Last week brought our first full week of asparagus picking. Asparagus can shoot up very quickly, especially in warm, sunny weather. This means you can find us every single morning walking up and down rows of asparagus breaking off stalks. We break them off where they naturally snap for a couple different reasons. First, snapping off the stalks is better for our crop, if we were to cut the stalks we could risk disease transmission via the knife. Secondly, this makes for happier customers! We aren’t selling you the woody, tough part of the asparagus, leaving you with just the juicy, tender pieces. (This has already led to some very happy repeat customers after just two market weeks now!) Picking asparagus is an easy job, even though last week’s storms turned it into a very MUDDY job for a few days! Once we pick the asparagus we put it in buckets with a little bit of water at the bottom and put it in our 55 degree cooler. This helps us keep it as fresh as possible for our customers. With last Saturday’s opening of the Leavenworth Farmer’s Market 2018 season, you can now find us at the Leavenworth AND Parkville Farmer’s Markets this weekend! So don’t forget to come see us for some yummy asparagus! Can’t wait to see you there!
Last Thursday was national take your child to work day. While my son wanted to participate, his experience may have been a little different than that of some of his classmates. You see while they were at their parents’ jobs they may not regularly visit, my son was working on the family farm, just as he is used to doing in the summer and on weekends. He spent the morning helping flush irrigation lines, leach bags, and checking lead hoses in the greenhouse. He helped carry out a diseased plant that needed to be removed, prepared trays for transplants & watered some basil plants. Since this was a “special” day he also learned some new things, too. He learned how the greenhouse computer panel works, (which switches control the irrigation for which rows, etc.) and how to use the shut off valves on the rows inside the greenhouse. The actual work he did was broken up by chasing birds outside, playing with dirt and building a “frog trap” (which really just consisted of a bunch of random junk he found and put together inside a puddle). And that was all before lunch! As I write this I can’t help but wonder how his classmates spent their days at work with their parents. Did they learn anything they will use again? Were they able to sneak off and just enjoy being a kid on a nice day? Did they get to learn about the hard work and dedication it takes to run a family business? My son did. He may not have realized it because it’s something he’s just used to, but he sees his family members at work all the time. Not a set forty hours a week, but nights, weekends, holidays, and sleepovers with the grandparents. For him going to the farm still means he gets to hang out with family and play outside in the dirt. What he doesn’t realize yet, are all the life lessons he is learning at the same time.
There has been a lot of buzz about bees lately, so I thought I would take a minute to let you in on my experience. Bees are pretty great. They come in especially handy in our greenhouse. For those who don’t know, tomato plants bloom and have to be pollinated in order to actually get tomatoes. This is where our bees come in. Last year was the first year we used bees for this and it worked so well we’re not going back. There are other ways to pollinate inside a greenhouse but those methods involve more time and labor, while a bee’s job is pollination! And boy do they take their job seriously! They work around the clock going from plant to plant making sure to pollinate every bloom. However. . . I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with our bees. While we got along fine for most of last summer, my luck ran out. I got stung. Out of the handful of people who help out in our greenhouse, I am the only one who has ever been stung. Both times I was alone and didn’t even see the bees that got me. (I’ll admit I’m slightly bitter.) So needless to say I am starting out this year much more cautious. Even so, the other day I mustered up the courage to chase one around, as it buzzed through plants faster than I could keep up with. Not sure how, but I was lucky enough to snap this picture of our little bee friend on the job. So we are off to a good start this year. Here’s to hoping my luck holds up!
Hey everybody! Hope you all are enjoying our newly renovated website! Market season is only a couple weeks away now and I just wanted to take a minute to write a little bit about what you can expect at your local Farmer’s Market. When you show up to market and see all those colorful fruits and veggies what you are actually seeing is the product of a lot of time and energy that has been put into each and every piece of produce you see. Hardworking farmers have spent the better part of a year planning, planting, caring for, and harvesting your dinner. These are the same people who happily greet you with “Good Morning” at 7 am (even though their day began hours before the sun), and who proudly sell you the same produce they eat and feed to their families. See a vegetable you’re not familiar with? Ask. The vendors are happy to tell you what it is, and their favorite ways to prepare it! We also enjoy hearing your favorite recipes and tips! Forgot to stop by the ATM? No biggie. . . we, as well as most vendors accept credit cards! Most markets are now able to run credit/debit cards and distribute market tokens for those vendors that do not accept cards. There are also many special events held at markets from kids activities to live cooking demos. So check out your local Farmer’s Market websites or Facebook, make plans to bring the kids or meet up with friends, and make your weekly grocery shopping a fun experience your family can look forward to.