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Posts Tagged ‘my family’

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My nephew, Graham, likes pigs!

I’ve received a few calls recently from people asking if we still have Stone’s Throw Farm CSA shares, so I wanted to assure our website visitors that we do still have a few available. As soon as the last share is reserved, I’ll update the website here and here.Thursday pick-up is pretty much full, but we have room on Mondays at all those pick-up locations.

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My nephews Franklin and Graham visited the piglets (and their grandparents) in Iowa this week.

In other words, if you’re looking for a 2013 CSA share, go ahead and send that form and check! In the worst case scenario, I would notify you that we were already sold out and return your check.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have about the shares, of course. Or, just check out the latest pig pics!

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I’m headed to the farm to start harvesting for the Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association’s Harvest Festival this Saturday, September 8, from 10-4 at Bayfront Park in Duluth. Admission is free, and you can enter a raffle for a chance to win a giant basket of goodies from the farmers market PLUS a $300 gift certificate to New Scenic Cafe.

The Harvest Fest will make this the second eventful weekend in a row for Stone’s Throw Farm. Last weekend, my sister, brother-in-law, and nephews visited Wrenshall. Franklin, 3 1/2, loves to “drive” trucks, and discovered an affinity for the wheel hoe. (I’m just hoping he likes hoeing this much when he’s old enough to actually do some damage with the thing.) Graham, 1, likes pushing things, and loves my parents’ dog. It’s enough to wear a person out.

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In 2007, I took an apprenticeship at Caretaker Farm in beautiful western Massachusetts, and the rest is history (i.e., I became a vegetable farmer). While I was in Williamstown, my parents came out to visit me and we took a short trip to Craryville, New York, to see my uncle Bruce and cousin Justin. Their focus is on meat animals (Angus cattle and Berkshire hogs), but they also grow some veggies and flowers and bring in other locally-made goodies for their (professional and charming, I thought) farm stand. Bruce recently sent us a nice article about their business, Sir William Farm, that ran in a local paper, and after reading it I feel I have even more in common with my uncle than I realized — besides the farming and the hip issues, it seems we must have a similar aversion to chit-chat and a slow-to-get-to-know-you personality. Meet your farmer, indeed — just don’t be surprised if he or she would rather be in the field!

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My parents, Craig & Jean, just got back from two weeks at their farm in Iowa. Needless to say, Dad immediately got a new shipment of supplies unloaded and hilled the potatoes. Mom helped with the weekly CSA harvest and tackled some persistent quackgrass (a redundancy, I know). It’s great to have them back. The veggies and pigs have been perking along in the last few weeks, and the winter squash is already twice as big as it was when I took these photos.

See Stone’s Throw Farm in person this weekend during the LS-SFA’s Festival of Farms event.

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My mom sent an update on the new piglets, which my parents are taking care of in Iowa for now. They’ll be transplanted up to Stone’s Throw Farm a little later in the spring. The piglets look really roly-poly now! Here are a couple photos of the sleeping piglets and my favorite video — enjoy.

 

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Stone’s Throw Farm’s Pick-Your-Own Day was this past Saturday and I enjoyed the company of a few dedicated farm members who picked their hearts out, helping me utilize the many green beans and cherry tomatoes ready at the moment. Unfortunately (typically!) I forgot my camera, so I wasn’t able to visually document all the fun you missed if you weren’t there. Trust me, though, there was a whole lot of pickin’ goin’ on.

I’m getting a little tired of my own company at the farm about now, so it was nice to have farm members around for that reason, too. My parents are on their way to Stone’s Throw Farm even as I type, so I’ll have no shortage of company this week, and the Harvest Festival is just around the corner; I’ll bring the farm to the people that day.

