Thursday, October 29, 2009

LOCAL Holiday Goods: Handmade Wreaths & Homemade Pecan Pies!!!

We're still at it ya'll. Despite the rain and mud we can't stay away from the farm chores. In my free time I've recently starting making handmade wreaths with a fair amount of success.
Keith has decided to put his baker's hat on and begin making homemade "Local" pecan pies for the holidays! The pecans come from Whitton Farms and Penderosa Pecan Orchard located just a few miles away from us.
If you're interested in purchasing a handmade wreath or a homemade pie here's all the info you'll need. Forward to anyone you think might be interested.

Whitton Farms Homegrown Holiday Wreaths &
All Local Pecan Pies.
All wreaths are handmade by Jill Forrester. Wreaths are created with locally, organically grown materials collected at Whitton Farms. Keith's homemade local pecan pies are super delicious, plus the pecans are from local orchards located right here in the Delta.
Cedar & Broomcorn Wreath $30.00 Approximately 28 inches in diameter
Pine & Broomcorn Wreath $30.00 Approximately 28 inches in diameter
"All Local" Pecan Pies $20.00

Deliveries run throughout the Month of December:
First Delivery: December 5th Memphis Farmers Market Holiday Market 9:00 - 1:00
Jonesboro Residents: Mondays: Midwest Rug 3212 E. Nettleton, Jonesboro, Ar.
Memphis Residents: Wednesdays: Outdoors Inc. Union Ave. Memphis, Tn.

Email your order today.
List the following information in your order:
Wreath Style
How Many
Delivery Date/Location

Pecan Pie
How Many
Delivery Date/Location

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We're going national baby, and we're taking our friends with us!!!

Hi Friends,

We are less that two weeks away from our friends from Endless Feast TV coming for a visit. They will arrive at our farm next Thursday to interview Keith and myself. Then they will be visiting with the Underhills of Peace Bee Farms, Brandon Pugh of Delta Sol Farms, David Head of Nine Oaks Cattle Farm, and then a special trip to historic downtown Jonesboro to visit with Chef Lisa Godsey and Gray Hurt, owners of the fabulous restaurant Godsey's Grill! We are so excited we can't hardly stand it!

As many of you know we will be hosting two events on October 11. The first will be the Endless Feast Dinner (noon til 2:00). This dinner will be a 5 course gourmet feast prepared by Chef Lisa Godsey. Tickets are $75.00 each and we only have 9 left. This meal is especially cool because the bulk of the Endless Feast episode revolves around this wonderful meal. The dinner will seat 100 people, who will no doubt get their 15 minutes of fame! The Endless Feast episode will aire in April of 2010! Can anyone say "watch party"!

The next event on October 11, will be OCTOBERFEAST!!! Octoberfeast begins at 2:00 pm. We will have a dozen of the MidSouth's finest chefs on hand serving food for all attendees! Roasted pig, organic burgers, casseroles, salads, and desserts will abound! All food prepared for both events will be locally grown and prepared. Just another way to support our farmer friends!!!
Octoberfeast will feature local, live music provided by Bow Legged Rooster, and local art shown by: Betsy Brackin, Lynn Hamman, Stephanie Miller, and Heidie Carlisle. Arts and crafts along with lots of farm, fun -filled activities for kids and parents alike. Hope you can make it!!!

TICKETS for Endless Feast are $75.00 each and its gets you in to Octoberfeast!

TICKETS for Octoberfeast are $30.00 for adults, $5.00 for kids 10 and under, babies get in free.

TICKETS for Octoberfeast the day of the event are $35.00 for adults.

All tickets can be purchased at the regional farmers markets we attend.
Memphis Botanic Garden - Every Wednesday 2:00 - 6:00 pm
Memphis Farmers Market - Every Saturday 7:00 am - 1:00 pm
ASU Farmers Market - Every Saturday 7:00 am - Noon

If you have any questions at all email me at or call 8708159519.

Keith and I hope to share our farm with you one last time this year before winter sets in!!!
Enjoy the weather, and live green!


Monday, August 31, 2009

These breezes are speaking to me!

The weather, the entity that determines or better yet outlines my life, is completely breathtaking these days. One awesome thing about farming veggies, herbs, and flowers is you are able to witness the changes in the season day to day. Each day there is a new surprise, and gift if you will. When one experiences a day like today, one feels totally exhuberant and high as a kite, naturally of course. So today, I opened all the windows in the house to let that autumn fragrance evelope each and every crevece found in this place called home. Letting your house breathe is so important to me. It changes the vitality of your dwelling, and since it is where you lay your head each night, it might be a good thing to consider throughout the developing seasons.
Okay, back to duties on the farm or the romance of it all. I'm going to stick with duties to keep this entry moving right along. Mark, Amy, and myself cut 4 buckets of sunflowers, and then worked on seed starting and transplanting seedlings in the greenhouse. A couple of hours later Mark and Amy harvested squash, and collected the first, small, crop of gourds as well -yippee!!! I love gourds!

I spent the better part of the day cleaning up and organizing our "seed room". Yes, some people use spare bedrooms a guest room, study, playroom for kids, or an office, but we have a whole room devoted to our seed collection. We've been collecting seeds for a few years now. It's fun and we plan to continue this affair of the heart. Seeds are certainly the best gift you can give a girl like me. My parents think I'm a little bizarre around the holidays, since my only request is that seeds in all shapes and sizes be in my stocking or under the tree. :)

One thing that thrills me to no avail to watch the life cycle of a plant. You get to know the plant as a baby, and can spot it the most unusual of places with a trained eye. It's wonderful to recognize native plants that are coming back to grace our land after many years of being tilled or literally sprayed to death. Watching the progression of one of you favorite flowers come into bloom, or witnessing the development of a tomato ripening on the vine til its ready to be eaten is something everyone should witness at least once, hopefully hundreds, in their lifetime.

What else is new you might ask, well... our calendar for farm tours is quickly filling up! We have kindergarters all the way to high school students scheduled to tour the farm in the months of September and October! Even a local Master Gardner group will be hosting their monthly meeting here at the farm. Keith & I absolutely love sharing the farm!!!

