Shopping Bag

Busy week with New Fall Items

Posted by Barbara Williams on 9/29/2017 to Backfourty
It has been a busy week.  We are working hard on the website.  I hope you are liking some of the changes we are doing to make the site more user friendly.  If you haven't already,  I hope you will check out the front page's new step-by-step instructions on how to sign up and place orders.  We have added some buttons on "step 3" which makes it easier to switch between different categories no mater where you are on the site.

We made a trip this week to  Graves Farm near Birmingham, Alabama to get a load of pumpkins, cornstalks, Indian corn and assorted gourds.  The pumpkins come in all sizes.  We have ghost pumpkin's as well.   These are healthy just picked pumpkins which if handled right can easily last through October.

    When looking for a pumpkin always check out and make sure it has a sturdy stem and check for no bruses.   That is a good indicator that your pumpkin can have a good lifespan.   Pumpkins hold up best in a dry, cool, well ventilated places.  It is best for them to sit on a straw bed or piece of cardboard to act as a moisture barrier.     Lastly don't carve your pumpkin too early.  Once your pumpkin has been carved it will last for approximately 5 maybe 8 more days.   Here is a tip: Once you carve your pumpkin let is soak in bleach water for 20 minutes to kill bacteria. After it is done soaking drain excess water and dry off outside.   This will help your creation last longer.  You just add 1 tablespoon of bleach per quart of water. 

This week we also went to Fairhope, Alabama to get hay from Mark Gables.  He has pretty golden straw hay that is perfect for displays. 

We will also have sugar cane in a few weeks. It looks beautiful on displays and many people enjoy chewing on sugar cane.  Good sugar cane is not easy to find.  Especially the kind that people enjoy chewing. We saw some at D.R. Youngblood's farm but he is saving it to process this fall.  However, Charles Gibson grows good sugar cane near Walnut Hill, Florida and he also makes cane sugar syrup in the fall.    We are waiting for Charley's  cane to  get good and sweet to harvest. 

We will be heading to Elberta this coming week to get more corn stalks and pumpkins.  Kichler Farms, for years has grown a variety pumpkins.  This year, due to the weather, the crop is going to be short.  However, we will see what we can find and let you know in the  coming week.   

This afternoon Steve's Farm, out of Walnut Hill,  brought out a delivery of peas.  We now have zipper, crowder.  pink eye and creamer peas available.  We will get the zipper and Crowder peas added tomorrow to our website.  

We had so many new items in this week that it will take more time to get them all added to our site.  We should have everything on board this coming week.  

We are still getting plenty of local okra, micro greens, hydroponic lettuces, red potatoes , gold potatoes, Alabama tomatoes eggplant,  sweet potatoes ( white and orange meat),  We also got some good watermelons in on Thursday out of Alabama.  They are 8 lb average.  

This weekend we will be getting new crop Florida  Oranges.  They will be small and likely on the tart side since they are early crop. I am excited to be getting them considering all the losses from the Hurricane Irma.

Stay tuned for more new local items to be coming in October.  Check out our website to this weeks local items.

Barbara

 

Fall is Coming

Posted by Barbara Williams on 9/24/2017 to Backfourty
Despite the challenging wet weather we have had this is an exciting time of year.  Temperatures are starting to drop. The cooler weather allows all of us to start displaying many of  the wonders of Fall.  Pumpkins, Cornstalks, Hay Bales, Cotton, Squashes and Gourds galore.   Next week we will be getting all of these items on display.  We should have some locally grown plants such as  mums, and ferns arriving this coming week as well.  I cant tell you how many people notice that when you purchase plants and produce from a market that supports local farmers the quality is general excellent.   The product holds up noticeably longer.   Why you may ask?   People like us understand how to handle the product.  We are getting the product just picked.  We do turn most of our product very quickly.   We have great tips which we love to share with our customers to help them get the most out of their fresh products. 

I am very excited about the local cheese from "Working Cows Dairy" we are starting to bring it into stalk.  Reske De Jong is the cheese maker and she lives 100 miles or so from our warehouse this side of Dothan.  We will have available Young Gouda, Aged Gouda, Cheddar and Pepper Jack.   It is all certified organic.  We also will be bringing in their whole milk and chocolate milk, hopefully in a week.  They are coordinating delivery route now.   I know some of you have been asking about the milk and we are getting close to getting it into our store. I will announce it as soon as it arrives!

Today we just received a new delivery of pink eye peas and creamer peas from Steve's Farm in Walnut Hill. We are looking to get some corn from Steve this coming October. 

  Local appetite is producing winter squashes. Kuri, buttercup, and butternut. We do have these items instock.
  They also have long beans available.  I am considering bringing some into stock. I would love to hear if you would be interested in long green beans. Baby eggplant and gold potatoes are also items they make available to us. 

