Archive for May, 2009

Family Farming, Planting Veggies, Planning Corn Mazes, Tending Grapes, Marketing etc. etc.

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009
Grandpa Bakan Mowing

Grandpa Bakan Mowing

We try and put the “Family” in family farm all we can, why??? Because MY Dad and brother work for FREE and they think it is Fun!! My father-in-law Kay provides the farm with most of the equipment we need and we are working on buying the land from him. On my side of the family my brother and Dad come down and help too.

When people first told me I needed to start a blog I thought what in the heck I am going say often enough that is interesting? Will I have the time, do I have content for 2 to 3 posts a week? Well right now we have so much going on “down on the farm” I am having trouble getting the story told.

Right now we are sort of in “Ag. 101” mode its seems. Different work at the winery and vineyard and farm comes at different times. Currently we are heavy into the planting mode at the farm with light work in the wine department. We are going to bottle tomorrow so I will have some news on how that goes.

This past weekend was real busy, the winery was packed Saturday night and we were busy in the fields too. I shot some video of the Fret Daddies playing and some other shots too hope to get them up soon so you can see that side of our Family Farm, market and winery!

The following video clip is about four minutes and shows my brother Tim doing some work in the vineyard.

From Our fields to your table

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Why is she just showing me just one?

Why is she just showing me just one?

Asparagus first harvest

Asparagus first harvest

At the top of the page you can see my lovely wife Michelle bundling our fresh from the field Asparagus. I asked her to smile for the camera and she insisted on displaying just one of the spears?

Right next to where the gang was planting onions I spotted our Asparagus. They told me the other day it was ready to cut. You need to stay after it and not let it go to seed if you want to keep it going. It takes Asparagus a few years to really get going and this is it’s second year in the ground and our first harvest.

Did you know that has been cultivated for thousands of years and it was first domesticated by the Macedonians about 200 B.C. Check out the following link to learn more than you ever wanted to know about it.

Todd our wine maker cut some fresh this morning and we are serving it as a special in the winery this weekend. And NO we are not going to make an Asparagus wine!

Soil Erosion and Cover Crops and What we do.

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Galen Weisant plowing down winter cover crop

Galen Weisant plowing down winter cover crop

Plowing down a "green manure" cover cropAt Maize Valley we do all we can to help keep our soil, well our soil. That means we don’t want it in the water or the air. One thing we do is to plant cover crops such as winter rye. We plant that anywhere from late September to early November. The rye helps keep the soil “covered” and helps to reduce both wind and water erosion. Another cool thing it does is build organic matter in the soil and the roots help to keep the soil loose and “airey”. We have also found it helps with weed control.

We try and cover all the fields we can in the fall but especially the ones that are goin to have a fresh marketed vegtable crop growing in them. Some of the rye we also bale in late spring if we are not needing to get the field into production until later in the season. That rye usually ends up in my awesome “Straw Crawl” in the fall for our fall harvest festivals and activities.

We are not a “hug a tree” farm but rather a sustainable agricultural production location that does a diverse array of things. When I say sustain I mean we try and sustain our families first by just doing common sense stuff that preserves our most valuable resource the land. The Vaughan family has been making a living with the land in Marlboro township since the 1800’s and I hope to not drop the ball if ya know what I mean. So we take care of it and use modern technology and old school common sense to make a living with it not off of it.

Quick drive-by video of plow being lifted at the end of the field.