Spyglass Gardens

  (Meridian, Idaho)
A time to be Thankfull
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Garden Cleanup and Sore Muscles!

Its never an easy task -- cleaning up the garden. No matter how big or small theres is always debris, broken pots, hoses to mend and trees to trim. 

 Winter in Idaho can be hard on everything. Stacks of leaves smashed into every corner, branches torn off from the winds and "dirt".  Yup sounds funny but "dirt"...You know the kind sifted, powdery "dirt"-- it's everywhere!  Not only is it found on table tops, roof tops, bbq, windows, patio furniture,outdoor sinks, patios but it finds it way into your house!!!  

Hosing off the side of your home will prove this annual Idaho phenomenon. Doesnt matter that we have had loads of rain this spring it's still there.....As the garden and it's surroundings are picked up and organized-we clean, and scub and clean again until at last --- ahhh! Our silky dust is returned once again to the earth to rise again next year.

On our farm the robins follow us around watching for tasty treats that we about to uncover. Under those stacks of leaves await huge worms and other crawlies  warming under their leafy blanket. Starlings search the rafters of the barn for hornet nests full of larve snacking on them as they tear the comb from the wood. Sparrows are busy stealing nests from their neighbors and picking up twine & straw to rebuild their new condo.

It isnt just you cleaning up the garden. No matter how big or small the critter may be, we are all in it together!  

 
 

Spring Green

Love the Color of Spring Green...its the kind of green you only see in the Spring Time.  Tiny leaves unfold with excitement and are filled with energy to bring us a new year. Trees are dotted with this Spring Green, the grass takes on a flavor of new growth and winter wheat fields sprout with great anticipation.

This Spring Green can be seen miles away from a hill top. It boasts a promise for days of summer yet to come. It outlines the valley beneath mountains covered in snow. Spring Green warms your soul.

Our greenhouse is a mass of Spring Green-warm and inviting even on a cold wet morning. The smell of Spring Green is earthy. It will soon give way to floral scents from the buds on trees that are just starting to pop.

Spring Green brings promise and peace...Enjoy it while you can! 

 
 

Winter Rest for the Farmer

   Awwhhh peace at last for the ol red tractor!  Now in December the soil has turned to frozen dirt.  Most of the day it has a white frothy substance tracing its clumps in the sun. Golden leaves are cast abroad and a quietness comsumes the field.

   But in the farmers barn office there is a buzz!  With the fire stoked with logs there are careful calculations of this years harvest being recorded. Countless seed catalogs are strung on the floor and the ol Red Dog's back is to the fireplace and warm and cozy with the one eye on his master.

   The mailman loads the mail box with late season catalogs and the first boxes of seeds for the new year.  Equipment is lined up for servicing, the greenhouse is cleaned and the heater is inspected. 

   As the sunsets each day it brings the farm just one more day closer to the New Year and all it has to offer.

   As the farmer and his wife go to bed they pray to our Lord and Savior and thank Him for all of the blesssings of family, friends and to grow and provide healthy foods for them. Without God this would not be possible and for the farmer and his wife they are truley forever grateful.

   Winter is just not cold and windy days, it is a time of rest, peace and reflection of love and receiving Gods grace. Please...Remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season...not the mall...take time to rejoice in his love.

 

  

 
 

Spring Rains, Sunshine and Sunsets

Spring time wouldn't be normal if there wasn't rain. What is so wonderful that after the spring rain you witness streaks of sunshine radiating to the earth. Occasionally the skies open to an array of brightly colored clouds painted with Gods finger. And off in the distance another storm builds, skys darken and the wind tickles the trees. With the sun still warming the soil waves of rain pass over the valley. Steam rises to meet the rain and the earth smiles with the passing of the clouds.

Here on the farm, business is as usual. Servicing equipment, trees are trimmed, working in the greenhouse planting of thousands of seeds, baby chicks hatch and the anticipation of another harvest is all that is discussed. The fields are too wet to plant, but raised beds are recreated for early plantings. Leaves and debris are raked and piled for future composting. Birds are present taking up residence in the nearby houses and leftover nest.

