Thursday, August 10, 2017

Our Tiny Farm is Going Through a Transition

I apologize for not posting anything since last January. It has been a busy year for us on Our Tiny Farm. We did a major remodeling of our house, which you all know causes all kinds of disruptions in a family.
We are also in the process of changing what we produce on Our Tiny Farm. In the past we have raised beef cattle, chickens, horses, donkeys, bees, garlic, popcorn, vegetables, and herbs. With the kids grown and gone (or mostly so), wanting time for other activities, and just wanting to try different things on the farm, we have downsized what we do.
Presently, we do not have any beef cattle or chickens on the farm and aren't sure if we will raise anymore. We are also not boarding horses right now.
We are still raising garlic and bees. The garlic is curing and we have hives full of honey.
We are only raising vegetables and herbs for our own family needs.
We are now boarding donkeys. These are our first boarders, Faith (the jenny) and Hope (her baby). This is a good fit for our farm.
Glen will continue to consult with folks interested in leading a lifestyle like we do.
And I will continue to sell my book, teach at workshops and conferences, and consult out of state. I will also try to keep our website more up to date!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

It has been very busy for the past six months on Our Tiny Farm!

I have certainly been lax at keeping up with the blog, but it is not from lack of activity on the farm! First and foremost, I want to dedicate this post to our dear, late Tennessee Walker horse, Little Man. He was a great friend and companion to us and our donkeys. He was an amazing listener. Always calm and very protective of his little donkey friends. But he was very old. We are not sure exactly, but the vet, farrier, and our neighbor who rode him when he was a boy himself, said he had to be 35 years old at least. The summer of 2016 was very, very hot and as the summer progressed, Little Man found it difficult to breathe. We had to soak him down several times a day and keep fans blowing on him. We trimmed his long, curly coat as often as we could, but it was clear to all of us that he was very uncomfortable. We finally made the decision to say goodbye and send him across the rainbow bridge on a beautiful, golden afternoon in late summer. It was a quiet passing and he is buried in his pasture near his little buddies and where we can be near him when we need to be. Love you, Little Man.
A few weeks later we also had to say goodbye to our dear old cat, Maple. That was just too much death and we had two few animal companions around, so we headed out to the local animal shelter and brought home these two adorable kittens. They are not related. They sure are fun!
We are in the midst of doing some pretty major remodeling on our old farmhouse, and in the process of clearing some things out, we came across a box with the first 18 issues of Mother Earth News magazine! I thought that was so cool. We live in the same community where Mother Earth News started and we always thought of our place as a little Mother Earth News type farm.
And then the forest fires came. I don't want anyone to forget how much of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee burned in November 2016. It was terrifying. We were miles from the fires but they still had a big impact on our lives.
But then every now and then, the direction of the wind would change and we would experience the most beautiful, sunny late November afternoons.
The Sustainable Agriculture Conference took place in November in Durham, NC. There I got to spend time at a book signing with my good friend and fellow author, Ira Wallace of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.
A lot went on in our personal lives, too. There was a wedding with the dinner on the farm (I now have a grandson!). The house was full of good smells with all the baking for Thanksgiving and Christmas. And the New Year was rung in with a fun movie and several bottles of champagne.
2017 started out with a beautiful blanket of snow. I took that as a good omen of the year ahead. This year will be one of change on Our Tiny Farm. We don't know what that all means yet, but with the young adult children making their own lives and our desire to try new things, we are spending the winter rethinking what we will do on the farm. We will continue to raise bees and sell honey, and a good crop of garlic and shallots has been planted. But we don't know what livestock we are going to raise and I would love to have a bunch more little donkeys! But, that will all be decided this winter as we sit in front of the woodstove sipping hot chocolate and planning it all out.
In the meantime, we still have honey for sale and it is about time for sales on my book on growing ginseng, goldenseal and other woodland medicinals to pick up. You can order them by clicking on the Add to Cart buttons on the right (if you don't see any buttons, you are probably on a smart phone. Just scroll to the bottom of this page and click on "view web version" and the buttons will magically appear). Full descriptions are on the Farm Products and Book pages (again, if you don't see other pages, just hit "view web version" at the bottom of this page).

