Monday, February 28, 2011


So I decided to name this post "Mindless Monday," due to the fact that I didn't post on Saturday or Sunday. Well Saturday posted next Friday's post by mistake, so I just left it.

Anyways as you can probably tell this weekend has been crazy. We had market on Saturday. We did very well. We had a lot of people express their interest in the CSA. We also asked them what they would like to see in a CSA, and got some great feedback. Thank you to those of you that responded. And we are still looking for more information on what you (our customers) would want in a CSA before we finalize anything.

After market we came home and got chores done and ....I just plain forgot to post something.

Sunday though, was very productive! The whole family (Eric, Eric Jr, Julianna, Bela, Sandy and I) all worked in the greenhouse. I was going to take pictures and when I got out there with the camera, the batteries died! I hate when that happens. But we are still re-organizing. You think with us being in business for 5 years we would have already found a setup that works for us. But we are always trying to make it quicker and easier to do stuff in there. Next step is sanitizing pots and trays! That is always fun! We are planning on starting our herbs and flowers sometime this week or next.

Eric Jr had fun though. He was covered in dirt from head to toe! He likes to play with the rocks. He also wanted to eat the snow outside, with his dirty hands! You know it is amazing what farm kids do that other families think is disgusting. "A little dirt won't hurt." It was good to see that he did very well keeping himself occupied and out of trouble while we were working. He also came inside when we were done and passed out. I had to wake him up after like an hour because if I didn't he wouldn't have slept at night and he needed to eat dinner. But then right after dinner he pretty much crashed! So I don't think we will be fighting with him to go to bed much this summer if we work him like that! ;)

Julianna slept the entire time we were in the greenhouse working. She was in her car seat and just sat there snoozing away! It made for a very productive day!

We also have finalized the list of items that we are growing this year.

HERBS: Arugula, Basil, Calendula, Catnip, Garlic Chives, Chamomile, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Echinacea, Fennel, Lavender, Leaf Parsley, Lemon Basil, Lemongrass, Lime Basil, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Shiso, and Thyme

Flowers: Big Smile Sunflower (Dwarf), Mammoth Sunflower (Giant), Zinnias (mix), Pansies (Blue, white and yellow), Marigolds (orange, yellow, red), and Gazenia (orange and yellow).

Produce: That list is always changing until we actually get it planted!

We hope you guys will enjoy the herbs and flowers we have added this year. We try to get things that people have asked for.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


This season we also decided to grow Summer Savory.


There are 30 different species of Savories. The 2 that we are most common with are Summer Savory and Winter Savory.
Summer Savory

Savory is a low growing herb, reaching heights of 15-50 cm.

Savory is used a lot in Italian Cuisines.

It has a peppery flavor.

It is also said that Savory helps ease flatulence. Which is also why a lot of times it is used in bean dishes.

Leaf infusions are gargled for sore throats.

It is also used for diarrhea, indigestion and as an aphrodisiac.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region. 

It has been known as a symbol of loyalty and ceremony. Hence the saying "Rosemary for remembrance."

There are 2 different types of Rosemary- upright and sprawling.

  •  Upright- Grows like a bush. It is best for fresh cut herbs.
  • Sprawling- spreads more like a ground cover. The flavor is not as intense.
Rosemary is a tender perennial that typically will not survive outdoors north of zone 6.

The seed is slow to germinate and the rate is low and uneven.

It takes at least 2 years of continuous growth for a plant to grow big enough to be a strong producer.

Aphids and Spider-mites are the most common pests.

Rosemary is medicinal, culinary and decorative.

There are many forms- teas, tinctures, extracts, essential oil, dried leaves and bath and body care products.

  • upset stomach
  • flatulence
  • rheumatism
  • apathy
  • stimulating the appetite
  • enhancing coronary blood flow
  • traditionally thought to improve memory


Thursday, February 24, 2011





Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chemicals- No chemicals

I decided to skip "Wordless Wednesday" due to the fact that I don't really have any pictures besides snow! I think everyone is tired of seeing snow. So I decided that I would take this opportunity to go into detail on how we decided what to do as far as chemicals.

When we were first thinking of starting the farm, we had talked to a representative from Cornell Cooperative Extension about the soil and what they thought we should do. When they came out they told us that our land was not good, our soil had a lot of clay and we would have a very hard time growing. We would have to add a lot of matter and minerals to get the soil to a good point. Mind you, we live on a hill and have no flat land at all. So we also have to deal with a lot of soil erosion and rocks. Which every produce farmer has to deal with rocks!

So our first year we decided that we were going to grow and not worry about the organic stuff, so we used commercial fertilizers. We also sprayed when needed, which was not much. To be honest our crop that year was very good. It was beautiful. We had very few problems as far as pests and things of that nature.

