Friday, August 24, 2012

in anticipation of a beautiful fall . . .

. . . we've been very busy here at the farm.  My husband and a few friends have spent hours and hours building new raised beds, filling them with happy soil and adding new irrigation drips. The vintage gate has been repaired at least twice in the past two weeks, the market swept at least four times in the past week (thanks to that haboob) and we've had one doe go on a date with one of the bucks.

In the midst of seeding, reseeding, weeding and planting new starts, our daughter from PDX and her family spent two weeks with us. . . a wonderful full household, indeed.

Fall is my favorite time of year - a sweet reprieve from the summer heat and my favorite growing season.  Here's what we're planting for fall harvests and our market - which the re-open date has yet to be decided. Until then our Honor System Market will continue to be open. See here for current details.

French breakfast and other gourmet radishes
Cherry tomatoes
Yellow pear tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes
Two kinds of swiss chard
Three varieties of kale
Several beet selections
Red Mustard
Several varieties of lettuce
Several varieties of carrots
Bunching onions
Herbs - lots of herbs

Eggplant along with some okra will continue to grow and be available. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

it might not mean much to you . . .

If you've never owned goats or have had the wonderful opportunity to be around them, then you'd never know how precarious and obstinate and even fearful they can be at times - especially when they'r the newbies to the farm.

It takes some time for all goaty girls to acclimate to each other and for the queen and the second in command to let everyone else (the other girls) know exactly who is who and what is what.

In light of that - new girls also have to learn the ropes on the new farm's milking procedures. At times that is NOT fun - mainly because a fearful, curious, independent, obstinate (I'm going to have it my way kinda goat) makes the process (coming into the milk room in order) difficult  . . . and going back to the goat yard is often equally if not more difficult.

I hate tugging, pulling, pushing, dragging goats. It's just not right - but sometimes (you can ask my daughters) it's quite a hysterical trip.

Anyway, sweet Karrie has been the biggest morning and evening milking chore a chore. The poor girl is truly the sweetest thing ever - except when it's time to:
1. Leave the girl goat yard.
2. Leave her best friend Nancy
3. Go to the milk room
4. And, jump like a good girl on the milk stand
5. And then do the whole thing (again) but backwards.

This morning - I was hollering with delight. Did you hear me?  She was a good girl. A sweeter than pie girl. A love and a half.  If I didn't know better - I'd give her the whole container of animal cookies for being such a good girl.

know why. Right!?!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fresh Gatherings at our Thursday Market

Eggplant is looking so happy these days along with basil, thyme and armenian, I'll harvest them and you'll find them at our Honor System Market Thursday morning. There are also some of Grano de Vida's fresh breads in the freezer. Since her bread freezes so nicely, I will start adding breads to the freezer. Trust's just lovely.

I have some amazing squash from Kelly's farm at Desert Roots and that will also be in the mornings baskets.  Goat cheese, gelato and caramel make for some fun additions to add to your meal.

The sweet hot hens are struggling with producing (you would to if you were them), but we'll place all they've given us at the market as well.

We'll be ready to go at 8.

Monday, August 20, 2012

What to Plant and When to Plant

It is time to plant and many people are deciding that it's time for a back yard garden.  Phoenix can be a great place to grow food if you tap into some of the available resources that we LOVE and have used.

Organic Desert Gardening Books
Our first gardening book that we bought was Extreme Gardening - How to Grow Organic in the Hostile Deserts by Dave Owens

Dave's book was so fabulous, we bought his second one - Seasonal Guide to Organic Gardening.   Both books are dog eared, have coffee, water and fertilizer spilled and pages falling apart. If you buy nothing else - buy BOTH his books.

Planting Guides for the Desert
Greg Peterson - of Urban Farm has put together a wonderful planting guide calendar. I've used it and love it. You can download a copy here.

The second planting guide that is fabulous is one put out by Maricopa County Extension office. It's also free and can be downloaded here.

Seed Resources
I love Baker Creek Heirloom seeds. Their catalog is a must have. Order it here.

I also use John Scheeper Kitchen Garden and love their catalogue and love their seeds. Order them here.

Eden Brother's is another seed resource. If you order more than $59 you get free shipping.  Order here.

Soil Resources
If I were doing just a few small raised beds, I have to say I love the combination in Square Foot Gardening soil mix. It's available at the big box stores.

A few weeks ago, I asked my friend Jill of Sweet Life Garden what she uses in her raised beds. I liked her combination and we're now trying that as a way to amend some of our existing raised beds. She uses Kellogg's Potting Soil and another product called Super Soil in the purple bag. Home Depot carries both.

If you need larger loads of soil there is a company in the valley called Gro-Wel. We used them the first time we ever built raised beds and had success with that soil combination. They have several so you would need to speak with them about your needs.

Ken Singh of Singh Farms is another great soil/compost resource. If you've not been to his farm - you must.  Here's a blipper about Singh Farms I copied from their Facebook page

....Singh Farms is a 20-acre oasis located just outside of downtown Scottsdale, just east of the 101 on Thomas Road and is open to visitors on Friday from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m, and Saturday 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Owned by Lee and Ken Singh, the farm is a chakra (energy center) that represents their dharma (righteous duty) to sustainability while educating the public on the traditions of nutritious foods rooted in the Earth's natural, harmonic cycles.

Amazing and I want some. Savory goat cheese tartlets with honey and blackberries.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


The past two weeks have been a tad brutal - heat wise.  Heat zaps energy.  Weeds love heat. Why is that?

The other day I felt like shouting out, "Someone, please hurry up and convince me why I'd NOT want to move to a place with a lot of snow."

Today is better. Fall is coming. Soon. And drinking cold raw goat milk and Carol's cinnamon bread seems to make it all better anyway.

If you've been around the farm lately - you'll notice "construction" going on. Michael decided to "fill in" the areas around our market with raised beds. Nice idea, I say as fall planting and seeding has begun.  My very favorite time of year.