We look forward to seeing you all at market and around town this year. Happy New Year from the Davis family at Our Tiny Farm.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Holiday Honey Sale!!!


Give the sweet gift of our locally grown, wildflower honey from the mountains of western North Carolina. The flavor is excellent and you can be assured that it is all pure, raw honey that we extract and bottle on our farm. We are offering two sizes this holiday season. A one pound plastic squeeze bottle ($8) and a half pound glass screw top jar ($5). We can ship up to four one pound bottles in a box (so one shipping charge) or up to six half pound jars. The $7.50 shipping price will be added per box. So, for example, if you buy one one pound bottle it will cost $15.50 ($8 + $7.50). If you buy two one pound bottles shipped in one box it will cost $23.50 ($8 + $8 + $7.50).

We ship using priority mail so your order will arrive in just a few days. If you would like these sent as a gift, just put the gift recipient's address on the order form and in the "instructions to merchant" section include what you want written on the gift card and if we should write "do not open until Christmas", "do not open until Hanukkah", etc. on the outside of the box. To order, just click on the appropriate "add to cart" button on the right (if you don't see any "add to cart" buttons on the right, you are probably on a smart phone. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "view web version" and the side bar and top tabs will all appear. Prices include priority mail shipping.
Since the cause of many hive losses is still questionable, we try to reduce the risks to our hives by keeping some at our own farm and some at a friend's farm nearby. Glen monitors all our hives closely and follows best practices to control mites and other bee predators. No toxic products are used in the hives. Please let us know if you have any questions about our beekeeping practices.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

End of Season Super Sale on Elephant Garlic and Shallots-SOLD OUT

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR WONDERFUL CUSTOMERS-
WE ARE SOLD OUT OF THE 2016 GARLIC AND SHALLOTS
This is all we have left of our 2016 garlic and shallot crop! So we are offering a super special sale on these five boxes of elephant garlic and Grey Griselle shallots. Please see the September 19th blog post for more pictures, a description of Grey Griselle shallots, and explanations of what I mean by "regular", "small", and "off-color" reasonably sized elephant garlic. I did some mixing and matching and stuffed as much as I could into these boxes. All the bulbs are firm and in good condition for eating or planting.

Referring to the picture above, the middle box and the one on the right have forty bulbs each and weigh between 4 and 5 pounds. They contain mostly the regular reasonably sized elephant garlic topped off with off-color and small bulbs. These are Box Q SOLD OUT in the right sidebar and sell for $30.00 which includes priority mail shipping. (If you don't see the right sidebar with the shopping cart buttons please scroll to the bottom of the page and click "view web version").

The box on the left contains 47 bulbs of the off-color and small elephant garlic bulbs. The box weighs about 4.5 pounds and is Box R SOLD OUT in the right sidebar. It sells for $25.00 which includes priority mail shipping.

The two boxes at the top are the Grey Griselle shallots SOLD OUT. They each contain 55 bulbs and weigh about 3/4 of a pound. They sell for $25.00 which includes priority mail shipping.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Fall Sale List: Shallots, Elephant Garlic, and Honey


SOLD OUT OF GARLIC AND SHALLOTS FOR THE 2016 SEASON
HONEY IS STILL AVAILABLE

IF YOU ARE VIEWING THIS ON YOUR PHONE, SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE AND CLICK ON "VIEW WEB VERSION" TO SEE THE "ADD TO THE CART" BUTTONS ON THE RIGHT AND THE PAGE TABS AT THE TOP. ONE CUSTOMER REPORTED THAT HE HAD TO SWITCH HIS BROWSER FROM CHROME TO FIREFOX TO CHECK OUT
 *****
Elephant Garlic, Reasonably Sized
Years ago, in response to our direct market customer requests, we began growing Elephant Garlic that was very similar in size to our German White Garlic. This remains popular with our direct market and online customers. The two photos below show our best Elephant Garlic, It is about 2 to 3 inches in diameter and there are about 8 to 9 bulbs in a pound. Box I SOLD OUT contains 29 bulbs and weighs about 3 pounds. Box J contains 23 bulbs and weighs about 3 pounds. They sell for $37.00 + $7.50 priority mail shipping for a total of $44.50 each.

