Thursday, June 22, 2006

Okay, this is my last strawberry rant. If you just found our site and are reading this in August - sorry - you missed one of our best berry years ever. I just tasted a berry that was sun-kissed sweet with melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. I confess to have eaten probably hundreds of berries this season, but I'm still not jaded because their flavor has been exceptional. If you're reading this in real-time, I encourage you to gorge yourself for another week! Have strawberry shortcake for breakfast! With homemade biscuits, and fresh whipping cream, you have several major food groups covered and will be doing just fine. And then, after the season's end next week, vow never to eat a strawberry until next June, when you can get fresh, organic, local strawberries that taste like they're s'posed to taste! Okay, if it's December and you want a little color on a fruit plate and don't mind that the taste is faintly reminiscent of a strawberry with slightly bitter undertones and the texture of a cucumber, sure, go ahead and buy some berries that were picked green and traveled 2000 miles to get here! Just know that the real thing lies dormant under a sweet bed of Michigan straw with a little snow blanket to keep it settled, waiting for those first Spring rays of sunlight so that it can wake up and start following its true nature into becoming the plump red shining jewels of sweetness that we have had the good fortune to provide this Spring and will do out best to bring you next year. Believe me, it's worth the wait.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

"These strawberries taste like fine wine," declared Margy, my pal and fellow strawberry picker. We had been picking for over three hours and sampling the luscious little red gems along the way - maybe we were getting a little tipsy! This is one of the best strawberry years we have had in a long time. The weather has been good and we have had access to irrigation at the right time. I understand it's going to get hot. That's not so great for the berries, so if you're thinking strawberry shortcake, you might want to add it to the menu this weekend!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I just posted the announcement for our farm party on July 2. It's a chance to share the farm and this beautiful setting with the friends we have made at the farmer's market, and through our yoga and music involvement. When you come out, you will see that the farm is much more than rows of produce. The farm is more a native habitat, with garden patches fitted into a few nooks and hillsides. Deer are abundant, and that's why all the gardens must be encircled with seven-foot-high strands of electric fence. It's the only way to coexist with these voracious, increasingly abundant, and elegantly beautiful garden pests!

Wild places are more the rule at Frog Holler; we bought the property from the Gesell family who were ardent conservationists and asked that we maintain a standard of respect for the land and its inhabitants. Dr. and Mrs. Gesell's daughter, Christine Stevens, started the Animal Welfare Institute. Based in Washington D.C., this organization has been vitally instrumental in passing landmark legislation to protect wildlife and endangered species, and to maintain humane conditions for animals in labs or on farms. Here is their web site: The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) is an organization worthy of support and respect and has done so much to relieve suffering in the animal kingdom.

And we are honored to have a connection with the Gesells and Christine Stevens through our stewardship of the land. We do our best to maintain Frog Holler in alignment with their original intent. We hope you come out and visit!

Monday, June 5, 2006

Confession - we have been eating strawberries for a few days. But today we picked enough to have a few pints to bring to market on Wednesday. Come early if you want some! We are unfortunately never able to supply the organic strawberry demand. So many factors affect strawberry production: too rainy, too hot and dry, too cool. The patch looks promising right now, but I never count my berries until they are picked!

I had occasion to eat some non-organic strawberries today. At least I tried to eat them. They were big, dark red, and so tough I needed a knife to cut them! The taste was faintly reminiscent of strawberries with a bitter aftertaste. I really couldn't eat them, but I guess I'm spoiled.

Strawberries, with their watery composition, absorb more herbicides and pesticides than almost any other fruit. Add the chemical mix to commercial harvesting practices, where berries are picked at 3/4 ripeness in order to withstand shipping, and you get the big tough poor-tasting berry staring me down this afternoon.

So folks are correct to clamor for organic berries. We'll do the best to grow as much as we can. And what we do produce will be conditioned only by the sun, the rain, and our own bare hands.

Friday, June 2, 2006

A full day getting ready for market. New items we will have are broccoli, radishes and green onions. Lots of spinach, lettuce and salad mix of course! We're also taking some fresh basil and cucumbers from our greenhouse. Nice to have summery veggies so early.

We ate the first zucchini dish today! I realize that's a milestone now but it may turn into a millstone later in the summer. Zucchini does have a bad rep for its prodigious productivity. But although people make jokes about leaving zucchini in the backseat of unlocked cars, we rarely have too much of this generous vegetable. We always pick the fruit when they are young and tender, and we eat a LOT of zucchini! Our favorite variety, Greyzini, is so tender and sweet; it doesn't seem like the same vegetable that has worn out its welcome with so many gardeners.

Holler Fest 2016
August 26-28