Wrapping Up the Season

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Garlic mulching with Emilyrose

We finally mulched the garlic on November 21st, which is quite late;  but we were blessed with an incredible Indian Summer, so all is well.  Beef has been sold, almost all the potatoes are out the door, and the chickens have come home to their winter residence.

It was the longest grazing season in memory, with good grass right up to the beginning of November.  Very happy cattle!

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Orbit, Timely & Spangle

Now we’re cutting wood for the woodstove and settling in as the days get so very short (this Southern boy is still getting used to that).  It’s been a beautiful autumn, and I’m actually looking forward to winter – but ask me again in February.

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Garlic Planting Party Weekend!

Join us on garlic-planting-weekend-2016
Saturday, October 22nd
Sunday, October 23rd

We’ll provide a sumptuous repast and some end-of-the-day libations. We need help getting all that garlic in the ground, and we’re willing to pay you, trade produce (great potatoes!) or rain down our undying gratitude upon you.

We’ll start at 9 a.m. and go until twilight on both days to get those stinkers planted.

Call, email  – but let us know so that we can plan the festivities.

Looking forward to seeing you!    – Jerry

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Garlic Is Ready

(Addendum:  As of August 29, we no longer have any garlic available to sell.  Thanks!)

We had an excellent harvest, curing went well, and now the very best of our garlic is readyGarlic Guy Cropped for you!

We MGFLogowill be at the Minnesota Garlic Festival on August 13th along with 14 other growers, and, of course, a few thousand stinky people – so join us and pick up several months’ supply of garlic there.
http://www.mngarlicfest.com

After that, we will be selling bulbs directly from the farm.  See more on our Produce page.  Our organic red and yellow onions are also available

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Help Wanted with Garlic Harvest

Garlic Harvest Posse 2016We will start harvesting garlic on Thursday, July 14th, and keep at it until July 23rd or until it’s done, whichever comes first.  We’d love to have your help, and we can pay in money, produce and/or undying gratitude!

Contact me at jerrywiltonford@gmail.com, 763-244-6659, and let me know when you’re available.  I’ll work with you just about anytime from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

We’ll provide gloves and tools.  You’ll want to have stout shoes, and be prepared for heat and bugs.

Looking forward to another great harvest!

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Summer Solstice

It seems to be the “new normal”:  wetter, more frequent storms, more fluctuation in daily high temperatures.  My analogy is that we’re surfing a really big wave, and if we can ride it all the way to the shore (the end of the growing season), it will be great — but at any point we could wipeout.  Many of our friends and fellow farmers have had it worse than we have so far this season, with high winds, hail and way too much rain, and our hearts go out to them.

Killdeer in Potatoes

A killdeer doing it’s “follow me I’m hurt” display in the potatoes.  We marked off her nest and left it alone until the chicks fledged.

For now, we’re thankful for some of the best pasture ever and some very happy cattle.  The laying hens are obviously pleased since we’re getting lots of eggs (come and get ’em, $3.50 doz.)  We’re barely able to stay ahead of the weeds in the potatoes and onions – like “dancing between the raindrops” – but they look great.

And the garlic is as good as it’s ever been.

We’re doing a garlic tour on July 9th starting here at 10:30 a.m., and the afternoon will be up the road at Plum Creek Garlic.  It’s free, but please register and get more info here:
http://www.sfa-mn.org/garlic-growers/

Happy Solstice!

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Spring!

The garlic is up, the cattle are on pasture, we’re planting onions, and then we’ll do potatoes, and the dogs are spending a lot of time in the creek.

Must be spring!

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Easing Into Winter

We finally got the garlic planted and mulched (the latest ever), brought the cattle home, moved the chickens into their winter coop, and stocked the root cellar.  Almost all the produce is sold – garlic, onions, potatoes – and all the beef for this year, and we’ve battened down the hatches for winter.  Which hasn’t come yet.  But once it does, we’re ready.

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Mike & Ian getting the garlic in the ground

Here are some of the sustainable farming events I’m working with in the “off-season”, and I heartily recommend all of them if they’re a fit for you:

Minnesota Organic Conference:
A great gathering in St. Cloud, January 7-9, 2016, with intense workshops the first day and an all-out frenzy of organic knowledge the next two.  I’ll be there representing Sustainable Farming Association at the Deep Winter Greenhouses Workshop on the first day, then at our exhibit booth the next two days.

Deep Winter Greenhouse Tour Series:
A whole string of farm tours at 9 different deep winter producers places, starting January 16 through fourCSB Greenhouse weekends, and culminating at a let’s-all-get-together-and-talk-about-it session at the SFA Annual Conference on February 13.  With locations ranging from Pelican Rapids to Altura, you’ll see the most innovative designs and operations in these passive-solar, energy-efficient, miracle-working veggie spas that are producing great food all winter long.  I helped to organize the whole thing along with some great partners.

Sustainable Farming Association Annual Conference, “Cultivating the Wisdom of the Community”:
I love working with a great crew to put this one together.  It’s energizing, intimate and informative.  No high dollar celebrity speakers from somewhere else, just the farmers, educators and local food professionals who are boots-on-the-ground right here in our back yards.  With lots of social time built in, I like to call it the gathering of the tribes.  And it’s quite inexpensive to attend.

Midwest Soil Health Summit:
This one DOES bring in the heavy hitters from out-of-town, the movers and shakers in the soil health movement: farmers and ranchers, scientists and educators who are on the cutting edge of fertility, conservation, profitability and good old common sense.  Held at a posh resort in central Minnesota, where you can rent out a fish house on the ice with a door-to-door catering service, this summit would be the opposite of the Annual Conference (above) if it weren’t for the fact that they’re both all about sustainability, environmental stewardship, farm resiliency and strong rural communities.

But before all that commences, I’ve got to get the next issue of The Stinky News ready for its Christmas Eve edition.  If I’m not already inflicting this precocious periodical on you via email, Stinky News Logo.jpgjust send we your address and I’ll rectify the situation.  If you want to balance out all those holiday sweets with a dose of thinly disguised nonsense, take a look at the last issue, which came out just before MN Garlic Festival back in August, and read all about the Chef Demo Derby:  http://www.sfa-mn.org/garlicfest/stinky-news-august2015-2/

All the best,
Jerry Ford

 

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