Posts Tagged ‘Farm Market’

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?

There are three kinds of lies…‘Sexy Forever – How to Fight Fat After Forty,’

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Ohio wine and more talking beef and pigs? Yes we are a winery, and farm market but we still raise a few animals yet now and then to see previous blog post. Along with growing grapes and making wine we grow lots of food too. Today people are more concerned where their food comes from and how it is raised. That is good, it can only lead to more healthy choices being made! But they also need good and balanced info. Good accurate science balanced with passion to take greater responsiblity is a great combination.

The first six words above are a quotation which is often attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, the 19th century British Prime Minister. The source for this view is the autobiography of Mark Twain, where he makes that attribution. Nevertheless, no version of this quotation has been found in any of Disraeli’s published works or letters. The earliest reference yet found anywhere is to a speech made by Leonard H. Courtney, (1832-1918), later Lord Courtney, in New York in 1895:

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

‘After all, facts are facts, and although we may quote one to another with a chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman, “Lies – damn lies – and statistics,” still there are some easy figures the simplest must understand, and the astutest cannot wriggle out of.’

There’s no indication that by ‘Wise Statesman’ Courtney was referring to any specific person, although it may be that Twain thought that he meant Disraeli.

The next eight words are from the famous health expert, Suzanne Somers….‘Sexy Forever – How to Fight Fat After Forty,’

I don’t often “recycle blogs” but after the whole “vacine scare” which rerouted and misdirected tons of resources as well as indirectly gave whopping cough a new foothold to work off of. Having a son with many Autistic behaviors we have looked at this you might say “from both sides now”.

I caught this blog via some of my agricutural blog buddies and thought it was worth reposting.

http://purplepoke.blogspot.com/2011/01/today-shows-ag-love.html

I am not saying either side is 100% right but we in agriculture get smacked everyday square in the face of what I call the “physics of life” where common sense along with a good education and information are the necessary tools of survival.

When nut case celebrities confuse passion and book sales with communicating a accurate and useful message it just drives me nuts! Thank you to NBC and Natalie Morales of the Today Show for having the integrity to not just nod their heads like a bobble head doll which happens all too often when some “public figure” comes along with “all the answers”. And oh yea, it’s in my book!

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Trying to “close the loop”

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011
As the saying goes "like one hog waits on another"!

As the saying goes "like one hog waits on another"!

We are working at ya might say “closing the loop” as much as possible when it comes to food. Saying that is one thing doing it is another. Not only do you have to be a savy marketer, you need to be a low cost producer to win it in the long haul.

This particular group of pigs entertained thousands of folks during the fall corn maze and pumpkin picking season running for Oreo’s, but now they are back on the home farm being the “Biggers Gainers”!

NASHOG race pigs at Maize Valley

NASHOG race pigs at Maize Valley

We are trying to raise a great tasting product in an efficient and responsible way. We give these pigs lots of space, good food, and fresh air and sunshine. I hope to bale the crop in the picture about and the video below that we would normally just waste. I plan on using the sorghum/corn mix that was once a haunted corn maze for winter bedding and feed for hogs too.

Waiting on the "killing freeze"

Haunted Maze, Waiting on the "killing freeze"

In the summer time we raise 52 different crops on about 700 acres. Everyday during the growing season we have crops both harvested and left in the field that we cannot make use of that make great pig feed.

Concord grapes for jam and Red Neck Red!

Concord grapes for jam and Red Neck Red!

From Grapes to Garlic, from Swiss Chard to Sweet Corn, ya never know what is coming up down on the farm.

Garlic Festival at Shaker Sq.

Garlic Festival at Shaker Sq.

That is the efficient part, that is where you make your profit. Because “profit” is what makes a farmer, “sustainable”! Well this batch of “little piggies” has “gone to market” but we will be having more on the way fed right here on our farm where you can buy direct from this grower so give us a look! Take care.

Takin’ what life throws at me part 2, Trying to “C” the “Big Picture”

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
The "ears" have it!

Ya know when Michelle wanted to do the 3 day walk I “hesitated” to help when she asked. I must confess, my bad. Not so much doing the “Walk” but rather telling everyone and asking for their support.