The next year we decided that we would just use commercial fertilizers. Our product that year came out pretty good as well. We had some problems with aphids in the greenhouse, which we used insecticidal soap with a Neem oil base. Neem oil is an organic insect repellent. It comes straight from the Neem Tree. Other than that it was not too bad of a year.

Our third year, we did a lot of discussing and research over growing everything organically. We decided that we were going to go that route and eventually get the organic certification. Our crop has been ok from then on, but we don't have enough organic matter to get the nutrients into the soil that we need. Our produce is always under nourished and weak. It has not been the quality we want.

Now this is how we wanted to grow. We don't want our kids exposed to the chemicals, let alone our customers. But our product has been suffering. We haven't been getting enough yield out of the product that we plant.

So we discussed things this year and decided that we will still not use any sprays or insecticides. But we are going to use commercial fertilizer. Where we live, and the type of soil we have is just not working. We cannot get enough organic matter into the soil to get it to the level we need.

I know a lot of our customers like the fact that we have been growing naturally, but at this point we need to make a change. We do not want to be buying a ton of produce in (which we don't know if it has been sprayed or not) to be able to supply our customers in the Binghamton markets. We want to give you what we grow. And if we do not use the fertilizer we would more than likely have to buy in produce to be able to make the amount of money we need to sustain the farm.  We hope that you as our customers will appreciate that we are honest and up front. We hope for a great year, a great yield and a great weather season.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Ham, Turkey, Avocado, and Alfalfa Sprout Panini


  • 4 slices sourdough bread (½-inch/1 cm thick slices)
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted 
  • 1 tbsp spicy mustard 
  • 2 oz Swiss cheese, thinly sliced 
  • 1 oz deli baked ham, thinly sliced 
  • 1 oz deli baked turkey, thinly sliced 
  • 1 small avocado, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup alfalfa sprouts 
  • Pinch salt 
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper


Preheat panini grill to high.
1. Brush one side of each bread slice with butter. Place two slices on a work surface, buttered side down, and spread with mustard. Evenly layer with cheese, ham, turkey, avocado and sprouts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with top halves, buttered side up, and press gently to pack.
2. Place sandwiches in grill, close the top plate and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

Monday, February 21, 2011

More snow- really?

Last night Eric was looking the weather up on the and it said that there was a weather warning stating that we were going to be getting 7-10 inches of snow by 10 am today. We were shocked. We don't need or want anymore snow.

This is what we woke up to this morning.

Definitely not 7-10 inches of snow and it seems to have stopped snowing, so hopefully we won't be getting anymore. We really would like to get things organized and set up to get going with the season.

We always get this way this time of year. We get so excited to get geared up and get going and then when we are finally in motion and never have a chance to sit down or do anything we complain that we are tired. The life of a farmer.

Eric Jr 5/2010- 1 years old helping Daddy lay plastic mulch!
This year it will be interesting to see how we handle all the stuff on the farm with 2 kids. Eric Jr will be a little bit easier to handle and deal with because he can kind of entertain himself a little  more. Last season, in the beginning Eric Jr was a year old and into everything he shouldn't have been into. Which has not changed, but when he is outside he is pretty good.

Eric Jr 5/2010- inspecting Daddy's work!
Julianna on the other hand will be interesting to see how she reacts. She was at the Otsiningo Indoor Farmer's Market at 2 weeks old and handled it pretty well. Although when we were at the Ithaca Indoor Farmer's Market the next Saturday she didn't handle that too well. But in Ithaca everything is compact and tight spaced and loud. Otsiningo is a little more calm. She doesn't seem to handle noisy situations too well just yet, but she is only 1 month old now. Hopefully it will get better the more we expose her to it.

Looking at these pictures really makes me want spring even more!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Snowy Sunday

Sorry that there was no post yesterday. We had an extreme wind/snow storm, which knocked the internet out. The wind was pretty damaging. It knocked down trees around the town and made quiet a few snow drifts on our road.

Today it is cold and snowy. A good day to sit inside with a hot cup of coffee and read a book. For us farmer's those books still tend to be business related, but hey were still reading something.

As of right now, I am reading a book on all the medicinal properties of herbs. There is a lot of interesting things that I never knew about herbs. This year we are going to be growing Calendula.

Calendula is also called Pot Marigold. It is native to south-central Europe and northern Africa. You only use the flower part when using it for medicinal purposes. There are many preparations made from Calendula. Tea (for gargle, mouthwash, or internal use), ointments, creams, spray, tinctures, and extracts. Calendula is used for mild burns, sunburns, mouth infections, sore throat, and wounds. Extracts may be beneficial in treating Duodenal ulcers.
*CAUTION: People allergic to the pollen of other members of the aster family, such as ragweed, may be allergic to Calendula.

