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Tomatoes, Raspberry plants, Microgreens, Bagels...
Perseverance Must Finish Its Work
In June, I put up 125 bales from the second half of the first cutting. They say make hay while the sun shines, and shine brutally it did. I would have preferred to do the first cutting in late May, but with 6.5 inches of rain, the ground was simply too wet.
When you’re working with sixty-year-old equipment and the grass is 48+ inches high, problems are to be expected, though sometimes one hopes to get by without any…wishing so seems effective on occasion, HA! But not this trip. First, a major clog of grass in the hay mower, then a drive belt came off, then the universal joint broke. For at least 25% of production, the baler failed to knot one of the twine strings. That means getting on and off the tractor 20+ times.
All that sounds pretty awful! True that. But there’s something else going on deserving of notice. You might say I refused to give up. And believe me, the urge was there. One of the good things is that I learned how to re-attach a drive belt and adjust the tension. I also learned how a universal joint is disassembled and reassembled, and what a bushing is. Yet another good thing is that I had the tools and the help to make the repairs. I also already had a hundred bales sold, plus my brother’s help to stack in the barn loft.
The object lesson here, maybe, is that what keeps me going when the going is tough, is gratitude for the resources that I do have, which brings to the fore a determination to make the best use of resources at hand. Another part of the motivation is that perseverance usually pays off more often than not. Sometimes I think a person can give up too easily. It’s all about fighting the good fight, folks!
Chez Nous Farm
A note from Kings Poultry:
We’ve see a recent spike in demand, and with this hot summer weather, the last few weeks of chicken processing hasn’t been as great as we’d like. As a result, you might see some shortages, including our chicken breasts, thighs, and wings. We’re hopeful to overcome this shortage over the next few weeks so please bear with us. There are plenty of ground products, sausages, and pot pies to be had for the time being.
We’ll take this moment also to highlight that the chicken you receive from us has generally not been in the freezer long. Most of the product we send out is less than three weeks from butcher date; if you ever receive something that isn’t frozen, that means it was butchered that very morning – that is farm-fresh chicken! We appreciate everyone’s business and will be fully stocked with all of our products shortly.
In the meantime, MCLG’s other chicken vendor, Michael’s Pastured Poultry, has plenty of organic and pastured chicken available. We’ll share an update on what Michael is up to soon!
We're open! (Sorry I'm late...)
Wow, the Fourth of July certainly brought in some hot and muggy weather! At least we get some rain out of the deal. Try to stay cool out there.
New site update…
We will be trying to help all of our loyal MCLG customers sign up for an account on our new sales platform – I’m hoping to have someone on hand with a laptop starting at the July 12th market pick-up. It’s not complicated or lengthy, but it might be nice to do with someone else rather than on your own. FYI, you’ll just use your email address as your login, and then you will need to create a password.
I know change is hard, and transitions always have glitches, but this will be so nice once we’re switched. You all are so very supportive of our local market – I appreciate your patience in the event of any hiccups!
Tomatoes, zucchini, cukes, collards...
We still have lots of yummy local produce available, and it will be picked fresh on Tuesday morning just for you! Tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, kale, collard greens…
And don’t overlook the plants from Chez Nous Farm – there are good-sized red raspberry plants, sugar baby watermelon and marigold seedlings, as well as quite a few others to dress up and enhance your yard or to give as gifts.
Happy Fourth of July everyone!
Tis flower season at Chez Nous Farm. All the late winter imaginings, preparation, and hours of work with seedlings is becoming tangible in the form of snapdragons, zinnia, ornamental grasses, and the like. Of course there were some setbacks, like deer destroying about 30 sunflower babies and a dismal germination rate of lavender seeds. But fortunately, I planted a great deal of extras and have installed 180’ of portable electric fence.
Who doesn’t enjoy flowers, and why is that? One of my favorite authors, Michael Pollan, has a great deal to say about the relationship between us and the world of colorful blossoms in The Botany of Desire. Fragrances and vivid colors are a way for these plants to “collaborate” with humans, insects, and birds to propagate their genes. And in support of conservation, by growing these and many other kinds of plants, we are adding to the great complex web of life on earth; global loss of biodiversity and habitat is leading to a great mass extinction. The great ecologist Aldo Leopold said that the first rule of tinkering is to not lose any of the pieces!
