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!
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
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 email@example.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.
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
One of my favorite podcasters, Kendra Adachi of The Lazy Genius, frequently encourages listeners to “name what matters.” Her point is always that one can’t make decisions or prioritize tasks until we name what matters most to us right here, right now.
I try to do this as we enter each new stretch of time or season- name what matters to us as a family, to our farm, and in our lives.
During this time – roughly October through January- after the hectic spring and summer on our farm, what matters to us as a farm family is to kind of go quiet for awhile. To allow ourselves to breath, to not have to make our top priorities all things to do with the farm.
All this means is you might not hear from us as often during this stretch. We take a break from social media for a bit. We go for more walks and pull less weeds. We sit and watch more sunsets together on the back patio.
We are still growing things this time of year, but not under pressure or at such a crazy pace. We grow vegetables this time of year simply for the joy of growing things and eating delicious food straight out of the ground.
Bruce picked these radishes last night and made me my first-ever radish sandwich …. “just like Papa Roger makes.” It was delicious, and my new favorite snack. Maybe I’ll try again this winter to get better at baking sandwich bread to improve this snack even more.
Or maybe I’ll just read a book by the fire, instead.
Our main farm focus this time of year is continuing to provide our value-added products for customers to purchase as Christmas gifts.
Christmas order form link can be found in the menu above.
We will be having a small Christmas Shopping event at the farm on Saturday, December 11 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Come and purchase items and have your gift baskets custom made for you that day. Complimentary Christmas cookies, fudge and other goodies will be provided! One lucky shopper that day will win a Deluxe gift basket, pictured below.
A note about our shopping evening – our farm store is simple …. nothing will be fancy or heavily decorated for Christmas …. unfinished farm projects will be all around. In short, we invite you to our farm for this event and want you to come knowing that you are seeing our farm “as is.” 🙂
For those who have been wanting to see our new processing kitchen, it will be open for all who want to take a peek inside.
Or, if what matters to you right now is simply taking some time to breath, we invite you out to the farm to meet some of our favorite farm animals, or just to enjoy a quiet walk to the stone bridge.
“A walk in nature, walks the soul back home.” – Mary Davis