Thursday, May 16, 2024

Farm Store Inventory May 16

 

HOT this week...

Bug Bite Salve - well at least for me. :D Bugs are starting to come out and this is providing me with some relief!

Stinging Nettles Tincture - For seasonal allergy support. Supporting healthy histamine response and relief. Take a dropperful in a shot of water 1-3xday. John feels relief soon after taking a dose.

Garden plants - see the list below!


The orchard is passing full bloom, with some flowers still on the trees and fruitlets starting to show on the earliest bloomers!

Read on for this week's farm store inventory...



Eggs $6/dozen - free ranged & fed Organic feed
Asparagus $7 bunch
Rhubarb $4 bunch
Garden plants 4pk $5 - lettuce, kale, broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, ground cherries, tomatillo, 8 Varieties tomatoes (listed below, more deets in previous blog post!), NEW - green slicing cukes, picking cukes, basil, parsley.

Herbal Salves $10
Bruise salve - prevent/treat bruises, fresh/deep wounds, burns, hemorrhoids
Knitbone salve - sprains, strains, broken bones, arthritis/tendonitis, muskuloskeletal remedy
Bug Bite Salve $10

Applesauce $8
Apple butter $6
Apricot Jam $8 Back in stock!
Calendula Lotion Bar $10
Herbal Bug Spray $7
Cool It Essential Oil Spray $5
Summer Gift Pack $21 - bug spray, bug bite salve, cool it spray

Elderberry syrup kit $25
Sore Throat Spray $10
Tincture 1oz/$15 - stinging nettles, holy basil, Ashwaganda, willow bark, astragalus, elderberry
Tincture 2oz/$25 - stinging nettles, Ashwaganda, holy basil, willow bark Applewood $10/10.5lb bag

German Johnson 8-16oz Brandywine type slicer *BLT fav

Kellogg’s breakfast 1-2lb beefsteak type

Valencia low acid yellow slicer

Sun Gold cherry type, delicious & prolific

Amish Paste 8-12oz, meaty, juicy few seeds *fav

Brandywine 1lb+ great taste, popular

San Marzano 4oz paste type, few seeds, easy peel

Weavers Black Brandywine rush black tomato flavor, beefsteak type *farmer fav ever black tomato


Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Farm Store Inventory May 7


I planted 50 new rhubarb plants last year!! My old patches needed a little rehab and who can really have too much??!! The asparagus patch is a few years old and will only get more and more productive now -I'll lump these into all the perennial fruits we have to offer throughout the year! This means preservation season has officially kicked off - both of these need to get in my freezer for year round seasonal eating! So far I've been working on drying and tincturing nettles.

The orchard is in FULL BLOOM this week!! You won't want to miss it.

Read on for this week's farm store inventory...



Eggs $6/dozen - free ranged & fed Organic feed
Asparagus $7 bunch
Rhubarb $4 bunch
Garden plants 4pk $5 - lettuce, kale, broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, ground cherries, tomatillo, 8 Varieties tomatoes (listed below, more deets in previous blog post!)

Herbal Salves $10
Bruise salve - prevent/treat bruises, fresh/deep wounds, burns, hemorrhoids
Knitbone salve - sprains, strains, broken bones, arthritis/tendonitis, muskuloskeletal remedy
Bug Bite Salve $10

Applesauce $8
Apple butter $6
Apricot Jam $8 Back in stock!
Calendula Lotion Bar $10
Herbal Bug Spray $7
Cool It Essential Oil Spray $5
Summer Gift Pack $21 - bug spray, bug bite salve, cool it spray

Elderberry syrup kit $25
Sore Throat Spray $10
Tincture 1oz/$15 - stinging nettles, holy basil, Ashwaganda, willow bark, astragalus, elderberry
Tincture 2oz/$25 - stinging nettles, Ashwaganda, holy basil, willow bark Applewood $10/10.5lb bag

German Johnson 8-16oz Brandywine type slicer *BLT fav

Kellogg’s breakfast 1-2lb beefsteak type

Valencia low acid yellow slicer

Sun Gold cherry type, delicious & prolific

Amish Paste 8-12oz, meaty, juicy few seeds *fav

Brandywine 1lb+ great taste, popular

San marzano 4oz paste type, few seeds, easy peel

Weavers Black Brandywine rush black tomato flavor, beefsteak type *farmer fav ever black tomato


Garden Plants Have Arrived!

