Archive for August, 2009

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.

Ain’t That America?! #rural,#ethnic,#wine,#farm, More about this author

Thursday, August 13th, 2009
Me and my V Strom

Me and my V Strom

I am currently having major problems with my main computer which houses all my pics, videos, links, passwords etc. It is all backed up, but that does not change the fact I am somewhat restrained from keeping up with crop updates and other YouTube realted content more usually associated with this blog. (It keeps making this funny “hot plastic” smell, I don’t think that is a good thing??!!) Scroll back if you want to see “normal”, or at least my version of that.

Plus we are just busier than a dickens getting all the field work done too. So here is a “filler” post. Read if ya care, if not wait for more wine and cool crop stuff when I get this gosh darn black box working better.

Along those lines of getting to know this blogger. I walk in many worlds, I always have, it gives me perspective(s). I now live as a farmer/marketer in semi rural Ohio as part of a farm family who’s ancestors settled in what is now Marlboro Township Ohio in the 1800’s.

I married into the Vaughan family after meeting Michelle Vaughan while we were attending The Ohio State University. Her roots are very much multi-generational protestant based rural America. I, on the other had became interested in agriculture because my parents Dimitry and Loretta Bakan moved “to the country” back in 1962. My Dad is WWII Marine Corps and still kicking and taking care of Mom.

They moved out of the “Burbs” of Cleveland to a little town called Hinckley Ohio. I began to work with a farmer, Brian Cadnum when I was 11. He sparked my interest in agriculture and we are friends to this day.

My Grandparents came over “on a boat” like many Eastern European immigrants at the beginning of the 1900’s. My backround is more of “urban ethnic” and centered around family and church more so than the protestant tradition. Some of my grandparents were chased around the country by the K.K.K. till they landed in Cleveland. I grew up in the Russian/Ukranian Orthodox church, if you don’t know what that is they sort of make the Catholics’ look relaxed and free wheeling.

I grew up in the country and hate city life. I don’t even like to visit it much. Too many memories of days at Aunt’s and Uncle’s houses trapped in a concrete jungle on a sunny Sunday when I should have been out swinging from vines, and climbing trees.

So I guess what I am getting at is I understand marketing, nationalism, family, religion, community, from a very mixed and diverse perspective. I live now in a world defined and ruled by physics, mostly beyond my control, I just have to manage it. But it has helped me understand that physics rules all things from social settings, to economics to chemistry.

All things seek balance and the equation will always try and balance itself. Once you understand that all things in life while maybe not easy, are at least understandable.

Thanks for reading, I hope to have “Ohio Wine and More” back on track soon!