Ray Flowers is brining us steady supply of okra. I am hopeful he will be getting us some collard greens here in the near future.

Ellenberg Farms next week will be bringing us JB Green Bell Peppers. 

Grant King is supplying us with Mississisppi Sweet Potatoes. Both white and orange meat.

We do still have some scuppernongs available. I did not picture them on this weeks local grown because I am not sure if I will have much available after this weekend. We do have enough supply of grapes to get us thru the weekend. 

Chilton County Peaches we still have available for this week. They will most certainly be over after this coming week. 

Sand Mountain tomatoes are still coming in strong.  All of our rounds, roma and grape tomato are Alabama grown from the Sand Mountain area at this time.  They will be here until the first frost. 

I also featured  C&D Mill Grits on this weeks local selection.  We always have C&D Mill Grits and Corn Meal in house.  Patty offers some awesome recipes on her Facebook for C&D Mill Grits.  I have tried several of them and they are really good.  I paticulary love the Nasau Grits Recipe.  I will get with Patty to make some of the recipe's available in house. 

I need to go to Fidler Farms tomorrow to pick up more green peanuts.  They are hot commodity.  We do have some to start the day this Saturday. 

Yard Eggs by way of Meme's Poultry are available in house. We also have some of her duck eggs available. 

I am headed to Graves Farm around Birmingham, this Monday to pick up some pumpkins and gourds.  They have white pumpkins as well as the big Jack O lanterns.  I can't wait to see all the beautiful fall colors.   I am sure I will be coming back with one or two surprises.

Also on Saturday we are participating in  the Gulf Power Slow Ride.  Causal bikers will be getting together at Gulf Power tomorrow evening to participate in a leisurely bike ride around Pensacola Downtown area.  This is my first time.  We will be offering the participants fresh fruit to eat.  The weather should be great for this event. I hope if any of you are participating you will drop  and say, "Hello".  I would love to meet you. 

Hope you have a lovely weekend.

Barbara

Aftermath of Hurricane Irma

Posted by Barbara Williams on 9/16/2017 to Backfourty
My apologies for the delay on this weeks blog.  I have been extra busy  locating product and covering orders.  I have lived in Pensacola for 25 years and in that time I have had my share of  adventures in the produce business with  hurricanes. No two have ever been the same.  We try to anticipate how to take care of our families, employees, and customers.  There is always the unexpected.  Irma  is different partly because she extended over most of the state of Florida and affected virtually all Florida Farmers and crops to some degree.  

One of the worst crops hit was citrus.  Between 50%-70%  of the orange and grapefruit crops were destroyed.  Irma did less harm as she  progressed north.  Not many trees were destroyed during the hurricane which is good.   There is concern for citrus trees standing in high water.  Roots rot and die if under water  for too long.  The good news, we will have citrus available around Thanksgiving time.   Sorry to say we will need to be prepared to pay more due to the low supply. 
 
Tomatoes and strawberries faired much better.  Most  were not in the ground yet and if they were it is still early enough to replant.   The tomato crop is predicted to be light during first part of November but  should recover by the end  and we are looking to have good supply in December.   Strawberries they are busy repairing some of the plastic ground work.  However, strawberries are expected to recover and harvest on time also around Thanksgiving.
 
Many of our Florida suppliers have been struggling with no electricity or phone lines.  They are busy cleaning up.  Surprisingly though, we have been able to get a couple deliveries in today out of Florida.   We received our first shipment since the hurricane of mushrooms from West Coast Mushroom out of Quincy, Florida. We also were able to get a delivery in from our herbs and specialty greens supplier out of Tampa.  Orchid Island Fresh Juices out of Vero Beach is also going to be sending us an order this coming week. The cane sugar soda delivery will also be arriving on schedule this Wednesday.  Orca bottling has nice variety of Dead World Halloween themed sodas in route to us . 

We are going to be busy this coming week sourcing pumpkins and other fall items.  We have some things in the works with some of our Alabama Farmers.   I will be bringing in hay bales from Atmore.  Corn stalks, and pumpkins out of Elberta.  We are planning to have these items coming in the last week of September. 

Today we did get some creamer peas and pink eye peas  from Steve’s Farm.  These are just getting started up so we should have for awhile. 

We do have local okra, peaches, tomatoes, scuppernongs, muscadines, butternut squash, kuri squash,  and buttercup squashes in stock and available for this week.  We will also have some Florida grown hydroponics lettuce and micro greens.

 There is many good things happening while we work through the obstacles.  Many good people working hard to get things back to normal.  We are doing what we can to support them.  Isn't that what life is all about?  Sharing and caring.  

Peace, Love and Collard Greens. 
 






