Late Summer Produce Farming

Recently, I talked about our new value-added kitchen. While this is incredibly exciting for our farm, it means that a lot of our time and energy has been focused on this project for the past 12 months, and not as much on …. well, actual farming.

Our late-season produce has really suffered as a result. Part of our lack of supply is due to very hot and dry temperatures, but a significant amount is due to our inability to be more than one place at a time (irritating! I know!). Juggling full-time jobs with family obligations and a rapidly growing business often means parts of our farm get neglected.

So, for those of you looking for late-season veggies, please know we miss them as much as you do! And thanks for understanding.

We are slowly but surely figuring out systems as we get our kitchen up and running. This recent picture is of my work table …. covered in finished product …. as I’m getting ready to make a batch of jam. Why? Because we are already out of storage space for our finished product.

Don’t worry, we got it sorted out … kind of. 🙂

While our late season produce has suffered, we are better stocked on all of our currently offered value-added products than we ever are this time of year. Here is a batch of spiced tomato jam, just in time for fall, packed with cinnamon, cloves, and all-spice.

We have had a little bit of time for recipe development this summer. Gage worked on perfecting a roasted tomato sauce back in July. IT IS DELICIOUS. I can’t WAIT for you all to try it! We sampled and re-sample four different batches. Hard work, I know! Our plan is to have this for sale next year. Also coming soon is our sweet hot sauce.

In other news, I wanted to share a little bit about a fruit we grow, as it is something we get asked about multiple times each week. Pictured here is aronia, also known as chokeberry. Looks kind of like a blueberry, doesn’t it? We have been growing them on our farm for a number of years. Aronia grows on a deciduous bush and is nature’s most concentrated antioxidant berry. Many people eat or drink aronia products regularly because of its high concentration of antioxidants (and other components) and the health benefits associated with them.

However, if eaten raw, aronia berries have an almost astringent flavor to them. Combined with sugar in jam, that astringent flavor mellows to an earthy undertone. Aronia jam tastes like a combination of blueberry and elderberry.

Aronia was our most prolific fruit this year, so we have plenty of aronia jam and jelly in stock.

While our market season is winding down, we DO hope to continue to connect with our customers after September. If you are out of a value-added product, or just wonder if we have something available, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time!

Coming soon, we will have our Christmas packages available for purchase. Since we are no longer keeping bees, we will be including Harvey’s Honey (another local beekeeper) in our baskets. We will begin accepting Christmas basket orders in early November. We plan to have a small Christmas shopping event on our farm in late November or early December – stay tuned for details!

As always, THANK YOU for your support. Farming is a messy, unpredictable business, but we love it and we love our customers for sticking by us. We hope to see you soon!

FINAL Walnut Valley Farmers Market – Saturday, September 25, 7:30 – 11:00 am – We will have our usual value-added products, the last of the houseplants, maybe a few sad tomatoes, AND delicious chocolate chip pumpkin muffins and hot apple cider for sale! See you Saturday!

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