It’s been quite a while since my last post. The first annual FESSA Conference in late March was a total hit. Over 40 participants turned out to learn more about how to start their own small-scale on farm businesses from my great friends at LTD Farm, Encore Farm, Very Prairie and myself. Our hope is that the rural revival of the small farm continues to grow and that more folks will be creating high quality foods right off of their own land. I am excited and optimistic!
The growing season is upon us, but despite the early beautiful weather I am too seasoned a veteran to put too much out into the garden just yet. The greenhouse is full of healthy, happy transplants of cabbages, tomatoes and more. We’re in the process of rotating our cattle and portable chicken mobile around the farm to add fertility to the soil and keep the animals well fed. I get a kick out of the monkeying around that the local conventional farmers do with collecting manure from their confined animals and hauling it all over kingdom come to fertilize their fields. Then they have to seed their fields, spray chemicals on them and harvest and haul the feed back to the animals. And many of these animals languish on these harvested rations, because they need diverse fauna in their diet. I guess it’s no wonder the conventional food system is such a mess. On the other hand, our animals just graze the land, foraging their food (grass and legumes) and their medicine (burdock, nettles, dandelions….) out in the sunshine, creating fertility in the soil. It’s a beautiful, uncomplicated thing.
So, I’ll segway into business now… You may be seeing a few new products on the shelves at yourlocal co-op from our farm. The first is the Beet Kvass which is available now at 3 Co-ops around the Twin Cities and at the Viroqua Co-op. I love this product. Right now I’m using organic red beets out of California to make it, but soon I’ll be harvesting the beets right here for processing. Cant’ wait. It is a health and digestive tonic in the truest sense. It’s a tad on the sour side, but you can always add a little honey or stevia to add sweetness. Also, you may have seen the Kraut Salad at the Wedge. This is a great accompaniment to any meal. I use horseradish and dill to spice up green cabbage, beets, and carrots. Lately I’ve been hiding it from my husband who’s been known to polish off a jar in one sitting. On a different note, I’ve had to stop processing Pickled Beets in the winter. It is just not cost effective to offer them year round. I will keep you posted on when and where they are available when the time comes. I apologize to any disappointed pickled beet lovers out there.
Check back for product updates throughout the summer as I will be offering some seasonal products from time to time.