News and blog
Although the weather has turned a little moist down here in the mid-county, we're still ON for our corn shucking party tomorrow, October 13th, from 10a-4p. Come all day, or just for a few hours... dress in layers and bring gloves if you have them... please provide your own snacks to keep you nourished through the day... bring your kids, your neighbors, and your friends!!!
We will feast around 4p! We're making some farm favorites, including chili, cornbread (with our own cornmeal!), coleslaw, and potato salad, but potluck dishes are appreciated. We've opted not to BBQ in favor of building a big, warming fire instead. Live music will fill the air, weather permitting.
Our pumpkin patch also opens Saturday, so feel free to shop for a Jack O'Lantern while you are here!
We hope to see you! Directions to our farm can be found on our website, here: http://shakeforkcommunityfarm.com/map/directions/119, or look for the pumpkin patch sign on Hwy 36, just before the fire station.
Wishing you a wonderful fall,
Melanie, Kevin, and the Shakefork farm crew
Greetings to you all. It's been a long while since we've sent any news from our farm, a testament to the busyness of the season. But now fall is here, and although we are still bustling about from dawn to dusk, slower days are soon to come. Our farmstead continues to evolve with each season, as we learn from this land and continue to transform ourselves. We anticipate changes and new additions in the years to come, starting with the birth of our first child - due sometime around Christmas 2012!!
Help us with the corn harvest. We're turning this year's corn harvest into a work party and harvest celebration. Our field corn, which we dry and grind into cornmeal, requires tremendous amounts of hand labor - from harvesting and shucking the ears to removing the kernels from the cob. We all know many hands make light work, so this year we're asking for your help on Saturday, October 13th. We'll work on the corn harvest from 10 to 4p and then enjoy a BBQ and potluck feast, with live music and drinks. Most of the work will be gathered around the greenhouse, where we'll shuck the corn and arrange it for drying. Although we'd love your help for the whole day, we invite you to join us for any portion of the day that works for you. Please bring your own lunch or snacks, as we won't be feasting until the late afternoon. Additional helpful things to bring are: gloves, drinking water, sun hats, and layers, for who knows what October weather will bring. Kids are welcome, dogs are not. RSVPs are most appreciated, and feel free to bring anyone and everyone – the more the merrier!
Grain shares are now available. We've harvested about 70% of our grain crops and a new grain share season is soon to begin; our first distribution is scheduled for October 4th. A hearty thank you to those of you who have already re-joined or have signed up for the first time. This season's share will look a little different from years’ past. We are consolidating the full and half share options into one moderately sized share. Distributions will consist of 8 pounds per month and will take place for 6 months instead of 10. We plan on beginning on October 4th and distributing through April, with our customary break in January. The share price is $275, with a $100 deposit required to hold your spot. Some of our products will only be available through the grain share, but crops with abundant yields will likely be available at our Farmers’ Market stall. As the share starts in just a couple of weeks and spots are filling fast, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible if interested. We hope that you will!
Broilers and select cuts available this weekend. We'll have a freshly processed batch of broilers and cuts available at the end of this week at our Garberville and Arcata markets and will hopefully be well stocked until the end of November. We have been selling out quickly, so if you are planning on stocking up, let us know sooner than later.
We're offering Thanksgiving turkeys this season, for pick up at our farm in Carlotta from Tuesday, November 20th. Our turkeys are rotated weekly through our pastures and cut grain fields and fed an organic feed. We are now taking reservations. Birds will be sold for $5 per pound, and we expect them to be abundantly sized - averaging 20 pounds or more. Perfect for your big family gathering!
The 2012 barley harvest...
A picture from last year's corn mob...
With abundant gratitude, your farmers...
Melanie and Kevin
This week started off with Melanie attending a millstone-dressing workshop with Roger Jansen at Grindstone Bakery in Rohnert Park. As grain farmers, we have inadvertently found ourselves embracing the art of milling as well. Stone mills need regular attention, just like every other small machine on the farm. As Melanie has been handling much of the milling at Shakefork Community Farm for the last year, she was eager to learn how to clean and care for the granite stones. After spending three hours working an air chisel, disassembling and reassembling our 8” stone mill no less than 5 times, Melanie successfully removed the veil of mystery surrounding the internal workings of our grain mill and is now empowered to clean, sharpen, and “dress” the stones that make our 100% whole grain flours possible.
In other farm news, Monday we finished planting our onions; Tuesday we started the Fortuna Farmers’ Market; Wednesday we hosted 58 2nd and 3rd graders from Scotia Union Elementary School in a Farm-to-School event where the kids got their hands dirty learning about compost, seed saving, and insects and harvested from the garden to create “lettuce tacos” garnished with toasted barley and edible flowers; Wednesday afternoon we planted 350# of potatoes and our dent corn (a month earlier than last season!); Thursday we planted our pumpkin patch, winter squash, and zucchini; Friday we got our first round of cucumbers in and started our Garberville Farmers’ Market!!!
This week's offerings include:
Grass-fed lamb... the newest addition to our farmstead offerings. Assorted cuts available.
Meaty bones... 2.5# pounds of chicken bones and chicken parts (and occasionally a thigh or wing) for making a rich and nourishing stock.
Eggs from our pastured hens... now full size and $5 a dozen.
Lettuce... red & green leaf, red & green butter, and a variety of baby romaines.
Radishes... crisp and fresh, great for spring salads or sauteed.
Cornmeal, buckwheat flour, and rye flour... Our flours contain all of the naturally occuring nutrients found in the original grain that are most often lost with conventional milling.
Hope to see you soon!
Melanie and Kevin
We will have a fresh batch of broilers, with plenty of 3 and 4 pound birds, a selection of parts including legs 'n thighs, regular skin-on breasts, airline breasts, wings, tenders, and meaty bones for making your own stock.
As for grains, freshly milled rye flour and whole rye berries continue to grace our market table as we await this fall's harvest. Rye berries are surprisingly excellent in summer salads when toasted, soaked overnight, and cooked like brown rice.
In the produce department, we have leafy green bunches, lots of lettuce, loose leaf spinach, radish and beet bunches, scallions, zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, fennel, parsley, and dill leaf!!
May you have a wonderful weekend everyone!
Melanie & Kevin
We need your help!
Our wheat and oat fields are a-bloom with wild mustard and radish weeds. Rather than continue to grow our weed-seed bank, we'd like to amass a crew of helping hands to remove the weeds from our fields. This is the perfect time for this work, as the flowering plants pull up quite easily, especially while the soil remains somewhat moist. It is also crucial to get in there before the grains themselves start "heading up", as grains won't appreciate the disturbance once they turn their energy to procuding seed.
A CROP MOB is simply a new name for an old-fashioned work party. We are continuously astounded by the truth of that age-old adage - many hands make light work. A seemingly overwhelming task can become a community-building, spirit-lifting, friend-making, body-energizing, heart-opening opportunity to connect with the land, your food source, and the community of people that make good food happen. Because it really does take a community...
Here's the plan:
12:45p: arrive and park; carpooling appreciated
1p: a walkabout and Shakefork mini-tour
2-4p: CROP MOB in the wheat and oat fields
Please RSVP so we know how many to expect... thank you!
Also, we recommend wearing sturdy shoes or rain boots, work gloves, and good work clothes. Bring personal water and snacks as needed. Kids are welcome if under attentive parent supervision. And finally, please leave your dogs at home, as we have lots of free-ranging birds on the property.
THANK YOU all!