A New Family and New Beginnings

So much has happened in the last year!  Where do we even start?

As many of you have probably noticed, we have not been able to keep up with our website and the farm as much as we wanted.  Was it due to lagging sales??  Definitely not!  Our berry sales kept climbing and the demand for our aronia berries and blueberries kept increasing.  Rather, our priorities had to be shifted due to a change in our family.

Last year we saw our older children move into various ministries and jobs which took a toll on our farm help.  However, we are thrilled to see how God has been using each of our kids.  Our oldest son married his best friend and is now a pastor up in Minnesota.  Our older daughter has had a passion for caring for the street children in the Philippines and has devoted some of her time to working with Kids International in Manila.  Our daughter who owns and runs “A Daughter’s Handiwork” left home to attend Faith Baptist Bible College.  Our other college age daughter married her sweetheart last year and is now excitedly looking forward to teaching.  To really add to the fun, we as a family saw the great need for foster care in North Iowa and decided to go back into foster/adoptive care.  Soon after we made that decision, God placed four children in our home.  Because we feel it is necessary to give these children our utmost care and attention, we had to let some aspects of our business go to the wayside for the time being.  Caring for and loving a dozen children (which also includes our own) has been a LOT of work, but we don’t regret a minute of it!

Now we are ready to begin a new farming season this month.  Seeds are ready to be planted in the high tunnel, blueberries and apple trees have been pruned, aronia plants are ready to receive a new layer of mulch, and manure has been gathered for a new compost pile.

This year we will most likely not go to the Clear Lake Farmers Market and the North Iowa Farmers Market UNTIL the end of June due to family demands, graduations, and weddings.  HOWEVER, feel free to still call our farm at 641-423-0030 to order asparagus, rhubarb, jam, baked goods (such as whole wheat bread, quick breads, sourdough bread, etc) if you need them in the meantime.  We will still be selling these from the farm site.  We also still have a few bags of frozen aronia berries if you want to boost your immune system with extra antioxidants during this uncertain time in our country’s history.

Thank you so much for sticking with us these past couple years as we have been re-adjusting to our new family and our new way of doing “farm life”.  Gone are the days of working all day under the sun.  Now we do our work in bits and pieces as we focus equally on loving and growing our new little ones while providing safety and security to them.  Teaching agriculture and baking to friends and family takes more of our time also as we teach others to be more self sufficient.  It is truly a joy to reach out to those around us who are learning to eat healthy while showing how them how to live on a tighter budget.

We look forward to seeing all of you at farmer’s market again this summer as we bring our blueberries, aronia berries, squash, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, and other goodies to the community.  This will truly be a year to remember in so many ways!

What’s at market now???

Yes, we know it’s been a strange growing year and everything is later than usual!  However, you will be surprised to know that there is a lot of delicious, homegrown produce available at our markets right now.  Cucumbers, tomatoes, aronia berries, raspberries, onions, squash, pumpkins, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, microgreens, delicious baked goods, and more dot our tables.  Our produce is selling very quickly right at 4 pm at the North Iowa Farmers Market in Mason City, so we advise you to order ahead or be there early for the best picks.

Our aronia berries will be finished this weekend, but raspberries are just starting to ripen.  We are looking forward to a slow, but steady crop of them this year.

A huge thank you goes to all our customers for your healthy support of our baked goods and jam.  I have made more blueberry, strawberry, strawberry rhubarb, and triple berry jam these last 3 weeks than I have at any other time in my life!  We have also added pear jam and spiced jam to our collection now that the pears have been picked.  Apple butter will hopefully come soon!

We look forward to seeing you at market this fall and we thank you for all your support!  It has been a joy working with all of you as we produce healthy, fresh food for North Iowa!

Microgreens are here!

We survived the VERY LONG winter and now we are quickly preparing for the North Iowa Farmers Market and the Clear Lake Farmers Market.

The North Iowa Farmers Market begins on Friday, May 18.  Hours are 4 – 6:30 pm.

The Clear Lake Farmers Market begins on Saturday, May 19.  Hours are 9-12 pm.

We are adding more varieties of microgreens on this year and they are absolutely delicious.  Because of the lack of greens in the store right now, we increased our production and are loving all the wonderful microgreen flavors of broccoli, sunflower microgreens, red cabbage, kale, peas, and more. Add some fresh radishes from the high tunnel and even our little ones beg for more salad!  Be sure to come find us at the market for some fresh samples!  If you can’t wait that long, we don’t blame you.  Feel free to call us at 641-423-0030 and see what we have harvested for that day!

Microgreens are different than sprouts.  They are allowed to grow for 7-10 days in dirt, which allows the stems and beginning leaves to form, permitting the chlorophyll to form.  These young edible seedlings are then harvested at the cotyledon leaf stage which allows for a denser nutrient density than their counterparts. Each type of microgreen has its own distinct vegetable flavor.  We personally love the nutty flavor of sunflower microgreens, the spiciness of radishes, the dark rich flavor of kale, and the sweet, but distinct taste of the broccoli microgreens.

Which ones are the most nutritious??  Broccoli, kale, and red radish microgreens are touted as the best anti-cancer agents, but other microgreens also give you a powerhouse of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and other important antioxidants.  Studies are showing microgreens to be much higher in vitamins and minerals than the vegetables they produce!  Folks love to use our microgreens in smoothies, green drinks, salads, stir-fries, wraps, sandwiches, and much more.  Give them a try for yourself!

Pictured here are our kale microgreens.  They are brimming with abundant amounts of Vitamin C and Vitamin A.  Don’t be afraid to try all the different varieties we offer at market in order to get a full array of the antioxidants your body desperately needs.