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Our awesome contractors (led by Steve Johnson) are working hard to finish the new house, and though there’s a lot left to do, it’s getting there! One of the main features inside is wood paneling made out of a set of Douglas fir farm sale bleachers we got from my grandfather. The door and window trim is also made from the same set of bleachers. Elden and I painted the interior and have stained most of the woodwork (though there’s still more to do), which has been keeping us busy on weekends.

Spring seems to finally be here and my seedlings in the greenhouse are happy to see the sun. I’m hoping we can move in to the farm house before ALL of the plants need to go into the ground!

2016csa guild posterIf you’re still looking for someone to grow your produce this season, get the story straight from the farmer’s mouth:  stop by the CSA Open House at Clyde Iron on Sunday, March 20, from 2:00-5:00 pm. Check out the various offerings and find a CSA share that’s right for you.

More info about the open house is available here and here.

I’ll be posting our 2016 CSA sign-up form shortly … in the meantime, check out the progress on our “green” farm house.

If you’re interested in building science or just want to see the floor plan, check out Elden’s guest blog posts at GreenBuildingAdvisor.com, here and here.

 

New Year Greetings

HolidayCard2015

The Big Build

Building SiteSince the beginning of Stone’s Throw Farm, Elden and I have been planning to build a house at the farm, “someday.” What was once a bare hay field is now home to hoophouses, a quonset-style garage/packing shed, a couple of small sheds, gardens, a deer-resistant fence, a bunch of antiquated farm machinery, and, coming soon, a house!

Slab-BackfilledSo far, we have an insulated slab. This is quite thrilling, trust me.

Elden sold our house in Duluth at the end of October and we’re house-sitting at my parents’ Wrenshall home for the winter (makes it sound like we’re doing them a favor, right?).

In reality, my parents not only help me at the farm all summer, they’re also helping us make the house at the farm a reality. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Although progress on this year’s main farm improvement project — a potting shed/seed-starting greenhouse — was slowed by the more pressing concerns of getting a construction loan, selling the old house, and moving all of our stuff, that’s coming along, too. Previously I started seeds in my parents’ basement and devoted a large amount of hoophouse space to pots and trays all spring, so this will be a very welcome change next season. Some of our farm members chipped in a bit to help with this improvement — thanks!

I’ll officially wrap up the season on Wednesday when I deliver the Thanksgiving shares. I’m always thankful to switch gears at the end of the season and come inside for the winter, though this fall has been so warm so far, it’s almost unreal. I’m not complaining!

Elden and I still like Dave Hanlon’s homemade bread the very best, but Duluth’s Best Bread has been making some Stone’s Throw Farm members (and their farmer) very happy each week late this season. Yesterday we got our first delivery of their croissants, and I think I saw some drool out there on the porch where farm members pick up their shares.

Our CSA season is ending next week, so I was happy to see via the DNT that I can pick up a few loaves at the DBB bakery when I need good bread this winter. (Psst, that means you Duluthians can get it, too.)

Starting last week, they opened their doors to the public, but only on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., selling their 1- and 2-pound sourdough bread loaves for $4.50 and $7, $1 off the usual price, and selling croissants for $3, a 50-cent discount.

But their focus is not on having a retail store.

“It’s not our goal at all to have people come in and buy,” said Robert Lillegard, 29, a freelance food writer who wrote “The Duluth Grill Cookbook.” “It’s to make good-quality bread and get it out to people where they are.”

They count Perk Place, Alakef Cup, the Whole Foods Co-op and Lake Avenue Cafe in Duluth and Wednesday Bakery in Superior as among their customers. They also sell their loaves through local farmers markets and Stones Throw Farm, a community-supported agriculture program.

“We’re slowly introducing it to places that appreciate it,” Robert said. “People really like it. If there’s an office with at least 10 people who want it, we’ll make deliveries to offices.”

Band together, folks!

Today we say good-bye to our 4 piggies. They’ve been good company.

I’m way behind on photo posting; here’s what’s been happening at Stone’s Throw Farm (below).

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