lots of ingredients raised with our own hands. For us, this is a true gift from our heart and we get as much pleasure about giving this as the new parents are about receiving it. Of course, we threw in a few cookies cause who doesn’t need a little sweet treat after those big dinners!!

As I told you last time, this is jam making season and we cannot complain abou the quality of berries this year. We were fortunate to source organically raised gooseberries. The only form of “pesticide” is the netting they use to prevent birds from eating all the berries. We always say Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food. Well we live that philosophy as much as we preach it. The gooseberries were new to me and I fell in love. They are tart but refreshing. I am probably not doing the taste justice but it was reminiscent of a pink lemonade. They even have the light pink color in the jar. Not only would this be delicious on your morning toast but I could also picture it being stirred into some ginger ale . . . or maybe an adult cocktail with vodka, club soda, and a spoonful of this jam served up in a mason jar. Doesn’t that sound like you should be sitting on the veranda with a light breeze sipping on your drink? Give me a second . . . I can close my eyes and almost hear the sounds of frogs chirping and birds singing. Oh wait, I have the window open so I am hearing the sounds in my own yard. Now where is that drink?

Until next time, Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food.