Richert/Phillips Farms

  (North Liberty, Indiana)
ventures of a small fresh pick farm
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ramps "wild leeks"

   Our sap season is coming to an end, but a wonderful surprise has happened. Ramps are growing--these things are like little onions with spinach attached. We cook them in olive oil and butter till they are carmeled and then eat like a king. They are good in soup, as seasoning, or just a side dish. If frying cook them hot and fast--don't burn just caramelize.

   I used to sell them to a restaurant chain, but ownership changed hands and stopped buying them--started to use green onions, but that did not work, they lost a lot of customers over the change. There loss, these ramps are the start off spring and the flavor is very good.

   Ramps if eaten raw is very strong taste and an even stronger smell. Cooking them tames the pungent little fellow, yet I always eat a few raw while picking.

Jesus loves you,

  

 
 

Helping others farm

The other day a boy asked how Daniel and I became vegetable farmers.

 

   In 2001 Daniel came up from Arizona to live and work with his grandparents, he is my cousin. On the first day of his arrival I took him to my farm to see the pigs and at the end of the week he declared himself a partner on the farm. I have been farming for nearly twelve years prier as a hog man. We talked for a few hours and determined that produce farming is the way to go. On my farm there was always two to three acre gardens, but never for resale.

   Blindly we dove in, with no clue what to expect. The South Bend market was the first market we done--it was alright. But the larger cities was were we needed to be so to pebble our goods. No one helped us--we did not know anything about vegetable equipment, how to find markets, what the laws are about selling, etc....we were lost. It took me about six months to find markets in the suburbs of Chicago, Palatine was the first(still there) then others fell in to place. Over time we became experts in our industry and when someone ask how they can be produce farmers, how they can market their goods I tell them everything--sometimes even get them into my market to help 'em out for a season or two.

 

Jesus loves

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Sapping and chickens

The sap is running strong right now. I have taken a load of sap to Leon's nearly every day. For two days straight we had to check our buckets twice, so not to have them over flow. With the new pan the syrup looks much better...a nice golden brown.

   There are a lot more eggs this week we're needing to find another store to sell to. When of the simple joys of farming is watching the hens peck around the ground, scratching and cackling--what a joy. This year if we can afford it, I think the hen house will be put on wheels. That way they can be moved quicker and further if need be. Our hens are given pasture, we insist they go on pasture even if they fuss.

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