Winter 2002 News From the Farm
Global warming really seems to be playing games with the
year! We had 80 degree F days in January and February followed
by hard freezes down to 20 degrees F. We lost tomato and pepper starts
in the greenhouse on several occasions. 20 degree weather is not that
here in January and February, but the drastic temperature swings this
were unprecedented--very hard on the plants! To make matters worse the
rains stopped in February. Usually we can count on some rain through
end of April, but this winter the rainy season was condensed into the
of December and January. Not very promising for the pastures, gardens,
In February we welcomed Jenny Pasewalk to the farm. Jenny will
manage the market gardens this year. Like Wendy, Jenny is a
of the UC Santa Cruz Agroecology Apprenticeship program so she is
familiar with our French Intensive gardening methods. With Jenny's
help in the gardens, Wendy hopes to have more time to get the ponies
in public. Many people in the U.S. have never seen or heard of Highland
Spring 2002 News From the Farm
The unusual weather continued throughout the spring, with crazy
from cold to hot, and no rain. We started having to water the garden in
early March--unheard of! With much moving of plastic row covers and
to protect the crops during the many frosty nights we managed to have a
good selection of produce for the opening of the local Farmers Markets
in May. We also offered a wider selection of organic vegetable and
starts than in previous years; 15 varieties of tomatoes, 5 varieties of
peppers, 20 varieties of annual and perennial flowers and much more.
Our customers were so enthusiastic about our baked goods last year
that we decided to offer them on a weekly basis this year. We are
commercial kitchen facilities from the Boonville General Store on their
days off to do our baking. Last year we experimented with a wide range
of baked items, but this year we are focusing primarily on our walnut
made with our own hand-shelled organic walnuts. Customers rave about
and come back for more week after week!
In the pony department, Ladybug produced another lovely foal for us in
April; a filly this time. Ronay is a red dun with a white blaze. The
little fuzzy baby--she just looks like a little plush toy! Plenty of
and lots of Highland type from her dad, and a sweet friendly
Summer 2002 News From the Farm
If our summer weather this year was any indication, global
continuing to do its thing.
Without our new solar water pumping system for the well, the garden
never would have made it
through the summer. The heat took its toll on the spring flow and the
water from that source
dwindled to less than half the normal flow by the end of July. The
well pump was not a care-free
solution; it did quit on several occaisions. Luck was with us though,
as we had about a week's
worth of water stored in the tanks each time it failed. We were able
to get it repaired in the nick
of time before running out of water.
We had a long and busy Farmers Market season. Thanks to Jenny and
who handled all
the marketing this year, we sold almost twice as much produce as last
year. Heirloom pepper and
tomato starts, and the bunched French baby carrots were some of the
best sellers. The handmade
soaps and herbal salve continue to be popular at the markets. We used
up the entire 2001 walnut
crop in the walnut tarts. We sold walnut tarts at the market every
week from May through mid-
September, and boy are we sick of cracking walnuts! I also made some
new types of fruit
preserves this year. Customers love the "Mystery Marmalade" (made with
tomatoes--sounds weird but it is delicious)!
Fall 2002 News From the Farm
Skye produced an adorable colt in early November. He is named
after the Hebridean island.
Like all Quartz's foals he is true dun and looks very Highland. Harris
is very outgoing and curious
about everything--keeping his poor mom very busy. Skye will be back
to work under saddle soon to continue her training.
I've had time to work with Raasay more since Farmers Market
he is making excellent
progress. He's quite comfortable longeing in saddle and bridle or
is ground driving nicely, and has started dragging some lightweight
in harness. He takes all these new things in stride and is a pleasure
work with. He'll be ready to start pulling a cart soon, and I'm really
looking forward to that!
The walnut crop was fairly good this fall, in spite of a very dry year.
The unusually warm fall weather kept the tomatoes ripening in the
through mid-December. We have finally had a killing frost at this
but are still enjoying the last of the tomatoes which are ripening in
kitchen. Some of the fall planted winter vegetables are already
up--we've been eating lots of carrots, kale, and cauliflower. We're
the last of the apples and pumpkins for pies at Christmas.
2003 News from the Farm
This year has certainly sped by, an even busier one than
We did not to take on any Farmers Market apprentices this year, and
cut back from 3 to 2 markets. I also decided not to continue with the
kitchen products (jams and baked goods) in order to have more time for
other aspects of the farm. Nursery plants have been our main feature at
the Markets this season rather than produce.
Quartz attended 2 dressage clinics this summer and attracted
of attention. "Wow, what kind of horse is that?!" is the question we
wherever he goes.
Skye and Raasay both went to wonderful new homes. Skye was
sold in foal
to Quartz for 2004 and we have retained ownership of the foal.
We did not have any foals in 2003 as we instead added 2
mares to our herd. In June we made the 2300 mile round trip to bring
Circle H Shuna and Circle H Highland Mist from B.C. Canada. By far our
longest horse hauling trip yet, and with the high price of gas, going
get the mares ourselves was almost as expensive as having them
by a commercial hauler!
Shuna, the 3 year old mare, was bred to Quartz in early August. She was
lightly started under saddle in the fall and is very quiet and kind
We are expecting great things from this foal!