If I could yell it I would so here goes... THE COUNTDOWN TO OCTOBERFEAST IS ON!!!
This next event held at our farm is going to be broadcasted on NATIONAL TELEVISION!!!
A television show called The Endless Feast will be hanging out at the farm the week of Octoberfeast! They will be filming yours truly and Keith in action on the farm, in addition to 3 of our favorite farmer friends! The Endless Feast crew will also highlight a regional restaurant that uses local food on their menu! The culmination of the episode will be Octoberfeast, so if you are looking for 15 minutes of fame make plans to attend our first harvest celebration on the farm!
The show will be broadcasted on PBS at a later date! We are so excited about this event so be sure to check our website for more details! click on "Events."
To learn a little more about Endless Feast, go to It's really a beautiful production and show!!!

Octoberfeast participating restaurants: Godsey' Grill, Nine Oaks, Meals Matter, The Majestic, The Mesquite Chop House, Interim, Chez Philippe, Ciao Bella, and we are waiting to hear back from 3 other chefs on confirmation!

Live music will be provided by Bow Legged Rooster! They performed at Feastival and were very, very, very well received! They have been playing gigs non-stop!

Activities: Hay Rides, Pumpkin Carving Contest, Cake Walk, Apple Bobbing, Pick Your Own Pumpkin Patch, and at dusk a very nice and relaxing BONFIRE! Perfect for making smores!

We will have a fine art show in addition to several local artisans present to sell their creations. Might be a good place to do a little Christmas shopping. What better gift than something that is handmade right here in the Delta!

A few of you have asked about camping out the night of Octoberfeast, and volunteering at the farm the next morning. Bring it! Just send us an email if you're interested!

One last thing. In November there will a Farm to School Conference held in Little Rock, Arkansas. Joe Salatin of Polyface Farms will be there to speak and host a book signing. If you are not familiar with that name, then I highly recommend reading Omnivore's Dilemma. If you want any information about the conference let me know. It's basically to going to be a conference/opportunity to connect with regional school nutrition directors in order to get more locally grown, healthy foods in our public school cafeterias. Go local food movement, GO!!!

Well, I've got perennial seedlings calling for my attention. Hope ya'll have a great week! Jill


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Just have a few things I wanted to share with you guys today.

This is a sample of one of my CSA newsletters. It changes week to week, hope you like it.


Wow!I can't remember the last time we had this much rain in July. Now I've only been farming for the last 5 years or so, but still the rain has been plentiful for the month of July. No complaints here, the garden is looking luscious thanks to the showers!

Helpful Hints

I got my recent issue of Mother Earth News in the mail today. What a nice surprise! This month's issue features the 28 all time best simple living tips. I came across four hints I'd like to share with you guys!

"A Dash of Seeds for the Garden"

Next time you are wanting to plant some seeds, but the seeds are so small they are difficult to handle... use a saltshaker. Just pour the packet of seeds inside the empty container, close, and shake it out! I know it's pretty simple, but its a good idea for someone who gardens. :)

"Easy Furniture Scratch Removal"

If you have minor scratches on wood furniture or paneling, a teaspoon of instant coffee dissolved in a teaspoon of water serves as a scratch remover.

"Repel Critters with Dog Hair"

(Sounds interesting, haven't tried it cause usually my dogs chase these critters away anyway ;)After you brush your dog's hair, save it, bag it up, and distribute the hairs in a garden plot you want to protect from grounhogs, raccoons, and squirrels.

"Super Seed-head Scrubber"

Now I am gonna give this a try! Check it out! "Need a stout scrub brush for a really messy cleanup job? Use a de-seeded sunflower head! Once all the seeds have been rubbed off, the dried flowerhead makes a surprisingly effective scouring pad, and its biodegradable. When your finished with it throw it in the compost pile!"

Easy, Yummy, Healthy Recipe

One of my dear friends got me a great gift for my birthday this past year ... a subscription to Cooking Light Magazine! This is where I found the following recipe. Keith and I love it!!!

Garlicky Spaghetti with Beans and Greens "

Canned Beans are a great pantry staple with lots of protein and fiber. To help reduce sodium in regular canned beans, rinse and drain them."

Ingredients 8 ounces of uncooked spaghetti3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper2 cups of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved5 ounces of arugula - or we sometime substitute baby swiss chard, any spicy leafy green will work2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice1/2 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese

Instructions: 1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Place pasta in a small bowl. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt, tossing gently. Set aside and keep warm. 2. Return pan to medium head. Add oil, garlic, and pepper; cook 2 minutes or until garlic is lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, tomatoes, and beans; cook 2 minutes. Add pasta; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add reserved pasta water and fresh greens (arugula), tossing gently to combine. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and cheese. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.

Hope you guys are having a great week thus far!!! Cheers Friends!!! Buy Local Forever!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Loving farm life

What an awesome month! We are gearing down from Feastival but gearing up for fall planting and our upcoming harvest celebration... Octoberfeast!!!
More details to come about that a little later!

Feastival Update:

As many of you know we had an incredible turnout at the 1st Annual Whitton Farms Feastival. Just over 340 people made their way out to the farm for some fun. We were able to raise some good money that we have reinvested back into our farming operation and we were able to donate $700.00 to the Memphis Farmers Market. We look at every farmers market we attend as an extension of our business. If it were not for these organizations many of the farmers in this region wouldn't have a place to sell their goods. We love the MFM because they truly work hard to protect & promote small independently owned family farms. They are working to help grow new farmers any way they can. The MFM has also become the heartbeat of the downtown scene on Saturday mornings. If you haven't had a chance to come by I really encourage you to do so. Awesome food from a variety of vendors, cheese, breads, cakes, soaps, candles, plants, herbs, pottery, and much more. MFM Volunteers will even dog sit for you! About the volunteers - what an exceptional group of people. MFM volunteers give up their Saturday mornings to come out and work the market. I don't know too many people who work a 9 to 5 job and are willing to give up their free time. Needless to say its an incredible organization made up of some of the best people I have ever come to know.

At the Farm

Right now eggplant is coming on hard, peppers are turning to the most vibrant of colors, and the tomatoes... the tomatoes are kicking it hard in the field ripening just right on the vine. Our second round of watermelons and cantaloupes are getting ready to be picked, and we currently have a sea of purple hull peas - thanks to Jose and Mark for doing the back-breaking work of picking those delicious morsels!

Keith has had his hands full picking okra - he almost threw his back out bending over for hours on end. He actually had to visit our doctor friend Jeff Graham in Lepanto- he's a healer. Another cool thing we have started doing in our neck of the woods is taking vouchers from senior citizens. Keith has been developing a route to senior citizen homes to help get good, homegrown food in the stomachs of these sweet people. Keith said this past Thursday when he went up to Osceola to sell, he said he was ambushed by Grandmas and Grandpas wanting fresh slicing tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelons, and cantaloupes. After selling, Keith ended up staying for an hour or so to visit with everyone. Said he got his cheeks pinched a couple of times.

