BIG NEWS – Farm Store opening soon!

Those of you who follow us on Facebook or Instagram may have already seen the exciting news that a building was delivered mid-June that will soon house our in-town Farm Store! This is a huge step for us and something we have dreamed of doing for years. With Gage making the transition this fall from teaching to farming full-time, the time seems right.

We will use the store to sell all of the goodies we currently sell at farmers markets and more. (We will still be at farmers markets, too btw). We will be scaling up production of our produce, especially off-season, to be able to have fresh food to sell for as much of the year as possible. We will also be scaling up the variety of our canned goods we offer as we finalize certification on our kitchen facility at the farm. Lastly, we will be looking to add new products to our store, either ones we make or grow, or products produced by other small-scale farmers and makers.

What we love most about what we do is growing and creating great products and connecting with the people who purchase them. We could not be more excited about the prospect of connecting with more people at the store and offering more great local products for people to purchase. In our current economic climate, we also believe this tiny store can offer locals a little peace of mind that, even if the grocery store shelves are sometimes limited or partially bare, we remain committed to producing food and making it available to those in our community. Food shortages are scary, and we hope the opening of our farm store will help provide some peace of mind that we are committed to continuing to producing good, wholesome, delicious food.

Fact – we would not have made this leap so soon without the awesome partnership and support from our good friends at Ladybird Brewing. Our tiny store is located on their property at 523 Main Street in Winfield. We are excited to introduce some of our farm product-loving customers to their delicious brews and vice versa.

Time line on the opening of our store remains fluid. We are already operating at full-steam this time of year, so scratching out time to finish the interior of the building and get everything up to code is iffy at best. Stay tuned later this month for more info on an opening date.

We would love to hear your input on what hours you would be most likely to shop. We plan to be open at least a few late afternoons/evenings a week, and then on Saturdays and a few hours on Sundays. But we want to make it convenient for our customers, so please tell us when you would be most likely to stop by the store.

Also, if there are local products you would like to see us carry in our store, please let us know.

Prime vegetable season

We have had some of the best produce we have ever grown this year. We had radishes for a few weeks, spinach and lettuce for a bit longer, and we continue to have carrots, kale, swiss chard, beets, potatoes and onions. We have started harvesting the sweetest cucumbers you have ever tasted, delicious green beans, plump and juicy blackberries, summer squash, and finally … TOMATOES! Winter squash, okra and fresh cut flowers are coming soon.

Goat Update

Here comes the news that is hardest to share. After nearly ten years of raising goats, we made the decision this spring to sell our goat herd. We sold all but four goats – Daisy, Peaches, Frankie, and Beast, a few of our bottle babies from this year and last. The decision to sell our herd was a financial one, we need more time to focus in on the areas of our farm that are most profitable, since we are hoping that the farm can support one of us full-time.

As soon as the goats were gone, our 8-year-old daughter asked me why I was so sad. I explained to her that just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right decision. It’s always hard to let go of something you have cared for, and these goats received a lot of our attention and care over the last ten years.

We will have a goat herd again some day. But for now, we will enjoy the easy maintenance and companionship of our little bottle babies.

We continue to be at the Walnut Valley Farmers Market every Saturday morning from 7:30-11:00 and the Ark City Farm and Art Market on Tuesdays from 4:00 – 6:30 pm. Looking forward to seeing you all soon at farmers market or the farm store!

From Sarah at Werner Creek Farm

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” Audrey Hepburn

Farmers Market Season

I know it’s such a cliche, but where has the time gone? Farmers Market season begins NEXT WEEK, Saturday, May 28 with the opening of the Walnut Valley Farmers Market! Tuesday, May 31 will be the opening of the Ark City Farm and Art Market. We can’t wait to see all of our customers and market friends again!

Vegetables are all coming along nicely. For the first markets, we will have some beets, radishes, carrots, spinach, kale and swiss chard. Cucumbers are a few weeks out, and tomatoes are at least a month out, but looking good.

Farmers Market Giveaway

To celebrate our 15th year in business, we are doing a series of giveaways, specials, etc. throughout the year. Our first giveaway will be these cute, reusable totes featuring our logo. Anyone spending $15 or more at a farmers market will get one of these bags!

Plants, Plants, Plants

We have a large selection of nice houseplants we will have available at early farmers markets this year! Our plants include succulents, ferns, spider plants, swedish ivy, pothos and more. We have many already potted up in terra cotta pots, ready for a place in your home.

Hope to see all of you very soon at farmers market!

From Sarah at Werner Creek Farm

Planting Season

This might be my favorite flower right here … the first tomato blossom of the season. Good things are coming! We have so many veggies planted this year. Is there something you would like to see us offer that we haven’t in the past? Send us a message! If we think we can grow it for you, we will sure try!

Farmers Market starts in just a little over a month. May 28 is the opening day in Winfield, May 31 in Ark City. We have plenty of cool season crops planted … we just need a little rain to get them coming on strong enough to be ready for the first markets.

We purchased new baby chicks a few weeks ago. These cute little babies won’t be laying eggs until late summer, but we still have a few layers on the farm and plan to have a limited quantity of eggs for our farmers market customers this summer.

Our cute little bottle babies are old enough to be weaned. Hard to believe it has been more than two months since that crazy week when all of the babies were born.

