Home Page
Find Us on Facebook!
 
Box Pictures!

What's New

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 10/16/2017 12:41pm by Stefanie Jaeger.

Fall Greetings from Wild Hollow Farm!

The end of the growing season is always a busy time on the farm, as we hustle to savor the last bits of warmth, begin fall clean-up, and look ahead to planning for next season. Cooler temperatures and shortened day length slowly turn the once vibrant flower fields to a patchwork of brown and yellow. Our first hard frost arrived last week, drawing to an official close our field growing season.  

There are a handful of flowers that are able to persist the frosty temperatures and step into the spotlight this time of year. Flowering kale is definitely one of these beauties, taking its sweet time all season to slowly mature. As temperatures drop, the colors become even more deep and vivid. I like to think of flowering kale as the rose of autumn, with its big ruffly layers of leaves in deep shades of purple, white, green, and pink. Eucalyptus is another plant that we turn our focus to in the fall. It grows into a tree in warmer climates, but for us in the north we treat it as an annual. Each year we seed it in late winter, and watch it slooooooooowly grow all summer long. It is tempting to snip away at the beautiful silvery green leaves, but if cut too soon, the tender new growth quickly wilts in the vase. Beginning in September, when the leaves have become more mature and leathery, we can finally begin to harvest! Eucalyptus finds its way into most everything we make, from bouquets to boutonnieres, and everything in between.  

We grow many flowers specifically for drying, and fall is the time to stockpile for making wreaths and other dried flower beauties in the winter. Gomphrena is one of my favorites - these stiff little puffs hold up so well in the field for use as a fresh cut, and when dried maintain their bold color all year long. Other flowers we dry include statice, dusty miller, nigella, strawflower, artemesia, celosia, and eucalyptus. We will be offering several dried flower wreath workshops on the farm in November and December. We will talk about drying flowers and provide the instruction, assistance, and materials/tools for you to create your own dried flower wreath to take home. All flowers were grown and dried on the farm, specifically for use in this class. Wreath making is a great skill to learn and this class is for the beginner, no experience necessary. You will walk away with a gorgeous wreath that will last for years! For more info or to register, please visit our website at www.wildhollowfarm.com/workshops  

Seed catalogs have already started filling our mailbox, and fall is the ideal time to plan for next year’s growing season. With everything still so fresh in my mind, I set aside a solid few hours to review my notes from the season and get my seed order in. In a few weeks, our tulip bulbs will arrive and we will hustle to get them in the ground before it gets too cold. We are growing thirteen new varieties this year, and are excited to offer you our Spring Tulip Share which begins in mid-April.  

Enjoy this time of change, leaf color, and cool weather!

Melissa  

Posted 10/16/2017 12:40pm by Stefanie Jaeger.

Here is the link for our October 18th, 2017 Newsletter!

Posted 10/10/2017 8:58am by Stefanie Jaeger.

Greetings from Maple Hill Farm!                  

Fall is really here in full tilt, and I think I’ve forgotten just how unique the fall colors here in the North really are. This week’s letter is a little departure from the status quo; allow me to introduce myself! I’m Cate Airoldi, daughter to Tom and Connie Cogger and sister to Matt Cogger, the co-owners of Maple Hill Farm. I currently live in Ashland, Oregon but head home as often as I can to visit family.           

People often ask me what it was like to grow up on a small farm. That answer is….complicated! Like many things in life, growing up a farm daughter may be one of those things I come to appreciate more as I’ve gotten older. I can say that I have many, many fond memories of dashing out to the garden for some fresh beans or peas whenever I felt like it, watching baby lambs and pigs being born, and appreciating the freedom that comes with growing up in the country. The barnyard, garden, woodpile, and adjacent forest lands were as good of a playground as any child could want! Did I love every minute of weeding, tomato picking, wood cutting, chicken butchering, or hay bale stacking? Certainly not, but I do continually realize just how unique my upbringing was the older I get. Having insight into the inner workings of small scale agriculture really is a rarity in today’s society. Where do those fresh washed veggies, eggs, and chicken breasts come from in the store? What really goes into producing a week’s worth of food for a big family? How much effort does it actually take to cut and stack 10 cords of firewood for a winter’s worth of heat? These are all aspects of rural life that, growing up, I considered completely normal. I now realize that with the dwindling populations in rural regions around the country, and the relative scarcity of small farms, these are all in fact very unusual skill sets to have!                 

Having lived in a multitude of places since leaving home for college and work, I have to say I’m quite envious of those of you lucky enough to partake in the Lake Superior CSA. Although Oregon is a temperate state with a year-round growing season, none of the CSAs I have encountered thus far offer anywhere near the quality, diversity of products, or value of your CSA here. This model of business- Community Supported Agriculture- not only benefits the growers and producers immensely in sustaining their livelihoods, it provides what I view as a critical connection between producer and consumer. Not everyone grows up on a farm, and nor do I think everyone should! We need teachers, doctors, and mechanics in the world too. However, I think that groups like the CSA benefit the community far beyond the immediate and obvious value of receiving high quality, locally produced food. An opportunity is presented for people to “vote with their dollars” so to speak by supporting small scale sustainable agriculture, hardworking growers and producers, and a fast-disappearing lifestyle of community investment.                

Hoping you take time to see the fall colors and enjoy the bounty of your Fall CSA boxes!              

Cate

Posted 10/9/2017 2:52pm by Stefanie Jaeger.

Hot off the press! 

Here is our October 11th, 2017 Newsletter!

Posted 10/2/2017 2:13pm by Stefanie Jaeger.