I will be giving information on all the different herbs and their uses as the season goes on. We are expanding our herb production in hopes of the dried herb shakers and plants selling very well. We have some farm stores interested in selling our dried herb shakers and things of that nature. So we shall see what the season brings.

Friday, February 18, 2011



Starting next week (February 26th) we will be bringing Jade plants to market. In the past years there has been many questions from customers as to what kind of care they need and where they come from. As far as our Jade plants go, Sandy and Bela have  a couple pretty big ones that she keeps taking cuttings from and propagating them. This all started when their original "Mama" Jade got knocked over and there were a bunch of pieces laying all over. She decided at that point why not see if she could pot them and get a few more. And we have had a bunch ever since!

Here are the facts:

  • Jade plants are also known as: Friendship tree, Lucky plant, or Money plant
  • They are from the succulent family. Which means that they are kind of like cacti and do not need a lot of water. 
  • Jade plants under the right conditions, may produce small white or pink star-like flowers in early spring.
  • They will grow in full sun to light shade. But they do not tolerate extreme heat or overexposure to direct sunlight.
  • Pests: 
    • Mealybugs-cause deformation to new growth. Infestation can be eliminated by killing each bug with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Repeating everyday until they are all gone.
    • Aphids- infest only the flower stalks.
    • Red Spider Mites

  • Flowering: To encourage bloom, allow the plant to go without water around the time of first frost. When the days get short, with hold the water completely and let the plant withstand the cool nights. Several weeks of the dry cold treatment followed by regular watering will result in blossoms around the shortest day of the year. Regular watering, or nights too warm, and the plant will remain healthy but bloom less.

February 26th we will begin to bring Jade plants to market again. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011


We have decided that Thursdays are going to be TRIVIA THURSDAYS. What this means is that every Thursday we will post a question on the blog. You will then comment or email us your answers. If you get it right, you will receive $1.00 off your total purchase at the next market.  Make sure that if you comment on the blog you leave your email address in the comment as well that way I can contact you if you win.
Answers must be received by Friday 2/18/11 by 8 pm.

Today's trivia question is:


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tasty Tuesday!


Serves 6


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (4 pound) chicken, cut into pieces
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can chicken broth


  1. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with garlic powder, and brown on both sides. Remove chicken to paper towels.
  2. Spoon off chicken fat, and return pan to stove. Stir in mushrooms and onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft. Remove to a medium bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Season with garlic salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Stir in wine, and add to onion and mushrooms.
  4. Return chicken to Dutch oven. Pour mushroom mixture and broth over chicken; cover, and cook over low heat until meat begins to fall off the bone, about 1 1/2 hours.

Monday, February 14, 2011



I am not sure if we are doing anything special for Valentines day yet or not. I don't believe we really thought about it too much. Like I said in the last post, things are starting to get pretty busy which means we don't really have much time to plan things. I thought about cooking something special but the search for a good recipe isn't going so well.

Eric is at work until Noon I believe and then he has a bunch of stuff he has to do, plus we have to get ready for market tomorrow on top of all the normal farm chores. So it may just end up being a night that we just cuddle on the couch. We shall see!

Hope you enjoy your valentines day with whomever you spend it with. There is always someone in this world that we love more than life itself and can share this day with. Just make sure you tell them exactly how you feel!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Spring is coming

This is the time of year when we get excited, anxious and busy! We take a look back at last season and try to figure out what we should do differently, keep the same and add to. We figure out the seed order, figure out what projects need to be started and finished before the season starts.

Eric is working on cleaning and sanitizing the greenhouse right now. Every year before we begin planting, we sanitize the greenhouse with a peroxide solution. It helps to keep bacteria from growing. We organize pots and soil. Get the germination boxes set up and ready for plants. 

Thankfully the forecast says it is going to be warming up, which means more time spent in the greenhouse, not freezing! I have wanted to go out and help Eric get things ready, but with the little ones, it is still too cold yet. But soon Hopefully. Eric Jr needs some outside farm time, he's starting to get cabin fever in here. Having a very active toddler who is used to being outside 90% of the time during the summer, cooped up inside for this long gets a little rough. Especially now that he is so mobile. So we can't wait for spring!

The seed order is going in tomorrow. We have pretty much planned everything that we are going to be growing this year. We are expanding our herb line again! We have 3 or 4 new herbs this year. We have had a huge hit with the dried spice shakers, so we are also expanding what we are growing on the farm and the fresh herb bunches that we will be bringing to market. Once again we will be going back to our original business plan of focusing more on the herbs. We have had a lot of requests for more of the Hungarian Hot Pepper Spice that we have. We will definitely be planting a lot more of that this year, so those of you that are out, don't worry we will have more!

