Sunday, July 2, 2017

Farm Updates

The farm is in full, crazy summer gear. Produce is cranking along with the beautiful sunshine. Tomatoes are within reach dear friends!!! SO SO close! Hoping within 10-14 days they will enter shares. Peppers look to be about 3 weeks off. Eggplants maybe a month. Corn is almost waist high so its coming along nicely. Lots of great things on the horizon. This is shaping up to be a great season. We are so happy after such a wet, cold start. It humbles us and reminds us that amazing things come when we are patient and keep our noses to the grindstone pressing on through all the challenges. Last year it was gophers, this season.......weather. It will always be something, but us farmers are learning with each passing season to be more resilient.  

Join us eating the rainbow to vibrant health for our Organic Summer 2 CSA!! Limited spots available, reserve your organic weekly veggies at the link below! Share with your friends! GREAT price for delicious, seasonal, local veggies!! This season runs July 22-Sept 23rd:) We accept SNAP and Albany Farmer's market pick up will match your SNAP money up to $10, which covers HALF your share if you are picking up a small!!!!! AMAZING deal. http://www.bearbranchfarms.com/Summer-csa Our current customers are already boasting "accidentally losing 12 lbs since CSA started," "My digestion is improved and I am regular," "I have lost so many inches since eating all these veggies," and "My energy is improved from all the juicing we are doing, I feel amazing." Our customers are thrilled and we are right alongside them feeling the wellness. It takes a lot of strength and energy being 4 months pregnant and running a full CSA with Farmer's Market. These veggies truly power me through each and every day! We literally only have  a couple of spots for summer 2 so if you are interested, sign up quick!  


Some of our harvesting so far!



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We will have eggs at all our drops if you decide to join. They are not certified organic like our veggies, but they are fed mostly our veggies and given some commercial feed to keep them laying well. $4 a dozen. This is entirely our son Everett's business. He runs everything chicken related from feeding, watering, collecting and cleaning eggs to selling :) He keeps a great little flock of healthy girls.

 

Another thing, I will bring a handful of these awesome CSA boxes to each drop in case anyone is interested. They will be available for purchase for a modest $8. They are taking up space and we thought many of you may like them as they make veggie transport super easy, they fold closed with handles and fold flat for easy storage when not in use. Super easy to clean. They are used, but in pretty good shape with many years use left on them. :) 

Market this week:)



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In some previous shares from this season thus far:


Some farm Recipes: 

Some extra pics

Farm afternoon with Popsicles and their fav dog!
​Field breakfast

​Beautiful beets
​June 30th Tomatoes


Jefferson food pantry drop off
Kenna helping harvest a yummy patty pan squash!
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We thank all of you who made it to the end of this LONG farm update haha!  We are blessed to grow veggies for an amazing community. It is a gift. Eat well my friends!  

Click here to join our Summer 2 CSA. http://www.bearbranchfarms.com/Summer-csa
















Friday, June 16, 2017

6-16-17






With the mostly rainy and chilly June, we have gotten a lot of fun indoor projects done along with a lot of soggy harvests. The cold and wet harvests are balanced by warm indoor projects that pass the time waiting in between days we can till and hurry to get more plantings done. The dog days of farming have arrived in a wetter than normal fashion, but we are trying to just roll with the rain drops and enjoy not having to irrigate the crops. You know what they say, "irrigation irritation." Its a funny little truth that when the weather is beautiful, it simply adds to our work load. I do, however, long for sunny days to dip my toes in cool water and warm sand. I yearn to be kissed by the hot rays of the sun and enjoy bright long days full with warm outside work, dirt, picnics and cold drinks.

 For now we continue through what is the all too familiar rain and gloom and make the best of it passing time crocheting, sewing, playing candy land and eating too many Oreos. Gasp, certified organic farmers allow such garbage to enter the mouth of their babes? Grandpa sends what my kids lovingly call a "Grandpa box" each month to the farm. They look forward to all sugary goodness that Grandpa can stuff into this cardboard transporter and its a great incentive to "finish up the chores" so they can open it up! This month Grandpa stuffed somewhere around 10,265 Oreos in there. I swear sometimes these boxes are bottomless, but its such a treat for the kids. 

I finished up Madelynn's slouchy beanie yesterday and I think it suits her style quite well. I may still go back and add a crocheted flower to it as she requested. We will see what time allows for. And......baby Finnley officially has his first baby item, a flannel, minky blanket with silk edges lovingly made by mommy. The other kids were all taking turns wrapping themselves in it ooing and awwing about how soft it is and how cute he will be wrapped in it. Those days seem so far away, but they will be here so soon. Farming has a funny way of stealing summers right from under your nose, it takes and takes and takes until you beg fall to hurry up and it does and the work load finally lightens, but the short days and cold set in. With that, the long cycle of waiting for summer's arrival begins anew. I feel like this winter won't be so bad though, with a new little guy around to cuddle and all :) 


Sunday, June 11, 2017

First Farmer's Market of the Season!


















