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Archive for April, 2010

We have just dried out enough to get back into the field after last weekends major storms leaving the farm under a good 6in” of water. And now once again it looks like we will get another batch of nasty weather heading our way this weekend….and just in time for the market to begin…joy…joy! Keep a close eye on the website if it gets too bad… we may close the farm. For now I am still going to open for the plant sale this weekend and our CSA gathering.  Things could change quickly…but right now we have lots of plants that need to find a home to grow and a bunch of new CSA shareholders that want to get started with their spring share.Not to mention we have a great spring crop ready right now…and I mean right now.

As for Mark and I we are dragging back out the ponchos and paddle boat …just in case.

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I like a good positive outlook on life…I am just one of those types people who believe it all works out the way it is supposed too. I think my attitude it runs fairly similar with  Scarlet O’Hara in the movie classic “Gone with the wind. My motto is “I’ll think about it tomorrow”… Right now I am eating cake!  Now its true my husband doesn’t have my sunny outlook on life and he tends to drift off toward the dark side every now and again, but then again …it could be me…I may be just nuts…not facing reality or just living in my head…but as we say here in the south…God love her little heart for trying.  It’s been hard to keep that positive spirit up the last couple of days around here.  We had a heck of a storm blow through the farm on Saturday that kept Mark and I glued to the weather reports both online and on TV scanning the alert for possible tornadoes. After you have lived through a couple of these guys you don’t play around. Mark and I were hit by a tornado first while we were living in East Nashville and then in 2006 we had a huge F3 rip through the farm taking our barn and tearing off our roof and collapsing the front porch on the farmhouse. It was horrifying to say the least. We didn’t “thank goodness” have a tornado this time but we did get a major flood. This is the second time we have had a flood of this magnitude in the 10 years we have farmed here.  About this same time last year we had a flood that damaged our bridge severely  and swept planting beds clean away including the wood frame. So as we watched in dismay as our lower field became a roaring river bed and our newly planted lower bottom beds covered with water once again we just prayed for the best.

Some may asked “why if this area is prone to flooding do we still plant crops there? Two reasons really…One..it’s the only place we have that is plant-able and two It’s rich bottom land…hence the flood proneness…It is a risk that anyone that farms bottom land has to account for. But asked them if they would give up their precious bottom land for a field that doesn’t flood some times …say for a higher grade…nope…they wouldn’t…the bottoms are just too rich and fertile and unlike any other.  A lot of folks will want to know how this flooding will affect the farm and our CSA program. Hopefully not much…We may have a couple of weeks in June that may be sparse due to having to replant these flooded out beds. We may also have to tap our other organic farming buddies for extra stuff to carry us through trading flowers, honey or if like before my pickles…but we will be fine…the market, the CSA will be fine…It is part of farming, and eating local…You take the good with bad…and hopefully the good far outweighs the bad.

It as been a crazy spring weather wise…I will hand you that one…We have been 5″ below in rainfall…I think we made that up…and15 degrees hotter than normal. The crops are coming alone nicely…the ones that weren’t underwater… Most of the crops have been stunned by really hot days and cool nights. So I think with the rain they will kick in and we should have a fairly good CSA and Market this coming opening weekend.

Speaking of our May 1st weekend…We are very excited about getting the farm opened up and hosting our CSA gathering. It is also going to be the date we have our annual plant sale as well. We had to reschedule our plant sale from last Saturday to this coming weekend. We still have lots to do and everything isn’t ready….ie our new play area…they are working on it. We kinda put a nick in their progress with this big tree having come down. Thank goodness it didn’t happen during the storm but rather by our friend Dave and Mark. I hated to see it fall. I played under that tree as a baby. Now Lucca seems to being a little fun here in the end.

I am guessing a couple of more weeks til the play ground is up and ready.

Through the month of May we have a lot of work that will be going on here on the farm. Pavilion Patio going in and new planting beds being built as well as little things here and there being done.  So with that word of warning please be safe while you are here on the farm. We are a work in progress right now.

CSA News and Updates

Just a couple of things…Please be sure to read your CSA handbook. I have had a couple of folks that have called and or emailed with questions they can find in the handbook. Second…because the farm will be open Saturday to the public and if all goes well…busy…We will be bring our CSA gathering into the farmhouse for the Welcoming orientation.  The gathering will start around 10:30am. Once you sign in and take care of your share business you should come on to the farmhouse. You are welcome to come earlier and check out the plant sale of course…:) Remember as a shareholder you get 10% off any farm purchase…

Important Announcement

Returning CSA shareholders….We are asking if any of you would like to pickup your share early this week please email me. We have Broccoli that (can you believe it) that needs to be cut asap…as well as spring onions and lettuces, spinach..ect.  But I need you to pickup during the weekday. Such is farming…the plants decide when they are ready regardless of you want… I would greatly appreciate your help by picking your share up during the week, if you can.

