Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mary's River Farm store is now open!  We want to thank those of you who supported our first week.  We did no advertising and just opened quietly to see what would happen.  Some of you still found us and came in.  Thanks so much!

The store will be evolving as we go.  Right now we carry MFA feed, such as egg crumbles, sweet feed, bird seed, rabbit feed, goat ration and more.  We also carry some Diamond brand cat and dog food.  We plan to increase our product line soon and can order many products that are not currently on the shelf.  Eventually we would like to carry some organic feed.

We have our fresh eggs for sale from our pastured chickens.  Also, many herbs are available, such as chives, rosemary, lemon thyme, thyme, parsley and oregano.  We have fresh salad mix available as well, the last of our beautiful radishes and broccoli raab, with many more vegetables and herbs to come.  Remember, we do not use chemicals or pesticides on our garden!!!  We grow organically.

Radishes from our harvest

Our farm has added boer goats to our list of animals recently and we have some little ones that are adorable to see.  Let us know and we can arrange a tour of the animals.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mary's River Farm is alive and kicking!!!

OK,  by now I know many of you must have wondered if we have given up, fallen off a cliff, or what...????  Absolutely not!  But some things have definitely taken a backseat by necessity, one of them being blogging.  There has been so much activity here on the farm and with remodeling the store so we can open that there is just very little time to be at a computer.  So, I thought we should give you some updates on the progress of the store, firstly.

Here is Chris working on our last section of concrete we poured for the store.  It was a long day for him because the concrete took forever to set up.  We are happy to say, though, that it is now finished and all of the concrete is sealed and looks good.


Here is 2/3 of it in it's finished state.  It turned out even better than I thought it would after we sealed it.

We loved these windows on the front of the building and did not wish to change their look.  They took some TLC and brand new glass but I think they look pretty good now that they are completed, don't you?  We have been opening them a lot right now so fresh air flows through as we work.

This is the old sign post in all it's rusted glory that sits out front.  It's quite tall and as the guys determined how to approach it to work on it and paint it and eventually hang the sign in a "safe" manner (do they ever do that?) I worried just a little.  It got painted and that was one step.

But, I especially worry when my child is involved!  They say it was safe... It did go pretty well except for that moment when Oscar tried to hold up the corner to hang it and the wind caught the sign--I nearly had a heart attack!  

We all survived it, including the sign, which looks great!  Thanks, Attitude Designs!  And a special thanks to Courtney Smith, our fellow Farm Beginnings classmate who designed the logo for us based on an old wagon we have.  We love it and it's already causing a lot of rubber-necking as cars go by.

So, these are just a few pictures to show that we are making progress (slow and steady wins the race, right?)  I hate to give too many pictures of the inside because I want people to see it in person first, if possible.  Some of the work being done inside is on building shelving out of very old wood from Grandpa Howie's sawmill and restoring some of our favorite old pieces from his Grandpa's past businesses.  We are also beginning to hang up old signs and determine what we want to put on the walls and such.

We already have some feed from MFA in stock.  We are selling some now even though we are not "officially" open.  If there is something you want or need, either now or in the future, let us know and we will see if we can help you.

I hope this gives you a little glimpse of what has been happening on the store.  It's opening quietly very soon...More updates as soon as I get a chance.  Thanks for checking it out.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

  You may be wondering why there haven't been any new posts.  Well, the fact is, it's been really busy on the farm with spring approaching.  I have taken some pictures for proof, but there has been much more activity than the pictures show.

  The picture above is of the gourmet garlic we planted last fall.  We have since been weeding and putting down a heavy layer of straw.

  This is a picture of the onion patch we worked so hard on.  I was hesitant to put this picture up, because this entire plot we worked so hard on was a complete failure.  Yes, all the plants died.  But failures are real life and it's not the end of the world.  We will order a new batch to plant (from a more reliable company) and try again.

  I have had a picture of carrots on here before.  These, however, ended up being the favorite!  They are called Parisienne.  Baker's Creek Heirloom Seeds sent us these as a free gift last year with our seed order.  In the fall we decided to go ahead and try planting them, not expecting much.  Honestly, at first I was more impressed with our "Little Finger" carrrots (they seemed prettier and bright orange), but these light orange carrots pack quite a sweetness in their short squatty selves.  They are easier to pick, too, so that is a bonus!  Look forward to more of these in the future...

  Now, here is the proof of work going on.  Yes, that's me, and I'm not just posing.  I am actually working.  In fact, I worked that tiller so hard that it broke, and it's brand new!  (Another one of those real-life things I mentioned earlier)  We are tilling up our plots to start breaking the sod down in preparation for later planting.  
Most of the plots have seen their first tilling but now we wait for the tiller to be repaired and the land to dry up a bit after the rain.

  Here is the real show-off at the farm.  The only problem is, he must be camera shy.  I have been trying to get a picture of these beautiful feathers for weeks and this is the best one I could get.  He is a must-see in person!

  I really should have taken more pictures.  We have been doing much more.  Many beautiful plants are growing in our shop and I have been babying them every day.  Many varieties of tomatoes, basil, eggplants, peppers, and some things new to us, like ground cherries and sorrel. We also have the first of many many marigolds started as part of our pest-control methods.

