Growing up I really enjoyed horror flicks. As a young child I would watch Twilight Zone, Creature Feature, and Dark Shadows. As the genre progressed, so did my taste. I graduated to movies like the Shinning and Friday the 13th. As I have gotten older it has taken quite a lot more to scare me.
Until last night, that is. Browsing through Netflicks, I noticed a documentary that piqued my interested. The name of this horror flick was Farmageddon. It is a story of how the USDA is treating small farmers, like us. Many farmers are not allowed to sale their wares as they wish and the regulations are making it so expensive that many are simply giving up. The USDA is employing SWAT team tactics over the sale of raw milk and other foods. Searches, seizures and intimidation are their M.O.! Most of this at the tax payer and consumer’s expense. All of this is done to protect the industrial farmer and to limit, if not eliminate, the small farmer.
As with most similar issues, the power is in your purse or wallet. Find a local farmer that grows vegetables, or produces meat and shop there. As a community we can make a difference. We, here at Sinking Creek Farm, stand firm on our belief that local is better. Everyday we continue to heal the earth and make our produce the finest available.
So if your in the mood for a REALLY scary movie, do not rent Freddy Kruger’s latest, just check out Farmageddon. You’ll want to watch it with the lights on.
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As an Organic Farmer, many things are challenging. Finding ways to combat the insects and keeping our plants healthy require many hours of labor. Of course, even most novice organic gardeners know about the accepted natural products for fertilization, pest and disease control. Most, however, do not consider the planning and attention to detail that being truly organic requires. All of our techniques are used for one purpose. That is to bring the freshest and cleanest vegetables and fruits to our customers.
As we network with other farmers and consumers, we have found a disturbing trend. Actually it makes me madder than squash vine borers and cucumber beetles combined. It is the organic impostor. Some farmers are passing themselves off as organic and either they do not know what that means or they are trying to pull one over on the public. One local farmer was asked if he was ‘Organic”. He replied, “Yea, I’m organic, but if i get bugs, I will spray some Sevin. Another labeled himself as ‘Organic” because he only sprayed chemicals up to the time the fruit was set. Are you kidding me?? As a farmer that strains at every detail these guys are frustrating, to say the least.
Look for ‘Certified Organic” or “Certified Naturally Grown”. The only way you can be sure is with these two programs. Don’t be confused or tricked by a farmer claiming “Naturally Grown”. This means only that the plants are grown in nature. No inspections. No oversight.
At GiGi’s Organic Gardens and Sinking Creek Farm we are proud to say that we are CERTIFIED NATURALLY GROWN!! We just completed our annual inspection here at the farm and passed with the highest marks attainable. The inspection form was 9 pages long and took 2.5 hours to complete. Having the inspector give us an A+ rating as well as saying that our farm was “one of the most beautiful he’d seen” makes us proud. We truly care about the quality of our produce and our customers can be sure that we are ORGANIC…..PERIOD! You can check out our farm profile at http://www.naturallygrown.org. We are listed as Sinking Creek Farm.
Don’t be fooled! Get to know your farmer. Take a look around his or her farm. Contact us for your own private farm tour or follow us on Facebook and come to our next Open House. Remember, Plan it Well, Plant it Well, Planet Well! Go to http://www.gigisorganic.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
As I did an inspection of all growing vegetables and flowers this morning, I couldn’t help but feel great. Not only do the plants look healthy and strong, but they are full of blooms and fruit. It really makes me excited to see all this production without the use of any chemicals.
Those of us in Tennessee and surrounding states just recently were inundated with news reports about contaminated produce. This time it was E.Coli bacteria on vegetables. We see these reports time and time again. If you really focus on the frequency of such contamination events, it will start to “freak you out” a bit. Having leafy vegetables etc exposed to E.Coli means only one thing. POOP! The vegetables have been sprayed or cross-contaminated with cow manure. Not well composted manure, but fresh green cow “poop”.
Here at Sinking Creek Farm, the only animal product we use is fish emulsion, which we often make ourselves. Coupled with our home-made compost tea and collected kitchen and yard waste, we are seeing amazing results.
There is just no way around the fact that Local, Organic produce is the best. Do you realize when you stroll through the produce section at your local supermarket, most vegetables have traveled an average of 1100 miles to get from Field to Fork? That’s disturbing to say the least. At Gigi’s, we harvest and deliver on the same day.
Those of you who are members know exactly what I am talking about. There is no comparison to the freshness and the quality of our organic produce. We are passionate about clean, quality food. Start experiencing the Gigi’s Difference today Let us bring your fruits of our labor to your door. Check us out at http://www.gigisorganic.com We are currently taking new members for Fall. Hurry spaces are limited.
As the growing season progresses, I thought that I might let everyone know exactly whats been going on “down on the farm”. Our latest excitement is over our bees. Honey has been harvested and will be available by the end of the week. We have tasted it and it is AMAZING! It was so delicious that it made us almost involuntarily bake a batch of biscuits on Sunday.
The cool season vegetables are being harvested. Broccoli, Cabbage, Greens, Peas, Lettuce and Garlic have produced nicely. As the summer heat sets in, these plants will slow and eventually stop producing. They will then in August be replaced by their Fall counterparts.