Yet something is missing.  A member of the farm...Papa

As the rain fell today a special man was missed. Papa. Today a year ago he left us for an everlasting life in heaven. Today as the rain fell he was smiling watching the progress being done here on the farm. Today as the rain fell the sun would peek out inviting us out to enjoy the tapestry in the clouds. Today as the rain fell there were rainbows.  Today as the sun set in the west, we all smiled remembering the life of Papa Glen. He touched our lives.The oranges and yellows with scattered peach rays bring us the warmth of his kindness and love. His memory will always be with us. His legacy lives on in his family. Thank you Lord for sharing this man with us.

 

 
 

Harvest Thanksgiving

This time of year brings on a special meaning...at our farm now 10 years old as a business, we have evolved from being open 7 days  week to now a full fledged CSA Only Farm....Through trial and error, expense with the powers that be and personal pain, loss and sorrow, we have become stronger in faith in God and commitment to our family and members...

Our farm stands today as a testiment to working always do better, to strive for versitality and to enjoy what God has in store for us...To let him be the CEO of our Farm...

We look at 2011 with great anticipation...We give Thanks to Him for our bounty this year. The trials of weather and the weeds that loved the wettness without His help this year could have been a complete loss.  Instead through his blessing our fields reap a huge bounty....We are so grateful....Thanks to the Lord above - 2010 was a success.!...

This time of year to our family is when we come together and count our many blessings...It is our hope that you do the same...

 
 

Golden Harvest - Fall has begun it's magic!

As the days grow shorter and the air becomes crisp...we are reminded once again the long days of summer are slipping away and fall is here...

The leaves on the trees are being painted by the cool breezes and frost sparkles in the morning sun.  Day by day our grasses become covered by falls first harvest of golden leaves.

Baskets of ripe red apples taunt us with the thoughts of dipping them in warm gooey carmel and quenching our thirst with ice cold apple cider.   Winter squash becomes sweet as their shells become hard in the cool dark nights...Onions can be found along the country roadside fallen from the trucks...Fields become bare and are put to rest for the season.

Yes another summer has come and gone, but the fall harvest is now here for our pleasure. Taste the fall air, take a walk thru a pumpkin patch, enjoy a crisp red apple (with homemade carmel sauce)...sit by a firepit and enjoy the Golden Harvest.... 

 
 

Peaches Pears and Apples -- Oh My!

I remember when I was just a lad growing up on our little farm...fall was worth waiting for... the fruit trees were always fair game as long as you let mom have some for jam and make dad a pie...Hidden in the leaves would be treasures kissed by the sun...After school and during chores those treasures would be the secret snack.  Only you and God knew you had tasted this gem...it's juicy sweet meat and tangy core was all yours...I would savor every bite, mind you now, you only ate one or two a day unless they were tooooo ripe,  cause you must not waste this treat!  I remember finishing my chores with a a sticky smile, tasting just one more before going to the house....As entering wiping my hands on my jeans..."Whats for Dinner"..Yes I am starved...haven't eaten since lunch!...Mom always knew the real story...or was it the juice stains on my shirt!...Remember fall is always worth waiting for....and a warm peach, juicy pear and crisp apple straight from the tree is the best snack of all! 

 
 

Tractor Papa is Plowing in Heaven

        There are farmers, want a be's, and then there are "farmers".  These folks that are "farmers" have jeans that if they could speak would tell you adventures beyond your wildest dreams.  These "farmers" were folks that were brought up growing for their survival, sustaining their very being. They grew up with a shovel in one hand, a straw hat and a knak for understanding mother nature. They had to, it was their life.

        The skin on the hands of the "farmer" is browned, tough, but yet soft to a childs face. The eyes of a farmer sees farther and deeper and yet has an understanding wink. The smile on the "farmers" face cannot be mistaken, for it speaks of truth, kindness and love.

        These "farmers" can read the land, understand soil without a microscope and love to eat a fresh dug raw potato.

         Our ol' red tractor is missing his friend this spring. His "farmer" has left our fields for greener pastures. Oh the tractor is still started each day and proudly plows the fields but there is someone missing when you see it pass by the house. Even though that ol' red tractor is just made of rusty iron it will always host the rememberance of "Tractor Papa" now driving his new tractor in Heaven.  Miss you Papa...

