2011 Garlic Harvest Is Finally Here!

After a long hiatus, I’m going to try to get going with this blog.  What better motivator than this year’s harvest?  After the recent deluge of rain we are finally drying out enough to get the digger through the beds and bring in the crop.  My niece and nephew traveled all the way from Colorado to help us out for the first part of the week, and we’re relying on a few stalwart farm hands for the remainder of the work.  It’s a real challenge with two little ones to care for and Nick maintaining a full-time job in Sioux Falls!  I’ll be getting pictures up asap.

Some items of note this year:

  • Our garlic is certified organic

yummy garlic scape pesto in 16 oz size

  • Delicious garlic scape pesto is available locally (directly from us currently, and in Sept. from the Brookings Farmers Market)

Music Braids

  • We will have beautiful garlic braids available in a few weeks.  Reserve yours now!  I will make them from Transylvanian, Persian Star, and Music varieties.  Each braid is made from one single variety…..but that just gave me an idea…maybe I’ll mix some just for fun.   Garlic lasts longer in a braid for great eating all the way to next year’s harvest!  I can do anywhere from 10 to 25 bulbs per braid.

Contact us now to reserve your 2011 certified organic seed garlic and table stock; we always sell out!  Check out our website for current pricing.  Our online store will reflect availability of varieties once the garlic has cured and is ready to ship (end Aug/early Sept).

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A New Season Off and Running! (and some South Dakota local foods goodness!)

Hi All!

We haven’t found the time to post yet, but things are off and growing at Prairie Coteau Farm!  We’ve been to one market already, with our second coming up this weekend.  We’re partnering with some “fellow farmers” who are growing with us and sharing market responsibilities this year.  This is working out very nicely so far, and it’s helpful to share the labor with others. 

Hope to get some garden pics and update online soon, but in the meantime check out the new South Dakota Local Food Directory website!  The directory connects eaters with local farmers who are growing meat, dairy, vegetables, grains, etc.  Pure local food goodness!

www.sdlocalfoods.org

Click to find local food!

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Hibernation

Winter has come to Prairie Coteau Farm.  The garden has been cleared and next year’s garlic crop was planted back in October.  The garlic is now sleeping peacefully under the soil, awaiting the far-off spring.

Winter is the time to rest and rejuvenate the mind and body after a long hard season in the garden.  And to prepare oneself for next year.

Here are some photos of garlic planting this fall.  As one season ends, we look forward to the next.  Hopefully next fall will bring a bounty of garlic to the farm!

But for now, we enjoy the quiet of the winter, and hope you do too.  Until next season, take care!

Wyatt plants while Nick prepares the next bed

Wyatt plants while Nick prepares the next bed

planting

planting

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Garlic Lovers Unite!

All of our garlic is cured and ready to be eaten or planted!  We offer five varieties currently, with flavors ranging from hot to mild.  Garlic is long-storing, so stock up for fall and winter!  If you’re interested in raising garlic for yourself, fall is the time to plant.  We sell only the highest quality seed garlic.   Check out our garlic page for more information!

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Long overdue update…

Veggies galore!

Veggies galore!

Hello folks,

Sorry there hasn’t been an update for a while.  The summer is flying by and I haven’t had a moment for blogging!  Here’s a glimpse of what has been going on at Prarie Coteau Farm in the last month:

Garlic Harvest

At the beginning of August we did our big garlic harvest.  Garlic is the main crop at the farm and we have half an acre planted with seven different garlic varieties.  The garlic harvest is usually a very time consuming and labor-intsensive process as each plant must be hand-dug from the ground.  This year Kristianna invested in a garlic harvester which made the process much easier.  The machine cuts under the soil and gently lifts and loosens the plants.  A crew of helpers then gather the garlic from the field and clean and bunch the plants on a flatbed.  The garlic is hung from the rafters of the barn to cure for a period of time before being sold.  With a little help from some friends, the garlic harvest was completed over just two weekends!  Our garlic will be available for sale.  We offer garlic for eating as well as seed for planting.  Let us know if you’re interested!

garlic hanging from the barn rafters to cure

garlic hanging from the barn rafters to cure

 

Farm Helpers

It takes a village to run a farm, and we’ve had some great helpers lately.  Kristianna’s friend Heather (a previous intern) flew in from New York to visit for ten days in the middle of August.  She pitched right in and always offered to help with the farm work.  She pulled several long days helping with the garlic harvest and didn’t shy away from the major weeding that’s been going on at the farm.  Thanks so much Heather!

Heather and Kristianna harvesting beans

Heather and Kristianna harvesting beans

Some other helpers include my sisters Phoebe and Ivy, who have both attended the Farmers Market with me.  They’re both quite professional and excellent with customers.  They do a great job keeping the displays up and restocking vegetables as well.  They have to get up at 5am in order to go to market with me and they still told me afterwards that it was fun and they wanted to go again!

Ivy (9 years old) manning the booth

Ivy (9 years old) manning the booth

My husband Wyatt also assisted with the harvest one week.  It was good for him to spend some time at the farm and see the work I do.  His favorite part of the harvest was digging purple potatoes.  : )

Wyatt digging "Purple Majesty" potatoes

Wyatt digging "Purple Majesty" potatoes

Wyatt picks beans while Kristianna harvests herbs in the background

Wyatt picks beans while Kristianna harvests herbs in the background

Days grow shorter

We’ve started our Friday harvests at 7am now instead of 6am because its getting light later in the morning.  Can it really be the end of the August?  Luckily, the garden is just hitting its stride, and we’re starting to get buckets of delicious tomatoes and our peppers are on the cusp of ripeness.  Melons are coming along, and leeks and onions are ready for harvest.  The days may be growing shorter, but the wonderful bounty of fall is still ahead. 

Here’s a parting shot for you to enjoy.  I took this picture one morning when I arrived at the farm at sunrise to begin harvesting.  It was a peaceful and beautiful sight.

Sunrise at the farm

Sunrise at the farm

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Phoebe’s Week at the Farm

This week my little sister Phoebe (age 14) came and helped out at the farm.  We needed some extra help getting the garlic weeded because we want to harvest soon.  Phoebe was quite the trooper–even when we spent seven hours in the heat and humidty weeding garlic beds!  She also helped with eggs, starting seeds for our fall crops, and harvesting and washing all the veggies for the farmer’s market this weekend.  To top it off, she volunteered to help me out at my first “solo” market this weekend (Kristianna didn’t come this time).  She was a great help and quite the saleswoman!  Thanks little sis!  You’re quite the young farmer!

sisters at work on the farm

sisters at work on the farm

This weekend’s market went very well.  Despite some early rain, the sunshine prevailed. This was the first market we had some extra “events,” and we enjoyed live music, an SDSU food preservation demonstration, and an appearance of the Homegrown Prosperity Tour Bio-Diesel Bus. 

A great week on the farm!

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Weeding

The last several weeks we’ve been focusing on weeding, weeding, weeding.  The garden weeds are exploding at the same time all of our garlic is needing to be weeded.  This means there’s an acre and a half of weeds needing to pulled.  *sigh*

Weeding is hard work, but can be a “zen-like” experience.  It’s just you, the sun, the fields, and the weeds.  The task at hand is straight-forward and once you’ve found your rhythm the zen-state comes on naturally.  Plus, there’s a certain level of satisfaction that comes when you find those larger-than-life thistles and yank them–roots ‘n’ all– right out of the ground.

I guess you can call this experience, “Zen and the Art of Weeding.”

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