You see I’m a guy I just do stuff myself. I told Chelle, “It will be hard for us but, let’s just write a check, and you walk”. That is NOT the point she said! This is about awareness, of the big picture. My “training” for the SGK walk had begun before I helped her take her first steps.

As with most “arguments” we have had over 25 years she just waits till I see she’s right and I apologize. That is where I started to grasp what this is really all about. And if you know me, once I get ahold of an idea, I tend to “ride it hard“, I hate missed opportunities and under used resources. Forgive me for “chronologically jumping around a bit” here getting this story started.

Whooo Haaaa, we are just getting warmed up!

Whooo Haaaa, we are just getting warmed up!

Fast forward to the day of the walk. when I dropped Chelle off it hit me. After months and hunderds of miles of training and fundraising, I had to let go now. Now was her time to step into something really big! And coming from a dairy farm backround that was usually not a good thing!!! But in this case she was about to enter an experience bigger than either of us had ever seen.

Now listen, we are Buckeye Alumni, that is where we met and we have seen “big games” but these 900 souls plus 300 crew members dwarfed anything we had ever been a part of at “The Shoe”. This was about life and death, I’ll put my money on a cancer survivor anyday after seeing this .

Cheer a lot

Cheer a lot

I am not a writer, I am a farmer, but my self imposed title is the “Fun TSAR”, I wear many hats. Part of my struggle to help with this at the start was I had to overcome my feelings that we were special. Not so much because we had a “situation” (no Jersey Shore pun intended) but rather EVERYBODY has a “cause”!

We have a son that has “many” “Autistic” behaviors, Hati had an earthquake, St. Jude’s needs help, I lost a cousin on 9/11 there are tons of places and people asking for your help. Why should anybody care about us and our cause more than anybody elses, I hated the idea that our cause is “better” than anybody elses.

I wonder where we go? Let's follow the guys in pink...

I wonder where we go? Let's follow the guys in pink...

But this one punched me in the gut and I was PISss’T OFF. Where do we go from here? That started months earlier. When I began to see how we fit into the big picture. I will try not to use too many cliches’ and analogies to describe things.

I’ll try not to minimize what other’s have suffered through by my shortcomings in telling our story, I’ll try and show how we fit into the big picture and how everyone deserves a lifetime!

Garlic-pa-Loooza!! 2010 Maize Valley Bringin’ it!

Monday, January 17th, 2011
Vampire Free Zone!

Vampire Free Zone!

2010 saw Maize Valley Farm Market and Winery go to its very first garlic festival. The very first Cleveland Garlic Festival was held in September by the North Union Farmers’ Market and were invited!

Size Matters!

Size Matters! ?

Great food, live music, even “Miss Garlic”? Oh and garlic too.

Miss Garlic, uh she's on the right...

Miss Garlic, uh she's on the right...

Did I say there was garlic there? We loaded our truck with about 300 lbs. of garlic, shallots, Red onions and a whole host of canned garlic products such as, galic stuffed olives and hot pickled garlic.

Tastes like garlic

Tastes like garlic

Some of the Ohio Wine and More blog post from Maize Valley Farm Market and Winery focus on different things. We will put our wines up against any in the state from dry reds to sweet fruits. But we focus a great deal on the partnership with food too. Not only food you buy but what we grow too. It is important to us to be real. No we don’t do everything or raise everything we sell or produce but as much as makes sense to do we give it a shot.

Memories to last a lifetime

Memories to last a lifetime

You are what you eat it has been said. No you don’t want to be a giant clove of garlic but just think about it. Doesn’t it make sense within reason to eat more foods that are closer to what our human bodies have become used to over the generations? In general less processed, whole foods eaten in a balanced diet of vegtable and animal protein are benificial to you.

Here is our garlic patch from 2010, about 10,000 set. For 2011 it is about twice as large. We sold all of last years crop and have added more as well as some new varities too.

Enjoy!

What’s comin’ Up down on the Farm in January at Maize Valley??

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
View from outside of the Greenhouse

View from outside of the Greenhouse

Ohh, Ohh, Pick me!

Ohh, Ohh, Pick me!

Plow snow in the morning pick a greenbean in the afternoon?

Plow snow in the morning pick a greenbean in the afternoon?