Meanwhile, We've been cutting flowers like madwomen! I am so blessed to have a sister in law like Amy who cuts flowers perfectly. This is the first year I've had consistent help with cutting flowers on the farm. I am very picky about my flowers. I require that they be cut and handled in a specific, strict manner. I am very tough boss. I don't really know if people give much thought to how much work it takes to maintain the flowers, and then get them cut for market... its an amazing workout regime. Anyway, back to Amy. She has been here from the beginning of my flower season. She helped me plant and weed, now the cutting is the biggest help of all. Now I can actually give my back a rest here and there. The best part is we've grown much closer throughout the course of the season. It means a lot to find good employees that really respect the land, and it means even more when its family. Thank goodness for Amy!

Mark found our first batch of fresh eggs in the chicken condo today!!! Yippee! I can't wait to eat them. We might have breakfast for dinner!

Oh, keep checking our website for upcoming details on Octoberfeast. One cool thing about it is The Endless Feast, from Los Angeles, is coming to tape the event and it will be broadcasted on PBS. We hope to draw an even bigger crowd for this next party. We'll definitely have live music, the art show, hay rides, pumpkin patch, gourds, cake walk, and of course the food!!!

As always thanks so much for reading about what we're doing. We appreciate the support and hope to see you at the Memphis Farmers Market, Memphis Botanic Garden Farmers Market, ASU Farmers Market, Whitton Farms, or maybe just around town.

Remember to buy local when you can, if not from us, from any of the local farmers in the region. The Delta is blessed with some of the best specialty crop farmers in the states, ya'll!


Loving farm life!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hi Ya'll! This is Irene the bus. She's been with Keith and myself for over the past 9 years or so. When Keith and I were about to start dating... ( we were best friends before we ever got together) we thought it would be fun to purchase a school bus and take it on trips. That was back when gas was a bit cheaper. We purchased Irene from a local school district that was taking sealed bids on school buses they were wanting to replace. $500.00 later we were the proud owners of Irene, she took Keith's grandma's middle name. We began cleaning Irene out. We removed all of the seats, sold them, painted the walls and floor, made curtains, and got her serviced. Before too long we had a pretty nice vehicle to take camping. We had Irene for just under a year before we took her on her first trip to Old Davidsonville State Park in Pochahontos, Arkansas. Talk about easy riding. By this time we had a couch, bed, coffee table, coolers for food and drinks, books, and our bikes on the bus. Keith already had his CDL so we could go just about anywhere like that and really enjoy the entire trip. We took a few more camping trips before we decided that when summer hit we would explore 14 states out west, but we needed to do that in the car. So instead of leasing out another house before our big adventure, Irene became our home for a couple of months. That was definitely another unforgettable experience. We moved just about all of our belongings at the time into that bus, including all of our plants! We had a fig tree growing inside the bus! It was a bit cramped, but I wouldn't ever change one thing about that experience. By the time our big adventure trip rolled around we were somewhat glad to give Irene a rest from us and head out on the open road, we did however call home to make sure she was doing okay. After Keith and I returned from California (our last big stop) we knew we wanted to get married. That October we were hitched and moved Irene out to the farm were she has been resting ever since. Occasionally Irene will take a trip around the block, or to Blues Fest in Helena, but she prefers to sit under the giant red oak tree we have her parked under. Over the past few months Keith and I have been thinking about how we could use Irene once and breathe some new life back into her. We decided she would become our new and improved farm stand! So now we are in the process of getting her ready for pea and tomato season. When we get her "fixed up" I'll post some more pics, but in the meantime ya'll wish Irene well. She's a fantastic rig filled with a lot of good memories for Keith and me! Just wanted to share a little today.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Whitton Farms Feastival!!!

We've got a party going on out here, or dare I say a FEASTIVAL!

Mark your calendars for Sunday, July 12, 2009 from 1:00 - 7:00 pm for ...
The 1st Annual Whitton Farms Feastival.

Come out to the farm for a feast for the senses! See, smell, taste, touch, and hear what farm life has to offer, even if its just for a day!

Keith and I have commitments from 10 Memphis chefs, 3 regional artists, and a great band to come out to the farm and work their magic! Expect to see a pig roast, organically raised beef grilled on the barbie, heirloom vegetable tastings, desserts galore, handmade pasta, and beautiful art on display and available for purchase! Farm tours/hay rides will given too!

All food served at this event will be locally grown & prepared!

Chef, Artist, and Musician list coming in a couple days!

Tomato growing and tasting contest! If you have a killer tomato plant and its producing big, tasty, and beautiful tomatoes, bring a sample (tomato) out to the farm and submit it in the contest! 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place prizes will be given!

Pie Eating Contest! Do you think you have what it takes to eat a pie faster than anyone else in the region. Sign up for the pie eating contest and we'll see who walks away as the Delta's one and only Pie Eating Champ! A prize will be awarded!

Proceeds from this event will go to the farm (we hope to purchase a pea sheller, haybaler, and a cold frame). Also, we want a portion of the proceeds to go to one of our favorite nonprofit organizations.

We hope to make this an annual event, each year choosing a new nonprofit to support.

Tickets are $30.00 each. Kids 10 and under $5.00 and babies get in free! Tickets can be purchased at at our booth at the area farmers market we attend: Memphis Farmers Market on Saturdays and Memphis Botanic Garden Farmers Market Wednesdays, or you can email for reservations. Tickets are already going fast. A couple dozen have sold today, so don't wait too long to get in on the feastivities. :)
Any questions email me at!

Newspapers and Jars!
For all of you who have donated newspapers, jars, and boxes... thanks so much for helping me get my herb garden under control, and many seeds stored in jars. Right now we are at capacity so hold off on bringing anymore goodies. I think Keith wants to strangle me cause we still have a mountain of newspapers to use out here on the farm ;) Again thanks for thinking of us, and everything you have given has or will certainly be put to good use! I'll let ya'll know when we need more!

Remember if you know your farmer, you know your food!

Alright gotta get back to the dirt.
Peace ya'll,

Sunday, May 3, 2009

STOP!!! Don't throw that away!!!

