Saturday, January 31, 2009

White House Farmer

" was conceived by the Brockmans, a farm family in central Illinois. The idea came on an endless blue sky day, after reading the Pollan article in the New York Times magazine, and while strolling the country roads with our father to help him regain his strength after Whipple surgery."

I am full of hope. Please visit the links above and you will know why.


Heart Your Sweetheart with Cakes for Cause

Yes folks, it's a new year, filled with new and exciting things from Cakes for Cause. For Valentine's Day, our staff will brave the February weather to deliver a big chocolate chip cookie with your personal message on it...on our cupid-cycle (unless it snows...then skis perhaps?). This is a delicious, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie, decorated with your heartfelt message. Who doesn't like to receive delivered gifts at work or at home? Don't forget the friend who works downtown, your husband, your neighbor who shovels your walk all winter, or if you just want one for yourself!

We have a retro bicycle that we've been dying to put to use as a delivery cycle so our volunteers are wearing red on the 12th-14th of February and will deliver your cookies for you (downtown Frederick only). If you're out of the downtown limits, there's no reason to not order one...we'll arrange for you to pick up and deliver it yourself. The important thing on this Valentine's Day is that you have cookies! Remember, if you see the cupid cycle pull up outside your office or home, it's delivering good things...hopefully to you!

We have limited quantities and you can pay online for this one Each cookie is $12, delicious, and packaged to go! Cookies are 8 inches across and your text will need to fit into that space but be heartfelt...this is a valentine after all.

Don't like chocolate chip cookies? We're available for any custom order that you need for Valentine's Day or any other event. We'd love to help you make it more special.

P.S. Feel free to forward this as a broad hint to anyone who is SUPPOSED to give you a valentine...we'll work with them to get you the valentine you deserve!

In other news...
You've stuck around with us for a year and we're all in need of a celebration so we have two things for you...our annual report, and a party! You may link to our annual report by clicking here. Please feel free to contact us with any questions. Our anniversary celebration will be held on Thursday March 5th at Café Nola (more details to follow but mark your calendars).

Construction Update...
We hope you're watching the progress of the building and have noticed our banner hanging on the fence. We now have a physical address for it...629 North Market Street will be the location for our bakery/café, and we anticipate opening in the late spring/early summer. We also plan to acquire office space in the Federated Charities Building, 22 South Market Street, as our administrative space. We'll schedule an open house once we move in at the beginning of February and look forward to seeing you there!

We've tweaked our mission...
We were fortunate enough to have a consultant lead us through a strategic planning process last weekend and our staff and board of directors are excited about the future of our organization. We re-tooled our mission to more fully incorporate our long-range plans. We haven't changed our purpose, or the purpose of our bakery/café on North Market Street...we provide real work skills and meaningful life skills to at-risk youth who have aged out of foster care or who are living in public housing. As always, it is the support of our customers, volunteers, neighbors and friends who have made this entire venture possible...thank you.

Here's our "tweaking":

Cakes for Cause exists to empower vulnerable youth by creating social enterprises to engage the community in cultivating meaningful employment and educational opportunities that teach work and life skills.

Cakes for Cause


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Update from Rohrer's Meats

Greetings from the farm. I be returning to Frederick this Saturday, January 24. I'll be setting up at The Dutch Plant Farm from 10 AM until 12:30 PM.
Pork will include tenderloin, pork chops, spare ribs, country style ribs, baby back ribs, pork shoulder, smoked ham steaks, ground pork, bacon, and Canadian bacon. Sausage flavors will be country, hot Italian, mild Italian, bratwurst, applewurst, maple, sage, and Polish. Lamb will include kabob cubes, loin chops, arm chops, boneless shoulders, racks, shanks, and ground lamb. Beef will include strip, sirloin, ribeye, and flank steaks; chuck, eye round, and sirloin tip roasts; ground round, beef patties, and stew cubes. I will also have whole, cutup, and stewing chickens, and cheese. The chickens are still not laying very well but I will have some eggs. A new group of layers will be arriving later this month so there will soon be pullet eggs.
If you would like to place an order, please do so by Thursday night. Eat fresh, be well, and I will see you at the market.
Rohrer's Meats


Monday, January 12, 2009

Echinacea seeds

After first couple years of growing Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower), I found that they like to spread modestly with volunteers. Since I moved every year back then, I started to cut down the seed heads by late fall so that I don't have to worry about finding homes for those little volunteers the following spring. One day in early fall last year, we found ourselves again in a home improvement store and Dan pointed out a farmer's almanac calender on display, which we brought home.
Glancing through the illustration and gardning tips in the calendar, I found that goldfinch *loves* Echinacea seeds, and I *love* goldfinch, so I let Echinacea plants go seed and didn't cut them down this fall. Goldfinch didn't wait till winter to eat those seeds. As soon as the seeds started to mature, I had little visitors flying in and out with yellow streaks. They picked one group of plants completely out of seeds but left the other group with some seeds. I wonder why.
I hope to have a nice patch of sun flowers this year. One summer Shannon had beautiful sun flowers in her back yard and goldpinches were hovering there forever. It was beautiful especially when the Sun was low shedding golden rays everywhere.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Update from Summer Creek Farm