       

 
 

Too Wet to Farm!--Spring time is not slumber time on the farm!!

    This time of year can be either a time of slumber if you are a ground hog or for the farmer an important time of planning. The past years of harvest results have been documented and seeds were ordered for this years crops. Most of which have been received-organized-and filed for successional planting or propagating. Now comes the waiting game. 

    The ground is too wet or snow is still covering some areas. The soil is soft and mushie, but the farmer knows that the tiny micro-organisms are munching and creating a rich bio mass that will insure a great start to an intense harvest. Patiently he waits, if the ground is disturbed to early it can be packed down. The riches that have been created will be distroyed before they have had a chance to be asorbed by freshly planted seeds.  Clean up is even hard around the farm. Mulch that was placed to protect the berries or overwintered bulb crops still needs to be left alone.

    Still the farmer has work to do...grease wheels on the machinery, overhaul and change the oil on the tractor. Repair broken tines, replace discs and tires. Oh and he watching the weather. The weather just doesn't play a part in the day to day activities on the farm but it's future. Many farmers pay for a given amount of water base for their acerage and needs. This allotment is based on the previous years snowpack or moisture. So during the winter and early spring if the moisture level is lower than normal (like this winter!), he may have to adjust how he plants, what he plants and definately how he is going to get water to his fields.

    Many folks think the ol' farmer just takes the winter off...But you see that there is more that just getting your hands in the dirt!

 
 

It is Fall Once Again...

    Well the hot hot days of summer are behind us. Why do I know this?Because this morning the trees out back were swaying in the morning breeze and golden leaves, that were parched by the heat,  were falling to the ground like snowflakes-quiet and harmless.

   The smell of fall is in the air, hayfields are being cut possibliy for the last time, cow corn is being harvested, the mint fields are being mowed and the tomatoes are Red and Ripe!.  The smells of fall are all around us. Green peppers are coloring to Red, Zinnas are 5 feet tall and the Peach Trees are laden with fruits the size of softballs. Imagine the smell of peaches ripening in the hot sun, picking one and eating it just seconds later. O' Farm life is grand. Especially here on our farm.

   Our grand-dads taught us to care for the land and you shall reap the rewards. Not always profit mind you but, the reward of growing quality foods to sustaine the family.  Not only just to fill the pantry but to fulfil your tastebuds and your soul.

   Fall is a wonderful time to reflect on the bounty. To store away for winter, to enjoy the colors and to savor it's taste!

 
 

My Dad...

All of us have a dad, but many of us have never knew we had a DAD!...

I  did.. I knew from the moment I opened my eyes. We shared a bond that not many have experienced let alone admit. He taught me how to laugh, to cry, to walk, to farm, to  fish and hunt. To play ball, golf and to play for keeps! To love God...most important to Thank Him for each day.

My Dad taught me how to work hard, to get my hands dirty in the dirt to plant and watch our fields grow with color and bounty. To enjoy the smells of sweet flowers in the spring and the decaying leaves of fall. To listen to the quiet whisper of winter and watch how snowflakes danced to the ground...

Later...My Dad taught me to be an adult and to love the country we call America. To keep her and love her thru the good times and bad. To fight for the freedoms of others...

My Dad has been gone for sometime now and I know he is watching over us in Heaven...Fishing, Hunting and playing Golf with God...

I love you Dad...and I Thank you for being My DAD....Wendy

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Remember Memorial Day-It is not just a day off...

We must never take for granted Memorial Day...especially for those who receive a day off because of it's existance. Our country is based on a democracy that didn't come by chance. But one that has been bound by the ultimate sacrifice.  Because of these sacrifices we can voice our own opinion (even if no one is listening!), watch TV when we want and pretty much what we want (that can be good or bad), purchase foods and clothing anytime of day, have a family and our children can go to school. And the list goes on and on....

Whether you take the day off or not, please take a moment, pay homage to the flag and thank the good Lord above that you live in this great country.  And if you see a service man on the street greet him with a smile and tell him "Thank you"...it is just that simple.