  We have been weeding a lot and cleaning up from the winter.  We pruned our fruit trees and we cut our seed potatoes so they can dry out before we plant them (there are six varieties of those).  We have been making business contacts and I am happy to announce that we officially have a feed supplier set up.  This we are very excited about!

  Chris has been very busy in construction to get the store going very soon.  The front door is in, most of the insulation, most of the wiring, and the concrete will be finished this coming week.  Time to make choices on lighting and much more!

  The blog has also been worked on this past week.  Look forward soon to a brand new blog at a brand new address.  Many of you have mentioned that this blog is not so user-friendly.  It is here for our customers and friends so that will not do going forward.  We want things to be simple and fun, not a chore.  Now, we are not the most computer-savvy people so please be patient with us as we work to make this change and feel free to give us your input.  You may have trouble with leaving a comment (many of you have) so if you want to send an email, send it to and we promise to read it and listen.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Roasted Carrots with Thyme

Carrots are abundant right now and mostly everyone loves to eat them raw around here.  In fact, Chris never likes them cooked.  However, these aren't "store" carrots and with that in mind, I thought I would try roasting them and see what everyone thought.  They were a big hit!  Here's how I made them.  Keep in mind you can change the flavors very easily by changing the herb or seasoning according to your own tastes.

Here's what you will need:

2 bunches small farm carrots (about 2 pounds)
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh thyme

Fresh Thyme

Start by turning oven to 400 degrees.  Chop tops off carrots and throw in a roasting pan.  Lightly coat the carrots with olive oil and salt and strip a few sprigs of thyme. Toss everything together in the pan.

When oven reaches 400, place pan in oven.  Check carrots about every 10 minutes, shaking pan to move them around.  When carrots appear caramelized (brown but not burnt) and they are slightly wrinkled up, removed them from oven and enjoy.  This probably takes about 30 minutes.

Finished dish

Thursday, February 16, 2012

  Well, it's been a longer break from posting than what I had intended.  Hopefully, you all will forgive me!  It is getting really busy on the farm with planting season getting nearer, a building to remodel, and schooling to attend.  We have many projects going on and we are really working hard at doing what we can to get things right the first time.
  The picture above is our chicken tractor.  It is the model Chris built last year with some minor modifications, mostly to make it lighter.  The chickens just got moved in this picture and they are happy.  It's a win-win situation for us.  They have some new green material to eat and that means less grass clumps to pull out when we till these plots up.

  Behind the chicken tractor in this picture is a plot of garlic.  We planted it last fall and we are pretty excited about it.  We had some beautiful garlic last year and it was started in the spring, so the fall plantings ought to do really well.  You can look forward to having some tasty and different varieties of garlic this summer.

  Interestingly, there are many varieties of garlic, yet commercial varieties, (what you would find in the grocery store), are limited to one or two types.  We hope to have plenty of the standard garlic you are used to purchasing in the store, but we also will have a few gourmet varieties, which we are looking forward to sampling right along with you.  These will be limited, because it takes time for a new garlic type to adapt to the soil and weather conditions before it produces to it's maximum potential.

  We are doing a lot of planning right now, and hopefully that will show and soon translate to more tasty veggies and eggs and more that we can provide for all of you.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Well, it feels like spring is here outside today.  I can barely stand to sit by the window at this computer.  (Maybe I should have taken it outside to write!)

Who can resist the urge to dig in the dirt a little on a day like this?  Not me.  That's my hand in the photo, and look what it dug up---beautiful "Little Fingers" carrots!  They may seem small, but that's a good thing.    These carrots are for snacking, and are meant to be picked at 3 to 3 1/2 inches.  Don't tell anyone, but snack on them I did!  Crunchy and sweet, and so cute!

We pulled the plastic of all of our our winter trial hoops today.  It's nice to have a clear view of how everything inside fared.  We have learned a lot.  For instance, "Little Fingers" carrots do well in the hoops, once they are painfully weeded by hubby early on.  Arugula does well, too, and is a favorite of ours for a winter salad.

Garlic chives, well, we never got a single one to grow!  Disappointing, for sure.  We tried to get them to sprout at least twice, but nothing.  On the other hand, cilantro is thriving!  I hope some of you like it...

Our China Winter Radishes are here in this pick.  They did very well as you can see.

The store is coming along nicely.  There is plenty more to do but be assured that we are working feverishly to get things finished.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spring is coming TOO soon!

Well, it's that time of year again.  Really, it's agony for me!  It's time to choose plant varieties, something I can agonize over forever.  You see, when one spreads out 10-20 seed catalogs, all with pretty pictures and all with delightful descriptions that have your mouth watering, it's simply a crime to have to narrow it down to a few precious varieties of each plant!

I've already been at it for parts of three days and I've gotten practically nowhere. Nowhere!  That's when Chris steps in.  I hate that part.  He wants to pick willy-nilly and say, "There, that's done." (at least it seems that way to me) but I know that this variety sounds special, and that one, and that one, get the picture.  I can't make decisions.  It's just so overwhelming.  But I don't want him making them either.  He may miss the best one in his hurry to move on to other things that need to be done.  I guess that's why we are in this together.  Maybe between the two of us we'll get it done.  Soon.  I hope...