CSA Gathering

Date: May 1st

Time: 10:30am-1pm

Location: FarmHouse

When you arrive on the farm be sure to sign in with Mika (farm crew) she will be located under the tent on the kitchen patio or the under the porch…depending how windy it is.. You are welcome to bring your family, friends…and friends of friends with you…should be a fun day!

We will be having food, Live music and your 1st pickup…the season is about begin! Some of y’all from last season may remember Ashley Robertson playing music here on the farm. She will be back on the 1st. We are glad to have her with  us. Also the FarmHouse Kitchen will be whipping out some baked goodies and of course our hand-churned butters, Jams and pickles will be at the market.

So with all of this I leave you with…a few lovely farm pics.

Plant Sale hanging Baskets

Herbs and tomatoes plant sale

Plant sale Market Pavilion

See y’all soon here on the farm, Peggy

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Our Spring Plant Sale will have to rescheduled to

Saturday May 1,  2010

9-2pm

Madison Creek Farms

They are forecasting severe weather for this weekend here in Middle Tennessee so we don’t want to take any chances with folks on the road or here on the farm getting hurt. We sure need the rain right now for the crops. I think we are 5in” below normal for the spring. The farmers almanac has forecast ed a hot dry summer here in southeast and it looks like for once some weather people got it right.

It is a hard decision to make when it comes to closing the farm or canceling, postponing or  rescheduling the market or event here on the farm and there are still those that forgot to check the farm’s website before making the trip just to find out once they get here we are closed. Last year we had a homeschooling group of kids and their parents arrive on the farm during a rainstorm just to find out that their outing had been canceled. These sweet kids were standing under the porch while lightning and thunder was striking all around. After a brief time of some sad-looking little faces, the sky’s cleared and the kids enjoyed the rest of the day here on the farm.

Please be sure to always check our facebook and Twitter window on the farm’s website for the latest updates on the farm. It could save you a trip.

Now for the good news…May 1st…Big spring plant sale along with our CSA gathering here on the farm:) and last but not at all least live musical performance by Ashley Robertson…check her out!

Keep dry this weekend, see ya May 1st.

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This Saturday is our Spring Plant Sale here on the farm. We are excited and a bit nervous about opening the farm while there is so much left to be done. We still have plenty of beds to plant and there are still a few that need mending. We are in the early stages of getting the new playground built and ready for this seasons of kids and good farm fun. The list is long, but our seedlings are ready and we have some lovely hanging flowering baskets, perennials, herbs and flowers that need a good home for the summer.

So if you are so inclined come on out Saturday to the farm for some great plants for your garden as well as a view of spring work in progress.

Note: Before coming to the farm be sure and check our website for any changes due to weather before making the trip to the farm. www.madisoncreekfarms.com

CSA News & Update

May 1st is our CSA gathering and 1st pickup of the spring and summer season. We are looking forward to see everyone as well as meeting some of our new shareholders. The gathering will begin at 10:30am-1pm. We will be serving lunch…as well as fresh lemonade and farm tour. You all are more than welcome to bring along your family and friends to the gathering…it it a very laid back afternoon of friendship, fun and adventure as well has your take home basket of farm fresh goodies.

2010 Spring & Summer CSA Gathering

Date: May 1st 2010

Time: 10:30am-1:00pm

Location: Madison Creek Farms

What to Bring: No open toe shoes…not fun in the field I assure you. You may want to bring a hat for sun protection, a blanket for hanging out on the grass on. Your camera, a cooler if you want to pick up some fresh organic farm eggs or you have placed a meat order. You check for the balance of your CSA share…if you still have your basket from last season bring it with you as well, if not you will be picking up your new basket that day.

As always…be sure and keep an eye out for updates on weather cancellations. We will post an update on the farm’s website and out facebook farm page if any changes have to be made.

You can check our facebook updates from our website’s home page….just look for our facebook box on the right-hand side of the page.

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Decompression

It doesn’t take much when you are running a farm, tending to a family and then have a job that requires a fair amount of travel to find yourself a bit on the edgy side from time to time.  The farm in the rush of the spring planting season is enough to stress out the best of folks but add a 2 week spring break for your 1st. grader on top of that and a farmhouse in need of good cleaning…muddy floors…lord why..oh why did I want such a big kitchen?? An unpack suit case from my weekend tour  not to mention unseasonable hot weather not so great on the lettuce crop,  now I understand why antidepressants are the most subscribe drugs in the country.  It is time for a little decompression for me and I know just how to go about doing just that…and no I don’t take anti-depressants…ha ha. My way to release stress is a good day trip. A little local sight-seeing. My friend Tara came by the farm tonight with an invite for some ice cream…Lucca and I jump in her truck and headed to Maggi Moo’s.  Tara and I have much the same views, likes and dislike…she loves to garden, cook ..all that sort of stuff and I swear I don’t know how she does with 4 kids all under the age of 6…but she does it grandly. Anyway she had a book about day trips around middle Tennessee…yep I do like that girl… Neat things to see and do all on the back roads…the kind I love the best.  So this week  SOMETIME…I am thinking a little family day trip is in order…a nice way to decompress …thanks Tara:)