Hey Friends,

So I was strolling through my herb garden this morning and noticed a ton of little weed seedlings rearing their little heads out of the soft, wet soil. The first thing that came to mind was to get down on all fours and commence to pulling the little boogers out one by one, but I would be there all day if I did that. I went to the back porch where we store our old newspapers and realized we have exhausted our supply!!! Oh the humanity! :)
Mulching and composting have taken a toll on the grand newspaper pile we once had, so if you have any old newspapers, glossy inserts removed, PLLLLLLEASE save them for me!!! If you aren't already using newspaper for mulch in your own garden, save your newspaper for Whitton Farms and we will gladly put them to good use, rather than have them accumulate at the landfill.
You can drop off your stack to us at the Memphis Botanic Garden on Wednesdays, 2:00 - 6:00pm or Saturdays at the Memphis Farmers Market 7:00 am - 1:00 pm. Jonesboro folks you can drop off at the ASU Regional Farmers Market every Saturday 7:00 am - 1:00 pm. We also take clear glass jars and old tin cans. I guess the old saying of one man's trash is another man's treasure rings true here.

So the rain has come and gone, come and gone, come and... well, its still here. Our crops still look fantastic, but I would really prefer less mud in between my toes, ankles, shins, in the hair, etc... in the coming week. The dogs are a mess as well, but they seem totally at ease in the grit and grime of it all. Our shoes are caked with mud so barefootin' is how we roll for the time being. Just another day on the farm I guess, always at the mercy of the weather. I really wouldn't want it any other way.

Well, just felt the need to send a little message out to everyone. I am relaxing hard on a Sunday afternoon and hope you are as well. Many blessings and thanks to you who care to read this. I am heading to a soft chair with a good cookbook to pilfer through.

Peace ya'll,

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Life as we know it

Hi Friends,

Yesterday marked the opening the Memphis Botanic Garden Farmers Market. It was a busy and eventful day. I heard many visitors stating it was their first visit to this afternoon market. There was plenty of spring produce out there. I saw mustard & turnip greens, collards, radishes, spring onions, baby garlic, swiss chard, dried peas, mizuna, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, strawberries, lettuce mixes, edible flowers, beet greens, honey, granola, plenty of jams, jellies, breads, pies, and shaved ice. Oh, and the flowers, peonies, bachelors button, iris, poppies, verbascum, blooming sage, and the potted plants/transplants were amazing as well. If you get hungry on Wednesday afternoons, do something nice for your state of mind and general health. The MBG is astonishingly beautiful, the produce is incredibly fresh & nutritious, and with that atmosphere it's sure to be the perfect way to wind down the afternoon. The Memphis Botanic Garden Farmers Market will be open May - the end of October, every Wednesday 2- 6 pm - rain or shine! Come on out, you'll be hooked.

Today is wet on the farm. We got a nice rain yesterday which certainly pleased the vegetation round here. Just checked on our fennel and kohlrabi and its lookin good. Most of the day we will work on transplanting in the greenhouse. We still have thousands of tomato transplants to work up and herbs, cut flowers, the list goes on. I love to check the babies (that's what I call my seedlings) each morning. Every day they grow at little more, spreading there leaves, putting on tendrils, or a stem rising, whatever the plant, its thrilling to watch them all grow to maturity. Keith and I get very attatched to our plants. I don't know if I've shared this with you guys but Keith will walk out to the tomato field to tell his tomatoes goodnight, every night throughout the growing season. They're always on his mind, even during the winter I can ask Keith, "What are you thinking about?", and he will reply, "Tomatoes." He is always thinking. Very crafty that man.

Tomorrow marks a special day for me. For the last 2 years I have had the pleasure of being a board member for the ASU Regional Farmers Market, which is located in Jonesboro, Arkansas, my hometown. Our board has been working very hard to promote and grow our little market on a shoestring budget, no doubt, and tomorrow marks the day of our ground breaking ceremony for the construction of a facility that will house our market!!! Yippee!!! For the last 4 years, we the vendors, have been lining up under the shade of trees in the middle of a cow pasture. It's really beautiful, don't get me wrong, but we wanted a building that protect all visitors from the weather, serve as a meeting place for various organizations, house a commercial kitchen we could rent out to bakers etc, have public restrooms, stage for live music, and hopefully one day, be home to a year round market!!! On top of all that, the facility itself will be a "green" building built from hay bales! How cool is that!?! We have been blessed with grant dollars and the support from our regional and state politicians. Hopefully we will have a our new home ready by next spring.

Monday, May 4, we have 56 kindergartners from Memphis coming to Whitton Farms for a field trip! We are absolutely thrilled to have these youngsters out to the farm to look at our spring crops, tour the greenhouses, hunt for mushrooms, and check on the chickens. They will even do a transplanting session with yours truly, and then have a nice picnic in the pecan orchard. Hopefully we can spark a "growing" interest in these little minds!

That's all I've got for today. Gotta get back to the endless, yet fulfilling cycle of farming.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hi Friends!

Hope you guys have had a fantastic week in you respective homes. We are trucking right along here at Whitton Farms. Yesterday consisted of lots of seed sowing & scattering. The tomato transplanting is gaining steam with hundreds of the little guys being gently placed into the soil ready to stretch their legs, I mean roots. (I'm thining of myself on that one).

I believe our cover crops and crop rotation plan is going to work out well for us this year. Using more green manure (plant based manure) over animal manure, we believe, is the way to go for our farming operation. Thank goodness we are farming on ground that horses roamed for nearly 50 years. So we are blessed to have very rich and fertile soil to work with, but you never want to take it for granted. That's why we cover crop, and use composted leaf mulch in our fields to be tilled back into the earth. It decomposes ever so nicely. When transplanting its like working with buttah!
We do have aged horse manure & goat manure in our stables. We use it in the hothouses, and in specific fields, when preparing beds late in the fall, but we refrain from collecting manure from other sources, unless thoroughly checked. You never really know what you are getting, in regard how long it was aged, etc. If you like using animal manure in your gardens, a little goes a long way. Don't over fertilize, you can burn up your plants! We learned that lesson- the hard way a few years ago.
Whatever gardening practices you prefer, I am extremely thankful that you are out there experimenting, growing, and enjoying what the earth has so elegantly provided for us all, nature.

Over the course of the winter and spring Keith has been reading several books about farming in the early 1800's and the techniques that were used during those times. Long before synthetic fertilizers and herbicides were used in agriculture, there were a handful of specialty crop farmers who did an incredible job of documenting their organic farming practices. Crop planning/rotation all the way down to good farming philosophies, these books hold a wealth of information. This type of farming is truly a dying art, and we are working hard to bring it back in our region of the state. It's all about educating yourself. We won't ever claim to be experts in this field, because farming always throws a curve ball that you didn't see coming. We simply try to do the best we can out here on the farm each & every day. Thank goodness we have a lifetime to figure all this out.

