Monday, December 31, 2012

We Love To Read

We are a family of readers and I love to read.

Jenna (a high school freshman at the time) and I had a contest a few years ago. We both wrote down our books read for the year and both of us clocked in at over 200 books for the year. She let me count books on tape or she would have won hands down.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Never underestimate the role of serendipity in your farming endeavors.

For example:

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pumpkin Pie

How To Cook A Pumpkin

It is very easy to cook a fresh pumpkin. Brian recommends you put a pumpkin on a cookie sheet lined with foil (for easy clean-up if it drips) and cook the pumpkin whole for 1-1.5 hours at 350 °F. Once cooked the pumpkin is very easy to handle. Let the pumpkin cool. Cut unto half and remove seeds with a spoon. At this point the pumpkin is very soft and the flesh can be removed with a spoon or a knife along the edge of the outer shell. Puree the pumpkin or mash. If you have more pumpkin than you need for the recipe you are making, freeze the extra in a quart zip lock bag for easy future use. I often cook several pumpkins at a time (six small ones fit on a large cookie sheet on one shelf) and freeze it all. Our sweet heirloom pie pumpkins are amazing for any baking use.

Pumpkin Pie - Traditional (Reed's Favorite)

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Miracle of Compost

Compost and soil building is the foundation of our fertility Program for the Farm. 

  1. We make our own compost for our soil mix and for planting seedlings.
  2. We grow green manures for incorporation into the soil during the growing season.
  3. We buy compost day to day use on the farm.
The biggest source of compost is from the Rochester, Minnesota, Waste to Energy Facility. This is primarily leaf and grass compost. It costs $25 per ton if you load your own. They test it for persistent chemicals yearly and there have been none. They say that it requires 30-35 yards of leaves and grass to make one yard of compost. So the compost is a greatly concentrated form of organic matter. The compost is nearly weed free so we can use it as a protective weed supressing mulch on top of the soil. The compost facility is very close to where I work and only a mile from the farmers market, so I combine many trips.