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April Farm Newsletter

Morning here on the farm is my favorite time of the day. Just as the sun starts its upward path that soon illuminates the farm’s field with warm dewy light. The chickens are just coming off their nightly perch and pecking around the ground for breakfast and the bees from the hives are starting to stir filling their belly with sweet pollen from the valley’s blooms that lay below them. The quite, the diffused light, the misty cool mornings are indeed my time to meander along the beds just planted and the beds that soon may reap the rewards of our hard spring labor. Without this time, my time…I don’t think I could find the strength to give what this farm requires neither of me nor of my family. It’s not much in terms of size compared to the mega farms that produces harvest weighted in the tons rather than the bushels but for us it is at times more than we can handle. Over the course of the last few years Mark and I have taken a condemned old house and restored it, a piece of overgrown land used as a local garbage dumping ground and washed it’s face clean from years of neglect and without so much as a list of goals let alone a business plan. We set out to build a life from cultivating the land beneath our feet not knowing where it may lead us just a knowing that we were ready to take that journey. When I hear someone refer to the farm as a business I must admit I flinch. It is hard to think about this place as a place of business, or not in commercial sense anyway. Maybe more in the old traditional way of how neighbors conducted business with one another. I grew up near a small Amish community and my dad and I would travel there every once in a while for a little horse-trading as my dad called it. My dad used money; the Amish used goods or services in trade. Though I guess it was business being conducted it never felt like that to me it felt more…more in the sense of honor like someone’s word or a handshake never a faceless exchange of stuff. I guess in someway that is how I have always looked at the farm. And that is probably why I have such a dislike for the whole idea of this little vestal being termed a business.

This is a place where knowing one another s names are important. Our children play together in the creek or on the farm’s playground. We talk about food, about flowers and about life. We walk together in the garden slapping way pesky mosquitoes while harvesting fresh baby green beans a little extra in that weeks CSA basket for a dinner party. A place where kitchen floors and muddy work boots dance together and banjos and butterflies are celebrated with pick of season farmhouse fresh blueberry pies. Business well…maybe…but I think I will choose to call it horse-trading:)

We have a lot going on at the farm these days. Our spring crops are in and now we will begin planting early summer and warm season crops like tomatoes and peppers, melons and squash. This spring has been a mixture of winter and summer weather…not much in the way of nice mild temperatures. Like most other farmers I know we are dealing with this flux the best we can. We still have several beds here on the farm that need turning over and amending plus repairing or replacing old and rotten wood that for many of our beds that are 8 years or older. Brad and Jeff are going to begin building the new playground this next week…Lucca is so excited! We have the new patio going in as well this month in front of the pavilion market. The chickens are cooped right now in the new chicken coop we built a couple of weeks ago…no they are not happy about at all! But the beds of lettuce and other crops they had dug up repeatedly are now happily growing in neat undisturbed  up beds. The barnyard had grown as well this spring with the addition of 3 new baby goats and Harry another miniature donkey. The chicks and ducklings are growing like crazy and soon will have to be moved to a larger area. We still have much to do before the farm opens in May for the season. So with that I will end this newsletter…bidding you and yours a happy spring…see ya soon..here on the farm

CSA News and Updates

A couple of important announcements for our CSA Shareholders.

  1. I need to update and backup our shareholders data listings for our 2010 spring and summer season. What I need from our entire CSA spring/summer shareholders is an e-mail with this information.  Please send your email to madisoncreek@aol.com

Please type in the subject line: 2010 CSA Shareholder

Body of E-mail

Your Name

Share schedule: weekly or biweekly

Amount paid to Madison Creek Farms thus far for CSA

Basket fee paid?

Returning CSA shareholder

Downloaded a copy of our CSA Handbook and read though it?

Contact phone #

Contact e-mail address

We are in the process of changing over our data base program and I want to be sure nothing gets lost in the change over and if it does we have a backup. Thanks you for taking the time to sent this information to us.

Change of Date

  1. I scheduled our CSA gathering for April 17th here on the farm. But it looks like we will need to move the gathering to May 1st.  Like a said above we have had very strange spring weather and the crops aren’t ready to take on such a large harvest yet. I am hoping with a couple of more weeks of growing time May 1st. will be a better for the gathering and our 1st CSA pickup.

CSA Gathering

Saturday,  May 1st. 10:30-1:00pm here on the farm

We well see y’all soon here on the farm!

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