Duran's Farm Fresh Products

  (Waterford, Pennsylvania)
news from Duran's
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March 2014 upate

It seems like forever since I've been back here.  Face book really works and keeps me pretty busy with interaction with you all. 

 This past summer/fall we completed the addition to our store and doubled our size so that we could put in a walk in cooler. Pot O Gold milk is our biggest seller, right now I'm ordering for about 250 families & get between 650 and 700 bottles every week for them. I still have a waiting list for our brown eggs but supplement with Hillandale out of Corry.

Last year, I found out that I could no longer maintain the big garden for your vegetables you enjoy so much as well as keep the store running. This year I am opening up that space to a FARMER'S MARKET & hoping to enlist fellow farmers and gardeners to set up. The space is FREE & we'll run our season SATURDAYS from noon until 6pm beginning July 5th through October 25th.

I am also going to allow crafters to set up this year to help people get used to the idea and fill the space.  Please contact me if you'd like to reserve space, as you'll need to fill out a registration form. The space will be limited and you can choose to set up for 1 day, several Saturdays or the whole season. Again, there is NO COST to you.

I have started a few seeds in the greenhouse this week--peppers, cauliflower, tomatoes, spinach, kale and will be working hard to fill as many flats as I can to sell the plants when they are ready.

We are shopping for a new boar for our sows in the barn so we can continue to provide you with quality pork for you family . The one we have now, does what he's supposed to, we just are getting any bred sows. The calves that were born last spring were adopted to families and will be freezer ready late 2015. We'll see who arrives in the pasture this spring to raise for you.

Since you all have supported my little farm store here for the past 3 years and made it possible to quit driving mail truck I wanted to 'give back' to the community around me. In 2012 I hosted our first annual Duran's Down Home Days that benefits Kanzius Cancer Research.  I rent the entire Waterford Fairgrounds a weekend in May. This May will be our 3rd year.  All are invited to participate--whether it be rent space to set up as a crafter, food vendor or volunteer to show off your 'down home' skills(blacksmith, pottery, glass, wood, metal working) offer a backyard carnival game, a 'make & take' workshop, provide music or entertainment or just show up and enjoy the event. Our featured attractions are the popular CAST IRON CHEF CHALLENGE where teams compete for $1,000.00 in prize money or our NEW Upcycle contest. Take an item you usually throw away and create something new and useful from it. There are 5 different age groups for this contest and the winning project from each age group will win $100 !

All information is on our face book page - www.facebook.com/duransdownhomedays or contact me on the store page www.facebook.com/duransfarmfreshproducts or just contact me at the store anytime.

In 2012, we donated $2,000.00 to Kanzius Cancer Research. Last year we gave $4,000.00.  We sure appreciate your support, as does Kanzius.

It's funny how far things have come with our tiny 2 acres these past 15 years.  I couldn't have dreamed this life in 1999.  Your support is truly appreciate here, never doubt that.  I long to garden more, but taking care of the store takes long hours. I don't mind the work or the hours, it's important to provide you all with fresh from the farm products, whether it's from us or a neighbor down the road. 

 
 

BUSY, BUSY, BUSY HERE ON THE FARM !

Busy seems to be the verb around here these days.  We have 9 sows due to deliver baby pigs before the end of next month, just in time for all you 4H youth out there, and also for anyone that would like to be a part of our "adopt a pig" program.  We have 3 litters, and 6 more to go.

We have ordered all our seeds and they should be arriving here shortly, then it's off to the greenhouse to get busy playing in the dirt! I have a HUGE box of daffodil and tulip bulbs I ordered (200 or so, if I remember right) and I hope to force them into blooms for Easter. If all goes well, they will be offered for sale at a much lower price than the stores. I'm anxious to get the flower seeds in early and not let myself plant the vegetables too early...it's hard...fresh tomatoes are TOO tempting ! yum!

We will also be picking up 60 more hens (17 weeks old) that will begin laying about the end of May or June to ADD to our flock we have now. They are just beginning to lay, so I am confident that we will not have a 'waiting list' for our fresh brown eggs very very soon. 

We are still gaining about 2-5 more milk customers every month...word of mouth is a powerful tool it seems. People are becoming very aware of the food they eat and buy and like the peace of mind that comes from knowing where your food comes from, how it was raised, and what went into producing it (or better yet, what did NOT go into it !) Pot O Gold Dairy is a family operated Christian farm where we purchase milk for our family and yours. We order every FRIDAY and pick up your milk the following week. They come in 1/2 gallon GLASS bottles and I usually try to purchase a few flavored milks in the 12 ounce 'pot bellie' containers as well.

