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Local Harvest
  1. a customer loves us!Mon, 16 Oct 2017 15:26:53 +0000
    I love your dried vegetable mix and just about use it whenever I cook.  marylee S. More...
  2. How to Grow Anise from Seed and Why You Should Grow ItSat, 7 Oct 2017 14:23:10 +0000
    How to Grow Anise from Seed and Why You Should Grow It by Arlene Wright-Correll Anise (Pimpinella anisum) is an annual that can grow up to 2 feet tall. This herb, which can be used for medicinal and culinary purposes, with its clusters of white flowers, can add ornamental value to a garden as well. Anise seeds can be used to flavor soups, cakes, candies and curries. Native to Egypt and the Mediterranean region, anise can be grown in California and areas of the United States within USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. Growing anise from seed is best done in permanent containers or directly in the garden, because the herb doesn't transplant well. 1. Select a pot with drainage holes and fill it with moist, sterile potting mix, up to about 3/4 inch from the top. Press down on the soil with your hand to level the surface. 2. Sprinkle six to eight anise seeds over the soil surface, at an equal distance from each other. Cover the seeds with a 1/4-inch layer of soil. Lightly tamp the soil with your hand to firm it over the anise seeds. 3. Water the soil with a spray bottle to avoid disturbing the shallowly planted seeds. Stretch plastic wrap over the pot to help the soil retain moisture. Cover the plastic wrap with sheets of newspaper to maintain a constant soil temperature. Keep the soil moist -- not soggy -- during the germination period. 4. Position the pot in a warm room. Aim for a temperature of about 60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Expect the seeds to germinate within two weeks. 5. Remove the plastic wrap and newspaper as soon as the seeds germinate. Expose the seedlings to sunlight and a temperature of about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 6. Remove weak, small seedlings as soon as they're large enough to handle. Keep no more than one or two strong seedlings in the pot, and water them regularly to keep the soil damp as they grow. You can move the pots outside into a sunny location when all danger of frost has passed. Things You Will Need Potting mix Pot Spray bottle Plastic wrap Newspaper Tip Sow seeds outdoors in a sunny location, after the last frost date in your area. Plant them in well-drained soil with a pH between 6.3 and 7.3. Sow the seeds in rows that are 2 feet apart, at a depth of about 1/4 inch. Thin them to 8 inches apart. Harvest anise seeds about one month after the plant flowers. Harvest the leaves as needed, while the plant matures. Anise can be used as a tea or syrup to aid in the relief from cough and congestion. Try a simple tea made from crushed seeds after a large meal - you will be surprised at how effective it can be. Known Medicinal Properties: Anise has a long history of medicinal use. It is still used all over the world as a digestive-aid and anti-flatulence agent. Anise has also been used for centuries relieve coughs and colds. In fact, scientists have even proven that the essential oils in the Anise seeds DO have expectorant properties. Anise is a digestive-aid, anti-flatulence agent and fights coughs and colds.  May the Creative Force be with you, Arlene Wright-Correll Home Farm Herbery LLC More...
  3. varmintsThu, 5 Oct 2017 22:48:56 +0000
    well folks, Looks like I've been hit again. At one time, all I had to worry about was: owls, squirrels, deer, foxes, coyotes, groundhogs, neighbors' dogs, hawks, snakes, and cats. The varmints of late? Poachers. They took my pears last month. This season, I had a bumper crop of Chinese chestnuts.  My Dad planted the trees a little over twenty years ago. Even though I don't spray 'em and only fertilize with manure, it seems, I get a good crop [at least] every other year. Got a customer inquiry for some nuts. I'd picked up a couple of pounds the first week of drop. Had held off picking up any, last couple of days; weather's been really nice. Figured on the ground being covered with nuts. Lots of empty pods; but, ground's bare. Not a single nut in sight. Squirrels can account for a fair amount of loss, but not this much. I'd been holding off on putting in electric fencing around my fruit and nut trees. It seems I've no longer a choice. Now, I just have to figure out how strong a "shock" I want the recipient(s) to receive. One farmer I've talked with, said he'd put in fencing that'll "knock a deer on its ass." And posted, high voltage signs, every 20 feet or so....for legal reasons. Pity the fool who can't read.  Oh well, we'll see what the new year brings....  More...
