New! Mini Baskets available

November 30 Update – we still have mini gift baskets in stock, but are OUT of the red truck packaging.  Packaging options are the black “Merry Christmas” box or the Cardinal and Wreath Box – please specify which you would prefer in your order!

 

Hey friends!  Excited to add a new option to our holiday packages!  These mini gift baskets are perfect for co-workers, teachers, coaches, etc.!

Online order form for the mini gift basket along with our small and large gift baskets can be found here:

Christmas Gift Basket Order Form

 

Make it a Local-Product Christmas!

It’s Christmas basket time! (Cue the Christmas music)

If this looks familiar (ie: almost identical to last year), well … that’s because it is.  Same great baskets – same prices as last year.  Only option is due to a poor honey-harvest this year, we aren’t offering 2 pound bottles of honey, only 1 pound and half pound.

Here are the gift basket options:

We have two basic gift baskets but we can customize a package for you if these aren’t exactly what you want.

Our Large Holiday Gift Package includes: a one pound local, raw honey, one pint local salsa, two local fruit jams/jellies, and one beeswax lip balm from our bees, all in a cute buffalo plaid crate (your choice of black and red or black and white plaid).  Cost for the large basket is $30. Include a beeswax hand balm for $10. 

IMG_2712

The small package (pictured below) includes: a 1 pound jar of local, raw honey, one pint local salsa, and one jar of local fruit jam/jelly for $20.

IMG_2713

In each gift basket, you can specify the following:

Jams and Jellies:

Spiced Tomato Jam

Elderberry Jelly

Blackberry Jam

Blackberry Jelly

Blackberry Jalapeno Jam

Apple/Grape Jelly

Peach Jelly

Plum Jelly

We can also change the gift tags to say Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Holidays or whatever message you choose.

Online Order form can be found here:

Werner Creek Farm Holiday Gift Basket Order Form

We also love to sell individual products, if that is more your style.  We have two sizes of honey – 1 pound for $7, and half pound for $4.

Half pints of jam or jelly are $4.50.

Beeswax lip balm is $3

Quarter pint jars of beeswax hand balm available for $10.

The individual items aren’t on the order form, but just make a note in the instructions if you want to add on any of these items.

Please contact us with any questions you might have!  My email is slwerner8@yahoo.com and my cell is 620-222-5821.

 

 

 

 

Stocking up

Been spending some time recently getting stocked up on products we sell at Christmas time.  Today, that meant a batch of beeswax lip balm and hand balm.

I started making these for one simple reason … I don’t like waste.  When we started keeping bees, we all of a sudden had a large supply of freshly rendered beeswax. What to do with it?  Some quick research found a simple recipe for lip balm.  A minor tweak to the recipe also produced a nice hand balm, and here we are.

 

Melting the rendered wax before adding the other ingredients …

Filling the lip balm tubes ….

Beautiful, finished hand balm.

Christmas order forms will be up on the website this week!

Christmas Gift Baskets Available

Excited to announce that we are again taking orders for Christmas gift baskets!

Werner Creek Farm Holiday Gift Basket Order Form

We have two basic gift baskets but we can customize a package for you if these aren’t exactly what you want.

Our Large Holiday Gift Package includes: a one pound local, raw honey, one pint local salsa, two local fruit jams/jellies, and one beeswax lip balm from our bees, all in a cute buffalo plaid crate.  Cost for the large basket is $30.  Upgrade to a 2-pound honey for $7 more.  Include a beeswax hand balm for $10.  (Pictured below with a 2 pound honey)

IMG_2712

The small package includes: a 1 pound jar of local, raw honey, one pint local salsa, and one jar of local fruit jam/jelly for $20.  Increase the 1 pound honey to 2 pound to make the price $27.

IMG_2713

In each gift basket, you can specify the following:

Salsa:

Mild, Medium, or Hot

 

Jams and Jellies:

Spiced Tomato Jam (sounds gross, tastes amazing! trust me!)

Elderberry Jelly

Blackberry Jam  Sorry sold out!

Blackberry Jelly

Blackberry Jalapeno Jam Sorry sold out!

Apple/Grape Jelly

Aronia Berry Jam Sorry sold out!

Mixed Fruit Jelly  Sorry sold out!

Point of clarification – jelly is made from fruit juice, so is therefor smooth and with no pulp.  Jam is made from the whole fruit, so it will contain chunks of fruit and seeds. All of our jams and jellies are made with produce from our farm, or from our friends’ farms nearby.

We can also change the gift tags to say Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Holidays or whatever message you choose.

To streamline things this year, we have an online order form here –

Werner Creek Farm Holiday Gift Basket Order Form

We would also love to sell individual products, if that is more your style.  We have three sizes of honey – 2 pound for $14, 1 pound for $7, and half pound for $4.

dsc_00551

Pint jars of salsa are $7

Quart jars of salsa (mild only) for $12

Half pints of jam or jelly are $4.50.

Beeswax lip balm is $3

We also have 1/4 pint jars of beeswax hand balm available for $10.

The individual items aren’t on the order form, but just make a note in the instructions if you want to add on any of these items.

Please contact us with any questions you might have!  My email is slwerner8@yahoo.com and my cell is 620-222-5821.

 

Strawberry Jam

IMG_4702

I bought some delicious strawberries this week from some other local farmers.  Despite my daughter’s protests (she would have eaten them ALLLLL), I made strawberry jam for the first time in years.

On our farm, we usually make jams and jellies only from the fruit we produce.  But, we love having a source for local strawberries, since we don’t currently grow them ourselves.

IMG_4707

Making our canned products – jams, jellies, salsas, etc. – with local products is important to us.  Locally grown, locally made is our philosophy.  On a rare occasion, we might have to substitute something like onions in our salsa, but only when our local sources have run out (which isn’t often!).  And then, we look for the From the Land of Kansas tags on the onions in the grocery store, so we can at least buy from Kansas.

