Richert/Phillips Farms

  (North Liberty, Indiana)
ventures of a small fresh pick farm
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invited to supper

   Our friend of many years finely had us over for dinner--he is the one that cooks the sap for us and we split the syrup 50/50. Being a farmer like us a good idea like sharing a meal in the evening always seems to slip by as the years roll on until one day it happens--and that night was yesterday.

   As the white gas lamps lit the house the little ones played contently with the simplest of objects and lots of imagination. The fellas conversation always fell into vegetables, hogs, butchering, bees, syrup and cutting ice on the pond for summer, plus the most important subject of all times in the history of humans fishing--but if another topic came up other than the type of farming the four of us do it quickly changed back to our passion--pretty much everything else is boring and not worth a discussion sometimes a mention, but not a conversation. The gals where in the other room, perhaps talking politics or world domination--who knows.  

   Now I get to the good part--dinner. Never in all my time have I ever thought of having what was served, but it really was good and do try it. We had waffles with home made hand cranked ice cream on top, ladled with warm maple syrup also a scoop of blended berries. And scrambled eggs--it doesn't sound like much but it sure was good.

    May God bless you 



This easy weather has allowed us to get our fall field work done early and clean up around the maple syrup equipment months ahead of time--we are pleased.

   This year we were able to enjoy the produce expos much better, because we did not have to think about all the work left at the farms. From 8:30 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. we sat in seminars--they were not bad except for the last ones each day--that is when your head starts to nod as ones eyes get heavy. But, we got through it and added to our knowledge of growing.

   Between sessions the trade show was packed with suppliers and dealers of produce products. Here is when we reinforced old alliances and forged new ones. For 15 years our produce farm has been going and it is amazing how many people(companies) we know and deal with.

    Evenings was always fun, every night we tried new restaurants with our friends--during the season all of us are to uptight and to busy to socialize. But, at the end of the season when the work is done,or near completed we make up for it. 

   The seed orders are done for next year and sent off--now what. 


preparing for the season

   Well, we are cleaning the equipment for work in the fields and this week we will check on the bee hives. If the hives are lite they will get some sugar water as feed, but if their heavy they will be left alone. The hives are new to our farm(last year was the first year we've had them), Dan and I are learning bee work as we go.

   Maple sap is slowing down and changing color, maybe another week of flow then it will-be over for the year. Pricing is one of the hardest things to determine on our products. We like volume pricing so we can move a lot of product fast, so if that product is sold off the farm then we will not get the low pricing that the auction offers. Farmers markets applications have been coming in--two of the markets are pleasant to be in and two is nothing but a battle. A pleasant one is where the farmers all get along, sell their stuff, share ideas, and help one another. A bad market is where the supposed farmers complain about the farmers(complains about what their selling and pricing, etc.). Of the past nine years one particular person has always broken the rules of the market for his favor and complained when others shown the slightest bit of competition on his product. The best part in this whole story is he has lost customers to us and the other farmer year after year because of his attitude. CSAs applications are slowing down, but still coming in.

   A young potential farmer has asked if he could work for us this year to learn the business of farming our style--we look forward to having around

   Till next week Jesus loves


snows melted

   The weather warmed up for a day and the rains fell then to melting the snow. Know we are hoping freezing weather will follow for at least 10 days to freeze the ground. Snow acts like an insulater and if the ground is not frozen when it is covered then it will not freeze until it is uncovered.

   Cleaning up is our main goal right now--that seems like a never ending event. Besides cleaning and ordering supplies for the coming season we go to church. We are members of a Menninite concervative church--by choice not birth. Of all the church groups we visited they are the most loving and biblically sound Christian Church. That is if it is in the New Testiment they fallow it as best they can with no excuse of there is another way--the only way to find God is the way He says!

   Farming keeps us respectful to the world and gives us peace of mind knowing we have most days there is work to be done.

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