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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).

Farm member Don Whitehead sent a guide to freezing kale that made me smile:

KaleStep02

Step 2

KaleStep01

Step 1

KaleStep03

Step 3

3 Easy Steps
1.  Collect Kale for 3 weeks
2.  Prepare 56 Cups of uncooked Kale
3.  Freeze 16 cups of blanched Kale
Repeat.”

It’s nice to know that all the kale I’ve been setting out hasn’t gone to waste!

My dad wanted me to take photos of the farm fields when everything was looking green & vibrant … I still haven’t gotten around to it, and now the grass is browning up due to the recent heat and dry weather. Sorry, Dad! I do have a few little pics I took with my sub-par camera phone. Thanks to drip irrigation, all the hot crops have been loving the weather. We picked 170 pounds of snap peas last Monday, because they practically all ripened at once. I’m looking forward to cooler weather this coming week.

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