Even though a big farmers market can be a little too much company for this introvert, I’m kind of excited about this year’s Harvest Festival. It’s partly because I’ll now be a veteran at the Farmers Market and therefore a little more clued in about how things go there, and partly because the festival is free this year (I hope this means even more festival-goers) and it doesn’t start until 11 a.m.! This means we farmers won’t have to stay up so late the night before and get up so ridiculously early the day of in order to get everything harvested and to market. I think it’ll make for much bigger smiles behind the produce tables in the market.

If you can’t wait until Saturday, September 10, for a farmers market experience, check out UMD Market Day in the Plaza this Wednesday, particularly my friend Heather-Marie Bloom’s veggie, art, and jewelery table (Rising Phoenix Community Farm). A little bird told me Heather-Marie might be peddling her homemade chocolate beet cake this week as well — yum.

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My nephew Franklin (oh, and the rest of my family, too!) visited Stone’s Throw Farm this weekend and drove the tractor almost the whole time he was at the farm. Even when it was parked in the shed, he “drove” it. He did take some time out to “drive” the pickup down a bumpy bath, and he wielded a hoe in the field with me for a few minutes after we pulled the garden cart out to the field, but otherwise he was all about the tractor. My dad drove him around on Saturday and they picked up the manure spreader and pulled that around for a while. Needless to say, Franklin is a big fan of his Grandpa Craig. If his interest in tractors continues, he’s more than welcome to do my tractor work for me in the future!

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Before Chris, Dave, and Franklin arrived on Friday night, Mom and Dad helped me move the pigs into their next paddock, plant 2 beds of potatoes, prep a few beds for a cover crop, and Mom did all my greenhouse watering for me and buried part of the pig water line. We did a couple days’ work in one day so we could relax and enjoy Sir Franklin’s visit the rest of the weekend.

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The wiggly pigglies arrived at Stone’s Throw Farm yesterday evening! My parents generously offered to deliver the pigs, and I didn’t turn them down. (A wise farmer once told me that if someone offers to help you, accept, because you’re going to need all the help you can get.) My parents weighed the pigs before they left and discovered they’ve been gaining over a pound and a half a day in the last 22 days.

The piggies seemed happy in their new accommodations, immediately putting noses to the ground and rooting away. I hope they’re warm enough this morning, as there’s probably frost on the ground at the farm. I put 3 bales of straw in their 2 huts last night, so that should help.

I’ll get some video today.

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The new 2011 Stone’s Throw Farm Pastured Pork ordering info is available now. Farm members, please reserve your whole or half hog by May 4th. Depending on how many orders I get, I might open it up to other community members, too.

The pigs in question are growing extremely fast, and I’d like to bring them up here as soon as the weather warms up a bit. My mom shot this video of the pigs in their pen outside the farrowing house (they still sleep inside). It’s a toss-up whether it’s more entertaining to watch the pigs or listen to my mom “toodle-oot” to them — thanks, Mom!

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The Easter bunny came early at Stone’s Throw Farm this year, but he didn’t bring candy. He brought salvaged lumber, fence posts, tin, a pig hut and feeder, and a space heater for the greenhouse. OK, the bunny — or bunnies — that I’m referring to are my parents. They brought their truck and trailer up from Iowa this past weekend with a load of supplies for the farm. Having passed on the trip last weekend due in part to rain in the forecast, they were a bit disappointed by the wind, cold, and snow we received this weekend, but they survived.

Some of the stuff they brought from their farm, but quite a bit of it was from my grandpa’s place. My parents helped him take out a bunch of fencing last fall, and he also donated an old set of bleachers that they used to set up for farm sales. The bleacher lumber turned out to be Douglas fir, so we might save some of that for a higher purpose. My dad painstakingly removed all the iron from the wood before bringing it to us (with a little help from my mom). Thanks, guys.

We whiled away the hours by stacking the lumber, fixing the deer fence, setting up a pig pen, seeding beets in plug trays, refreshing my memory on plow hydraulics, and modifying the two-row cultivator so I can cultivate the pathways between beds with it. I’d say it was a productive weekend!

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