Posts Tagged ‘Agri-tourism’

Shop work on the farm, Come Monday it’ll B alright! :-)

Monday, March 7th, 2011
1952 Ford F5 Farmers' Market Truck in the shop for winter repairs

1952 Ford F5 Farmers' Market Truck in the shop for winter repairs

At Maize Valley We Make Great Wine…FUN, that is just “how we roll”! And these trucks are a big part of how we do actually “roll”. I found this truck in warehouse about eight years ago with 3,343 original miles on it. We used it here or there around the farm and parades etc. for a while till we really “put it back to work”. You see this truck travel thousands of miles a year again now in the summer attending area farmers’ markets and wine festivals.

Last summer when coming back down I-77 from the Cleveland Garlic Festival I just heard something “not-right”. More just a feeling I had in my gut. I couldn’t find anything but a few weeks later it gave my brother some starting trouble then one day on the back from a market in Akron it just about quit. He limped it home and there it sat.

Old School simple

Old School simple

We were only running on five out of six cylinders, and figured we broke a valve. It was near the end of the season so we got by but were not looking forward to the work or expense of fixing this. So today I got after it in the shop to try and start to get a idea of what we needed to do.

Well this was a Monday and I pulled the valve cover off to find that only a push rod had come out of adjustment and slipped out of its seat….SWeeeeTt! I popped it back in, tightened it down and she ran great! Even a blind nut can find a Squirl some daz!

Wordless Wednesday, Got ARK?

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011
Sweet Corn Fields

Sweet Corn Fields

The house my wife’s Grandfather was born in and a Red Neck Sauna

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011
Country Roads

Country Roads

Back in the day when my wife of now over 25 years and I were first married a couple of years after we were married we had the opportuntity to purchase the house her grandfather was born in. Nobody knows how old it is as his parents were not the first to live there.

Our home

Our home

You see he died over 15 years ago now and was in his late 80’s, this is an old house. For indoor plumbing it had a kitchen sink downstairs and upstairs a commode and a sink. The shower was in the block building about 50 feet out behind the house. If you look in the picture above it is slightly to right of center of the pic. The building was built for when they drilled the well and built a cinder block building above and around it. It had a sink and a shower

The farm has a “gas allotment”, meaning there are natural gas wells and we get a certain amount of gas for “free”. It’s a good thing too because when we moved in the house it has ZERO insulation. But the block house had one awesome little natural gas heater. You could turn it up to about 90 degrees in there if you wanted and make our own little redneck sauna. We were young just barely out of college then and it was sort of fun I guess, it was real. It was real warm till you had to make the dash back to the house on a cold winter night after coming home from the dairy barn that is.

They say “you don’t own an old house…It owns you”!

Someday I suppose I might tell this story to someone’s grand children too, I suppose…

But the wash house was still warmer than the barn!

But the wash house was still warmer than the barn!

Wordless Wednesday: Doin’ it “Winery Style” @ Maize Valley

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Better than Sex

Better than Sex

Wine, Food and more, what we R busy with at Maize Valley

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
Making rasied beds in the new greenhouse

Making rasied beds in the new greenhouse

Getting ready to put some of the early tomatoes in the soil.

Equipment usually only found out in the field in the greenhouse

Equipment usually only found out in the field in the greenhouse

I won’t write too much here as the video at the end of this post really shows how this machine works. So if you catch this blog on face book the face book notes feature usually cuts off the You Tube video, be sure and follow up and go to www.ohiowineandmore to see the entire blog post.

Long view of the raised bed

Long view of the raised bed

The crops grown in this greenhouse and our others get sold at area farmers’ markets, thru a local modified CSA group up in Cleveland, at our farm market and in some of the meals we serve in our winery cafe’ and market.

J.D. 2630 with plastic mulch bedder

J.D. 2630 with plastic mulch bedder

At Maize Valley we are many things. My wife family have made a living with the land here in Marlboro township since the 1800’s. We grow about 52 different crops on about 700 acres we are a small farm anymore. But we think it is our diversity that keeps us in the game and keeps us strong. From Corn Mazes to Cabernet, from Garlic to Greenbeans, 1/2 marathons to Merlot, come and see why Maize Valley IS the Place To BE! 🙂

Wordless Wednesday, Dammit!!

