A BIG THANKS
First and foremost, for those of you who have been coming to the farm these last few months to see the seasons roll by and indulge in a few FARM STORE goodies, THANK YOU! What a joy it has been for us to share a bit of this with you. So many of you have left the driveway in a different state of mind than when you arrived. I can see it in your faces, the palpable need to escape our present state of affairs, and come to the farm for a bit of nostalgia for times past, peace and joy. We welcome you to visit, appreciate your business, and are filled with the happiness you share in walking the fields, feeding the pigs a cucumber or just admiring the views. Besides FARM STORE goodies and spectacular views, I suspect the farm is healing for many of you.
BECAUSE YOU ASKED
We now have a pretty blue a porta-potty:)
THE SUNFLOWER FIELDS
William planted 18 acres of sunflowers this year and many of those acres are viewable for our guests. He mowed paths along the east side of two of our biggest fields, so you can get up close and personal with those glorious beauties. You are welcome to walk the fields, photograph the flowers and study the bees. We've seen LOTS of bumblebee varieties as well as many of our smaller bee species busy and drunk with pollen. You are also invited to pick your own bouquet - $1 per stem. We have tools and materials to help you with that. Did you know that after the sunflower opens, it ONLY FACES EAST? They move to follow the sun when just when they are budded.
HOW LONG WILL THE SUNFLOWER BE VIEWABLE?
The first field planted just across the road from our farm is in peak form right now, and plans to look smashing for you this weekend (August 6-9)! The second field closest to the farm began to open this last week, so we anticipate a beautiful showing through the 23rd of August providing no weird storms come crashing through the area. After that, they will begin to hang their lovely heads facing downward in hopes the birds will spare a few seeds. We will drive through the fields with the sunflower head on the combine sometime towards the end of October or beginning or November. Those seeds we collect will make next year's delicious sunflower oil. Some of you heard me tell that the oil we have in the store now comes from our wedding sunflowers. "There's a LOVE story in those bottles," I like to say!
WHAT DO YOU GROW ON YOUR FARM?
That's the question everybody asks me. We grow corn, soybeans, hay, sunflowers and small grains mainly. What are small grains you may ask. Those are the grains we don't see too much of around here - oats, rye, barley and wheat - and I am all about William growing more of those! Not only do those small grains provide food for humans, but they also give us the straw we want to mulch our gardens.
I really don't know much about farming, but it seems the more diversified we are, the better chance we can make it financially farming small and maybe even land on something that will be more successful than the old standards. We live in a sea of corn and soybeans around here and I can't help but think, that's just not sustainable.
William runs about 250 acres of organic ground - way more than any one guy alone should manage. He makes it look easy, and he does it fairly old-school with equipment from days past. Somebody drove down our road with a NEW New Holland Swather a couple of days ago and boy, did I hear about it! First it was a curiosity in terms of who out here was growing small grains, and secondly, why were they driving past our place? The only problem with the machine, surmised Sweet William, was that it was red and yellow and not green! That means, not a John Deere his preferred brand for all things tractor!
SWATHER got your GOAT?
When I first met William that word "Swather" caught my attention. Then, when I saw the machine, I was really stumped! Basically about the only farm implements I could identify were the tractors and combines. I learned my way through the HAY RAKE, ROUND BALER, SQUARE BALER, DISCBINE, ROTARY HOE, and the various PLANTERS. I am GREEN out here in the world of machinery! I asked, "What's the difference between a hay cutter and a swather?" Well, instead of saying, "One cuts hay and the other swaths grains" my sweetheart explained that the hay cutter also has a roller to crush the hay as it is cut in order to encourage drying. The swather, on the other hand, gently cuts the grain stalk and lays it down flat careful NOT to disturb the grain heads. That's swathed grain. Then after it dries for some time, William will combine it to remove the grain from the straw. After that, old Mr. Squarebaler gets to prove his worth by making us straw to cover that garlic in October.
OK ENOUGH ABOUT THE FARM, WHAT'S IN THE FRIDGE?
We've got a new Farmer's Daughter Curry Mustard, lots of Sunflower SALAD DRESSINGS, little pots of lovely things that taste great on toasted bread - BEET CAVIAR with sunflower seeds, dates and a bit of rum, a couple of pestos, and a Basil/Fennel Chimichurri.
BUT, the big news for this week is TACOS!
We have a BARBACOA sauce to add to the crockpot with 3-4 pounds of a roast to get ready for TACO TUESDAY, I have a new TACO SEASONING for ground beef made from our dehydrated onions, garlic, peppers and oregano, and for those of you who prefer PORK, I have a CHILI POWDER that will deliver a fantastic pot of POZOLE or GREEN CHILE STEW to your at-home dining choices. Also available, a variety of salsas. NEW to the FARM STORE last week from DESPERATION DAIRY - "Curdettes"- these are lovely, light cheese curds that pair fantastically well with TACOS or BURRITOS! They are also incredibly delicious as salad toppings with LAKE VIEW ORGANIC FARM'S Maple Mustard Vinaigrette!
FIELDS, FOOD & FARMY ART
We are hosting a few artists in the FARM STORE right now. If you have GIFT GIVING to do, we might just have a unique idea or two here at the Lake View Organic Farm Store.
Our neighbor, Sammy Novek makes signs using live edge wood. The signs we chose for the store are funny and farmy. Sammy's Crafts has a shop on Facebook where you can see her wide variety of work, or contact her for custom orders.
We are also hosting Nancy Randall, a fiber artist who works with wool and silk NUNOFELTING to create colorful landscapes of one of her favorite places on earth - The Rush River Valley! I hope to showcase some of her scarves as well as the weather cools.
Kory Phillips makes geometric barn signs (photo coming) similar to the Pennsylvania Dutch famous Hex Sign, but with her own Maiden Rock, West Coast Wisconsin twist. We have one in the store with a sunflower motif and information about how to contact her for a custom order.
William Brenner Metal ART for the garden or doorstep. He is also willing to make cut-metal signs like our store sign - just ask.
There is always more, but, you'll have to stop out to find out what it is! The farm evolves every week, the fridge evolves every week and we are here to greet you!