So do yourself and the earth a favor and plant some flowers. See the current market listing under perennials and annuals for Chez Nous farm offerings: marigold, echinacea (coneflower), rudbeckia (black eyed susans—two varieties). I really need to move the rudbeckia, because they’re outgrowing the pots! Incidentally, I wanted some sugar baby watermelons for myself, and ended up with way too many…Lastly, forty-some four-year-old red raspberry plants in 5 gallon pots were replaced with new stock, and can be had for $11 each.
Later in July cut flower bouquets will be available. Think about how you feel when someone sends you flowers. Their ephemeral but singular beauty is a small window through which one is transported to a world of the purest beauty. That in itself, no matter how humble, is a much-needed reprieve from so many sad and cruel things that daily impinge on our souls.
Chez Nous Farm
We’re open – and we have tomatoes! Burns’ Green Leaf Market has two hoop houses, so they’re able to start vegetables earlier than is typical for our area. We also have other yummy produce: cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, fresh herbs, kale, and many more delicious, wholesome food options.
Thank you for choosing us!
Shrooms, Microgreens, Cukes, Sorbet...
We still have mushrooms, cucumbers, microgreens, kale, sorbet, gelato, and much more. There’s still time to get your orders in!
Why Work So Hard?
Our society and culture promotes the ideal of leisure and luxury as the ultimate goals. But I have a philosophical objection to this idea. You don’t have to be very old these days to be hyper-aware of the serious problems in our world. It must be especially difficult for young people. The world in which I was young didn’t have the issues of climate change, racial and gender tensions, and political turmoil. The moral imperative seems to be: what is your choice about your role in this inescapable world?
And choices we Americans do have. It is a burden and a privilege all at the same time. If you were living in China or North Korea at present, there are a great many choices you would not have. Such a situation is not impossible to happen in the U.S. – but alas, I am waxing philosophic and political, and I digress.
What’s all this got to do with Miami County Locally Grown? I’m a late-coming farmer of the alternative sort: small acreage, diverse enterprises, more labor intensive, direct farm-to-consumer. After an epiphany, and along with the heritage of family property, my path seemed obvious. I have embraced the opportunity with gusto. But talk about commitment and sacrifice, OY.
It’s hard to put my current life philosophy in a nutshell; we can’t solve all the world’s problems, but there are always opportunities to make positive contributions. Another corollary is that even if you don’t see the results of your efforts, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t an important part of the larger, more complex situation. All of you customers of MCLG are making this kind of contribution.
This is the current iteration of Chez Nous Farm – difficult but rewarding work. And why do I do this? Because it is something larger than myself, a gift of opportunity. My “Magnum Opus” is helping others to gain understanding about soil health and nutrition, the importance of wildlife habitat, and pastured meat production: an honorable goal for which sacrifice is worth the doing!
Chez Nous Farm
We’re open for the week. Enjoy the heat! If you can…
Changes are a-coming!
We still have lots of ice cream and gelato, romaine, kale, microgreens, cukes, zucchini, garlic scapes, breads, bagels, etc. Ordering closes tonight for the week, so order soon!
I want to keep all of MCLG’s loyal customers in the loop about the happenings at our local Virtual Market, so…
Many of you have noticed that the website is a bit dated, a bit clunky, a bit non-user-friendly…I know you’re all used to it, and I very much appreciate everyone being willing to navigate the site and place orders, BUT we have been working on updating it.
There will be plenty of notice before the actual switch. The site will look different, much simpler. There will be a SHOP button that takes you to the new selling platform, which is called Open Food Network.
After doing a lot of research, we chose Open Food Network (out of MANY other options) because we wanted a site that was: user-friendly, mobile-friendly, took credit cards, highlighted vendors, and enabled searching by vendor, among other hopes.
In their words, “Open Food Network USA is a nonprofit and part of a global community of organizations working to keep food accessible, to support fair and ethical local economies, and to join with communities rebuilding their connection to the earth and each other through respect, generosity, and gratitude.”
Our Market will be even better than it is now, but as with all changes, there will be an adjustment period. I really appreciate everyone’s support and look forward to a better experience serving you all and connecting you to your local farmers. So stay tuned for updates!