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!