Friday's harvest was sunny, hailing and then soggy and wet, but that didn't stop anything. We worked hard as a family and got the job done. Days like these amaze me, they humble me. To see the amount we got harvested as a family of 10 in such weather conditions leaves me awestruck with gratitude. Our first CSA of the season started Saturday morning at the Albany Farmer's Market so between our first market and CSA pick up, we had quite the busy booth. Saturday was a great joy overall, seeing happy faces and small kids enjoying crisp sugar snap peas and carrots raw from our stand is always something that melts me. I enjoy watching my own kids help at the stand and offer tastes of some of the goodies we grow. I love when people quiz them about varieties and even my little ones can answer. It is a great way to really enjoy the fruits of our labor. I would say its on par to enjoying an amazing farm meal. There is a deep satisfaction in knowing we grew each item thoughtfully, organically, and as a family. Each item was then harvested with care, bundled, washed, packed into the cooler, loaded and brought to market. Once we get to market, we then display everything to look it's shiny best and pray customers like it! It is a very connected and deeply rewarding process in which you put everything into each vegetable from seed to plate. Cheers to veggies, may you know your farmers:) 


6-7-17







I will start by saying my 16 year old daughter lived through this Wednesday evening. 

 I got a phone call that no parent should ever get.......Kayla was in a really bad rollover accident. By the grace of God, she somehow walked away. Her vehicle is totaled, but she is alive. She walked away for one reason according to all first responders, that was her seat belt. It saved her life. She is sore, has some bruising and had some glass shards and road rash, but that is it.

She was coming around a 90 degree turn a mile from home, heading towards town when her phone slid across her dash. According to her, her eyes never left the road, but she did reach to stop it while making the turn. When coming out of the turn, her passenger front tire hit a bit of gravel and she panicked, over-correcting into the opposite lane, at this point, she over-corrected to get back in her lane and lost control. She ended up on the left side, hitting gravel, then a decent sized ditch where it launched her vehicle into what she remembers being 3-4 rolls before finally stopping. She recalls it feeling like slow motion, believing she would be meeting her maker while ducking her head and clinging to the steering wheel for her life. She said each time the vehicle hit upside down, more glass shattered and flew at her, she remembers watching a Taylor Swift CD come flying through the cab and breaking. When it stopped, she noticed her phone and grabbed it to call us. She was hanging upside down by her seat belt. Her memory was blurry here, but she just knew she smelled gas and was worried it would explode and somehow scrambled out away from the vehicle, getting cut up and lodging some glass shards into her knee on the way.

When I got a call, it was her and she sounded shaken, but simply said she had been a small accident. Nate and I jumped into the van to get to her quickly, only assuming a fender bender and maybe she had hit a deer. As we came around the corner, I saw her Suburban flipped upside down and became hysterical. I thought all the worst. I just knew she called me trapped from the vehicle and was going to need to jaws of life to get her out. I saw myself holding her trapped and helpless. All the horrible images were flying through my mind as we came around the corner. When we finally approached the scene, I saw her in shock, bleeding, STANDING! I immediately grabbed her and held on, but I stopped myself and yelled at her to sit down, asking her what hurt. I began assessing her from head to toe asking how many times she thought she could have hit her head or if she thought she had been knocked unconscious at all. She was certain she hadn't. About 6 neighbors and passerby's had stopped, although not one had called 911!  I made the call myself. FYI, if you come across a rollover vehicle and stop, CALL 911 and make sure the person is sitting. She was in extreme shock. The hospital released her shortly after her arrival, but she could have had head or stomach injuries and I knew it was critical to get her completely assessed before believing she was actually okay. 

We are all still recovering from the shock and our family seems that much more patient with each other after coming so close to tragedy. I have found deep appreciation for all signs of life that comes from my babies, including the messes. 


....................This has shaken me as a mother.......................

Fixing Old and Creating New



This was a fairly new top I bought for Madelynn for summer. Sadly, it got one wear before going falling victim to the recently broken lint trap in the dryer. It claimed a good amount of clothing before we realized what happened. The good news is that I had some pretty ribbon laying around and found a cute, creative solution to make sure her new top could be worn the summer through. 







I got to sewing yesterday and made the Mama Bag from Handmade Home. This sparked serious interested with the younger girls. They sat and watched for hours with bright eyes, patiently asking if I could teach them next. Once I was done, they asked for me to help them make some barbie clothes. Kenna made this beautiful, creative barbie dress all on her own with me just guiding. She is a natural little seamstress. We ran out of time(but not daylight) as 8pm came and went so Madelynn's turn will come another day soon. After getting home from Farmer's market, this was a great way to unwind........creating, teaching, enjoying with the girls. I think Nate and the boys went off for a nature walk to find the perfect spot to hang our big swing that Santa brought this past winter.