Posts Tagged ‘Ohio farm market’

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!

Oh, yea more winter??? Well take THIS we R planting @Maize Valley!

Friday, March 4th, 2011
Mater's movin' on!

Mater's movin' on!

At Maize Valley yes we say “We Make Great Wine…FUN!!” But we also still grow a whole bunch of stuff besides just grapes and make wine. There are five family members currently involved in our farm. Todd makes the wine, Michelle runs the store, Bill is the “Fun TSAR” and does stuff like this blog, Donna handles the banking and running and all “that” kind of stuff and Kay grows the vegi’s.

Tomatoes waiting for a new home

Tomatoes waiting for a new home

These tomatoes should hit be ready end of May or so we are planning on and have flavor like a field rippened fruit should have growing in the soil. It is really tough competing with the imported tomatoes from the South. We try and grow a great local product early that we can sell at farmers’ markets and sell in our market and also serve in our entree’s in our Winery Cafe’.

Come on little guy, U can do it!

Come on little guy, U can do it!

There are also Asian Greens, Spinach, Lettuce and Radishes in this greenhouse.

We have tried a variety of early growing techniques over the years. Some have worked better than others. One year we tried to cover melons with a “row cover” that covered the beds in the field. That worked great till two years of back to back wind storms pretty much gave us the counties largest kite.

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! 🙂

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.

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!