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011
The Morton Building

The Morton Building

Ok, so the "warm-up" is good?

Snow

Tough Truck

Tough Truck, that was a lot of snow.

Winter growing update, what’s coming up, down on the farm!

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
The green mile?

The green mile?

New this year at the local CVCC winter farmers market will be a crop of fresh radishes.

Countryside Winter Farmers’ Market at Old Trail School
January 22; February 5 & 19; March 12 & 26; and April 9 & 23
9am until Noon
2315 Ira Road
Akron, OH 44333

If you have never had the chance to go into a greenhouse on a cold winter day, I’m sorry. It is hard to describe. It is not so much just the heat, the getting in out of the cold is the obvious part.

Indoor Radishes

Indoor Radishes

I guess it is the smell of “concentrated life” about to explode, almost a tropical buzz is around you. It’s something like sauna with rich humidity filling your senses and touching your skin but with the rich aroma of potting soil and the stark green colors you find as you enter this plastic oasis, briefly escaping the cold “Negative Photograph” world of winter on the outside.

It’s what living on a farm is all about I guess, as we try new things to adapt to what the market gives us.

Winter Work, Wordless Wednesday!

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Got Wood?! The Ohio LEAD program, pioneers and the economy; thanks Dave Longaberger

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
My Dad's 30+ year old Stihl Farm Boss

My Dad's 30+ year old Stihl Farm Boss

A few year back I was in a Leadership program called the Ohio LEAD program. The letters stood for “Leadership, Education and Development”. About 30 of us from around the state were put on a whirlwind program to expose us to a variety of situmulus, situations and experiences.

One of the stops was at the Longaberger basket facility in Dresden Ohio. We got to sit down with Dave Longaberger the patriarch. We sat in the school room he failed in, I think it was 3rd grade maybe more than once? We were sitting there because he now owned the entire school as he did with many other significant places around the town. Dave failed and succeded at many things in his life in spectacular fashion was the message I took away from our meeting.

Dave with his work boots and “greenies” (green cover-alls) was a hands on “doer” of a person, owner, manager. LEAD gave me many experiences however this one sticks in my mind in the top three. Dave taught me not to fear life as a business person, to “just do it” before it was popular. But this was not something so trivial as sports, what he was talking about it was life, business and family.

Today we just need more people trying to be “Dave’s”. You see failure is a necessary part of success, you can’t soar with Eagles until you push your way threw some slimey egg shells. Untill you understand the cost of failure can you appreciate the rewards of success.

After Dave the company has not been so well able to adapt to the times. Dave was unique, Dave was “Hungry”.

The logs I am cutting in the videos came are the last to come from the local Longaberger facility that produced the slats for the famous baskets. These were the rejects from the lathe they spun down in search of the perfect piece to make those one time collectable baskets. But even as rejects they serve a purpose to me. I will use them to remember Dave, and remember to take chances.

Wineries in the winter what’s going on?

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
LaCrescent vines sleeping

LaCrescent vines sleeping

What goes on in the vineyard in January, well not too much. These vines are very winter hardy and can handle temps. down to 30 degrees below zero farenheit. They had a good growing season last year with lot of heat and sunshine and not too much or too little rain.

July vs. January

July vs. January

We had a early harvest due to the good growing season. This allowed for the leaves to hang on a long time since we had a late “killing frost” also. The vines were able to load lots of energy via the fall sunshine and hopefully store some good energy in the root systems before they went dormant. This helps on these long cold days.

We prune these grapes later than most to see what and if any late frosts take away buds we may be counting on.

Reisling "on the bubble"

These reisling vines pictured above are not as winter hardy as the LaCrescent and we will see, this might be their last year on the farm. We may replace these with another French American Hybrid called Traminette.

So while the grapes are outside enduring the winter, our guests are inside enjoying the fruits of their labor from seasons past!

Scott Alan "The Island Dr."

At Maize Valley We Make Great Wine…FUN! Last weekend we had the Island Dr. aka Scott Alan in. We have live entertainment every Friday and Saturday night and this past weekend the Dr. brought the house down! Great guests desended to form a massive conga line, limbo and just a whole bunch of other Island style fun.

How low can you GO?

How low can you GO?