In case you guys didn't know, we have bee hives on our property. Peace Bee Farms, out of Proctor, Arkansas, is owned and operated by Richard & Rita Underhill. They are two of the sweetest people you would ever want to meet. They keep bees the Amish way and use absolutely no synthetic materials when working with their bees. Richard is the president of the Tennessee Beekeepers Association and also keeps bees at the Memphis Botanic Garden. We truly feel blessed to have their hives out here at the farm. What started out as a simple experiment bloomed into something much more. Last year was a phenomenal year for both farming operations, and wouldn't you guess that Peace Bee collected hundreds and hundreds of pounds of delicious honey from the hives located here! It was so exciting to witness the bees pollinating our crops throughout the growing season. This week if you come by the Memphis Botanic Garden on Wednesday from 2:00 - 6:00 pm you can meet the Underhills yourself!

Last but not least! Tomorrow is an exciting day at the Memphis Botanic Gardens! The market opens! Lots of great vendors will be out there like Jones Orchard - yummy fruit & breads, Flora at Bluebird Farms- expect the unusual from Van the man - he's got lots of interesting and tasty crops, Tim's Family Farm - nice young couple farming Ripley tomatoes & other goodies, Downing Hollow Farm - good, high quality, specialty crops, Groovy Foods - the best granola in the Delta, Paul Little's Sedums - the plants you can't keep your hands off of, Gardens Oy Vey - they specialize in naughty native plants, Peace Bee Farms - need I say more? and lastly - Whitton Farms - lots of awesome flowers, heirloom transplants, and spring produce. Hope you guys take the opportunity to support as many local farmers & artisans as you possibly can. Encourage your friends to come out and experience the fun.

Recipe of the Week!

Curried Honey Sweet Potato Soup
- Makes 8 cups -

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 medium-sized cloves garlic, peeled
6 cups (48 oz.) chicken or vegetable stock
1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium russet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
2 teaspoons salt
6 Tablespoons local honey, divided
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 to 3 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a soup pot. Add onion and sauté until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add stock, potatoes and salt. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.Puree mixture in batches, put soup back over low heat and add 5 Tablespoons of the honey, bell pepper, curry powder, pepper and ginger. Bring to a simmer, taste and adjust seasonings.Microwave remaining 1 Tablespoon honey for 5 seconds on High. Serve soup drizzled with a little warm honey and sprinkled with chopped cilantro. Serves 4 to 6.

Hope you eat local and visit the farmers market in the near future, like tomorrow!


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bringing in the new...

Hello all,
Well, the opening of the Memphis Farmers Market is just two weeks away and we can feel the pressure of the growing season mounting. It's a good feeling, not a bad one. Just so much to do these days. Our potatoes, leeks, onions, greens, lettuces, mushrooms, kale, snap peas, radishes, beets, carrots, turnips, and herbs are all doing fantastic. We've been getting just enough rain to keep everything moist but not drenched! Keith and I have been transplanting maniacs and have thousands of tomato transplants to set out within the next couple of weeks. Can't wait to get those guys in the ground, then we know the real growing season has commenced.

Flowers have been a top priority for me more this year than ever before. I've already got sunflowers, daffodils, tulips, safflower, phlox, gladiolas, lisanthus, delphinium, snapdragons, flowering kale, purple coneflower, bachelor buttons, rudbeckias, and host of other beauties up in the flower fields. Some of them are only a few inches tall, but I am much further ahead in the my planning and planting this year - whew! I so am excited to envision what we will have to offer all our of cut flower enthusiasts.

Just this past week our farm interns started work out here at Whitton Farms. We have four possibly 5 interns this year. Two of them are my brother and his wife, Mark & Amy Arnold. They both left their jobs in the coporate world to learn the trade of growing wholesome, clean food right here in the Delta. I know its gonna be a journey for us all, you know it is when family is involved, but I have extreme confidence in their abilities and dedication to the art of farming.
One of our interns, Charlie, is pretty incredible. He's been a commercial fisherman, turtle hunter, chicken caretaker, carpenter, etc... You name it he can do it and we feel blessed to have him here working with us, especially since we are entering into the field of chickens, and possibly ... crawfish! More about that later, like in a couple months.
Finally last but certainly not least, is our main farmhand, Caleb. Caleb has been with us for 3 years now, and is currently a college student. We got Caleb, at the age of 16, while he was still in high school and he has been an absolute joy to work with over the years. He truly recognizes the determination and importance of local food, and has worked extremely hard here at Whitton Farms to help our dreams of owning a sustainable farm come true. As a farmer, if you don't have a dedicated staff on a farm, your operation is in jeopardy. You're employees can make or break any business operation. We owe much of our success not only to our family, customers, and "Mother Earth", but also very much of it belongs to our former and present staff. So if you come to the farm for a visit, please show them the courtesy of thanking them for all of their hard work. This field is indeed, an extreme sport, if you're running it right!

Trees... about a month ago Keith, Caleb & myself planted just over 1000 hardwood trees on the farm. I can't remember if I told you guys this or not. Man, what a job, but we are firm believers in replenishing the area with the trees that were cleared in this region many, many years ago. Many of our neighbors in the community of Whitton have joined in the effort, a few long before we ever had the idea to do so. It's nice to live a small town where neighbors can recognize what's right for the Earth and take the initiative to do something about it. A few of the trees I planted are Vitex Trees. Most are only 1 ft tall, but they are fast growers, have beautiful blue blooms similar to butterfly bush, and are major butterfly attractors. In about 5 years, they will really make the statement out here on the farm that I'm looking for.

Oh we're in a couple magazines this month, Edible Memphis, and Jonesboro Occasions. Just found out that a local artist will be visiting the farm in the near future to begin painting a series of Whitton Farms, so that's pretty cool. Be on the look out for dates for our Spring Farm to Plate Dinner out here on the farm. Some of the proceeds from the event will go to one of our favorite non-profits, and rest to the farm. Hope you can join us for the farm-filled-fun. Okay, I'm a dork for saying that! Anyway hope you can make it at some point, to the farm this growing season.

