Posts Tagged ‘Farmers’ Market’

Hey grand pa…whats for supper?

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
Spinach getting going

Spinach getting going

"Pole beans" B 4 the pole part!

"Pole beans" B 4 the pole part!

More and more people are asking not only what is for supper, but where did it come from? It is still not a huge amount yet but it is growing every year. In order to see if we can maintain our agricultural roots and adapt to meet an emerging market we have over the past three years begun to grow a wider variety of crops. From garlic to green beans, from cantelopes to carrots.

Almost all of these items we sell direct to the consumers and even incorporate them into our entrees’ served at our farm market and winery.

Two short clips below! The first one shows my “culinary roots” you might say the second actually has some views about what’s comin’ up, down on the farm.

Take care!

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!

Vineyard/Crop/Events update @ Maize Valley: #Farm,#Ohiowine,#Agritourism

Friday, August 21st, 2009
Green Farmers' Market

Green Farmers' Market

Lookin' "South"
Readying for Battle

Readying for Battle

Chelle getting Blood Pressure Check at Cruise In

Chelle getting Blood Pressure Check at Cruise In

Wow, what a summer, the heat is here! I love it! Or at least I HATE plowing snow more, skiing on it cool, plowing not so much.

Things get sorta crazy in August, the weeds really pour the coal to it and grow like crazy as you can see in the Pumpkin update video. What a train wreck, nothing to be proud of there but as I said I would show “Warts and All”. Late season weed breakthrough with rain and heat, what a mess!! Frost should fix it lots of pumpkins out there.

Vintage Ohio, The Civil War Re-enactment, Farmers’ Markets, Kids in cross country, Did I mention weeds, Rain making grass grow everywhere, Did I mention weeds? Oh yea my main computer took a total CRASH, (all files backed up except “outlook”)

Thanks to all the folks visiting our ole’ green trucks at the Farmers’ Markets!!! Really getting some good sales! Thanks to all the folks coming out and buying wine and in the stores, sales good! Thanks to all the folks e-mailing and calling about fall activities like the Corn Maze, Pumpkin picking, campfires, wagon rides, the pumpkin cannon, pig races and more!!

Right now we are re-tooling and beginning the shift from growing season to harvest. Grapes changing color, pumpkins turning orange, fall is in our sights. Stay tuned for big news on the fall harvest agritourism events and activities. I might just be able to pull off a way cool added attraction this fall, check back too see!!

Check out the videos below sorry they jump around a bunch just trying to keep up with the work and the documentation of this summer’s progress and report it, it ain’t easy! Hopefully this winter I can sit down and make some better use of this data.

Take care

Maize Valley @ #Farmers’ Market

Friday, August 14th, 2009
View of the parking lot

View of the parking lot

Set up takes about 15 min.

Set up takes about 15 min.

Farmer Bill the "FunTSAR" in front of his 52' Ford

Well here we go again in 2009 for another season at local farmers’ markets. Let me first start off with a disclamer that goes something like…. I do not claim to be any sort of expert at selling at farmers’ markets. What I do have going on is my father-in-law grows awesome quality produce and I do know how to merchandise product. Basically with produce the saying goes, “Pile it High and Watch if Fly”.

We attend farmers’ markets for two reasons to promote our home farm market, winery and agritourism enterprises and second to sell some produce. Farmers’ markets are a great deal of work for the return compared to a stationary market or stand. But they do fulfill a roll and area piece of our marketing plan.

A huge side benifit is my daughters go and participate in the retailing of our products. It gives them first hand knowledge of what it takes to be a good salesperson. They earn some income and learn more than most kids do these days. I feel it will give them a competitive edge in life, no matter what they choose to do.

We have outfitted a couple of old Ford trucks as seen in the pictures especially for the purpose of attending the markets. The biggest reason is due to the diversity and size of our business a family member cannont always get to every market. We needed trucks set up to minimize the labor required and improve product quality while on the truck. The less you handle a product the better.

We use the trucks for wine pours, and mobile concession stands at our home location as well. They help provide brand identity. I do not believe that true success at a farmers’ should depend upon the grower himself attending. In order for a business to be successful in should be system based and not be dependent upon specific persons to fill necessary roles.

So whatever the case please shop as local as you can when it is competitive and enjoy! Here are a few vids of us on our journey into Canton one Saturday morning.


Corn Maze Update, “It’s in the Field”!