The three photos below show our off-color Elephant Garlic. It has a uniform yellow color on the outer wrapper leaves. The first photo shows a comparison of our best Elephant Garlic bulb next to an off-color Elephant Garlic bulb. The bulbs average about 2 inches in diameter and there are about 8 to 9 bulbs per pound. Box L SOLD OUT contains 35 bulbs and weighs about 4 pounds. It sells for $38.00 + $7.50 priority mail shipping for a total of $45.50.


The two photos below show our small Elephant Garlic. The bulbs are less than 2 inches in diameter and there are about 11 to 12 per pound. Box K SOLD OUT has 47 bulbs and contains about 3.5 pounds. It sells for $32.00 + $7.50 priority mail shipping for a total of $39.50.

Grey Griselle Shallots
These are not your everyday shallots! These shallots have so much flavor! No wonder chefs love them so much. They are a bit pricey, which is why you should grow some of your own!The shallots have been cleaned off but not washed. We have learned that they store much longer that way. We are offering two sizes of Grey Griselle Shallots. The two photos below show the Medium to Large Shallots.  These are good for eating or planting. We prefer to use them for eating because it is easier to peel a few large shallots than a bunch of little ones. Box O SOLD OUT has the medium to large shallots. Each box has 28 to 30 shallots and weighs about 8 oz. It sells for $13.50 + $6.80 priority mail shipping for a total of $20.30.

Mountain Wildflower Honey
Our family, friends, and customers love our wildflower honey. The flavor is excellent and you can be assured that it is all pure honey. We can't control where our bees forage for food, but our farm is surrounded by woods and pastures full of clover and wildflowers. We are offering two sizes this year. A one pound plastic squeeze bottle and a half pound glass screw top jar. We can ship four one pound bottles in a box (so one shipping charge) or up to six half pound jars. The one pound bottle sells for $11.00 + $7.50 priority mail shipping for a total of $18.50. Two bottles would cost $29.50, three bottles $40.50, and four bottles $51.50. The half pound jar sells for $7.00 + $7.50 priority mail shipping for a total of $14.50. Two bottles would cost $21.50, three bottles $28.50, four bottles $35.50, five bottles $42.50, and six bottles $49.50.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Heirloom Grey Griselle Shallots for Sale Now

SOLD OUT FOR THE 2016 SEASON
Have you ever cooked with shallots? If not, you are in for a treat. If you have only used the common supermarket variety of shallots, you are in for a treat, too. We have the heirloom variety "Grey Griselle" available for sale. These are very different from the standard shallot. As you can see in the picture, they are tear-drop shaped and rather gray-brown-orange in color. They have a delightful, rich, distinctive flavor. They are wonderful sauteed in butter with vegetables, cooked in sauces to serve over meat, tossed in a salad, or chopped fine and put in a vinaigrette. We learned long ago that this is the kind of shallot that many chefs like to use and we can understand why.

We obtained our original planting stock many years ago and save and plant our own each fall. We are offering two sizes of shallots for sale. Medium to large is one category and small is the other. We cook with the medium to large ones because it is quicker and easier to peel the them. We plant the small ones. We have not seen any difference in the size of the bulbs produced the next year whether we plant small ones or large ones. My hubby actually said that he was going to do a test on that this year! Of course, you can plant or eat any of them.
If you would like to buy some Grey Griselle shallots grown on Our Tiny Farm, please go to this POST for the details on how to order.

Monday, September 12, 2016

We Have Garlic, Shallots and Honey for Sale!