We are making progress with the country store being built as soon as the weather breaks.  It's funny....it sure doesn't see like 10 years that we've been sharing the bounty with our community. Wow.  We love what we do and being able to share the Blessings of good food, properly raised, has not only brought us you as consumers, but as friends.  Once we get the formal 'go ahead' from Waterford Township, and the weather breaks, we expect to see the store go up within a month or so.  We will truly appreciate your patience, as we acclimate ourselves to our new environment and make changes in our inventory to best serve your needs.

We've have numerous repsonses to our survey and many great ideas for classes or workshops to be held here.  We're really looking forward to that unique aspect of the store and wait eagerly to see how it progresses.

I am currently shopping around for the meat slicer we'll need for our lunch meats and cheeses and for a grain grinder so that you can (or we will) grind your whole grains here in the store for you.  I'm anticipating the wonderful aromas from the oven with fresh baked whole grain breads...mmmm.  Add some freshly churned butter from the raw milk, some tomato slices from the garden, a leaf of two of lettuce, also from the garden and that lovely thick sliced, hickory smoked bacon from our own pigs....the perfect meal for me!! That's what I call heaven!

I guess the only thing I didn't mention was our cattle.  They are enjoying their time in the barn now, due to that white stuff out there in the pasture.  We just added 3 ANGUS heifers that are due to deliver in April to our herd.  We have Hereford, Herford-Angus cross, and Jersey steers that are ready to be part of our 'adopt a cow' program.  You can be sure of the quality of beef you'll receive with no growth hormones and raised the way the Lord intended them to be.  They are 80% grass fed, with grain supplement, depending on the quality of that year's hay crop we put in.

Here's looking to Spring and all the possibilities and Blessings it will hold !

Thanks for dropping by, and if you ever have questions or need to contact us, please feel free, either by email, website, or phone. We'll be happy to hear from you !

Blaine & Karen

 
 

last snow of the season, we hope

Well, that Erie lake effect snow thing has happened again and hopefully it will be the last of the season.  Here on the farm we are preparing for spring, as are most rural people in the area, I'm sure.

I will be confined to the house here for a month or so after tomorrow's surgery. Not looking forward to it and hoping the recovery time will pass quickly and with as lilttle pain as possible.  I am having both knees partially replaced, or at least they have promised to fix the problems I have had since a car accident in 2004 when my vehicle was T-boned by a school bus.  Funny how long it takes to realize that something is wrong.

Here on the farm, we have delivered 4 litters of baby pigs, which the majority of are spoken for by local 4H youth. We have had a small number this year per litter and not quite sure the reasons.  We are checking into this and are thinking it might be the minerals that were added to the feed. Very nice gilts and barrows and they are growing very nicely.  We hope to see some of them in the upcoming fairs in a few months and hope to see them with those treasured banners above their pens!

I have been hobbling back and forth to the new greenhouse to check on the seedlings and start more seeds for  the garden and for customers that will want to buy for their home gardens.  They are progressing nicely. I have started quite a few flats of flowers and am anxious to see if my green thumb extends to flowers as well as the vegetable plants.  I tried my hand at 'forcing' daffadil and tulip bulbs this year and am learning for next year's crop. I hope to have an abundance next year in time for your Easter purchases. This year they have done well, but I see room for improvement. 

I know this snowfall will last today and tomorrow, perhaps, but am looking forward to worrying about keeping the greenhouse cool rather than warm.  I know hubby dearest is looking forward to having time to check the pasture fence and make any repairs so that Bully and the girls can get out to the pasture real soon and the 'shoveling' will be on hold for them, at least until November when it will be time to put them back in the barn. We should have 2 calves born and are hoping of course for heifers to build on the herd. Right now we have : Bully, Nina, Lily, Petey, and Calvin (he was Oreo but as he grew, he looks more like the Calvin of "Calvin & Hobbs", thus the name change). 

We are looking for breeding swine as well, to alter our blood lines. If anyone knows of gilts in the Erie or into Ohio area, please, please, please let us know.  We have purchased from Parrish farms before in the past, but for the price, we aren't that pleased with the outcomes.  Nice looking pigs, but not that great when they farrow, with litter size and 'momma' attitude.

Sure would like to see some comments, a review or two of our new website and hear from other local farmers, so check us out anytime at www.duransfarmfreshproducts.com

thanks for reading,

Blaine and Karen 

 
 
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