Well, I know this message is all over the place, but I wanted to get back in touch with you guys and let you know what we've been up to. Got lots of baby flower transplants to work on the greenhouse right now, so I must depart. Hope all is well in your world and come see us at the Memphis Farmers Market April 18, 7:00 - 1 :00 pm. Peace Ya'll! Have a rockin' week!

Just keepin it real in Whitton, ya'll

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Farming is a dirty business.

Greetings & Salutations,

What a difference a few hours makes, right. Thursday I broke from my winter clothes and donned some shorts. Again, Friday morning I was in shorts, but by noon those clothes were gone and back to the leggings. Then, well I guess we all know what happened next. Ten fluffy inches of snow is what happened next. This was Saturday of course, but man oh man did it snow, and anyone travelling Interstate 40 found out the hard way. The Sunday morning reports were that some motorist had been trapped over night. WOW! Has everyone had enough of Winter yet?

Before the snow started Saturday the Memphis Farmer's Market held their annual vendor meeting with record attendance. The MFM continues to be the place to be on Saturdays, and all farmers, artisans and food vendors are extremely excited about what is shaping up to be the best year yet. I actually believe farmer's markets are recession proof, and I guess this year we will see.

Last year I noticed many gardens sprouting up throughout Northeast Arkansas where in previous years there had been none. It seems gardening is the new hot thing again. Country folks, like my neighbors, garden to cut down on food costs more than anything else, but anyone who has ever turned one spade of soil knows there are many more benefits to growing your own food or flowers than just saving money. Whatever your motivations are I am sure you agree that the more attention you pay to your garden the better your outcome. One thing should especially be noted, and this is something I know people do a lot, and that is over thinking. Gardening is a very simple exercise when done correctly, but all plants require different care, and this is where people get into trouble - your's truly included. Some early disasters I managed to produce include overwatering, underwatering, incorrect spacing (too close together), trying to trellis plants that did not require it and planting tender annuals out too early. Mostly out of ignorance, but some failures should be attibuted to overthinking. There is no better way to learn than thru experience, and often the experiences producing the most learning are ones of failure.

Related to this, everyone should keep in mind that in the mid-south the last average frost date is around April 15th. Now, give or take two weeks of this date and you can either be the first one in your neighborhood or at the market with tomatoes or you can devastate your crops and potential earnings by getting your plants killed. Old timers will attest that no tomatoes should be set to the ground before May 1, and if you plant on two week intervals this will naturally be one of your planting dates. Last year I planted every two weeks thru the middle of July, and just as you can have a late frost in the spring you can have delayed frost in the fall and turn out a decent late October-November crop of tomatoes. You can also have an early frost in the fall, but when weighed out it still makes sense to plant thru July. The reason is because if you have had success throughout the summer and you are looking to have tomatoes as long into the year as possible it doesn't sting as much in the fall to loose a crop as it does in the spring when you are greedy for juicy fruit. You have to remember, however, that daylength is shortening and those large green tomatoes that you are desperately waiting to blush up will take extra days to do so. Also, many stewards use the late plantings of tomatoes to be picked green and stored in the dark to ripen off the vine. When wrapped in newspaper it is common to have tomatoes ripening on Christmas. Of course it should be noted that these fruits will fail to match the flavor of a vine-ripened specimen, but they far and away outdistance what can be found at the grocer.

Also this week I started sub-soiling my fields. Sub-soiling is just what it means - getting down into the lower layers of soil - those layers of clay under the topsoil. What you are doing when you dig down that deep is many things. First, after many years of discing or tilling only the top five or six inches of soil the lower levels get compacted from driving over them, from rain and standing water and from the weight of the top soil. This makes it very difficult for the fine roots of succulent vegetables to penetrate deeper in the soil. When this soil is disrupted and those fine roots are given more discretion in movement they naturally travel further down into the soil in search of moisture during lean times. This is one trick old timers used before irrigation was common - break the soil up deeply and allow the roots to go down, down, down. Then, when it gets dry and hot your plants will be better able to handle the stress. One hundred years ago this method of subsoiling was commonly down with a shovel and a strong back. Today, Friday in fact, it was done on my farm with a one-row implement referred to as a sub-soiler. It amounts to a very heavy duty and thick piece of curved, pointed steel that is set at an angle as to pull itself deeply into the ground - up to two feet. It is mounted onto a hitch with which I affix it to my tractor, and then lowered and raised with hydraulics. It was slow going, but did an excellent job, and as a testament to the amount of earthworms I noticed deep in the ground I can say the fertility of my soil is astounding. I am very excited about this years tomato crops. In fact, the tomato seeds I started in the cold frames 10 days ago are starting to sprout. They are extremely tiny now and it is almost unthinkable that by August they will be 12-15 feet tall. Tomatoes are a vine of course. It is also unthinkable to some that the snow and ice did not kill everything or collapse my structures. Infact both the snow and ice build up acts as an insulater against the outside cold and this morning when I first shoveled the snow away from the door and went in it was 45 degrees. The lettuce bed was grinning back at me, and all the seedlings were chilly but not dead. I actually think raising my starts in the fluctuating cold frame makes them tougher and hardier. Once the sun was at 9-o'clock it was 80 degrees on the inside and everthing was marvelous.

Well, that is about all I am up for at the moment, and I have noticed that Jill has gone adrift herself - out making snow women she said. It is time I pelted her with some snow balls. So, until I blog again you better start getting your hands and back in shape - Spring will be here before you know it.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Yikes! Spring is fast approaching!

Long time no chat, eh? Well, as you can imagine its been getting a little crazy out here on the farm. Seed starting, prepping fields, final adjustments on the greenhouse, building a giant gourd trellis, inoculating shiitake logs, transplanting, and the list goes on. It seems as though just when I'm able to cross one goal reached off my list another one is ready to be jotted down in its place. We've had a few interesting events take place over the past month or so. Keith was elected to the board of directors for the Arkansas Farmers Market Association which was really cool, and we were named Edible Memphis Farmers of the Year for 2009, so thanks if any of you voted for us. We truly feel blessed to have the ability to farm and live this life in the country.

So what have we been planting, a few of you have asked. Let's see... leeks, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, beets, kohlrabi, fennel, lilies, broccoli, lettuces, arugula, swiss chard, lots of asian greens, 1000 oak trees, wildflowers, a large variety of medicinal herbs, oh and artichokes. I'm sure I've left a few things out, but you'll see it soon enough at market. Speaking of farmers markets, the Memphis Farmers Market is opening on April 18, and the Botanic Garden Farmers Market will open April 29! Yipee! I am so looking forward to seeing my market friends and catching up on what everyone has been up to over the winter months. Some of the best people I've ever come across in my life I've met at the two previously listed locations.