Garden plants have arrived at the farm store!

Grab your salsa and BLT tomatoes, plant some lettuce, cabbage for kraut and more! The sun is shining and things are going to take off with this spring weather.


Do you spy my helper?! Leo helped me get the load of tomatoes, ground cherries, tomatillos and more brassicas this morning for opening the farm store for the week. Full list of plants below.

Every year I enjoy watching the sea of tomatoes grow in the deep winter greenhouse! It is so full and abundant with promise for the gardening season ahead!!

At the farm store the plants are either right inside the breezeway (picture), especially  on windy or rainy days, or right outside of the quonset, next to the farm store door. We do our best with the set up we have!! They are also at The Greenhouse at Total Landscape Supply, Madelia!

We hope you'll stop out this week and grab some Organic garden plants to nourish your bodies and souls this week! Each 4 pack container is $5. Rhubarb and asparagus are in season too, and our egg laying ladies are staying busy.


Garden plants available at the farm:

All come in 4-pack containers for $5

Noted below are extra plants available at Total Landscape!

Lettuce
Kale
Broccoli
Kohlrabi
Cabbage
Ground Cherries
Tomatillo
Tomatoes - 8 varieties
-German Johnson 8-16oz Brandywine type slicer *BLT fav -Kellogg’s Breakfast 1-2lb beefsteak type -Valencia low acid yellow slicer -Sun Gold cherry type, delicious & prolific -Amish Paste 8-12oz, meaty, juicy few seeds *fav -Brandywine 1lb+ great taste, popular -San Marzano 4oz paste type, few seeds, easy peel -Weavers Black Brandywine rush black tomato flavor, beefsteak type *farmer fav ever black

**Coming later this week: green slicer, white slicer & picking cucumbers!!

**Also available at Total Landscape Supply, Madelia: our famous Celery, Cauliflower, Jalapenos (delivering 5/9)

Look for this sign when you are there shopping!!


Monday, April 29, 2024

Field Day: Animal Husbandry and Raising Pigs Outdoors

 


Animal Husbandry and Raising Pigs Outdoors

At Alternative Roots Farm, Madelia


At Alternative Roots Farm we have been raising pigs outdoors since 2012.  Over the years we have raised 6 different heritage breeds (Gloucestershire Old Spots, North American Guinea Hogs, Red Wattle, Mangalitza, Ossabaw Island, Mulefoot) and many mixes in-between.  On our small farm acreage, we have been forced to learn, sometimes the hard way, the best practices in raising a small herd of pigs outdoors, and on pasture. 

Our experience has taught us about good pasture rotation, breeding and farrowing, electric fence training, feed rations, pasture forage options, winter housing, trailer loading and animal health.  This summer we are hosting a workshop on raising pigs on pasture with a hands-on focus to get you started in raising your own pigs. 

This field day is focused on getting you hands-on and a real-world experience in electric fence set-ups, pasture rotation, loading animals, separating stock, checking heat cycles in gilts/sows, feed rations, pasture forage options, breed characteristics and a number of curveballs you can expect the pigs to throw at you.  Class will include hand-outs of the presentation. 

Participants are expected to bring their own lunches and workwear suitable for working with pigs hands-on.  If you already raise pigs, please practice good biosecurity measures and come in clean and sanitized workwear – lets keep our animals and your animals healthy together.

 

Sunday, August 25

8:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Rain day back up: Sunday, September 1

Class Cost:  $75/Participant or $100/couple (With the full field day, no tag along kiddos please.)

Maximum number of Participants:  20

Pre-registration is required, email us directly at info@alternativerootsfarm.com



Monday, April 15, 2024

2024 Organic Garden Plants!

Happy garden harvest!


Here is our list of bedding plants we'll be growing this year, so you can plan them into your gardens!! Select items will be available at the farm store come early spring, the majority will be available at the Greenhouse at Total Landscape Supply, in Madelia.


