Now’s the Time to Preserve for Winter

This summer’s weather has been beautiful, especially compared to last year.  We’ve had no days in the 100’s this year and plenty of rain, versus the drought last year and spending half the summer in critical heat.  It’s made a difference in more ways than one.  With the sun being less intense, the tomatoes, peppers and okra have taken much longer to do their thing.  But they’ve been consistent and we have plenty of moisture in the ground to take us into fall.

With the weather making a warm up over the next week, all the summer produce will be making another hard push to produce heavily before fall weather moves in.  That means now is the time to start your canning and freezing for winter goodies.

Canned Tomatoes

Home-canned tomatoes are versatile for many uses throughout the winter.

Canning is the preferred method for most fruits and veggies.  It makes certain you have food on hand to quickly open and prepare throughout the colder months and keeps those foods safe in the case of power outages.  Boiling water baths are the easiest way to preserve foods and requires the least amount of equipment.  If you’re new to canning there are plenty of resources on the internet.  My canning bible has always been the Ball Blue Book of Preserving.  It takes you step-by-step through everything you need to know, from preparation to recipes on how to use those canned goods later.  It also takes you into using a pressure canner for the low-acid foods, like green beans, with many more options and recipes.

If you’re not interested in canning, freezing is the next best thing.  Even with minimal freezer space, preserving the summer bounty this way still gives you a healthier, better tasting option for the winter.  Fruits and almost all veggies can be easily perserved through freezing.  The Ball Blue Book has instructions for this, too, and the internet is another valuable resource.  Properly preparing items for freezing is easy and pretty quick in most instances and means your goodies will taste their best when used later.

If you’re interested in buying any items in bulk to save for later, now’s the time.  We can take your order for peaches, tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers (picklers) and apples (which are coming into season soon) and deliver them to you in bulk at any of our market locations.  Many of these are going out of season soon so be sure to contact us right away!  Pricing is as follows:

Peaches – 1/2 bushel (approx. 26 lbs): $40

Tomatoes – 1/2 bushel (20 to 25lbs): $35 for canners (bumps, bruises, soft spots, misshapen); $45 for the better ones we sell at our stands.

Green Beans – 1/2 bushel (approx. 12 lbs): $35

Picklers – 1/2 bushel (enough for 10 to 12 quarts of pickles): $30

Sweet Corn – 5 dozen: $20

Apples – 1/2 bushel (approx. 20 lbs): $20; full bushel: $35

If there’s something else you want to preserve in bulk, like zucchini, peppers or eggplant, let us know and we can work it out for you.  Send us an email at farmfresh@wolfcreekfamilyfarm.com and we’ll hook you up!

~Karin

Peculiar Market closes, green beans almost ready

Well, it’s official.  The Peculiar Farmers and Artisans Market has officially closed.  We tried for three years to make the market a viable option for folks in Peculiar and the surrounding area, but lack of customers turned to lack of vendors and, finally, we had to face facts.  Thanks to all of you that faithfully came out to see us each week.  We hope we’ll be able to come out and find us at our other markets during the week.

The next news is more exciting: the first green bean harvest is almost here!  They’re a little late this year due to the super wet spring, but patience will make them taste that much better!  I anticipate the first small harvest on Tuesday, but many of those will go to our CSA customers (lucky them!).  A larger harvest should happen on Friday and we should have plenty to share with you at both the Lee’s Summit and Harrisonville markets on Saturday.  We’ve also started digging the new potatoes, so you’ll have those beauties to go with your yummy green beans.

See you at the market!

~Karin

Belton Market moves; crop report

I know, I know.  I’ve been neglecting you and I’m sorry.  For those of you that follow us on Facebook, you’ve seen me posting several times per week.  For those that only follow here, I’m truly sorry for keeping you out of the loop.  It’s been very easy to update Facebook on the go from my phone.  During these weeks of working 12 to 15 hour days it’s virtually impossible to find time to sit in front of the computer to post here.  I’m working on a way that I can do that from my phone, also, so please be patient with me.  I won’t let you down, I promise!

Two important notes:

1.  We’ve been given notice that the Belton market has moved!
The new location for the market is a parking lot at the corner of 2nd Street and Hackberry.  This is about 3 blocks south and 2 blocks east of our old location.  You can reach 2nd Street from Y Hwy.  Hackberry is one block west from Y.
We haven’t seen the new location yet and our spots are still being laid out, so we have no idea how to tell you where to find us!  Just look for Arcenio to be wearing his red Wolf Creek t-shirt and I’ll have him hang our banner, too, to make it easier.

2. Here’s what we’ve got in produce right now: tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, candy onions, cabbage.  What’s coming next? Sweet peppers, hot peppers, bell peppers, green beans and new potatoes.  Each week you can find these goodies at the following locations:

Raymore Farmers Market, Tuesday 4pm to 7pm

Lee’s Summit Farmers market, Wednesday, 7am to noon

Waldo Farmers Market, Wednesday 3pm to 7pm

Peculiar Farmers Market, Wednesday, 3:30pm to 7pm

Belton Farmers Market, Thursday, 4pm to 7pm

Lee’s Summit Farmers Market, Saturday, 7am to noon

Harrisonville Farmers Market (on the square), Saturday, 7:30am to 11:30am

See you at the market!

~Karin