Summer means SQUASH here at Sinking Creek Farm. We are growing several varieties and all are doing great. Tomatoes are kicking as well as beans, peas and onions, just to name a few. Our corn is almost waist high and looks great! We are so excited, as we start to see the results from all our hard work. Planting is tough, but when you harvest those wonderful veggies, it’s all worth it!
As the Summer continues we will start to harvest our potatoes, parsnips and continue to harvest carrots and other root vegetables. Oh, and don’t forget Sunflowers. In just a few short weeks the Farm will explode with color, as the hundreds of Sunflowers come into bloom. Check out our website for pics and info. http://www.gigisorganic.com If you have any questions or want to sign-up and start receiving your vegetables, just shoot us an email at email@example.com
Who’s Your Farmer?
Organic Farming has many challenges. Some times I am tempted to just go ahead and spray some Round-Up or Sevin. Tempted only!. Not that I ever would, but occasionally the amount of work involved and the limited number of hours in any given day makes that path seem easier. Then I come back to my senses and see the value of pesticide and chemical free farming. So what if I am out at night with a flashlight plucking slugs off cabbage. Never mind that GiGi and I are “squashing” squash bugs and looking for their eggs, constantly. Organic is the path that we have chosen. With all the “hands-on” work we continue to stand firm in our belief that organic farming is worth it. When we deliver produce, we are confident that we know exactly what has gone into it’s production, from seed to fruit!
As we move forward with our adventure in Organic farming, we are motivated by the positive feedback that we get from our customers. They, like us, believe that preventative nutritional health care is key, and that starts with clean food. Sure you can get organic produce at your local supermarket, but only by shopping with a local farmer (Gigis Organic Gardens) can you be assured that your produce is fresh and that the varieties of vegetables are grown for taste and nutrient content. Most supermarket vegetable varieties are grown for their ability to be shipped across the country, and may have sat on a truck for days. Not exactly fresh. At Gigi’s Organic Garden Club, your vegetables are picked in the morning and most times delivered the same day. Our varieties are grown for their taste. Delicious and nutritious.
Gigi’s Organic Gardens will be taking Fall bed orders for the next few weeks. So check out our website, http://www.gigisorganic.com and see what all the “Buzz” is about.
Wow! Things at the Farm have really gone into high gear. We have planted the Summer Beds, and are busy harvesting the Spring crops. The Broccoli and Cabbage are AMAZING and everything is right on schedule. Everyday we inspect the beds and find new produce ready to harvest and deliver to our members.
Many of us have had a garden in the past and have been overwhelmed by the harvest coming in all at once. What do you do with the bounty of squash, cucumbers and tomatoes that flood your harvest baskets? There are several solutions, and at GiGi”s Organic Gardens, we use them all. We do, however, let our members decide what works best for them.
Obviously canning, freezing and drying are fine options for the massive amounts of harvested veggies. Nothing brings back the memory of Summer like a jar of pickles eaten in the winter, but canning etc is not for the faint of heart. It is messy and time consuming and most of our members choose not to go this route.
A better solution is succession planting and choosing varieties that mature at different times. You can choose a tomato that fruits in most every part of Summer. We grow several varieties that stretch out the season and allow for a steady harvest. We also plant the same type of vegetable plants at different times. This has extra advantages above the staggered harvest. This succession planting technique also acts as an insurance policy against insect invasion or weather issues. Insects and climate changes affect plants differently at different points of maturity. Some insects are only present at certain times in the season and can be “controlled” by not giving them what they want, when they need it.
So whether you want ALL your veggies at once, so you can preserve them or want a steady harvest throughout the season. At GiGi’s Organic Gardens we let you “Have it YOUR Way”!
FALL beds are now available! Please contact us if you would like to get started now!! http://www.gigisorganic.com or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org Who’s YOUR Farmer??
As we have started the journey to “full-time” organic farmers, many lessons have been learned. One lesson in particular keeps popping up. That one is the need for patience.
We live in a society where everything is immediate. If it takes more that 10 seconds to load a website, “My Internet is so slow!” can be heard throughout most homes. Fast food is a mainstay and can be delivered in mere minutes from the time you roll down the window at a drive-thru. As consumers and in our everyday lives, we have given ourselves over to the “I want it now!” mentality.
If you would like to see the forces of the universe get a huge laugh at your expense, try to incorporate that into organic farming. Nothing is fast and everything has its own schedule.
Take compost for instance. We collect kitchen scraps and yard waste. Pile it up. Turn it and do everything we can to speed things up. Compost still takes time and no matter how much you want it to speed up, it cooks at it’s own pace. Have you ever planted a seed? Those days between planting and the first sign of the plant can be excruciatingly slow. Even after the plant has emerged, you must still wait for a bloom and fruit to set. On the farm things are measured with a calendar not a stopwatch. I have been forced several times to take a deep breath and just wait (and wait some more). A lesson well learned. Patience IS a virtue especially here at Sinking Creek Farm. Be sure to check us out on the web at http://www.gigisorganic.com. We are currently taking orders for Summer beds. Plan it Well….Plant it Well…..Planet Well!!!