Tuesday, February 13, 2018

CSA is Ready to Roll!

If you have any questions that are not answered in the brochure, please don’t hesitate to send us an email.  We always want to make sure that we are a good fit for you and your family because a good fit will help to make a good experience!

Once you have decided you’d like to sign-up, please let us know ASAP via email.  We will confirm that there is still a space available for you.  If there is not an open space, we will add you to our waitlist.

We are happy to accept payment via Cash, Check or Credit cards.  A minimum of $75 is requested to fully secure your spot and the remainder is due one month from your sign-up date.  If you need a payment plan or would like to look into using your SNAP benefits to pay for some or all of your share, please let us know so we can make special arrangements.

Pullman’s Winter Farmers Market on February 17th from 2-6pm on Main Street in Downtown Pullman would be a perfect place to come and meet us in person, ask more questions, and make payments in any form.

Currently, there are still spaces available but please email us to confirm prior to sending any payments!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Brief Updates

Wow what a whirlwind of the last few years!

I have been getting many questions of late and suddenly realized that my last blog post was the first (and last!) newsletter of 2016.

I apparently have a lot of work to do...


YES!  We are continuing our CSA in 2018

YES! we do still have open spaces.

We have NOT yet finalized the pricing or exactly how many spaces we will have available.

INFO in the form of a freshly updated brochure will be directly emailed to 2017's CSA members as well as anybody else who has emailed me regarding CSA signup as soon as possible.  said brocures will be ready no later than the 3rd weekend in February for the Pullman Winter Farmers Market.

We will be happy to take signups at the Pullman Winter Farmer's Market on February 17th between 2 and 6pm at Mantis Martial Arts in Downtown Pullman.

Please keep your eyes out for more information coming soon.

Other News:

Kids and Lambs have arrived!  We are currently waiting for our last Mama to drop her lamb and then it'll be off to figuring out where to graze them first.  With such a mild winter, as long as the ground is pretty solid, there is no reason why we can't move them out to pasture very soon.. They'l be able to eat the last of the grasses that grew last year and be in the field the moment grasses start their explosion of new growth this spring.

Pullman Farmers Market:

Every Third Saturday the Pullman Farmer's Market happens right in Down Town Pullman!  2-6pm at Mantis Martial Arts on Main Street.  Next date is February 17th!  We'll have pork and a few types of fresh vegetables that the wild critters left alone long enough for us to harvest them.  Also Peggy from Pioneer produce will be there with her amazing jams and any fresh produce that her wild critters missed.  Alyssa and Richard Link will be taking orders for their superb chickens at Link'd Hearts Ranch, Wilson Banner Ranch will have cider and other goodies. 

If you happen to be reading this as a producer within 60 miles of Pullman and would like to take an opportunity in February to take some sign-ups or sell some surprise available crops, please don't hesitate: email PullmanFarmersMarket@gmail.com ASAP and get yourself a spot!  We are always looking for new vendors!

For now, that is all.  We have many things we would like to accomplish this year and we truly hope that you'll ride along with us on this crazy adventure!

All our love,
Margaret and Jason
HannaMae, Alli and Oak

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Newsletter, Week 1

General Newsletter #1
May 31st, 2016

Hello everyone!

It’s that time of year again!  The markets have started, Vegetables are rolling through our booths, a fresh batch of pigs just went in for slaughter so fresh cuts will be back at markets by Saturday Market and we are already calling down our lists to make sure vegetable products get moved and not fed to chickens as waste.  And the bugs have already taken out a couple of beds so that the chickens and sheep both got vegetable treats.

This last week we accomplished a fair bit.  We have been starting scads of trays of various different kinds of winter squash (including 20 trays with 72 cells each of just Delicata squash!) and clearing out early beds of crops that were either done or eaten by bugs or bolted to seed because of the early heat so that we can start planting tomato starts in our large hoophouse.  We also spent part of one afternoon laying about 3,500 feet of mulch paper for said winter squash.  We were able to borrow a mulch layer for our tractor from the WSU Organic Farm to accomplish all of that footage in just about 4 hours, including frequent and frustrating fine-tuning.  It was worth it!  Laying mulch by hand takes a lot longer by hand and is hard on your back because you must shovel dirt all along the edge to hold the paper down or the wind will blow it away.