 SOLD OUT OF GARLIC AND SHALLOTS  FOR THE SEASON
HONEY IS STILL AVAILABLE
Our 2016 garlic, shallot, and honey crops are packaged and ready for sale! We have German White and Spanish Roja garlic, Elephant garlic, Grey Griselle shallots, and Wildflower honey. But let me tell you a little about it all first.
This has been a very interesting growing season all across the country. Here in western North Carolina we had a mild winter and a long, dry spring. Since we have irrigation, that actually made for very good garlic and shallot growing. It remained dry right through harvest and the first few weeks of the drying season, as evidenced in the photo above. We were a bit surprised that the garlic was not as large as we expected it to be, but it was healthy and abundant. Then we entered a very long, hot, humid, wet period. The garlic was mostly dry, so we did not lose any to rot, but the damp weather caused some spotting and discoloration on the outer protective skin layers of the garlic. This has no effect on the cloves for eating or planting, but it doesn't look as pretty as we want it to. 
Since we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality products we can, we are disappointed with this crop. But, we have learned that many other growers experienced a complete loss of their garlic crop or are now losing it in storage. We have had two seed companies ask to purchase our garlic because they are short. We also have a number of customers waiting for our garlic to go on sale. So we have decided to offer this garlic for sale but at lower prices than normal and with full disclosure of the defects. We are not a certified organic farm but for the past 14+ years we have only used products approved by the National Organic Program in our market garden. We practice strict crop rotations, build the soil with aged manure from our animals, and fertilize with fish emulsion, home made compost tea, and NOP approved packaged products when needed.
The Grey Griselle shallots look great and they are being offered at our regular price in eight ounce packages.

Although we continue to lose hives to a combination of issues, Glen is determined to continue raising bees and producing high quality honey. He now keeps hives at several locations and puts more effort into them than he ever has before. As a result, we do have a good honey crop and are offering it for sale on-line for the first time.

Here is What We Have for Sale:

Important: Use the "Add to Cart" buttons in the right sidebar to order. If you do not see a right sidebar with those buttons (sometimes happens in the mobile version), just scroll to the button of this page and click on "View Web Version" and the sidebar, cart buttons, and page tabs will all be visible.

Note: There are very limited quantities of many of the selections offered below and they might sell out quickly. Unfortunately Paypal will not alert you to that until you try to check out the item. I will try to keep the selections updated but apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Shipping: I shopped around to get the best shipping rates which for the garlic and honey is using a regional USPS regional priority mail box. The shipping cost posted for each selection is a weighted average based on previous sales which are mostly to the East Coast.
Second Note: A customer shared that he had trouble checking out until he switched to Foxfire as his browser. 

German White Garlic-SOLD OUT

The two photos below show our best German White Garlic. They do vary in size but the average diameter is about 2 inches. There are about 7 to 8 bulbs in a pound.  Box A SOLD OUT has 30 bulbs and weighs about 4 pounds. Box B SOLD OUT has 29 bulbs and weighs about 4 pounds. Both boxes sell for $49.50 + $7.50 priority mail shipping for a total of $57.00 each.

The two photos below show the German White garlic with stained outer skins. Box C SOLD OUT contains 30 bulbs of varying sizes from 2 inches in diameter and less. There are about 9 to 10 bulbs per pound. The box weighs about 4 pounds. It sells for $36.50 + $7.50 for priority mail shipping for a total of $44.00.

The two photos below show our small German White garlic. Box D SOLD OUT contains 51 bulbs that are about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. There are about 12 to 19 bulbs in a pound and the box contains about 3 pounds. It sells for $25.50 + $7.50 priority mail shipping for a total of $33.00.

Spanish Roja Garlic-SOLD OUT

The two photos below show our best Spanish Roja garlic. There are about 9 to 10 bulbs per pound and the bulbs are of varying sizes but average about 1.75 to 2 inches in diameter. Box E SOLD OUT has 42 bulbs and weighs about 4 pounds. Box F SOLD OUT has 40 bulbs and weighs about 4 pounds. Both sell for $49.50 + $7.50 priority mail shipping for a total of $57.00 each.