If there is any herbs or spices that you would like that we don't have, let us know. We are always interested in new herbs and spices. Also if there is any recipes that you would like to share that have to do with Chicken, Rabbit, or using a particular herb or produce item, please do. My plan for this blog is to have something different everyday. Monday I haven't figured out yet. Tuesday is going to be Tasteful Tuesday and I will post a new recipe every Tuesday. Wednesday is going to be wordless Wednesday, where I will post a different picture every Wednesday of something on the farm. Thursday I haven't figured out yet. Friday is going to be Fact Filled Friday, I will pick one item that we sell and give you as many facts and information as I can come up with about that item. Saturday's and Sunday's I haven't figured out yet either. I may end up just posting random things on Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Whatever is on my mind or going on that day. If you have any suggestions, comments or questions, feel free to post them on here, email us, or post them on the Facebook page. Part of our goal this year is to get more involved with our customers and have you guys learn a little bit more about where our product comes from and what goes into it.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fact Filled Friday

How much do you really know about sprouts? Before I met Eric I had no clue what sprouts were. Then when I first saw them I thought they looked like worms. It wasn't until this year that I actually started enjoying sprouts. When we decided to grow them it was because it was something we could have in the winter. We started looking into the nutritional value of them so we could be informed when we talked to our customers. I personally had NO clue how good they were for you.
Our finished sprouts getting ready to go to market!


  • Alfalfa sprouts contain 8 essential enzymes for food digestion. Lipase (fat splitting), Amylase (acts on starches), Coagulase (Clots blood), Emulsin (Acts on sugars), Invertase (converts cane sugar to dextrose), Peroxidase (oxidizing effect of the blood), Pectinase (Forms vegetable jelly), and Protease (digests proteins).
  • Lowers Cholesterol-7 fibers and chemicals in Alfalfa sprouts stick to cholesterol, so that the cholesterol cannot stay in the blood and hence cannot be deposited on blood vessel walls.
  • Regulates bowel movement and reduces inflammation
  • Helps fight infection- Chlorophyll in Alfalfa is an effective barrier against bacterial invasion because of it's stimulation effect on the growth of connective tissue and granulation tissue.
  • Rich in vitamins- vitamin A, Beta carotene, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin A.
  • Rich in Minerals-calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, iron, cobalt, manganese and zinc.
  • High in Protein
  • Slows down the aging process (don't we all want that ;o)
  • Can also help reduce the amount of nicotine in urine, which in turn reduces cravings.
The initial stages of growing sprouts!

     Sprouts a lot of times are eaten raw. People put them on sandwiches, in salads, and cereals. I have found some recipes where they are made into smoothies, put on pizzas and in soups and casseroles. 

How do you use sprouts? Any recipes you want to share?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How we got started

First and foremost I should introduce us. I am Jessica. My husband is Eric and we have 2 children Eric Jr (20 months) and Julianna (3 weeks). My in-laws are Bela and Sandra. We love what we do. We love fresh produce and being able to supply people and ourselves with great products.

The farm was originally my husband's idea. He had worked with a neighbor of ours doing almost the same thing that we are doing except for we have a wider variety of things. He had talked about doing it for awhile and all of us were skeptical and nervous. As anyone is with starting a new business.  But after long talks and a little convincing we all jumped on the boat and started the farm in 2007.

Our original business plan was to focus on fresh herbs. We wanted to be able to sell them to Wegmans a local grocery store in our area. We unfortunately ran into some snags and have never managed to sell to Wegmans. Instead, we started going to farmer's markets. Mind you Eric was a sales man so for him it was not that big of a deal trying to sell our products to the people that came to the farmer's markets. I however, was not a sales person and the only experience I had dealing with most people was in a hospital setting. So this was extremely nerve racking at first. We attempted to do I believe 3 different markets that year. We had mainly herbs and flowers with minimal produce. As the season went on we all started looking forward to going to market. It was exciting. We met lots of new people, formed great friendships and relationships with our customers.

So we are still going. This is going on our 5th year and we are doing a lot more things. Besides the normal everyday produce (squash, tomatoes, beans, peppers), we sell rabbit meat, chicken fryers, eggs, dried herb shakers and our newest addition is sprouts. This year we will be attending 3 different markets. We will be at the Otsiningo Farmer's Market, Ithaca Farmer's Market and Lourdes Hospital Farmer's Market.  We are hoping for a great year.

Also this year we will be selling Easter bunnies. We are hoping to have 40-50 and it will be on a first come first serve basis. So get your orders in soon!

We have a website up and running.
We are also on Facebook and have deals that we post on there for a fans. We also keep that updated as to what is going on on the farm.