Hurricane Irma

Posted by Barbara Williams on 9/9/2017 to Backfourty

Hurricane Irma

 

Florida Farmers are bracing themselves for Hurricane Irma.  Tomatoes, oranges, squash, green beans, cucumbers, strawberries, and sugarcane are major Florida crops that are at risk.    Reports regarding the severity will be coming in and we will start hearing about the damages this coming Tuesday.

 There is never a good time for a hurricane but it is better now than in October or November.  Most row crops like strawberries, and tomatoes are not in the ground yet.  Farmers are hopefully going to be able to plant their crop after this week, once the severe weather passes through.  Oranges are not that big yet on the trees and they are better able to withstand the winds at this stage than they would be at a riper stage.    

 

Here around Pensacola, I have spoken to several farmers and they are waiting till late this week to start planting their collards and other greens.   It won’t do any good to plant them if we get a lot of rain.  They would likely just be replanting them again.   Hopefully there will be less rain so they can get the greens in the ground for our late fall/winter crop.

 

New in this week; we picked up our first local winter squashes through Local Appetite.  They are growing red kuri, buttercup and butternut squash.  Also, they have available eggplant, sweet mini - peppers, hydro- bibb, long beans, gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, ghost peppers, and habanero peppers. 

We also received our last load of Chilton County Peaches.  We will buy some extra hoping to stretch it out a bit.  The quality is good. 

Muscadines and Scuppernongs we received a delivery this past Thursday from D.R. Youngblood out of Baker, Florida.  These really are some of the best I have ever tasted.   They won’t be around much longer.   If I am lucky maybe two weeks left, very possibly only one. 

This week on our website under “Shop Local” you will notice two types of shell eggs.  One is from Cal- Maine Hatchery, about 20 minutes from our market.  The other is yard eggs from Me Me’s Farm.  Both very fresh eggs.  You can’t get eggs any fresher.  We generally pick up eggs every week unless they are not available. 

We also received a fresh load of Mississippi Sweet Potatoes from Grant King’s Farm.  We have white and orange meat available. 

 

Well friends, let’s pray for everyone who is being affected by Irma.   For Floridians, this will not be their first rodeo, but it may be they’re most challenging one.  Hopefully people are playing it safe.

 

Peace, Love, and Collard Greens


Hurricane Harvey Looms

Posted by Barbara Williams on 9/2/2017 to Backfourty


I admit I find myself lamenting all the wet weather we are receiving.  I then think about the folks around Houston and recognize we don't have it bad.   We have friends in Houston and we are relieved they are well and almost dry.  Folks will be accessing the impact of Hurricane Harvey for weeks to come.  Crops at best are being delayed, waiting for a break in the rain.   At worst, well, there is no way a crop can survive being under 2 to 5 feet of water for days. 

 

 The impact on fuel prices has been swift.  According to AAA fuel pricing will be up for the next month and then it should fall back down to pre-Harvey levels.   In the short term, we will see an price increase on most all crops due to increases in fuel.

 

Squash, and Green Onions, are in short supply.  Expect the see yellow squash, zucchini, and green onions to be up for the next few weeks.   Cucumbers, bell peppers and eggplant are in good shape this coming week but the supply is tightening and prices are expected to rise in weeks to follow. 

 

As far as local crops, Alabama Tomatoes are hanging in there.  They have not received that much heavy rain in the Sand Mountain area.  We expect to have Sand Mountain Tomatoes until the first frost.

  

Here around Pensacola we received a couple of days of heavy rain but we are getting some breaks in the weather.   Ray Flowers could get to his field to bring us okra this morning. 

 

 We will have plenty of  Muscadines and Scuppernongs for the next few weeks.  We will be sampling these in the market this weekend.  They have excellent flavor. 

 

 Chilton County Peaches are available for this coming week.  We received a delivery yesterday.   We possibly will get one more delivery on Monday of Chilton County Peaches and that will be it for this season. 

 

Regular deliveries of Fidler Farms Jumbo Green Peanuts are coming in. .  We hope to have access to green peanuts though the end of September.

 

  Grant King is going to be offering us certified organic sweet potatoes out of Vardaman, Mississippi. We look for delivery this coming Thursday.  We will also be getting white meat sweet potatoes though Grant.

 

Meme's Eggs; we will be getting a fresh delivery of yard eggs in the morning.  We expect to have some duck eggs as well.  Quail eggs are in short supply right now. Sorry we are out of stock. 

 

Local appetite has been trucking along with hydroponic lettuces, eggplant, bell peppers and white sweet potatoes.  All are available this coming week.

 

In the middle of September, we are shooting to get our first delivery of milk from Working Cow's Dairy Farm out of Slocomb, Ala.  If possible, we will also bring in some of their cheeses.  I will let you know how it looks as the date gets near. 

 

Let's keep the all the folks affected by Hurricane Harvey in our thoughts and prayers.  We will see what is in store for us as the weeks progress. 

 

We appreciate you checking us out.  Hope to see you at “The Farm”