The two photos below show our small Spanish Roja garlic. There are about 14 to 15 bulbs per pound and the bulbs are 1.75 inches in diameter and smaller. Box G SOLD OUT has 64 bulbs and weighs about 4 pounds. It sells for $36.50 + $7.50 priority mail shipping for a total of $44.00.

Reasonably Sized Elephant Garlic-SOLD OUT

Years ago, in response to our direct market customer requests, we began growing Elephant Garlic that was very similar in size to our German White Garlic. This remains popular with our direct market and online customers. The two photos below show our best Elephant Garlic, It is about 2 to 3 inches in diameter and there are about 8 to 9 bulbs in a pound. Box H SOLD OUT contains 30 bulbs and weighs about 4 pounds. Box I SOLD OUT contains 29 bulbs and weighs about 3 pounds. Box J contains 23 bulbs and weighs about 3 pounds. They sell for $37.00 + $7.50 priority mail shipping for a total of $44.50 each.

The three photos below show our off-color Elephant Garlic. It has a uniform yellow color on the outer wrapper leaves. The first photo shows a comparison of our best Elephant Garlic bulb next to an off-color Elephant Garlic bulb. The bulbs average about 2 inches in diameter and there are about 8 to 9 bulbs per pound. Box L SOLD OUT contains 35 bulbs and weighs about 4 pounds. It sells for $38.00 + $7.50 priority mail shipping for a total of $45.50.


The two photos below show our stained Elephant Garlic. The bulbs are firm and the cloves are fine but the outer protective layers are lightly stained. There are about 8 to 9 bulbs in a pound and they vary in size but are about 2 inches in diameter. Box M SOLD OUT contains 25 bulbs and weighs about 3 pounds. It sells for $25.50 + $7.50 priority mail shipping for a total of $33.00.

The two photos below show our small Elephant Garlic. The bulbs are less than 2 inches in diameter and there are about 11 to 12 per pound. Box K SOLD OUT has 47 bulbs and contains about 3.5 pounds. It sells for $32.00 + $7.50 priority mail shipping for a total of $39.50.

Grey Griselle Shallots

These are not your everyday shallots! These shallots have so much flavor! No wonder chefs love them so much. They are a bit pricey, which is why you should grow some of your own!The shallots have been cleaned off but not washed. We have learned that they store much longer that way. We are offering two sizes of Grey Griselle Shallots. The two photos below show the Medium to Large Shallots.  These are good for eating or planting. We prefer to use them for eating because it is easier to peel a few large shallots than a bunch of little ones. Box O SOLD OUT has the medium to large shallots. Each box has 28 to 30 shallots and weighs about 8 oz. It sells for $13.50 + $6.80 priority mail shipping for a total of $20.30.

The two photos below show our Small Shallots. These are the ones we use for planting each year. They are still fine for eating, too, it just takes more time to peel the little ones. Box P SOLD OUT  contains about 112 small shallots and weighs about one pound. It sells for  $23.00 + $6.80 priority mail shipping for a total of $29.80.


Wildflower Honey

Our family, friends, and customers love our wildflower honey. The flavor is excellent and you can be assured that it is all pure honey. We can't control where our bees forage for food, but our farm is surrounded by woods and pastures full of clover and wildflowers. We are offering two sizes this year. A one pound plastic squeeze bottle and a half pound glass screw top jar. We can ship four one pound bottles in a box (so one shipping charge) or up to six half pound jars. The one pound bottle sells for $11.00 + $7.50 priority mail shipping for a total of $18.50. Two bottles would cost $29.50, three bottles $40.50, and four bottles $51.50. The half pound jar sells for $7.00 + $7.50 priority mail shipping for a total of $14.50. Two bottles would cost $21.50, three bottles $28.50, four bottles $35.50, five bottles $42.50, and six bottles $49.50.