Posts Tagged ‘Local Produce’

Wordless Wednesday, Got ARK?

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011
Sweet Corn Fields

Sweet Corn Fields

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.

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.

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.

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!

Can’t U smell that smell????

Friday, December 3rd, 2010
Liquid storage tank

Liquid storage tank

Applicator Truck

Applicator Truck as it distributes material

Liquid Gold

Liquid Gold

No this isn’t “that” smell, but this smell can surround you!

One of the most important things to growing good crops is fertility managment. Plants absorb nutrients at the ionic level based apon a variety of factors. When trying to grow good crops it is very much like trying to always solve a problem to improve your production. When doing so you must first solve for your first “limiting factor” or the first thing that is holding you back just as in any given situation.

You can’t fix the big problem unless you solve the first thing that is holding you back. Think of it as a bucket (the field) with holes in it that you are trying to fill with water (crop yield = $$). You fix the holes closest to the bottom of the bucket first and work your way up the bucket all the time it holds more water.

Often times in growing crops it is not so much “how much” you have of any given nutrient that makes or breaks the production but rather the realative relationship or balance that nutrients have to each other and their environment.

For instance sandy (or light) soils do not hold nutrients as well as soils with a high concentration of organic matter or clay (often called heavier soils). Knowing this helps you manage all of the inputs you will using to help produce a crop. On the flip side those sandy soils often dry out faster in the spring and warm faster as well, but are also have a greater risk of frost damage.

So you just try and keep all these variables in mind and try and find the best balance possible given your location. But it doesn’t stop there because then you have to factor in the economic and environmental aspects as well….Wheeewww! No farming like any “profession” is not easy but nothing worth doing ever is!

Take Care.

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!

What a wonderful fall! Thank you!!

Monday, November 8th, 2010
My wife is a "Survivor" more than I can say 4 this van!

My wife is a "Survivor" more than I can say 4 this van!

Pink Van 4 Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the cure

Pink Van 4 Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the cure

Marlboro Madness getting ready 4 work

Marlboro Madness getting ready 4 work

Straw Crawl "Pre-Season"!

Straw Crawl "Pre-Season"!

Straw crawl "Post Season"!

Straw crawl "Post Season"!

It was a long and wonderful fall harvest season here at Maize Valley! BEST one EVER! Thank you to all of those of you who came out and enjoyed one of the best weather fall periods we have ever experienced. It all started on Sept. 18th with the balloon lift off and wrapped up with Oct. 31st finding our crew still hard at work in the Carnage in the Corn Haunted Corn maze which was way too much fun!

Great weather came together with great effort to make this season a rewarding time for all of us. The grapes had their best harvest ever with all the heat from the summer and a late frost letting them store up extra energy for the coming winter after we were finished picking.

The half marathon was a huge success, a new greenhouse is going up at the main farm and the vintner dinners keep selling out. We are looking forward to a great Thanksgiving and Christmas season and then we will start pouring the coal to next year’s slate of special events.

All this is only possible with great staff, great neighbors and wonderful guests each and every day. Thank you all and look for Maize Valley to “Bring it” even harder in 2011. At Maize Valley We Make Great Wine…FUN! 🙂

Carnage in the CORN! More Fall FUN @ Maize Valley

Friday, August 20th, 2010
U never know what U R gonna C @ M.V.!

U never know what U R gonna C @ M.V.!

Brett seeing where this is going....

Brett seeing where this is going....

Brett seeing how high this corn is going to grow!

Brett seeing how high this corn is going to grow!

U know we like to say “Come and see why Maize Valley IS the Place to Be!” Well we try and make Great Wine…FUN!! Life is just too darn short to take too much too seriously! Yes we are a winery but we are so much more. Maize Valley is Northeast Ohio’s most complete Fall Harvest Destination. No we don’t “pose” or “primp” what we do is deliver good times. It get’s a little crazy around here in late September and October but we “Bring it” and it shows.

We will put the quality of our wines up against any in the state if your worried we are just a bunch of Rednecks not concerned about producing a top notch product. But we also don’t worry too much about sacrificing the “quality of life” just to bring mearly “product” to the table. Life is great down on the farm and we love to share it during the harvest season.

We are unique that is true, we offer corn mazes, pumpkin picking, wagon rides, NASHOG pig races, a giant straw crawl, kids play area, an animal pasture complete with goat feeding ramps, great indoor sitdown food, outdoor “walking food”, a LARGE barrel pumpkin cannon, and even a haunted attraction too! And there is more. You can also check out our Face Book Carnage in the Corn if ya like too!

The Carnage in the corn maze is a seperate attraction from the main Megasaurus corn maze, but talk to us and we can bundle things together, offer group pricing, food, campfires, wagon rides are included in pricing the hours you can spend with us can get long but always are fun. Carnage is designed to fun for all ages. Check back or check in with us for special packages like “sip and scare” and more.

We raise 52 crops on 700 acres, but our most important and perishable crop is our 53rd crop….FUN! You can always go back and get more wine, but you can’t go back and make more time!

Harvest the Fall Fun At Maize Valley!

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Balloon Glow

Balloon Glow


Old Tires R just 2 much fun!

Fun by the truckload

Maize Valley Farm Market and Winery will be “Bringing it” again this fall with our fall harvest of fun!

It’s been a while since I “blogged it out” here sorry! Been pretty busy with the Face Book account so if you havn’t seen that be sure and check it out too.

So what’s coming up down on the farm??? What isn’t? At Maize Valley we farm about 700 acres. On this soil we produce about 52 different crops. But our 53rd and most important crop is FUN! That all comes to a head in September and October. Wagon rides, pumpkins and so much more. Corn mazes with interactive games, pig races, pumpkin cannon’s, and more make Maize Valley your most complete fall harvest destination.

We have a balloon lift off, an art show, a car crushing fire breathing metal dinasour and of course our way too fun haunted corn maze too. The list goes on, there is pretty much something for everyone at Maize Valley.

Couples, families, corporate groups, church organizations are just a few of the friends we have stop by and visit with us throughout the year but especially during the fall harvest season. Some have been returning for over a decade now.

Did I mention that you should come hungry? Yep we got your back there too. From inside the winery and market cafe’ with a very extensive menu to more of a “walking style” out door fair we have something for you at fair prices. We want you to spead the word, not walk away with sticker shock.

For 2010 the corn maze opens Sept. 18th the balloon lift is Sept. 25th, the Haunted corn maze opens Oct. 1st. That get’s you started please visit our web page for complete details.

Come and see why Maize Valley IS the place to BE!