On Sunday, we had one employee and her fiancee as well as the Links of Link’d Hearts Ranch out in the afternoon to assist with cutting and planting potatoes.  All together, not counting children who were busy climbing trees and hay bales, we had 9 people working on cutting, planting and tractor implement adjusting and tractor driving.  In just 5 hours we were able to get all but 275 pounds of the 1000 pounds we purchased cut and into the ground.  Jason and I and our Intern put in and finished the last 25 lbs that had been cut but not planted on Monday morning.

Jason and I both had the feeling of being “real” farmers with this project in particular.  We both felt like up until now, we never used the tractor much in the actual cultivation of our vegetables.  Sure, we’d use the rototiller to make a fine seedbed or hook up to our discs to take down a cover crop or to break up a space that chickens or pigs had occupied over the winter so that manure had plenty of time to breakdown before any crops were even planted but we’d never used it to actually plant a vegetable crop.  We borrowed a toolbar and some ditchers from Wilson Banner Ranch and finally got out the box of tractor sized ratchets so that we could adjust it all and then cutting ditches and covering up potatoes took almost no time at all! (check out Facebook for the Video!)

Allow me to caveat all of that with the fact that there are millions of farmers in the world who are quite successful at farming and don’t have or want a tractor.  They are most certainly REAL farmers!  (There are a couple at the Moscow Farmer’s Market!)  I am saying “Real” in quotes to emphasize the stereotypical idea that “real” farmers are only “real” when they use the tractor, or similar, for every aspect of their farm from planting to cultivating to harvest.

Coming up this week is tons more transplanting!  The list off the top of my brain includes tomatoes, peppers, onions, more kale, more chard, more bok choi, broccoli, cauliflower and many many more items.  And the last of our potatoes.  That will make nearly an acre of potatoes for this season!  Definitely a new venture for us on this scale but it’s one that we don’t feel is adequately served in our area and we have the space such that we can put in an acre of potatoes without cramping our style on our CSA or having a full variety of vegetables at our Market booths.

The other big change to look for this season is definitely going to be lots of vegetables at the markets.  We have purchased two full booth spaces at both the Pullman Farmer’s Market as well as the Moscow Farmer’s Market and plan on filling all of that space with vegetables!  Even if you didn’t purchase a CSA you’ll be able to pick up plenty of veggies from us also each week to go with eggs, lamb and pork.  Financially for us, the vegetables are going to be much more important this season as we have been having some challenges finding land on which we are allowed to run batches of hogs.  We are working on some options for our second and final batch of the 2016 season but are open to many ideas for land for the coming years if it’s not too far away from our current farm.

As many of you may have heard, we had to move house this spring.  The farm has not moved and doesn’t need to in the near future.  We purchased a small mobile home in Pullman and have finally finished moving out of the farmhouse.  Which means we can finally focus on getting caught up on farming!  Our new house still feels like a storage unit with tons of boxes everywhere but each night we get another one or two unpacked and every night we are able to actually live in a little bit more of our space.  Our longer-term plan is to live in our new place for four or five years while we save up some money and search for our Forever Farm.  Ideally, somewhere in Whitman County, preferably in the Pullman School District but we will see what stands out to us as we get closer to being ready to actually purchase a place.

The other big news, if you haven’t already heard is that I, Margaret, am back on the farm full-time.  This is a long-time dream of ours finally coming to fruition.  In April, I resigned my job at WSU and made the leap.  So far, I am enjoying farming full time.  While everything is still extremely stressful, more so because the farm will actually need to provide our family’s income for the year, my life’s stress is reduced on the whole because I am not ALSO beholden to my employer at WSU and their expectations.  I am so much more enjoying each day, even though it is so much harder and physical work.  I get to see Oak all day long and I also get to see HannaMae and Alli right after school.  I get to see Jason all day long also.  I know, some of you are raising your eyebrows at me and wondering how long it’ll take for us to do away with one another but so far we haven’t killed each other yet, quite…

This season, it will be tough and everything is in transition from what it was last season into the present in so many different ways and many things won’t and haven’t gone quite the way we’d wanted them to so far.  On the other hand, things look bright.  We are pretty well on track so far to at least squeak by, even if we end up needing to pick up some sort of job over the winter, we’ll do just fine.

Best wishes to you all on this bright week,

Jason & Margaret

HannaMae, Alli, Oak