  4. Walnuts TimeTue, 3 Oct 2017 20:11:52 +0000
    WALNUT ORDERS BEING TAKEN  They are not quite ready yet, but if you are interested in walnuts in shell, hartley, you can put in your order now for great quality walnuts at a lower price. We are currently taking orders at $1.50 a pound for 40 or more pounds. We will not take orders for less. Our price will go up to $1.75 a pound after season is over. If you are interested, please go to the store under Dirt and Sky Farm and let me know.  More...
  5. Gloria J. is September art contest winner!Sun, 1 Oct 2017 14:30:25 +0000
    You just won September Art Contest! Gloria J.    Congratulations from Home Farm Herbery  More...
  6. Celebrating Ten Years | Our First Alpaca "Outstanding Omen" Sun, 1 Oct 2017 14:20:38 +0000
    Join us as we celebrate our ten year anniversary this month! Throughout the month of October, we will be sharing stories of our journey in the alpaca business over the last ten years as well as keeping you updated on current events and our visions and goals for the future. Pictured here is our very first alpaca, Outstanding Omen, still with us, though we don't use her in our breeding program any more. We remember well the day we purchased her, along with another female with a cria at side. After researching alpacas for over a year and finally deciding we did want to enter the business,we attended our first alpaca auction as a "Learning experience" with no intention of buying anything. We visited with several of the breeders offering alpacas for sale and then the auction began. Prices were much lower than what we had seen elsewhere and at the urging of a wonderful local breeder we had met, Loris Blandford? who offered to keep our alpacas at her farm until our pastures were ready,we put our hand up and were the winning bidder on Outstanding Omen! Oh my God, what have we done? we thought. We understood that "You can't have just one", so we purchased another female with a four month old cria at side. Suddenly, we were in the alpaca business! The rest, as they say is History. We will continue to share our story throughout the month, so please stay tuned and enjoy the ride down Memory Lane. Outstanding Dreams Farm is located in Caroline County on Maryland's eastern shore, just a short distance from many of the area's best dining experiences, cultural attractions, historical sites and charming small towns. Our visitors love coming out here for tours, shopping at our farm store and of course to meet and greet the alpacas! See what's nearby and plan a day trip to the farm while enjoying some of the local flavor and area destinations. Sincerely, Phil and Vickie Liske Website www.OutstandingDreamsFarm.com Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OutstandingDreamsFarm Google+ https://plus.google.com/+OutstandingDreamsFarmPreston Twitter https://twitter.com/odfprestonmd Instagram https://www.instagram.com/outstandingdreamsfarm Phone: 410-673-2002 24480 Pinetown Road Preston, MD 2165 More...
  7. We Harvested Our Big Pine Key Honey Before Hurricane Irma Blew the Island Blew Away!Sat, 30 Sep 2017 16:03:17 +0000
    We are so grateful that our beehives in Miami were not damaged by Hurricane Irma! And we are especially happy that we harvested our Black Mangrove honey from Big Pine Key before the hurricane wreaked its havoc and destruction!  It may be quite some time before we can harvest from there again, but for now, we've got a 50 lb. bucket of one of our favorite floral varieties safely here in Miami. The reason we love this Florida Keys honey is that it tastes like, well, butterscotch. The flavor is created by the blend of Black Mangrove nectar, along with some of the other tropical nectars from flowers that blossom at the same time.....It is remarkably reminiscent of butterscotch. Another thing I like about it is it's low viscosity. What does that mean? Well, Orange Blossom is a very thick honey, for instance. That's great sometimes, but if you put it in a pitcher of iced tea it would sink straight to the bottom. Black Mangrove honey, being very runny honey, disperses happily in your iced tea, and is my absolute favorite on french toast or pancakes. Doesn't glue the pancakes together, but absorbs and flows, and frankly, makes it so that you need very little butter. I also like to use it in my smoothies, uncooked sauces (like honey/mustard sauce for stone crabs) and salad dressings for the same reason....disperses easily. And I've been known to drink it from the squeeze bottle, straight. I can't help it.  So I'm thrilled that we have enough to get us through the season, until flowers can blossom there once again. And my heart goes out to those in the Florida Keys who are still waiting for power and assessing the damage to their homes and their lives. May their storm recovery be as rapid and painless as possible! More...