All of our garden plants are Certified Organic!

Brooke with tomato

-Celery, Ventura (veeery popular, you may become addicted to "real" MN grown celery)
-Ground Cherry, Goldie
-Tomatillo, Toma Verde  

Kohlrabi transplants

Some cool season crops you can plant early...
-Cabbage, Copenhagen
-Kohlrabi, Terek
-Cauliflower, Snow Crown
-Broccoli, DeCicco (side-shooting type for continual harvest)

Amish Paste

A number of delicious heirloom tomatoes great for fresh eating and processing...
-Amish Paste
-German Johnson (dusky pink, my favorite for BLTs) 
-Kellogs breakfast (orange) 
-Sun Gold, cherry type (very prolific)
-Valencia (yellow, low-acid)
-Weavers Black Brandywine (the BEST black tomato I've grown, 2nd fav for BLTs)
-Brandywine
-San Marzano, paste type

-Jalapeno, Early 

Cooling cucumbers!
-M-76 (classic green slicer)
-H-19 Pickling
-Silver Slicer (white, my favorite for flavor)

Follow along as spring approaches! (Slowly but surely, and I'm okay with that. :) There will likely be other plants available at the farm not listed here, depending on what strikes me, but usually some basil, kale, sweet peppers and other "extras" from my home garden!

Ready to process tomatoes!

Friday, March 1, 2024

4 Things I'm Doing to Get Ready for Gardening & Preserving Season Right Now.

Well granted you can do preserving all year long, main preserving season comes in the summer with the bounty of gardens and farmers' markets. I like to have a plan, an idea, a vision of some sort to get be ready. I also like having a (somewhat) cleaned and organized freezer and pantry, so there is less chaos during the busiest time.

So, there are a few things I like to do, as I plan the garden and thus prepare for my summer projects, my pantry and freezer restock - the food security and health I build for my family each year.


1. Taking inventory of the pantry.

There are a few givens in the garden, like tomatoes, but the crops, or how much, maybe be determined by what I have remaining in the pantry this time of year.

What did we not use at all? Take stock and either don't grow those items, don't fall into their alure at the market and don't process them this coming year. We have way, way too many beans, which we never end up really eating, so I do not need to grow beans this year.

What do we need more of? Decide whether you are going to grow more of that item, or where you will purchase it. We are way too low on tomato-basil soup for my liking, so I am growing more tomatoes this year and planning to can more of that item (don't forget the other ingredients!).

How is my canning supplies stock? When you want to get started on a project it's nice to have supplies on hand to grab and not have to run out and buy them. I also don't want to get caught without items if supply chain disruptions happen again. Pick up supplies here and there to spread the cost out and build up your stock; keep an eye on sales.


2. Taking inventory of the freezers.

Assessing the pantry and freezers have some similarities. The freezers just may need emptying a few times a year to really keep an eye on inventory, avoid loosing items below and using up items that may have lost seal, etc.

What did we not use at all? Prioritize using these items in upcoming meal plans. Adjust the garden plan as necessary. Freezer space can be tight! We don't want to waste it.

What do we need more of? Grow more! Freeze more, or add new ways to preserve these items. We love to freeze peppers, but the freezer gets full, so we make sure to dehydrate some as well.

Items in abundance, or that have lost vacuum seal need to be either cleaned out, added to meal plans and perhaps 


3. Take inventory of seeds & seed starting supplies/review local foods plan.

When getting my garden plan finalized I am taking inventory of seeds and ordering what needs restocking. I like to have a little extra, so I'm not running out year to year (a little extra insurance), but not too much that it goes bad before I get to using it. My seed always stays either frozen or refrigerated.

What seeds and supplies need ordering? Do you need trays, containers, plant tags? Do you have a big stash of yogurt containers that you can start cutting stakes out of to reduce and reuse?