I used to be intimidated by making jam and jelly, but just like with anything, after a little practice, it’s no big deal.  For me, the there are really only two key factors to making jam.  The first is understanding the basics of home canning safety (check out freshpreserving.com for great information).  The second is understanding the role pectin plays in gelling your jam or jelly.  I didn’t take the time to understand this when I first started out.  If I had, it would have saved me a lot of frustration.

This is a really great article that explains how pectin works (plus, it’s really funny): https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/08/jam-making-101-pectin-sugar-gel-point.html

If you’re thinking about making some jam or jelly, don’t be scared! … just dive right in and give it a try.  Here are a few things I’ve learned (disclaimer, these are intended to be helpful hints, not a full-tutorial on home-canning).

Step 1: Prep your jars, lids, and rims (freshpreserving.com)

IMG_4719

Step 2: Place clean and de-stemmed fruit in pot.

IMG_4720

Step 3: Mash ’em up with a potato masher.  If you’re not always in a hurry like me, you can take the time to methodically chop your fruit.  But who has that kinda time?

IMG_4724

Step 4:  Add the pectin and turn up the heat!  It’s important with jam or jelly to continually monitor it.  But honestly, the entire stove-top process takes less than 10 minutes, so it’s not big deal.  Turn on Netflix.  Just keep stirring.

Step 5: (This is the part where if you want to pretend jam is health food …. look away)  Once the fruit and pectin has just begun to boil, add the sugar.  LOTS of sugar.  (But don’t feel bad!  The sugar is part of what keeps jams and jellies from spoiling!)

IMG_4721

Step 6: Stir the sugar until it is completely dissolved.  KEEP STIRRING.  This is the part where it is easy to get impatient, but don’t.  This part is critical.  Your mixture should reach a boil that cannot be stirred down.  I repeat, CANNOT BE STIRRED DOWN.  No flimsy boils – a full rolling boil.

Once it has reached this point, keep boiling (and stirring!) for a solid minute.  Cannot stress this enough.  Jam has to have enough time at that really high boil for the extra water to evaporate.  If the water hasn’t evaporated, the pectin can’t bind, and you will have runny jam.

IMG_4725

Step 7: Fill your hot, sterilized jars and follow your recipe’s processing instructions.

IMG_4727

Step 8: Slather on toast (or better yet, a biscuit!) and enjoy!

 

Helpful hints:

Use a good pot for jam-making.  A really good pot.  One with a thick base is best for keeping the heat evenly distributed and to keep it from heating too quickly.

Sometimes it’s helpful to wear long sleeves, especially for step 6, as boiling jam tends to pop.

Depending on what fruit you are working with, it can sometimes take up to a day to gel.  My tomato jam always takes longer to gel than others.  Don’t get discouraged if yours hasn’t gelled right away.  Just give it a little more time.

Make sure you use recipes from trusted sources.  It’s possible to make your own recipes once you understand the basics of jam-making and how pectin and sugar interacts with different fruits.

 

See?  Easy, right?  Homemade jam is simply the best!  Locally grown, locally made jam is even better.  🙂

 

 

 

2017 Holiday Gift Packages

December 19, 2017 Update:  We have had TREMENDOUS support for our holiday gift packages this year!  We want to thank everyone who has helped make this Christmas sales season a huge success for our farm.  We are no longer accepting orders for Christmas 2017.  We look forward to serving our customers in the new year!

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Last year, we had so much fun launching our first Christmas gift packages!  We have been working to make some tweaks to the products and process this year to make things even BETTER.  Our local flower shop, Timber Creek Floral and Gifts has been awesome at helping us prepare the packaging, and we are really proud of the way they look AND taste!

We have two basic packages we are offering this year, but we can customize a package for you if these aren’t exactlywhat you want.

Our Large Holiday Gift Package includes: one 2 pound local, raw honey, one pint local salsa, two local fruit jams/jellies, and one beeswax lip balm from our bees, all in a cute buffalo plaid crate.  Cost for the large basket is $36.

IMG_2712

The small package includes: a 1 pound jar of local, raw honey, one pint local salsa, and one jar of local fruit jam/jelly for $18.  Increase the 1 pound honey to 2 pound to make the price $24.

IMG_2713

In each gift basket, you can specify the following:

Salsa:

Mild, Medium, or Hot

 

Jams and Jellies:

Spiced Tomato Jam (sounds gross, tastes amazing! trust me!)

Elderberry Jelly

Blackberry Jam

Blackberry Jelly

Blackberry Jalapeno Jam

Apple/Grape Jelly

Grape Jelly

Aronia Jelly

Mixed Fruit Jelly

Point of clarification – jelly is made from fruit juice, so is therefor smooth and with no pulp.  Jam is made from the whole fruit, so it will contain chunks of fruit and seeds. All of our jams and jellies are made with produce from our farm, or from our friends’ farms nearby.

We can also change the gift tags to say Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Holidays or whatever message you choose.

To streamline things this year, we have an online order form here –

Werner Creek Farm Holiday Gift Basket Order Form

We would also love to sell individual products, if that is more your style.  We have three sizes of honey – 2 pound for $12, 1 pound for $6, and half pound for $3.50.

dsc_00551

Pint jars of salsa are $7

Quart jars of salsa (mild only) for $12

Half pints of jam or jelly are $4.50.

Beeswax lip balm is $3

We also have 1/4 pint jars of beeswax hand balm available for $10.

The individual items aren’t on the order form, but just make a note in the instructions if you want to add on any of these items.

Please contact us with any questions you might have!  My email is slwerner8@yahoo.com and my cell is 620-222-5821.