One thing you may have seen if you watch this blog and You Tube etc. is we are always trying something new at Maize Valley. I have to give credit to my father-in-law Kay. In his 70’s not retiring and always up for a new challenge. As we try to diversify he is experimenting with not only growing some different crops in the greenhouses, but even how we grow some “old ones”. We go to a winter farmers’ market that actually does as well in the winter or better than many of our summer ones!

Greenbeans, just "Hangin' out"

These beans are grown in hanging baskets just like you would flowers. We use a potting soil and all natural fertilizers. You can’t call them “organic” because we are not “certified” but we don’t use any snythetic fertilizers or chemicals either. We are more of a “Sustainable” farm business, that is we try and “sustain” ourselves to be around to do it again next year!

Fresh, Homegrown, Green beans in January!

Fresh, Homegrown, Green beans in January!

WoW look at all those wine bottles behind Chelle in the backround!! When you own a winery it is important that you constantly do product quality control testing! What wine goes best with greenbeans??? Well depends how you prepare them, lightly heated with touch of butter in a pan as Chelle did a nice light off dry white goes well.

Maize Valley is Re-Loading for 2011!

Friday, January 7th, 2011
Stomp the Grapes 2010

Stomp the Grapes 2010

Cruise In July 22nd 2010

Cruise In July 22nd 2010

Pink Poker Run 2010

Pink Poker Run 2010

Cane Burning Par-Tay

Cane Burning Par-Tay

Hartville Radishes from Maize Valley Farms

Hartville Radishes from Maize Valley Farms

2010 was a great year at Maize Valley Farm Market and Winery, thank you! We really mean that. We are a family farm business that has been making a living with the soil since the 1800’s. Throughout all those year’s my wife’s family the Vaughan’s have been leather tanners, school teachers, carpenters, and all along farmers. You see you just did what you had to do to survive. As Dorie says in finding Nemo, “just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!

We grow about 52 different crops on about 700 acres but the most important crop is fun! Fun = memories and we try and build special events that cement those memories and last a lifetime. Our event calendar is loading up for 2011. We are working on making new events and adding and improving old ones too.

Look for our Vines, Wines, and Pines, cross country race to expand to include a “Farmathlon”, yea it’s gonna be cool! We are working on the half marathon and with any luck will be able to handle the expected growth up towards 2,000 runners.

The Pink Poker Run to raise money for Susan G. Komen 3 day for the cure will be back with a “Bike Rodeo” on the back side of it and hog roast.

We are pulling the plug on the Haunted corn maze and will be planting pumpkins in that area and making the woods part of the wagon ride paths. Plus the Pony Express is going to make it’s way back into the Corn Maze design.

The cane burning Par-Tay is gonna have a bigger pile, the monthly “Vintner Dinner” series keeps selling out so look for some new ideas coming there, the cruise-ins’ are every week starting in May and well wait to ya see the giant Hill-Slide we are building…..! Whew, and that’s not all! Stay Tuned!

At Maize Valley, We Make Great Wine…FUN!

Maize Valley’s Home for the holiday’s

Saturday, December 18th, 2010
New Maize Valley S.W.A.G. just in!!

New Maize Valley S.W.A.G. just in!!

Got Ur Hanky Panky?

Got Ur Hanky Panky?

Local artists make a difference

Local artists make a difference

At Maize Valley we make great wine fun. And We like to help you take that fun home too! Yes right now we are making plans for next years crop and event season but right now we are delivering the the goodies for the Christmas season.

So if it is a case of wine or a case of Pappy’s homegrown peppers we have you covered! Merry Christmas!

New Greenhouse! Sweet

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
Open roof design

Open roof design

Extending the season

Extending the season with more cover

What coming up down on the farm? Just one more step for us at Maize Valley as we try and shift our crop production to what we see as new opportunities.

Just a few years ago we were farming over 3000 acres, milking about 150 head of Holestiens, and running a diverse ag supply business. What started as throwing some sweet corn seed in the 12 row corn planter on the last round of the spring planting season grew into a direct marketing enterprise and the rest is well…history.

This new greenhouse will join three others in helping us in our efforts to extend our growing season here in Northeast Ohio and produce a greater variety of crops.

We direct market these crops at area farmers’ markets but also serve them in our entrees’ in our winery cafe’ and also through our monthly “Vintner Dinner” series.

At Maize Valley we make great wine…FUN!