Greetings from Twisting Twig Gardens and Orchard,  

I hope that you all have been enjoying fall. This is my favorite time of the year. I love the cool, comfortable weather, the vibrant colors, and earthy smells. Most of all, I love the bounty of the harvest season. This time of year, the eating is good!  

As we move into October, a sense of urgency begins to creep in. Around Twisting Twig, there is still much work to be done before the season wraps up and the cold weather arrives. This month, we will be picking and pressing apples for cider, which is something that I eagerly await each year. We will be continuing to harvest from the gardens including; digging up the root veggies, gathering the last of the tomatoes, and harvesting the lettuce. Toward the end of the month, we will be prepping beds and planting garlic for next year. There will also be garden clean-up and plenty of mulching to do before all is ready for winter.  

With all the busyness and joys of fall, also comes a touch of sadness about having to let go of that daily sense of purpose of nurturing our crops. This growing season has had it's challenges because of the cool and wet weather, which has led to issues including slower ripening, slug damage, and tomato blight. We need rain, but everything in moderation! However, the bounty and delights of fall abound, and I am grateful for all that the farm provides.  

I want to thank you for supporting us and the other farms of your Lake Superior Cooperative CSA. And, good on you for choosing to eat well. Enjoy!   Happy Fall, Rob  

Posted 10/2/2017 2:11pm by Stefanie Jaeger.

Here is the link for the October 4th, 2017 Newsletter!

Delicata Squash

Posted 9/25/2017 3:30pm by Stefanie Jaeger.

Farming is very much a game of playing the odds. As the fairly predictable weather of summer gives way to the anything-goes-roller-coaster of fall, keeping track of the odds becomes a critical part of the farming equation. A forecast junkie, I habitually check the weather radar every time I turn on the computer, ending up there whether I intended to or not. Gears spinning in my head quickly evaluate the changes in percentages of rain, thunder storms, sunshine, or cold/frost from the last time I checked the forecast. These changes are weighed carefully against what tasks need to be accomplished for the day and the week, and a course of action is plotted. Repeat hourly as needed. As the captain of this produce ship, I am charged with simultaneously keeping one eye on the horizon and one directly off the bow, constantly readjusting my course to keep the harvest on course and not run aground.

This time of year, having a good crew here on the farm is critical to success. In order to better handle the rigging and keep ahead of the weather, at the end of August we hired on an additional farmhand, Evan. Evan worked here a few years ago for a summer, and has worked on a variety of area farms since then – we are glad to welcome him back on the crew! Having another set of capable hands on the team has been wonderful, and the 3 of us here have been tackling a host of projects. In addition to regular weekly harvests of produce (still picking beans and sweet corn in late September!), the past 2 weeks found us busy getting summer crops out of the hoophouses and prepping the ground in there for winter spinach plantings. The first plantings of winter spinach are up and looking great, and we’ve got 3 more plantings on the way to keep the spinach coming all season long in your winter CSA boxes. For our big project next week, we’ll be pouring a new concrete slab in the root cellar to replace the old gravel floor, which will be an exciting development. That way we can move whole bins of carrots, cabbage, beets, and such around with the pallet jack instead of in 80# sacks by hand. My body is grateful already. Meanwhile, we’ll be watching the weather closely as fall progresses, ready to turn hard starboard as fast as we can and get back to the big storage crop harvests when a cold front appears on the horizon. The onions were the first of the winter crops to get harvested, and I am happy to report they are curing down splendidly in the greenhouse. The next big harvest will be the winter squash, and we’ll need to get it in before the first hard frost settles down in the fields. The longer we leave them to grow in the fields the sweeter they will be this winter – but wait too long and we could lose them to frost damage. Always playing the odds! Enjoy the warm weather while it lasts everyone.

Yours in community, Chris Duke and company – Great Oak Farm

 

Onions curing for winter

Posted 9/25/2017 3:20pm by Stefanie Jaeger.

Here is the link for the September 27th, 2017 Newsletter!

 

 

 

Posted 9/18/2017 1:28pm by Stefanie Jaeger.
Posted 9/11/2017 2:05pm by Stefanie Jaeger.

The First Frost:

It is something you look forward to with both dread and relief. Dread that your plants will be killed and the tomatoes, peppers, and beans will come to a quick and dramatic. Relief that finally the farming season is coming to a close. With both these things in mind my fiancé I found ourselves out Friday night (the day before our wedding) covering whatever we could with row cover and old greenhouse plastic.

After an unexpected mild frost, the night before and a freeze predicted tonight, I’m not going to get caught sleeping on the job. The thing about early frosts is that they are unpredictable. A degree or two can make all the difference and there is still a lot of stuff out there. What should I harvest now? Should I cover the beans or the peppers? Zucchini or cucumbers? Should the high end of the field get covered or just the low end? I look around and conclude there is not enough row cover for the peppers or beans. Ok let’s cover the cucumbers and zucchinis. We set the sprinklers up in the beans. If it frosts I can turn the sprinklers on to fend off a couple degrees of cold. Peppers, pull off everything that looks reasonably ripe.

Its 11:00 39 degrees and we have harvested everything we can, used all the row cover, and set up sprinklers on the beans, there is nothing more we can do for now. I get up at 2:30, 37° no frost, 3:30, 36° no frost, 4:30, 35° no frost, 5:30, 34° can’t tell might be some frost forming on the grass clipping, 6:00, 34° sun starts to come up, no frost this end of the field, I walk to the low end, a little frost on some grass clippings, 6:30 sun starts to hit the fields, we are in the clear no damage.

Time to get married.

~Northcroft Farm