We sure are happy to be having warmer weather. And I have to say, even with as cute as these guys are, I won’t miss their daily feeding. 🙂

We have some very exciting plans coming up that we are *almost* ready to share. Dibble the cat says to be patient … we will get to share soon! Watch for BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS in our May newsletter along with information on some exciting things we are planning for market season to celebrate our farm’s FIFTEEN YEAR! We will have all sorts of special sales, events, incentives and more during our fifteen year in business followed by a big 15th birthday party next April! We can’t wait to celebrate with you!

From Sarah at Werner Creek Farm

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.” – Anne Bradstreet

Kidding Season

Last Wednesday, Feb. 23 marked the start of kidding season for us. Usually it lasts up to a month. Of the 24 nannies we thought were pregnant, 20 of them have had kids. TWENTY. In six days. Most of those in single-digit temps. In that kind of weather, most mamas can’t get their babies dried off fast enough for them to survive.

I lost track of how many baby goats we took into the house to try to save. A dozen? Twenty? Probably somewhere in between, but I truly have no idea. The last six days have been one of the biggest blurs I have ever experienced. We lost a lot of babies. But we saved more than we lost. And that’s all we can focus on right now – that we couldn’t have worked harder than we did and we saved as many as possible.

Like this little guy. He and his sister were born at daybreak on Friday. I found them right after he was born. His mama gave birth right next to one of the metal-sided barns and by the time I got to him, he was stuck to the side of the building, frozen to it. After yanking him free (there is no standing on ceremony when it’s single digits and you have a wet baby on your hands!) I helped his mama dry him and his sister off, but they were still going downhill fast. After about 6 hours inside by the fire, they were back on their feet AND their mama took them back. Most mamas won’t take a baby back once it has been removed from them.

He has a tiny bald spot on his side, a badge of honor for being born on one of the coldest days of the year, freezing to the side of a building, and living to tell the tale.

We have 23 new babies (I think? My brain is so tired, and I’ve lost track so many times), and potentially four more nannies to kid. Thank goodness the weather is warm this week.

We will end up with a solid number of bottle babies at the end of all of this, which is equal parts fun and exhausting. Follow us on social media to see all of the baby goat antics to come. There is nothing cuter than frolicking baby goats!

In other news, the baby tomato plants are looking good and will be ready to be planted in the high tunnels later this month. Soooo happy it’s almost planting season!

We have also booked dates at Stroots Locker for five American Guinea Hogs this month (Mmmmmm! Bacon!).

Cost for a whole hog is processing fee (roughly $180-220, paid directly to the processor) plus $2.00 a pound for the meat. These smaller hogs will likely yield 50-75 pounds of meat.

Email sarah@wernercreekfarm.com or text 620-222-5821 to reserve a hog.

That’s all for now friends. My brain and body are too tired to think of any other news to share. Here’s hoping that by April, things will be back on track.

From Sarah at Werner Creek Farm

Kansas Day!

Kansas Day is this week! To celebrate the state we love, we are excited to partner with Ladybird Brewing and Walnut Valley Outpost for a Kansas Day Event on Saturday, January 29!

Our friends at Ladybird have brewed up a special Kansas-Day beer, and are bringing in chili and cinnamon rolls … just because. Our friends at Walnut Valley Outpost are hosting a Kansas Appreciation Bike ride leaving from the brewery at 12:30, touring past our farm, before coming back to the brewery mid-afternoon.

We will be at Ladybird Brewing on Saturday, selling a variety of our local Kansas value-added goodies – Blackberry Jalapeno Jam, Sweet Hot Sauce, Beeswax Lip Balm and all your other favorites.

But more importantly, we will be bringing along Daisy the Goat. This sweet little girl was orphaned last spring so she was bottle raised, meaning she is super friendly, and sometimes a pest. We have no doubt that Daisy will be way more popular than we are, and we’re cool with that.

We are looking forward to a laid-back event and enjoying some time chatting with our friends and customers. Come for a bike ride, or just for a beer, and enjoy a chat alongside Daisy the Goat.

In other NEW … This is absolutely NUTS …. But in 2022, our farm turns 15. We built our barn house and started envisioning what a life on a small farm would look like in 2008. While building a house, we gardened, planted fruit trees, and made plans.

Fifteen years, two kids, four dogs, fourteen cats, dozens of hogs, and hundreds of goats later, here we are. It’s a wild and wonderful ride and we wouldn’t trade it for anything.

We plan to do some special things for our 15th anniversary, but we aren’t quite ready to unveil those just yet, so stay tuned! In the meantime, we will be sharing some pictures of our farm through the years. Above is the start of our house construction in April 2008.

Planting Season Begins, Again

We know it’s cold outside and no one but the craziest of people are thinking about gardening, so I guess we qualify. Our first round of tomato seedlings are up and looking good. We still need to reskin our heated high tunnel, but if all goes according to plan we hope to have these babies in the ground late February/early March.

We have been enjoying all the greens we can eat from one of our high tunnels this winter. Pictured above on the left is kohlrabi, and let me tell you, if you haven’t tried kohlrabi greens, you need to stop what you are doing RIGHT NOW and come out and get some. They are the sweetest greens I have ever eaten. We literally cannot get enough of them.

While we are not set up to sell veggies easily in the off-season, we are experimenting and growing more than we can possibly eat in hopes that one day we will be set up to offer veggies year-round. In the meantime, if you want to try some kohlrabi greens, spinach, or carrots when they get a little bigger, give us a shout. We are happy to share. Also, pinch off a few of the sweet pea sprouts as you pass by and pop them straight in your mouth – they are delicious.

Stay safe and well, friends, and we hope to see you Saturday at Ladybird Brewery!

From Sarah at Werner Creek Farm

“I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow.” – David Hobson