  8. Bottle or Closed GentianThu, 28 Sep 2017 17:18:33 +0000
  9. Community in Action: Portland, Oregons Food Works Farm and CSAWed, 27 Sep 2017 17:37:12 +0000
    These days we may know a lot about where our food comes from, but despite the broad array of choices in many grocery stores, access to good food is often a privilege rather than a given. More than ever, it is important to recognize communities who come together to provide sustenance to people who need it and support the good work they do. With this in mind, I looked forward to the chance to visit the Food Works Farm of Sauvie Island, near Portland Oregon, to meet some of the people who have made it their vision to make this happen. Food Works Farm is an offshoot of what began as a grassroots community garden project at the St. Johns Woods apartments, a North Portland public housing community, in 2001. The St. Johns Woods garden (now called Cathedral Garden Apartments and Village Gardens), which came about through a strong community effort, and was the first place in the country to offer community garden space at a publicly owned subsidized housing location. During the time that Village Gardens became more established, youth from the community created a plot for growing salad greens for sale. As demand for the salad greens increased, the youth expanded the business onto donated land on Sauvie Island, granted by Metro, the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Portland region. Eventually this gave rise to the current Food Works Farm and its youth employment program. The Food Works Farm is a 2.5 acre certified organic farm, nestled between a public orchard and fields run by Sauvie Island Organics, a well-known, established organic CSA serving the Portland area. Food Works Farm produces food for its own CSA, grocery and restaurant accounts, and farmers markets, located mostly within the North Portland community. On the hot summer afternoon of my visit, youth were gathering at the Food Works shed after preparing a shared lunch at the farm kitchen. Settling on their plan for the afternoon, they divvied up totes used to load up the tomatoes and peppers theyd be harvesting to fill an order for a local grocery. I met with Victor Montano, Food Works Farm Retail Coordinator, and Leslie Heimer, Food Works Program Supervisor, to talk about the history of Food Works Farm, the youth leadership program, and Victors role at the farm. Victors story starts out on a bus ride in North Portland. During their commute his mom and brothers were caught in a water balloon fight on the bus, and in the ruckus they met Leslie, the supervisor at the farm. Leslie encouraged Victor and his brothers to apply to the summer youth leadership program and that summer he joined Food Works, working at the farm. From there, while in high school, he returned to join in the Academic Year Program, and then stayed on as the farms Retail Coordinator during the summer. Reflecting on his three years at the farm, Victor says: Im a little biased, because my best friend works here, but [I like] working with others, and with people who want to work together [with you]. Here you start in the summer program, so you build all the way through together. You spend quality time with [your friends/co-workers]. Youre building a friendship, coming here everyday. Thats what I like the best, working with friends. These days, Food Works receives far more applicants than they can take. Leslie says that in 2017 they received more than five times more applicants than they could enroll in the program. She no longer needs to recruit for applicants, since word of mouth is enough to spread the word. When asked if theyd ever consider growing the program, she says yes, but there are reasons to keep things small: We have a two-person adult staff at Food Works. Weve been bigger before, and someday wed love to grow, but we found that working with one crew is more effective. Everybody feels more a part of a team, and we are able to provide more access and attention to each person that way. Were part of a larger organization called Village Gardens, so we cant expand exponentially. We want to stay within our North Portland community. Those are our [long-term] relationships. Theyre who were close to and who we answer to. Youth in the 8-week summer leadership program take public transportation to get to their workday. It is a commitment: a bus ride to Sauvie Island, then a walk up the road to the farm itself. Oregon summers are hot, and a work day is physically demanding. Lunchtime usually includes a break for a game and potentially a little spray from one of the garden hoses. While in the program, youth learn about planning, growing and selling produce, as well as developing leadership skills, like teamwork, accountability