All the BIG machinery (discs, duals and planters) is off behind the buildings now, so the driveway is clear for farm store parking! Folks coming from places where pavement has lines letting you know where to put your car may feel a bit confused as to where to park out here on the farm. Nose on up to the barn and make sure your tail end won't get in the way when the tractors need to come and go. We don't have a parking lot, per se, but we sure do offer a great view of an old red barn!
After you park, come on over to the store. The teacher in me just can't help but leave you a little note about what to expect during your visit! I try to find some humor to make you smile...or set you right to work on chores if I'm feeling snarky!
This summer, I'm juggling the store and our farmhouse rental, so there will be times that I'm not around, but I hope to minimize that. Don't be scared or think it inappropriate to send me a text if you have questions or need anything if I'm not there.
I have been giving some farm tours lately - the best part of my job! I love the opportunity to walk out to the BIG view at Lake View Farm, take folks past the mooies, through the greenhouse and along the fields. Here's a little of what you will see these days.
If you're a tractor fan, the cabless, open-air tractors are out and attached to things like mowers, discbines (photo above), and hay rakes. 2021 planting is done and it's time to pull in 1st crop hay. Our neighbors are a couple days ahead of us as you can see in this image of the farm across the road. They're baled, we're cut. Early summer moisture and heat have given us a thick, lush crop.
Our field is the darker green side of the road where we have alfalfa hay with little grass. What does that mean? It means this hay is meant for animals that need or can benefit from a higher protein diet. Most often that means this hay is meant for meat or dairy animals and is a too rich for most horses who may actually get fat if they eat too much. Kind of like how I do best with a lot of salad in my diet, whereas William prefers meat and potatoes!
I'm so excited about a couple of our crops this year.
Of course, the sunflowers have my heart - they are up and beginning their long reach towards the sun. We will see heads facing east in early to mid-August blanketing the horizon with yellow happiness.
If you are new to Lake View Farm, we grow sunflowers for culinary oil. It's the BEST, most delicious oil in the world! It's heart healthy lowering bad cholesterol and elevating the good, full of antioxidants and LOCAL - full farm - full organic! We grow the seeds, we press the oil and you get to eat it! This oil has such a nutty wonderful flavor people often don't recognize it only ooh and aah over how delicious is the thing made with sunflower oil. If you grill asparagus, drizzle some sunflower oil over it, add a sprinkle of salt and WOW! So good. Any steamed or sauteed veggie will pop with flavor when you add sunflower oil. It's great for making roasted potato wedges, salad dressings or a simple dip with garlic for bread.
Another crop that is just beautiful is the winter rye. Rye suppresses weeds, provides a delicious grain and a fantastic straw that the vegetable farmers will want to get their hands on as it is nearly weed free. It's a gorgeous billowing backdrop against all the fresh new green in the fields. We'll combine the grain in July, then cut the straw to bale shortly after. The year we got married, William and I used our rye straw bales for ceremony seating. No chair rental needed, then after the wedding, lots of gardens benefitted from the wonderful straw! Win win.
Above you can see how tall the rye is already and below, I hope you can see, that in between the rye plants, there are very few weeds. This plant is considered allelopathic which means it inhibits the growth of other plants near it. In other words, it keeps the weeds at bay! Buckwheat is another crop that is weed suppressive. These are very handy crops to use in rotation both in a vegetable garden and on a farm. Ask me about how to do this with veggies next time you're out here and curious.
If you come for blueberries in July at Rush River Produce (Our neighbor's farm in the distance), you'll drive past one of William's fields of barley. To the south of blueberrylandia we have more sunflowers that will give a gorgeous show in August.
If you were out to the farm last summer, you may have seen our trailer coop? On Sunday we moved our new chicks into their summer home so you'll be able to visit when you stop out. These are the cuties William picked up at Tractor Supply last month. They sure are a skittish bunch, so don't be alarmed if you scare them!
Also, if you tour with me through the farm, don't be alarmed by the piles of batteries in between the summer landscaping, or the metal junk lying around. Recycling is the name of the game here at Lake View Organic Farm.
Of course, a trip to the farm must include a "farmspa" trip through the greenhouse sauna! We're nearly at the tipping point, where weed growth will win in here if it stays so hot! I keep thinking I'll need to tend the greenhouse garden after dark as its just too durned hot to be out there for long. It sure is bodacious and delicious! We've enjoyed many a salad and are looking forward to the broccoli and cauliflower next. Once I pull out the last of the lettuces, it will be mostly HOT house happy plants: peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, basil and cukes. We'll see how the carrots and onions handle the heat.
And, of course, the best part of the tour is visiting with the mooies. These guys are so cute and slobbery and friendly always looking for a little salad, strawberry or easy handful of grass. They are about to be moved to a new pasture, so may not be quite so up close and personal after next week. They'll be so full of green grass that when they see me it'll be more like, "Oh, yeah, you...nah, Ima stay here munchin'!" Like teenagers looking for independence from parents...we miss them!
The farm store is full of goodies from the garden, freshly pressed sunflower oil, our CBD products, and of course, wool hats! No, the heat's not getting to you. You read that right. My hand made wool hats are for sale despite thermometers hitting the high 90s! That's how I roll.
Stop out to see us. Ask for a tour. Get some sunflower oil for drizzling on every salad you make this summer! Stay cool.
Hot and sweaty love coming from the farm your way!