If you're not growing a certain product you need, like sweet corn, where are you sourcing it? Build these sources into your local food plan. I know if I don't grow sweet corn (usually doesn't make it into my limited space) that I'm going to buy it locally from Cedar Crate Farm or Gulden Family Farm, but I came across an organic source in Dassel I may explore; last year I never made it to canning corn, so I purchased some from Azure Standard and vacuum sealed. I try to source more and more local each year, but make sure to have a back up that supports my values.


 4. What can I let do of to free up space and energy for more important things?

What recipe(s) do I keep guilting myself over making/not making? Back to the sweet corn, I was really giving myself heck for not getting to that, but ultimately that doesn't serve me. We can't do it all. If there is something you can't get to, let it go. If there is something you just DO NOT enjoy doing, let it go; or remind yourself that you 'choose' to do it for X reason, this mindframe of choosing to, instead of having to, serves us better.

What limiting belief(s) is holding me back? "I can't grow anything to save my life!" is something I hear all the time, but it's truly a limiting belief and the more it's repeated the more it's manifested. What limiting belief are you repeating/holding on to that is keeping you from moving forward? How does "I'm still learning to grow things!" feel different than the first statement? One I let go of was, "I am not a baker!"

What just does not grow well/I don't enjoy growing/we never end up eating? Back to those canned beans, I am not planting them this year, but I also said that last year and guess what? We didn't eat that may last year! I am NOT planting them this year. I am also not trying to make pickles again, because we just never end up eating them. Grow things that bring you joy!! That save you money. That grow well in your garden! Source other items locally, or barter with a friend who enjoys growing that item. Last year my neighbor and I traded apples for carrots! It was a win-win.


What are you doing to prepare? What are you letting go of? If you have something to add to this list holler back at me!

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Spring Garden Plants Update!

I will be growing great ORGANIC garden transplants again this year - heirloom tomatoes, jalapeno, cool-season brassicas the super popular celery and more!! There is an update though!!

I have been so grateful to work with my dear friend Shellee, of Shellee's Greenhouse, for the last 5 years. So blessed for the opportunity she helped create with/for me! Now I'm super excited to work with Sarah of Total Landscape Supply to keep our Organic transplants available in Madelia. Please read Shellee's update below!
I'll post a list of Organic garden transplants we'll be offering through #thegreenhouseattls, so you can work that into your garden planning!

Read on below for Shellee's own update.


Shellee's Greenhouse


There is Always Always Always something to be Thankful for!

Another successful spring season in the books…….Thank You ALL for such a great year; we are so very Grateful and Blessed again this year !!

So many signs – both this spring and even now – have led me (us) to this decision.

After 28 Awesome & Blessed years of owning my lil’ greenhouse, on our farm site filled with rich history of the past (Ex: 103 year old Barn) re-purposing the old into new & creative, plus meeting some of the most Wonderful people from over a 200 + mile radius…. God is guiding me to slow down, enjoy His landscape with my husband & most importantly for us, to visit our precious children and grandchildren !!

So I am Retiring from my greenhouse business ……..to give us time to do these things, as prepping and owning a greenhouse business is a year round enterprise.

But……...we have found a wonderful young couple who we contacted to see if they would be interested in starting their own greenhouse business…...And they are !!!!

And the Best thing is – the greenhouse will stay in our unique, special, progressive hometown here in Madelia !! This is what we prayed for and our prayers were answered 

🙂
We give our blessings to Dustin & Sarah VanHale on their new greenhouse venture.
“The Greenhouse at Total Landscape Supply” which will be located at the East end of town at their current thriving business Total Landscape Supply.
Plus I will be there next spring helping at the new greenhouse in order to help Dustin & Sarah get off on the right foot and share my 28 years of greenhouse business. I’ll still be doing what I love to do – working with plants & welcoming/getting to see all my Shellee’s Greenhouse customers Plus so looking forward to meeting & helping all the new customers as well!
Some of the same local, family run growers that I used will be furnishing their – as always – healthy, unique & beautiful plants at “The Greenhouse at Total Landscape Supply”……… isn’t that exciting ??!!
So plan to visit us & say Hi next spring at “The Greenhouse at Total Landscape Supply”
And as always……...Have a WONDERFUL GOD GIVEN DAY !
Shellee and Bill Daley