and conflict resolution . At the end of their workday, the youth gather together to review positives and deltas from the day: what went well, and what could use a little more practice. Positives for this day were the beautiful produce theyd picked, teamwork, and celebrating the birth of one of their friends babies. Deltas included recipe-tweaking on the baked onion rings for lunch, time-management with one less person on the crew and that it was challengingly hot that day. CSA shares from the Food Works farm are delivered to pickup locations in the north Portland area, and some are offered at a discounted rate to people in recovery at a local addiction rehabilitation center. For many it is a unique opportunity to obtain the fresh, healthy food so necessary to our wellbeing. Not only can people make the choice to buy into the CSA and cook with the freshest of produce, Food Works also offers cooking demonstrations based on what is in the CSA box. In addition to the raw ingredients comes knife skills, proper storage, and food preparation, leading to more confidence and enjoyment in the kitchen. In winter the Farm Supervisors and Academic Year youth team review the farms retail accounts and make plans for the upcoming spring and summer seasons. As Retail Coordinator at the farm, Victor heads up the accounting and outreach to community retailers: In general the way it works is that we do business planning during the school year, then we reach out to [local businesses] with a partnership proposal. My favorite is Village Market and New Columbia (part of Village Gardens). Weve worked with New Seasons (a B-corp organic grocery chain) for many years, actually since we started. Theyre very much in support of community programs. They have always bought produce from us. The heirloom tomatoes were harvesting right now are going to New Seasons. New Seasons also coordinates volunteer groups that come out to the farm. After we had finished our chat in the shade of the farm packing shed, Victor showed me around the Food Works fields, pointing out which crops were ready for harvest, which were finishing up (giant Walla-Walla onions were just harvested and curing), as well as crops going the long haul, like winter squash. He explained how the youth work with the farm supervisors to decide which crops to grow, when, and how much each season. Crop varieties are often chosen for their past performance: whether they provided providing good yields, worked well in Portlands climate, and of course, the taste test. Victors new picks this year, robust clumps of chives and lemongrass, were approved by group consensus during planning this past winter. To me, this is one of the delights of CSA and small-scale farming: where people from the community are encouraged to come visit and participate, to get to know how their food is grown, and to know the people that produced it. The Food Works farm takes this even further, providing youth with the opportunity to give to their community, learn new ways of working together, job training, and commitment to a cause. It isnt all rainbows, there are positives and deltas, farming takes a lot of work, and teamwork takes practice and patience. But we all depend on our food systems, and sharing food brings us a lot of basic joy. Programs like The Food Works Farm thrive off community involvement with other small businesses working directly with the farm, community volunteers, and even some input like USDA grants. Its the energy of community and our interdependence that encourages independence and growth, which then cycles around again. However you choose, the next time youre browsing in the grocery aisle, farmers market, or opening your box of food, we invite you to pause and consider again the people who made it all possible. More...
  10. Update:Wed, 27 Sep 2017 16:53:43 +0000
    Hello my fellow Local Harvest people. I want to update everyone as to the goings on with our farm. We have had a lot of big changes in the last year and this coming year will be no different. I want to let you all know that our farm is now called Dirt and Sky Farms. Same ole, farm, family and dirt. We try to keep an updated website under the same name: www.DirtandSkyFarm.com I will do periodic updates for Local Harvest as we start producing and sharing, but most of our information will be on our website. Our website is also undergoing some updates, so if there is information that you need to know or questions you need to ask, feel free to contact us directly. Lastly, WALNUTS are here! If you would like some walnuts this season, put in an order and we can have them ready for you come pick up time. Persimmons are also available upon request. Happy eating. Maria  More...
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