Hi All, I hope you all are staying warm this winter. We are actually starting to plant seeds inside so you have vegetables ready next summer. Our gardening classes have gone well too. We have more classes here at the farm and at the Common Market in the coming weeks. One theme we would like to relay to you in the coming year is teaching a young person, either in your family or someone you know, how to cook fresh food. In tight economic times one of the best and healthiest ways to save on money is to prepare food from whole goods. A lot of todays food dollars go to prepared food. It is convenient but not near as healthy and not near as good tasting. Unfortunately many people we talk to at farmers markets are not familiar with how to fix food from raw ingredients. We are close to loosing a generation that are not familiar with cooking fresh. We will grow the fresh stuff and we hope in the coming year all our members can work with a young person to educate them on the benefits and tastes of cooking fresh. All of us would benefit from this effort and it will pay dividends in the future too!

Stay Warm, fresh vegetables from our farm are a couple of months away but they are coming!

Farmer Rick


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dreaming and planning this year's garden

Growing, harvesting and preserving garden can be tiresome. After hectic months of summer, I feel somewhat relived to give a closure to the year's active gardening. Then December comes, and these colorful catalogs start to adorn my mailbox. I feel like everyday is Christmas with their arrivals. One day Bluestone Perennials and Seed Savers Exchange catalogs arrived on the same day. Their cover photos were just breath-taking and inside was full of beautiful photos of flowers and vegetables that made me want to order them all. Having a small garden is sometimes tough. You always want to grow more than your space allows.
So far I have received 17 catalogs. I still hope to receive a couple more (one from David Austin Roses and one from Thompson & Morgan) and I might have to request their catalogs on the web again. I wonder if the word is out that Yeon orders seeds from the catalog since I have received catalogs from many farms/nurseries that I have never asked catalog or ordered seeds/plants from. Seeds and plants catalogs would be the only unsolicited commercial mail that I don't mind receiving. Below I list the seeds company/plants nursery that I have catalogs from and also note with * if I have ordered from them before. I was happy with most of them.

Mostly seeds with some seedlings and plants
John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds *
Johnny's selected Seeds
Jung Seeds & Plants
Pinetree Garden Seeds
R.H. Shumway's Illustrated Garden Guide *
Seed Savers Exchange *
Seeds of Change *
Select Seeds
Territorial Seed Company
The Cook's Garden *
Thompson & Morgan *
Totally Tomatoes

Plants and Blubs
Bluestone Perennials
David Austin Roses
k.van Bourgondie & sons, inc.
Stark Bro's
White Flower Farm *

Gardening Supply
Gardener's supply company *

I would like to note that Seeds of change has 100% certified organic seeds and Seed Savors Exchange offers 100% heirloom seeds with more than 200 seeds as organic. A lot of seed companies offer selected organic seeds along with non-organically grown seeds. I think organic practice of growing is much more important than whether the seeds are organic or not. However, if you firmly believe in organic way of living and gardening and would like to start your garden with organic seeds, Seeds of Change would be the first catalog you want to take a look. Happy planning.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Update from Rohrer's meats

Greetings from the farm. I'll be returning to Frederick this Saturday, January 10. I'll be at the Dutch Plant Farm from 10 AM until 12:30 PM. Pork will be fresh. Cuts are pork chops, tenderloin, spare ribs, country style ribs, baby back ribs, smoked ham steaks, and bacon. Sage, country, applewurst, and maple sausage will be fresh while Italian, bratwurst, and Polish will be frozen. Beef cuts will include flank, ribeye, strip, T-bone, and sirloin steaks; boneless chuck, eye round, and sirloin tip roasts; ground round, and stew cubes. Lamb will include rib, loin, and sirloin chops; rack, boneless shoulder, shanks, and ground lamb. There will also be whole, cutup, and stewing chickens as well as eggs. Be well and I will see you at the market.
Rohrer's Meats


Monday, January 5, 2009

What's blooming now?

Camellia is. I have picked up a good number of perennial plants from M & W nursery when they had a sale this fall. We left the plants against a south-facing wall in their pots. While most of them look brown with no sign of life, Camellia is staying green with many flower buds and whenever we have a series of warm days, the flowers open up! I was reluctant to pick this one up because I was hoping to find white or red camellia with fuller petals but I am very happy I brought this one home.

Dan prepared a decent size lot for a perennial flower bed in the late fall. He dug out a long strip of weeds/grass/ivy mess along the fence and covered the area with a mulch fabric that Erland gave us and some hardwood chips. We are hoping that the area will be ready for planting by late spring or early summer this year. Once the bed is ready, the camellia plant will be placed at its permanent spot.