Other interesting news! We recently were contacted by a couple of local public schools who received grants from the USDA in order to purchase locally grown food to feed students at lunch! How awesome is that! Since we transitioned from teaching to farming, we've always wanted to figure out a way to get good, locally grown food into the mouths of students at public schools. I have always thought public school lunches were disgusting and contributors to childhood obesity, diabetes, and the list goes on. When I would discuss this issue with my collegues at the time, many would say it would be the only meal of the day for many students so calories were packed in, but I honestly felt that was a lame excuse. Many if not most students would , in addition to eating the school lunch, would pay for a soda and or candy bars to fight the hunger pangs at noon. Try teaching a group of adolescents math after they've been jacked up on sodas and candybars. Don't get me wrong, I love all of my former students, but sometimes kids need to be taught what to eat, and have it prepared in way that is appealing, and tasty in order to foster good, healthy eating habits. Deep fried, processed and super starchy foods are not what should be pumped into the stomachs of our youth. It's a revolting thought, and I can talk about it forever, so I'm going stop and focus on the fact that the local food movement is beginning to really take hold here in the Delta. It's making a difference even here, in our little community.

Last but not least, there are a few organizations that are looking for volunteers this summer. The Memphis Farmers Market is looking for volunteers to help with market operations, I believe they have two board positions open as well: Vendor Chair, and Treasurer. If you know of anyone who is interested, and has the time to dedicate, please give them my contact info and I will put them in touch with a MFM representative. is looking for a few good volunteers to help with their organization. Grow Memphis is looking for anyone willing to work with area students on their urban garden projects, and last but not least, we welcome volunteers to the farm on certain days throughout the week. So if you've got a little or a lot of free time on your hands see what you can do to make our communities a bit better.

Well as you can see, its late, couldn't sleep, anticipating a big day tomorrow, so I thought I'd cross another goal off my list of things to do. Thanks for reading and stay in touch... with nature!

Continue to have hope, pray for peace, and get ready, spring is just around the corner.
Signing off,

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

No title today, just shooting from the hip.

With all the cold weather, Jill spends so much time at the computer, that there was no room for me to sit down or get access to the keyboard!

I know I haven't blogged in a while, but I'm working on it. Our neighbors to the North are covered in ice this morning, while most to the South are only wet. Here in Whitton it's mixed. The roads are fine, but the trees have ice, but no loss of power. What a time to be thinking about the farm. Actually, it's the perfect time to be thinking about farming. Right before this sudden change in the weather it was rather nice and had dried up enough where some field work could be done. Jill and I went to work setting out our onion plants. That took all day, but the conditions were perfect, and now with the rain, the plants are settling in nicely.

The nice weather also allowed us to put the finishing touches on a new covered growing area. Whilst it's raining outside now, the new tunnel is continuing to dry out ever nearing a meeting with the tiller. This structure will allow more higher-quality produce earlier in the season, and will free up room in our seed-starting house.

Other projects that have been finished since the last blog log-in are the selling of our goats. A neighbor needed to clear a large area of brush so we were happy to send the goats his way. This was a major load off our shoulders. Our farm was not built for goats. Oreo, our billygoat was head butting the barn and almost knocked out one of the walls. Although they are masters of vine and brush removal, their time had come to head to greener pastures. They are tough, bemusing animals that could tear down a set of goalpoasts. Now our barn is safe and under reconstruction to suit the bellies off nesting fowl. Chickens, I have come to realize, are one of the first keys to sustainability. Free-range chickens are now the rage, but i don't want to farm them large scale. It's always wise to start small and learn cheaply. Providing for oneself at first, and then working towards feeding others. These days and times everything costs money and every penny should be scrutinized. My wise-old granny, who was born into a world of timber, outhouses, and muddy trails never failed to stoop for a penn. Later, in the time of the cell phones, and even when her back wasn't as strong she always stopped, and stooped, always refraining, "every penny helps."

Therefore, I am encouraging each and all to grow something that will save them some pennies, so I can continue to watch the contagiousness of farming and the limitless imagination that it can inspire in one's life. Go to your farmers markets and purchase a few "homegrown" transplants, or you can always move to the country where life is good and you tell the hour by the position of the sun in the sky, or learn to forecast the weather due to a change in wind direction.

February will be here soon, so early potatoe crops will go in soon. It pays to be on top of these things. I will plant several rounds of potatoes as well, so time is available. You must be ready when the time comes, however.

This is all I have for now, a good book requires my attention.

Stay safe, and buy local when available. Tranquility is peace.

God is love.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Look out! Keith's blogging!

I wouldn't want to fall in the water today!

The cold weather is a necessary part of our cycle, so keep your pipes warm.

I hope everybody is anticipating Spring as much as I am. Before then however, a few warm days in February make the crappie hungry and quick hitting. We can stock our freezers full of clean healthy fish. People with asparagus gardens will also see dividends before most others. Here at the farm we put year-old roots in last year. We also started half the modest bed in seedlings. This year we should get a few spears for the house, but I plan to put in enough roots this year to offer several bunches next year. Asparagus is a permanent crop that can last for generations, really, and will prosper in the mid-south. Keep it clean and composted, first, then watered. You can actually put it around the perimeter of your garden or in hard to water places. As with any cultivated plant the best results are achieved with dilligence.

I like to encourage everyone to grow something. Start small with a potted herb plant. Remember, vegetables can achieve great size so if at all possible plant something outside on the sunny-side of the house, south facing not in a container. Some people may not be able to grow anything to its full potential depending on tree shade. Plants need sunshine. For people living off the ground you half to be creative, and that really is the fun part after all.

We are starting early-spring, frost-hardy plants now - greens and brassicas. Brassicas are cool-weather crops- most notably brocolli. I try them every year and in my area they are hit or miss. We may get several spikes in temps either way. It needs stable cool weather. It often works better in the fall.