Thursday, July 16th, 2009
Carving the "Circle MV"
Fresh Cut Pathway

Fresh Cut Pathway

Corn Maze Paths just after cutting

Corn Maze Paths just after cutting

Getting started cutting the corn maze

Getting started cutting the corn maze

This is our Tenth Anniversary Corn Maze, wow has it been that long??!! Well we are getting started and combining the maze with our new Civil War Re-enactment set to go on August 15th and 16th. Corn looks kinda short we will see, just not enough sun and heat so far. If we don’t make Aug. it will be Labor Day Weekend.

I have been getting several inquiries as to how we do our mazes and why we do things certain ways. Keep in mind this agritourism thing is a process of evolution. Not all things work at all locations. You can learn by seeing what others do and then trying certain aspects on your own place. But most of all keep asking questions. I don’t think “outside the box”, I crawl up on top of it, pick it up, & turn it over. I look at agritourism from all sides now!

We hire Rob Stoffer with Precision Mazes to handle the cut and Hugh McPherson of Maize Quest for the design and activity content. We have done it all in-house over the years but we just have too much going on now and have created such an expectation of excellence with our guests that it is now time to rely on the professionals. My brain just ain’t big enough to get it all done anymore, I don’t know if it ever was, I think I was just lucky. We have done NASCAR/NAPA, Bridgestone/Bigfoot, Formula One Racing and more. It has been a fun ride and a great way to make money while bringing such fun to families!

Keep in touch as we install the games, trivia, and all the other stuff that makes a Maize Valley an Adventure, not just a walk in a corn field. Check out the links under “Agritourism” to learn more about the great partners we have!

Crop Progess, Vineyard Update, Raspberries TOO!

Saturday, July 11th, 2009
Todd in Air Blast Sprayer

Todd in Air Blast Sprayer

Pumpkins starting to form

Pumpkins starting to form

Baby Rasperries

Baby Rasperries

Raspberry Patch

Raspberry Patch

WoW is stuff growing fast now, from Raspberries to pumpkins to corn we got it going on here are a few pics and video of what growing up down on the farm at Maize Valley.

Watermelon Crawl???? Now that’s an idea!!

Thursday, May 28th, 2009
Watermelon planting at Maize Valley

Watermelon planting at Maize Valley

When I was growing up I have vivid memories of my dad bringing in a watermelon and cutting it in half then slicing it in circular sections that covered the whole plate, then cutting into triangles like you would a slice of pizza. We would sit in our pavilion off the back of the house look at the garden and the animals in the pasture.

That is how my dad cut watermelon and boy it was good. I would always break off the sweet tip and eat back toward the rind first then come back to the “sweet spot”!

I guess I am old enough or maybe since my parents that grew up in the depression that such a thing was a real treat. We didn’t drink pop, and my dad who worked a second job down at the local golf course would now and then bring me home a Milky Way candy bar maybe once every week or two. But my sugar intake was pretty low by today’s standards!!

Anyhow memories like that are something we try and help families create today with our fresh from the field local produce we grow at Maize Valley and special events. I hope you can enjoy one too!

Also look for us at some of the local farmers’ markets listed on the right side of the page under farmers’ markets.

Pumpkins, Peppers and a whole lot more.

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
70,000 Peppers waiting for a home

70,000 Peppers waiting for a home

Pumpkin seeds in planter box

Pumpkin seeds in planter box

Yea, we are much more than just a winery, or a vineyard. We (Actually mostly Kay) still farms about 700 acres +/- a few, that is down from 3,000 acres a few years ago. But now we have crops that are much more intensive to produce and take more time and attention. Peppers and pumpkins are just a few, they planted watermelons last saturday too! They fly really good out of my pumpkin cannon, maybe that is why one variety is called “cannonball”??

The peppers you see above number just under 70,000 plants Kay told me. They are ready to be planted and go in the ground much like the tomatoes I showed in previous posts. We sell wholesale to vendors, to restaurants via Fresh Fork Markets. We also attend farmers’ markets in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Alliance, and Greentown. Links can be found on the lower right corner of the page for these locations, look under “Farmers’ Markets”.

You can also find them at our own farm Market, and in and on some of our entrees’ in our winery cafe’. New this year will be a line of canned peppers called “Pappy’s Peppers” named after my father-in-law, Kay Vaughan. That way we keep those green pepper flavors in the right glass container.

The videos will show the path a pumpkin seed takes to go from Bag to Jack-o-lantern. Much like the corn maze video I will try and follow this crop from start to finish.