Our family is very thankful for all that have given that ultimate sacrifice,  and we are proud to say that we are Americans.  We have many soldiers past and present in our clan and are very proud of each every one of them....God Bless America

 

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Sweet Smell of the Days to Come

Have you ever taken the time to just sit and smell?  Now is the time.

Oh you could have allergies but just sit and smell....The fruit trees have been blooming for a few days. Water has filled the canals and some are irrigating the wind blown fields. Farmers are tilling the soil, uplifting composted matter that will nourish their bounty. Folks in town are mowing the tufted snow laiden grass in their yards. Tulips are popping up among the fallen forgotten leaves...  Lilacs fill the air...

Just take time to sit and smell...Close your eyes...and remember a time when we didn't look at our watches. We didn't watch TV after the news was over...And we took time to sit and smell...

The smells of this time of year reminds us of the days to come.  The harvest from our gardens and from the orchards. The sweet smells are converted to the sweet tastes of Cherries, Peaches and Apples and crisp crunch of Sweet Corn not to mention the smell of a Red Ripe Tomato picked in the hot summer sun.

It's not too late, Take time to just sit and smell...We are truely blessed living in such a great valley...

That is why it was called the " Treasure Valley"!

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Dawn of a New Age

I was 9 when my Dad let me grow pumpkins at the back of the family garden.  Our garden was huge and supplied our family and neighbors with tasty produce all summer and Mom canned for the winter. I watered, weeded and cared for my little round buddies all summer. I watched as they grew and when the days of September grew shorter they turned a beautiful orange. My Dad helped me cut them from their life line and one by one I placed them in my 'lil red wagon'. I pulled them up to the road at the end of our driveway and sold them to folks driving by.  In October after school and after my chores were done, Mom could always find me out by the road selling my pumpkins 25 cents a piece.  It took me 3 seasons of growing and selling my pumpkins to save up enough money to buy a small motorcycle so I could ride with my Dad when he went fishing.

Now 40 years later my family is still growing a garden. Only difference between my tiny pumpkin patch of yester year and the 5 acre garden we grow now is the last 8 years our garden has been our family business.  Growing all natural produce and selling it here on the farm has become the primary focus of income to our family.  We have taken pride in sharing our farm with others. Teaching the youth of today the importance of growing your own food has become our mission statement.  My 'lil red wagon' makes countless trips back to the pumpkin patch every season.

2009 is our 9th year and we now face "The Dawn of a New Age". We have been instructed by the county that we can no longer sell our produce here on the farm or have folks out to the farm. Some others have been contacted of the same. In order to stay in business we must take our produce to the Farmers Markets or design a CSA program. During the winter all of us got together and with help of legal counsel we have designed a new version of the Farm Stand Code.  It has been submitted and if it is adopted it will set the stage for future Farm Stands.

For now the 'lil red wagon' awaits the sounds of children with its wheels anticipating a heavy load of prize pumpkins!

 

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Spring Time on the Farm

   Once again snow blankets the valley. Our warming sun is hidden in a dense fog sending our thoughts and desires into sleepy mode.  The birds search for tidbits of seeds forgotten while the buds on trees remain tight to the branches.

   Down in the basement of the ol' farm house in front of the fireplace, catalogs are spread accross the floor. Lists of choices are being made for tasty vegetable seed and sets.  The almanac has been read from cover to cover 10x, in fact pages are torn out and pasted to the cork board. The calandar on the wall has plowing & planting dates picked, some same from last year some new dates just because. You must not mix up the piles, no need to vaccum till planting is done!

One such planting date remains true "Good Friday". Time to plant potatoes, peas and beans.  Don't know why just has been that way in our family for decades.  Yes here on the farm every early spring starts the same. Snow on ground, lots of fog and sittin by the warm fire with the piles of seed catalogs.  It truely is a great way of beating the fog blues, all those tasty colorful veggies and brillant blooming flowers! 

We have decided that all folks need a couple of new Vitamins in January... Vitamin F and V. One dose a day keeps the blues away!

 

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