I also encourage everyone to save some seed year to year. This is your ultimate insurance - and it is free. There are books on the proper methods for hundreds of vegetable and flower varieties. Now is the time to gain that knowledge so when you have a cracked tomatoe or one with a worm on it, not fit to eat, you can turn it into next years plant. I like to concentrate on tomatoes because they are my favorite. In order to do this you have to give up hybrids and go with the old-fashioned, self-pollinating varieties which are called heirlooms. The blooms of these plants contain both sex parts meaning an insect does not have to touch it for it to produce a tomato. Heirlooms are easy to get, but not at Wal-Mart. Try the farmers markets in the spring. We will have several varieties, some we know will do well, and a bunch of new ones we will be trialing and offering to the public. The proper time to plant tomatoes is beginning a week after Easter - mid-April thru the end of June. We plant them every few weeks. Do Not get in a hurry to plant your sensitive plants, but also don't waste time. Even is it doesn't frost after Easter it can still get to cold at night as to be favorable for a tomatoe.

I gotta go. kef

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mushrooms, oh how do I love thee!

In case you missed the slightly obnoxious picture of me attacking a plate of shiitake mushrooms with my mouth, scroll up! These guys popped out of nowhere just the other day! We thought we had cut all the fungi off the logs, but within a matter of days we had another fresh harvest. This time last year we inoculated the freshly cut oak logs in the cold, windy, snow- spitting weather. We've been patient,... waiting, looking, hoping for just a couple of guys to pop out, but to date we've had three small, yet very nice harvests. Just wanted to share the fun we're having. Hopefully we'll continue to see growth into the spring!

That's all I've got tonight, more to come friends :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2009 CSA Application ready to go!

Hi Friends,

I am happy to announce Whitton Farms 2009 CSA application is up and ready for take off. We are conducting our CSA a bit differently this year. Instead of only having the option to sign up for a 10 week share, you now have the choice to sign up for 4 consecutive weeks of produce( the minimum order) all the way to 32 consecutive weeks of produce. You pick the start date /weeks (only consecutive weeks please) you want and pick up location, and we'll take care of the rest.

Keith and I decided to host our CSA in this is manner in an effort to encourage more people to begin eating locally grown veggies. We found that a 10 week minimum subscription was a bit overwhelming for some folks, so they opted out. Keith and I know many of you were completely satisfied with the 10 week subscription service, and that option is still there for you as well. Like I previously stated, you pick the weeks, we fill the order.

If you decide to participate in our CSA, please print off the application and mail it with a check to Whitton Farms: 5157 W St. Hwy 118, Tyronza, Arkansas 72386. If you do not send the check your spot will not be held. The earlier you send your checks in - the sooner your spot for the CSA is secured.

We are limiting our CSA subscriber list to 300 people this year. Once we reach the 300 mark, it will depend on our crops and demand at market as to whether or not we will allow more subscriptions to be sold. If we see that we are able to sign more people up for the CSA that information will be posted here. So keep checking back! :)

When you become a member of the Whitton Farms CSA it guarantees you a sack of the freshest, locally grown produce we are able to grow. We use organic and sustainable farming practices, and pride ourselves on being good stewards of the land. Each week you will receive a friendly reminder email for CSA pick up which will include: farm updates, suggested reading, recipe of the week, and any interesting information we come across.

Also know that Whitton Farms produce can be found in many of the best restaurants in town such as: Interim, The Inn at Hunt Phelan, Felicia Suzanne's, and Sole, just to name a few. At the end of each season we try to host a CSA potluck party at the farm. Last summer our CSA party drew just over 70 people! We had a ton of great food and lots of fun! If this sounds like something you would like to be a part of please check out our website at

If anyone has questions about the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) please call 8708159519. For the newcomers, a CSA is basically a produce subscription service.

We look forward to seeing many familiar faces and meeting newcomers to the local food movement! We wish everyone a prosperous, healthy, and "green" new year. Thanks for the interest and support!

Jill Forrester
Locavores keep it real! :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

CSA, CSA, CSA info coming soooooooon!

Hi Friends,

Many of you have emailed us about the upcoming CSA session. If you can hang on for just couple more days we'll have our website updated with all the information you'll need. Also coming soon will be our revised growing list for the upcoming season. You'll see much of what we grew last year, but with many new and tasty additions. If you have any questions please feel free to email us at our new email addy: whittonfarms@live .com.

If you have any old clear jars that you're thinking of throwing out, hang on to those guys. We want to collect them for our seed storage for next year. It's a great way to recycle too. Bring them to us any market day and we'll put them to good use.

Good news, the Memphis Farmers Market will be opening April 18 this year! I don't know when the Memphis Botanic Garden Farmers Market opens, but when I find out I'll post it here.

After I'm finished blogging, Keith and I will begin organizing all of our seeds and plan our planting schedule for the several months. It's not too late to make a suggestion for what you'd like to see at the market this year so drop us a line when you can.

Also, if you want to plant a garden this year don't forget that we'll be selling heirloom vegetable transplants come March and April. We grow all of our veggies from seed. Don't be afraid to place an order now to be filled in the coming months. We can reserve the plants and schedule a special pick up day/location for those of you eager to get your garden in early. Oh, I should have a ton of tulips come March so be on the look out for tulip posts in the future & I mean big, french tulips too! :)

This week we got our first full crop of killer shiitake mushrooms and I must say they were delicious. We gave many sacks away to our respective families, and the rest we've already gobbled up. I'm usually not a big mushroom fan, but then again I've never had a fresh mushroom just off the log. It's a flavor that I now crave. We will be expanding our shiitake mushroom production come February so be on the look this spring for some mushrooms at the market. Slice them up, put a little real butter in a skillet, dash of white wine, sautee' for a bit and man oh man - what a tasty treat!

Hope everyone is well and having happy Sunday!
Peace out, we've got some planning to do! :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Preparing for the Bounty!

Hi Friends,
I hope all of you have enjoyed the beginning of 2009 thus far and please know we wish you all the best throughout the course of this year. Keith and I have had our noses in countless seed catalogs diligently searching for the very best in heirloom vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers.

You'll be excited to know Keith will be growing close to 50 different varieties of tomatoes this year, I can hardly wait. His dream of becoming the Tomato King is slowly becoming a reality, in our minds anyway.

Speaking of tomatoes, if you're like us it's almost as though we're on a tomato strike right now. The "maters" (as Keith likes to call them) can't compare to a summer harvest, so we will wait patiently until the end of May or early June to quench our appetite for the multi-dimensionally -delicious fruit!

Oh, about our blog, we will be discussing a variety of topics including: gardening basics, why buy local, supporting farmers markets, recipes, good books, food politics, fun on the farm, local restaurants who buy local, composting, and green living. Feel free to ask questions or make savvy suggestions. Our eyes, ears, and minds are open and we are ready to hear from you.